Mickey Redmond

Who was the first player to score 50 goals in a Detroit Red Wings uniform?

Gordie Howe? Nope. He never scored 50 goals. His highest was 49 in 1952-53.

Frank Mahovlich? Sorry, try again. Steve Yzerman? No, he wasn't the first. John Ogrodnick? Great guess, but not him either.

The answer, which should have been obvious given the big, bold-lettered title on the top of this page, is Mickey Redmond.

Mickey Redmond scored 52 goals in 1972-73, becoming only the 7th player in National Hockey League history to score more than 50 goals in one season. The sharp-shooting right wing from Kirkland Lake, Ontario had joined the ranks of Maurice Richard, Boom Boom Geoffrion, Bobby Hull, Phil Esposito, Vic Hadfield and John Bucyk. Rick MacLeish joined this elite group just one week later.

The following season Redmond duplicated his spectacular efforts by scoring 51 goals. At that point only Bobby Hull and Phil Esposito were able to score 50 goals in 2 different seasons. Redmond became the third player to achieve such goal scoring feats.

Mickey Redmond started his career as a high scoring winger with the famed Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey Association. The speedy right wing turned pro with the Montreal Canadiens in 1967. However even with expansion Redmond quickly became buried in the shadows of the great depth that Montreal enjoyed. He was used sparingly in his first two NHL seasons, and saw time in the minor leagues. In 1969-70 he was given more ice time and responded by scoring 27 goals and 27 assists in 75 games.

Despite his lack of success and a reputation for not being very reliable in his own zone, he remained a highly sought after prospect by other NHL teams when it came to trade discussion. After many rumors, Redmond was dealt in one of the biggest deals in hockey history - Redmond went to Detroit along with Guy Charron and Bill Collins in exchange for The Big M - Frank Mahovlich.

"The trade was a shock because the Canadiens told me I was in their plans for years to come. It was a disappointment because I always wanted to play for them. But it worked out. Detroit gave me the playing time I needed to develop. They needed me, while the Canadiens did not. Being needed brings out the best in you," said Redmond.

Redmond quickly became the key to the offense in the Motor City. His first full season with the Wings was in 1971-72. Redmond played in 78 games and hit the twine 42 times, establishing himself as a feared marksman. He was rewarded for his new found stardom by being part of Team Canada that would represent the country in the 1972 Summit Series. However Redmond would only play in one game and was used strictly as a reserve.

1972-73 saw Redmond break Gordie Howe and Frank Mahovlich's team record of 49 goals as he notched 52 while adding 41 assists for a career high 93 points. He was also named to the NHL's first all star team.

1973-74 saw Redmond score 51 goals, 21 of which came on the power play. He also added 26 assists for 77 points, and a NHL second team all star berth.

Redmond, an admittedly streaky scorer and notorious slow starter, was described by his coach Johnny Wilson as erratic but as good as anyone when hot.

"He's dedicated, but he gets disgusted quickly when things go wrong and tends to get down on himself too quickly. But when he gets some breaks and gets going good, he's almost impossible to stop."

Redmond was a bit of a one dimensional player in that his shot was his punch ticket. In 1974 author Bill Libby described Redmond perfectly.

"The 5'11" 185lb Redmond was a strong skater, but not a clever puck-carrier. His strength was in his arms, not his body, and he couldn't barge over people. He had to be set up. But if a team got the puck to him, he had a low wrist shot that he got away with remarkable quickness and a slap shot which had the force and accuracy of a rifle."

Gordie Howe was another impressed observer.

"Redmond probably has as high a scoring potential as any young player in hockey. He shoots as hard as Bobby Hull and gets his shot off in a hurry. He's not big, but he's tremendously strong. His big season was no surprise to me."

However Redmond's run of success quickly ended due to serious injuries. He was limited to only 66 games over the next two seasons. While he was able to scored 26 goals in that limited time, he was forced to call it quits after the 1976-77 season.

Redmond only played in two NHL post seasons, both with Montreal where he was used very sparingly in both 1968 and 1969. However in each year he earned a Stanley Cup ring. Oddly enough, despite finding superstar status in Detroit, Redmond's goal scoring exploits weren't enough to lift Detroit to the playoffs, not even once during his tenure in Hockeytown.

