Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rick Strack

5 NHL Games

December 5, 1981 New York Rangers vs Colorado Rockies. 2-1 win.
December 9, 1981 New York Rangers vs Boston Bruins. 3-4 loss.
December 12, 1981 New York Rangers vs Philadelphia Flyers. 5-3 win.
December 14, 1981 New York Rangers vs Pittsburgh Penguins. 5-4 win.
December 18, 1982 New York Rangers vs Detroit Red Wings. 3-3 tie.

   Rick Strack, though undrafted, was a highly scouted individual during his last year of college hockey playing for SUNY. He was offered a contract by the Calgary Flames and was highly prized by the Washington Capitals but decided to sign a two-year contract with the New York Rangers March 26, 1981. Strack would be recalled to the Rangers twice during his tenure with the club.

   Steve Weeks and Steve Baker were named the New York Rangers starting goaltenders of the 1981/82 season. Late in October Baker was injured, allowing Weeks to take command of the starting job. A then 18 year old John Vanbiesbrouck was recalled to act as backup goalie. After playing 14 consecutive games and about to face one of the league’s worst teams in the Colorado Rockies, Steve Weeks was finally given a rest. “The only logical thing to do is let Steve Weeks go home and have a good rest,” noted Rangers head coach Herb Brooks in a newspapers article. “We’re concerned that John hasn’t had any game competition for a month, but we hope that the euphoria of the first start will overcome that.” With Weeks home resting the Rangers gave Rick Strack a call to backup Vanbiesbrouck in his first ever NHL game. "I wasn't really surprised to get the call," noted Strack, "I was playing a lot and consistently well for Springfield." Weeks was back for the following contest and Vanbiesbrouck was sent to the minors again. Strack, however, was kept. He remained with the team until they acquired goalie Eddie Mio from the Edmonton Oilers. Strack dressed in four games during this stint.

   Over a year later Rick Strack returned to the NHL. Rangers goalie Ed Mio was suffering from back spasms and Strack was recalled on an emergency basis, joining the team just in time for puck drop. He dressed as a backup to Steve Weeks during his second stint with the Rangers, which lasted just one game.

   I asked Strack what his personal highlight was during his time with the New York Rangers. "Being in training camp with Bobby Hull - who had a tryout with us," said Strack. The legendary Bobby Hull tried out for the Rangers in the summer of 1981 and Strack was able to face hockey's most fabled shooter.

  • Wore #1 with New York Rangers

Career Stats from Hockeydb.com
Born -- Lake Placid, NY
Height 6.00 -- Weight 170

RS ScoringRS Goalie StatsPO Scoring
1980-81New Haven NighthawksAHL40023315003.860121130.883100
1981-82Springfield IndiansAHL4902---
1982-83Tulsa OilersCHL140079164104.8521013940.860---

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