This home white dureen gamer by Wilson was worn by Eddie Johnston during the height of the “Big Bad Bruins” dynasty of the early 1970’s. Johnston began his NHL career with the Boston Bruins in 1962-63, playing in 50 games as a rookie. In his second season, Johnston played in all 70 of Boston’s games, and is one of the last netminders ever to do so. During the original 6 era of the 1960’s, getting a job as an NHL goalie was a rather difficult task. NHL goals were filled with the likes of Hall of Famers Sawchuk, Plante, Hall, Bower, Giacomin and Worsley, which speaks to the goalie that Johnston was. Eddie remained a member of the Boston Bruins through the 1972-73 season. During that time he won 2 Stanley Cups while sharing the net equally with Hall of Famer Gerry Cheevers during regular season play. In the 1972 playoffs, Johnston led all NHL goalies with 6 victories and a 1.86 GAA as the Bruins won their 2nd Cup in three years.
After his time in Boston, Eddie spent a year with the Maple Leafs before joining the St. Louis Blues where he tended goal for the next 4 seasons. A deal during the 1977-78 campaign sent Johnston to the Chicago Black Hawks where he finished his playing career.
Following his days on the ice, Johnston became a successful Head Coach and General Manager. He spent a season behind the bench in Chicago and then 3 more in Pittsburgh before taking over the Penguins GM duties. In fact it was Eddie who called out the name of Mario Lemieux as the 1st overall selection in the 1984 draft. Following the death of Head Coach Badger Bob Johnson in 1991-92, the Pens grabbed Scotty Bowman to take over the reigns. Scotty remained at the helm for 2 seasons before bolting to take over the head coaching duties in Detroit. Eddie quickly stepped in and replaced Scotty Bowman as the Penguins head coach, returning to the bench from 1993-94 thru 1996-97. During that span, Johnston guided the Pens to an impressive 153-98-25 record.
This spectacular jersey only recently entered our hobby, about 40 years after leaving the Boston Garden ice. The game wear on this vintage dureen consists of stick and puck marks, board burns, some minor stitch popping at the elbow seems from Eddie’s pads, pilling both inside and along the sleeve exteriors as well as a couple of classic Boston Bruins team-sewn repairs. Shown above is a striking color photo taken of Johnston at the Boston Garden during the early 1970’s, a perfect style match and quite possibly the same jersey being offered here today. Worn during the height of the “Big Bad Bruins” dynasty years, and having been beautifully preserved, this outstanding game worn jersey will surely enhance any collection of goalie or Boston Bruins gamers, choice!