Sunday

Jon Casey

I never quite knew what to make of goaltender Jon Casey. Perhaps that is because, not knowing all the intricacies of goaltending, I often don't know what to make of a lot of goalies. Perhaps it was Casey was quite an unorthodox goalie to begin with. He seemed to naturally be a scrambling, reflexive goalie who, through years of professional coaching, tried morphing into a classic, play-the-angles netminder.

However he tried stopping the puck, obviously it worked. For a period of about 5 years he was a bona fide number one goalie in the National Hockey League,. He was never a serious threat to win the Vezina Trophy, but he did get his team to a Stanley Cup finals.

Regardless of his accomplishments, most will remember Jon Casey for being on the wrong side of two of the most famous goals in Stanley Cup history.

A Grand Rapids, Minnesota native, Casey didn't travel far for his collegiate career. He played in net for the University of North Dakota from 1980-1984, and was named to the Western Collegiate Association (WCHA) First All-Star team for the 1981-82 and 1983-84 seasons. He also earned a nod on the WCHA
Second All-Star team in 1983 and the WCHA All-American team in 1984. The team took home the NCAA championship twice (1980, 1982) during his tenure.

Casey left UND in 1984, signing as an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota North Stars. For the next four years he spend most of his time working on his game at the AHL and IHL levels. In 1985, Casey had a stellar season. He was named to the AHL All-Star team, won the Harry `Hap'' Holmes Memorial Award (fewest goals against), and Aldege "Baz" Bastien Memorial Award for outstanding goaltending. Finally, in 1988 Casey made his NHL debut. That season, he made 55 appearances, the first of six consecutive 50+ game seasons.

In 1990-1991, Casey helped the team make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Penguins star Mario Lemieux split North Stars defensemen Neil Wilkinson and Shawn Chambers to beat Casey. The Stars lost the series, and that moment is the first of Casey used in the 2010 “History Will Be Made” NHL play-off commercials.



After two more seasons with the Stars and an All-Star appearance in 1993, Casey was traded to Boston as part of a deal for Andy Moog that also sent Gord Murphy to the Stars. After one season with the Bruins, he signed as a free agent with the Blues. Again, he helped his team to the Cup finals, this time against Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings. The series went to the second overtime of Game Seven, when Yzerman beat Casey with a shot rifled over his shoulder. It was a bitter moment for Casey and Blues fans, and the second moment used in the 2010 play-off ads.



After one more season with the Blues, Casey played one season with the Worchester Ice Cats and finished his career with the Kansas City Ice Blades, retiring in December 1997.

I'm not quite sure what Jon Casey is up to these days. Apparently he returned to school, completing his degree at college in St. Charles, Missouri.

Special thanks to Jennifer Conway.

2 comments:

Greg,  October 2, 2010 at 12:36 PM  

The St. Louis vs. Detroit series in '96 was the second round, not the finals.

Bruno December 11, 2011 at 1:32 PM  

He was doing his best game ever on that night against Detroit, too bad Yzerman made everyone forget that.

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