Injuries shortened his career and apparently ended his chances of joining the Hockey Hall of Fame, however Mickey Redmond will go down in history as one of hockey's top marksmen. The two time all star participated in 538 games, scoring 233 times while adding 195 assists and 428 points while accumulating 219 minutes in penalties.

Redmond remained an integral figure in the Red Wings franchise after hanging up the blades. He's been a popular colour analyst for Detroit Red Wing broadcasts, and has also appeared with ESPN, Hockey Night In Canada and Fox. He's quite famous for his humorous "Mickeyisms"


Anonymous,  6:41 PM  

Mic I hope u never leave announcing. I love u as much as I love the game. Every night your calling a game and I hear you chuckle in the background it tickles me to death. Alot of people say they love hockey but saying and showing is another thing. When there's a scrap I know you love it as much as the fans do. I love it when you complain about the penalities and calls. I love that you love old time hockey. I will say I hope you stay and co/ or host as many games as you can. When you are not in the booth I'm truly bummed. I know that you commentate and analyze but your comments and Mickeyisms are the best. Don't stop! Just know that when I think of the Red Wings I also think Mickey Redmond. You bring so much fun to hockey. You keep up the good work. P.S. it wouldn't be the same without Ken by your side. Stay Healthey

Jeff Harper,  1:59 PM  

Who were those officials last night? Wings 10 penalties, Sharks 4? REALLY! Please tell Gary Betman and his boys in stripes to play fair! Thanks for all of your hard work. PS I had your jersey when I was a kid.

wingsfanwestland,  8:03 PM  

I agree with "Anonymous", Mickey! I love that you say what you think about bad calls, and, bad rules!! It's great!! Nobody else makes the game so interesting!! The games are not the same, at all, when you are not there!! Keep up the good work, and, take care!

P.S. Love the Mickeyisms!!

marie danis 2:52 PM  

I love you and my aunt bernice butkovich from calumet,michigan in the up of michigan. I wish you could say a happey bd to her she will be 84 on the 29th and has been battling cancer but never misses a game. please keep up th good work mic!!!
marie danis

John Parks,  7:53 AM  

I know that the owners just had a meeting on bad hits and injuries in the game today. Being big fans of the game we can remember hits that have injured or in some cases ended careers! That being said, we would like to offer a solution. We propose that 5 past Hall of Famers review very questionable hits. Not every hit but the ones that are to the head, knees, etc. Ones that have caused big time injuries. If they determine that it was done with intent, with a vote of 3 to 5 or higher,that person that caused the injury is out. Now here is the KICKER. The person that cause the injury is out the same length of time that the injured player is OUT. Three weeks, six months, or cereer ending! The Commissioner can over turn the decision or reduce the penalty. The key is that these selected past players make the first decision AND that the penalty now fits. Players will think more than twice about intentionlly hitting another player. AND THE KIDS coming up will see that.
You are the best!
John and Jan Parks

MARIE,  2:33 PM  


Anonymous,  6:54 PM  

We agree with all of the above, Mickey. You are the best and we hope your health and intent stay with our microphone. It really wouldn't be the same without you. No disrespect to Ken, we don't want anyone else but the two of you.

Sean Carruth,  7:44 AM  

Thanks for the well-wishes during last night's game. My hockey family in Traverse City has been extremely supportive during my stroke and this was "over the top"! Thanks again and I really enjoy your commentary during the games.
- Sean Carruth, Traverse City, MI

Anonymous,  8:15 PM  

Mickey I wonder if the kids in the NHL today relize what a goal scoring machine they are talking to, when you speak to them . 50 goals in a season 1 time is hard but to score 50 in 2 seasons takes greatness! I watched you play live at the old olympia and I will never forget ! Mickey , your Aces in my book ! I talked to you in

carolina in 2002 Stanley Cup finals after the 3 overtime game the wings won. A fan of yours on and off the ice . Sincerly Ronald Flanigan

tuxedoTshirt,  9:44 PM  

Did anyone realize that you have Joe to thank for this, and that in all likelihood, Mickey doesn't read the blog?
He is a great colour guy.

Hiawatha 7:25 PM  

Mickey's slapshot was so hard, I swear he put one right through the net once.

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