Monday, December 20, 2010

Lynn Zimmerman, Goalie Assist Machine

Years before Grant Fuhr set the NHL mark with 14 goalie assists in 1983/84, a minor league tender accomplished the same feat...and he almost matched it the following year as well.

5"8" Lynn Zimmerman from Fort Erie, Ontario began his professional career in 1966/67 with the Eastern League Charlotte Checkers and was a Second Team All-Star. He played most of the next eight years in the AHL, mainly with Rochester. By 1975/76 he was in the North American Hockey League with the Erie Blades. He had 30 wins in 54 games, and more impressively he also had 13 assists. He also spent three weeks filling in for the soon-to-fold Denver/Ottawa WHA team where he garnered another helper.

Apparently Zimmerman was so able and active with the puck, Erie coach Nick Polano devised a breakout plan around him. "This year Nick put in a system where I handle the puck instead of the defenseman. We work on it in practice everyday. When the other team comes in after the puck we just break out and trap them." says Zimmerman in the March 19, '76 issue of Hockey News. Imagine a goalie today making the first pass as a defenseman does. The issue also states that he once collected three assists in one AHL game. Jeff Reese, with Calgary in Feb, 1993. is the only other pro goalie to accomplish this.

The following year with Erie, he collected another 12 assists for a two season total of 26. He would finish up his career the following season in the WHA with the Houston Aeros.

1 comment:

Chris Muzyka said...

Oh, how the times have changed in Calgary. That 3 point night by Jeff Reese came in the Flames' 13-1 pasting of the San Jose Sharks. Nowadays its a modern miracle for a Flames' skater to achieve this feat.

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