Saturday, March 5, 2016

Jim Baxter

5 NHL Games

January 18, 1978 Detroit Red Wings vs Colorado Rockies. 4-4 tie.
January 19, 1978 Detroit Red Wings vs Chicago Blackhawks. 4-2 win.
January 21, 1978 Detroit Red Wings vs Boston Bruins. 1-7 loss.
February 24, 1979 Detroit Red Wings vs New York Islanders. 1-3 loss.
February 25, 1979 Detroit Red Wings vs Colorado Rockies. 8-1 win.

   Jim Baxter was recalled to the Detroit Red Wings January, 1978 when the team lost goalie Ron Low to a knee injury. Low sat out at least three games, with Jim Rutherford taking over in net and Jim Baxter dressing as his backup. The Red Wings had just released veteran netminder Eddie Giacomin so they had to turn to Baxter, who had started the year far down on team's depth chart.

   Tragedy lead to Jim Baxter's second stint in the NHL. Red Wings goalie Jim Rutherford had to leave the team for a short time to go home to his grieving family who were dealing with the unfortunate death of his 16 year old sister. With Rutherford gone the Red Wings needed a goalie to dress as backup to Rogie Vachon. Baxter served this purpose for a short period late February, 1979.

   Jim Baxter was recruited from Ontario junior hockey to play college in New York for the Union College Skating Dutchman. He spent two years in college but after being drafted by the Red Wings in 1977, he opted to turn pro and in September, 1977 signed his first and only NHL contract with the Red Wings. Baxter only spent two seasons as a pro hockey player, retiring in 1979.  

Career stats from
Born Apr 15 1958 -- Toronto, ONT
Height 5.10 -- Weight 160
Drafted by Detroit Red Wings round 6 #91 overall 1977 NHL Amateur Draft
RS ScoringRS Goalie StatsPO Scoring
1973-74Toronto MarlborosOHA1700
1974-75Markham WaxersOPJHL000
1975-76Union CollegeECAC-2000
1976-77Union CollegeECAC-22000
1977-78Fort Wayne KometsIHL100---
1977-78Kalamazoo WingsIHL1200---
1978-79Toledo GoaldiggersIHL90291172014.74---
1978-79Kalamazoo WingsIHL91110000.00---

Jan. 18, 1978


  1. He also was a backup goalie for Detroit in a game that I saw in Boston in January 1978 or 1979. He wore 28.

    1. Thanks for the comment, I was able to find a reference to that game and have added the story and an article.

  2. A friend and hockey research enthusiast uncovered that he appears alongside Rogie Vachon on Rogie Vachon's hockey card in 1979/80 sporting a yellow helmet. That player was always a mystery to me. Now to solve who the Whaler's backup is(number 31) appearing on the bench on Dave Keon's card

    1. I had him figured to be Jim Bedard with the yellow bucket. Jim wore a jofa helmet/cage combo, and played for the Cincinnati Stingers of the CHL that same season as the card, with yellow helmets. The long hair matches Bedard’s look later in his career. Jim Baxter backed up the season prior to that card and retired from hockey before that card set came out.

  3. Does he still have it??? Jim's my dad and would love an old card with him on it. He passed away in 2019