This white knit gamer by CCM was worn by John Kordic during the 1989-90 NHL season. The Montreal Canadiens selected Kordic in the 4th round of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. This enforcer made his first NHL appearance in 1985-86 with Les Habitants, playing in 5 regular season contests and another 18 in the memorable playoff run that brought the Stanly Cup back to Montreal. Not a bad start to your career for a rookie. Kordic would spend parts of 3 more years with the Canadiens before landing in Toronto in 1988-89. After parts of 3 seasons with the Leafs, brief stints in Washington and Quebec followed before Kordic’s career and life came to an untimely end. In the summer of 1992, Kordic was again battling substance abuse problems. On that fateful August night, this 27 year old was full of substance and steroids and found himself lying prone, strapped to a stretcher in the back of an ambulance after doing battle with the Quebec police department at his motel. John’s hands were pinned behind his back by 2 pair of handcuffs linked in a makeshift chain and his feet were bound by rope. Soonafter, Kordic passed away, officially of lung failure due to heart malfunction at the age of 27.
John “Rambo” Kordic partook in a mere 244 regular season NHL games over the course of 7 seasons. This enforcer took on all comers and racked up better than 4 PIMS per game, ending his career with 997 PIMS. John’s career best total of 252 PIMS came over the course of 55 games with Toronto in 1989-90 while wearing this amazing jersey on home ice at Maple Leaf Gardens.
This stunning jersey has been highly customized by the Leafs. The sleeves are custom shortened up to the elbows. Additionally, the left sleeve was slit up to the armpit where illegal Velcro was sewn in. Midway through the season, league officials caught wind of it and forced Rambo to remove the Velcro, the remnants of the stitching and the outline of the Velcro still remain. The slit extending to the armpit has been repaired and an extra swatch of material has been added to the left armpit to enlarge its size. The game wear on this size 54 goalie cut sweater is solid with fight abuse readily evident. The front of the collar is stretched and stitches are popped and un-repaired. There are stick marks, board burns, un-repaired burn holes, trauma, washed out bloodstains and heavy areas of pilling. To say that the fight strap has lost the battle to salt and rust would be an understatement. Shown above is some amazing video footage taken of Kordic letting fly while wearing his home white during the 1989-90 season. Included is one of the best heavyweight fights of the era, a donnybrook between Kordic and Basil McRae, which earned its rightful place in Don Cherry’s Rock Em Sock Em Vol 1. Adding further appeal to this jersey is that it bears the now honored player number 27 of Hall of Famers Frank Mahovlich and Darryl Sittler! A certain cornerstone item for any serious Leafs or tough guy collection, choice!