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Sports & Recreation Hockey

Broken Ribs and Popcorn

How the Winnipeg Jets became the best team in the NHL's most offensive era to not win the Stanley Cup

by (author) Geoff Kirbyson

Great Plains Publications
Initial publish date
Feb 2021
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2021
    List Price

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The Winnipeg Jets were decimated when the WHA merged with the NHL in the spring of 1979, losing most of the players who led them to the team's third AVCO Cup victory that spring - Kent Nilsson, Terry Ruskowski, Rich Preston, Kim Clackson and Barry Long. They were only able to protect two skaters - Morris Lukowich and Scott Campbell - and a single goalie, Markus Mattsson. General manager John Ferguson used a patchwork of players for the first couple of years but after drafting Dave Babych No. 2 overall in 1980 and Dale Hawerchuk first overall the year after, he had the core around which he would build his team for the rest of the decade.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Geoff Kirbyson is a veteran journalist and author of "The Hot Line: How the Legendary Trio of Hull, Hedberg and Nilsson Transformed Hockey and Led the Winnipeg Jets to Greatness." He spent most of his career at the Winnipeg Free Press while also contributing to Canadian Business magazine, The Hockey News and numerous other publications. He coached minor hockey for many years and is a stay-at-home defenseman on the Sofa Kings in a Winnipeg beer league.

Other titles by Geoff Kirbyson