Showing posts with label Ted Harris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ted Harris. Show all posts

Sunday

Ted Harris

Ted Harris spent 8 seasons in the minor leagues before finally becoming an NHLer in 1964. Much of his time was spent with the AHL's Springfield Indians. The Indians were owned and managed by the legendary Eddie Shore. It was Shore who made Harris into an NHL backliner.

Harris was an imposing defenseman at 6'2" and 183lbs, and he liked to use his size. He accumulated over 100 PIMs in 5 of his 8 minor league seasons. His feistiness resembled Shore's, but Eddie showed Harris how to become a stalwart defensive blue liner through perfect positioning.

"He (Shore) taught me how to play the man and the puck. I figure he made me more versatile," said Harris of his mentor.

In June of 1963 Harris was acquired from the Indians by the NHL's Montreal Canadiens. Harris would spend the year in the AHL once again with the exception of a 4 game stint with the Habs. Harris would excel and would be named an AHL First Team All Star and winner of the Eddie Shore Trophy as the AHL's best defenseman.

Harris would make the NHL to stay in 1964-65. He scored 1 goal and 14 assists in his first season while accumulating 107 PIMs. For Harris it was the first year of a 6 year stay in Montreal where through his physical play and defensive commitment he was part of 4 Stanley Cup Championships. Harris' excellent play was not overlooked either. He was named an NHL Second Team All Star in 1969.

Though he was generally a role player who was happy to be in the shadows of more talented teammates, once in a while Harris took the center stage spotlight, almost always in terms of a fight. He quickly established a reputation as one of the top rumblers in the league, thanks to a heavyweight battle against Orland Kurtenbach of the Rangers early in the 1966-67 season.

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1936, Harris was claimed by Minnesota from Montreal in the 1970 Intra-League Draft. He played 3 full seasons with Minny where he was a stabilizing influence in the early years of the North Stars existence.

Early in the 1973-74 season the North Stars got off to a bad start. Harris was moved to Detroit in exchange for defenseman Gary Bergman. Harris would play 41 games for the Wings but wouldn't finish the season in Detroit. He was moved to St. Louis late in the season.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Philadelphia Flyers became interested in the services of the veteran Harris in 1974. They bought his contract from the Blues in the off season. Harris' experience and savvy would prove to be a big part of the Flyers repeat as Stanley Cup champs. For Harris it was his fifth Cup victory.

Harris would retire after his Philly Cup victory. After hopping around with 4 teams in a year and at the age of nearly 40 years old, Harris decided it was time to settle down and hang up the skates in the summer of 1975. Harris 11 seasons in the NHL in addition to his 8 in the minors. In total Harris played in 788 NHL games.

He scored 30 goals and 198 points in those game, while accumulating exactly 1000 penalty minutes. He also participated in 100 NHL playoff contests, scoring 1 goal and 22 assists to go along with 230 hard fought penalty minutes.

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