You know in almost 11 years on here, I don't think I've ever seen a reference to the old Billings Bighorn's team until now. Pretty neat. They had some guys with a lot of high PIMs and fight totals on that ill fated franchise... A young Bob Rouse
played in Billings as Kluzak's defense partner and went on to have a fine career. Pretty tough blue line pairing there!
Kluzak looked like he was going to be another in the long line of crease clearing defensemen that fought around 8-10 times a year, while putting up solid defense and 40 points a year from the blue line. He'd get 4 or 5 million for doing that today.
He's also from "Climax" Saskatchewan. You wouldn't think a good guy from "Climax" would turn anti-fighting.
A brief history of Kluzak's Knee injuries/operations:
s: Perhaps no other high-profile draft pick in the history of the NHL suffered from the kind of chronic knee problems that Kluzak endured during his nine-season pro career. The knee trouble dated back to Kluzak's junior hockey days with Billings. Although he avoided knee injuries for his first two NHL seasons, he ran out of luck during Boston's final preseason game in October 1984. In that Oct. 7, 1984, game vs. New Jersey at Portland, Maine, Kluzak tore ligaments in his left knee when he collided in mid-ice with Devils defenseman Dave Lewis. The injury, which required major reconstructive surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital on Oct. 8, 1984, forced Kluzak to miss the entire 1984-85 regular season and 1985 playoffs. Prior to the injury, Kluzak had scored one goal and added seven assists in nine preseason games. Kluzak resumed skating in late spring of 1985 and finally to action for the 1985-86 season-opener vs. Toronto on Oct. 10, 1985. Although he steered clear of knee trouble and had his best season in 1985-86, Kluzak ran out of luck again in September 1986, when he required further surgery on his left knee. As a result of the surgery, he missed the entire 1986-87 regular season and 1987 playoffs. During this time, Kluzak went to Buffalo, N.Y., where he worked with doctors from the NFL's Buffalo Bills, who had more experience than Boston Dr. Richard Weiss at bringing players back from knee injuries. On May 29, 1987, Kluzak's left knee endured arthroscopic surgery for the fourth time during the 1986-87 season and a surgical procedure for the sixth time in his career, as doctors tried to ready him for the 1987-88 season. Kluzak managed to come back in 1987-88, returning to action for the first time in Boston's Oct. 8, 1987, season-opener vs. Washington. Although he sprained his left knee later in October 1987 and his right knee in February 1988, Kluzak managed to play 66 of Boston's 80 games during the 1987-88 season and all 23 playoff games. He appeared to be over his troubles, but these troubles were in fact only just beginning, as Kluzak would manage to play just 13 NHL games over the next three seasons. During Boston's training camp on Sept. 17, 1988, Kluzak endured his eighth career operation on his left knee. He did not return to action until Boston's March 16, 1989, game vs. Quebec. Three days later, in Boston's March 19, 1989, game vs. Hartford, Kluzak re-aggravated his left knee. He missed the remainder of the 1988-89 season and entire 1989 playoffs with the injury, which required his ninth career operation on April 17, 1989. When the knee failed to respond properly that summer, doctors performed another operation in August 1989. Unable to start the 1989-90 season due to continued pain in the knee, Kluzak had his 10th career surgery on Oct. 27, 1989. He finally returned to action for Boston's Jan. 2, 1990, game at Pittsburgh, but re-aggravated the injury during Boston's Jan. 17, 1990, game at Hartford and was forced to miss the remainder of the 1989-90 regular season and entire 1990 playoffs. In a last-ditch effort to save the knee for the 1990-91 season, doctors performed an 11th surgery on Kluzak in May 1990. Kluzak returned to action for the final time during Boston's Nov. 3, 1990, game vs. Buffalo. After re-aggravating the left knee during Boston's Nov. 5, 1990, game at N.Y. Rangers, Kluzak decided the chronic injury was too severe for him to overcome. He announced his retirement on Nov. 12, 1990, at an emotional Boston news conference.
"The Hand is fine, I got a shot of chromosone yesterday." John Kordic on the status of his hand.
"Let's get out of this sh*thole."
Phil Esposito, on Winnipeg, after Team Canada lost game 3 of the 1972 series to the Russians.
Last edited by I like Boobs; 12-04-2012 at 11:49 PM.