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NHL legends in 'wrong' uniforms: forwards edition

Hockey Hall of Famers in jerseys you normally wouldn't think of them wearing

by Chris Creamer @sportslogosnet / NHL.com

Perhaps just as memorable as a legendary player is the uniform he wore during his Hall of Fame career. Try as you might, you simply can't separate the image of Guy Lafleur from that classic Montreal Canadiens uniform; when you close your eyes to think of Bobby Hull, odds are you're seeing him in a Chicago Blackhawks jersey. Time has a way of making those particular associations far more vivid in our memories, even though we may start to forget that Lafleur was once a New York Ranger or Hull was a Hartford Whaler for nine whole games.

Here's a look at some of the Hockey Hall of Famers who quickly stopped for a cup of coffee with one team before or after their biggest years with another.

 

Adam Oates, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (67 games, 2002-03)

Whether you remember him best as a high-scoring center with the Boston Bruins or Washington Capitals, or perhaps as an All-Star with the St Louis Blues, odds are you probably don't picture Adam Oates wearing the jade and eggplant of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. But it happened; in fact, in 2002-03 at the age of 40, Oates helped the Mighty Ducks get all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final before losing to the New Jersey Devils.

 

Brett Hull, Calgary Flames (57 games, 1986-87 to 1987-88)

Before becoming a superstar in St. Louis, Brett Hull was lighting the lamp as a rookie with the Calgary Flames. After scoring one goal in five games in 1986-87, Hull returned for a second season with the Flames and scored 26 goals in 52 games before being shipped to the Blues for defenseman Rob Ramage in March 1988. No biggie: Hull just went on to score 714 more goals and pick up a couple of Stanley Cup rings after the trade before retiring in 2005.

 

Jari Kurri, Colorado Avalanche (70 games, 1997-98)

The original "Finnish Flash," Kurri's first 15 NHL seasons closely matched that of longtime linemate Wayne Gretzky, including lengthy tours of duty with the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings, as well as a brief stay with the New York Rangers. But after 14 games with New York, Kurri ended up in Anaheim for a season before finishing his career as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. He had five goals in 70 games during the 1997-98 season.

 

Eric Lindros, Dallas Stars (49 games, 2006-07)

"The Big E" in "The Big D"? It happened! After 11 seasons up the middle with the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers, Eric Lindros headed to Toronto for one season before finishing his Hall of Fame career by playing 49 games for the Dallas Stars. Lindros scored five goals and finished with 26 points during his brief time in Texas before announcing his retirement in the fall of 2007l.

 

Johnny Bucyk, Detroit Red Wings (104 games, 1955-56 to 1956-57)

Before becoming a legend as a Boston Bruin, Bucyk spent his first two seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. He scored 11 goals and 19 assists in 104 games for Detroit before the Red Wings sent him to Boston for future Hall of Fame goaltender Terry Sawchuk in 1957. That gamble paid off for the Bruins: Bucyk scored 545 goals during the next 21 seasons and, like Sawchuk, he's a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

 

Bernie Federko, Detroit Red Wings (73 games, 1989-90)

After spending the 13 seasons of his NHL career scoring more than 1,000 points with the St. Louis Blues, Federko was traded to the Detroit Red Wings for a package that included another future Hockey Hall of Famer, Adam Oates. Federko called it quits after the one season in Detroit; his final game was the 1,000th of his career. A good way to go.

 

Mike Modano, Detroit Red Wings (40 games, 2010-11)

Having already rewritten the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars record book, Modano took his show back up north for a final season in his home state of Michigan. But injuries limited him to 40 games with the Detroit Red Wings after he played more than 1,400 with the North Stars/Stars franchise. Modano scored four goals and had 15 points before hanging up his skates and heading for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

 

Dino Ciccarelli, Florida Panthers (42 games, 1997-98 to 1998-99)

When a player finishes his career with more than 1,000 points and more than half of those are goals, there's one way to describe him; a pure goal-scorer. That was the perfect label for Dino Ciccarelli, who after scoring 597 goals during his first 17 NHL seasons, was traded to the Florida Panthers by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Though Ciccarelli played just 42 games for the Panthers, that was more than enough time for him to get career goal No. 600. He scored eight more to finish with 608 in a career that ended with induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

 

Bobby Hull, Hartford Whalers (9 games, 1979-80)

After moving from the NHL to the brand-new World Hockey Association in 1972, Bobby Hull made his return to the League seven years later when the NHL absorbed four WHA teams. "The Golden Jet" spent the first half of the 1979-80 season with his WHA club, the Winnipeg Jets, before he was traded to the Hartford Whalers to finish his career as a teammate of Gordie Howe. Hull scored two goals in his nine-game stint with the Whalers. He attempted another go-round in the NHL, playing a few preseason games with the New York Rangers in the fall of 1980 before finally retiring.

 

Guy Lafleur, New York Rangers (67 games, 1988-89)

After a long career with the Montreal Canadiens, enjoying retirement for three seasons and already a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Lafleur returned to the NHL with the New York Rangers in 1988-89. "The Flower" showed no signs of rust, scoring 18 goals in 67 games for New York and adding another during the 1989 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Nor was Lafleur done yet: The Rangers traded him to the Quebec Nordiques, where he played two more seasons before retiring (this time for good) in 1991.

 

Darryl Sittler, Philadelphia Flyers (1981-82 to 1983-84)

There's a couple of things that jump out to hockey fans looking at this photo. Yes, that's Sittler, the legendary Toronto Maple Leafs captain, wearing the orange and black of the Philadelphia Flyers. Second, check out those Cooperall pants! Sittler spent three seasons with the Flyers following his decade-plus tour with Toronto; included in that time was an impressive 43-goal season with the Flyers in 1983. Sittler played one season with Detroit after his time in Philadelphia before retiring in 1986

 

Wayne Gretzky, St Louis Blues (18 games, 1995-96)

Following long tours of duty with both the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings, "The Great One" stopped off for a quick visit in St. Louis following a late-season trade and finished out the 1995-96 season with the Blues. Gretzky had 21 of his NHL-record 2,857 points during his 18 games with the Blues, then scored another 16 during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Gretzky signed with the New York Rangers during the summer of 1996 and played his final three NHL seasons in New York before retiring in April 1999.

 

Ron Francis, Toronto Maple Leafs (12 games, 2003-04)

Gearing up for a shot at the Stanley Cup in 2004, the Maple Leafs made a couple of trade-deadline deals that brought some legendary players to the blue and white. One of those trades was for Francis, who had spent his 23-year NHL career split between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes franchise. Francis played his last 12 regular-season NHL games with the Maple Leafs, finishing with three goal and 10 points. He also had four assists in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games. Francis officially announced his retirement in the fall of 2005.

 

Mats Sundin, Vancouver Canucks (41 games, 2008-09)

Hoping for one last shot at a Stanley Cup ring, Sundin took his cross-Canada tour to Vancouver, where he signed to spend one season with the Canucks. Sundin played the bulk of his career in Toronto, where he wore the Maple Leaf for 13 seasons and nearly 1,000 games after four seasons with the Quebec Nordiques. Sundin scored nine goals and had 28 points during his swan song in Vancouver before announcing his retirement in 2009.

 

Sergei Fedorov, Washington Capitals (70 games, 2007-08 to 2008-09)

Much more remembered for his time with the Detroit Red Wings, Sergei Fedorov's time with the Washington Capitals was spread out over two seasons; he played 70 games in 2008 and 2009 scoring 13 goals and 46 points in that time. Fedorov played 13 seasons with Detroit and spent time with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Columbus Blue Jackets before coming to Washington. He left the NHL in 2009.

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