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1976-77 Mark Napier WHA Birmingham Bulls Game Worn Jersey - Inaugural Season - Career Best 60-Goal & 96-Point Season
Lot #39

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1976-77 Mark Napier WHA Birmingham Bulls Game Worn Jersey - Inaugural Season - Career Best 60-Goal & 96-Point Season
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1976-77 Mark Napier WHA Birmingham Bulls Game Worn Jersey - Inaugural Season - Career Best 60-Goal & 96-Point Season
Lot #39

This road blue mesh gamer by Russel Athletic was worn by Mark Napier during the 1976-77 WHA season, the Birmingham Bulls inaugural year. The Montreal Canadiens selected Napier in the 1st round of the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft. This Toronto native made his professional debut in the WHA with the Toronto Toros in 1975-76. Napier played in Toronto for one season and then transferred with the franchise to become the Birmingham Bulls where he played for two more years, lighting up the WHA score sheets and earning a pair of WHA All Star Game appearances. Napier won the Lou Kaplan Trophy as the WHA’s Rookie of the Year in 1975-76 thanks to his 43-goal effort. The following season he lit the lamp a resounding 60 times; good for 3rd overall in WHA goal scoring! In 237 WHA games, Napier scored 136 goals and 254 points. Despite only playing in three WHA seasons, in a memorable poll done many years ago that ranked the WHA’s 50 greatest players, Napier ranked 31st on that prestigious list!

Napier made his NHL debut with the Montreal Canadiens in 1978-79 and won a Stanley Cup later that spring. He would spend parts of 6 seasons with Les Habitants before joining the Minnesota North Stars via trade in October 1983. Following parts of two years in Minnesota, Napier joined the Edmonton Oilers midway through the 1984-85 season and again won Lord Stanley’s Cup in his first year with his new team. Following three years in Edmonton, Napier wrapped up his NHL career spending parts of three seasons with the Buffalo Sabres. Although his NHL career wasn’t as dynamic as his WHA days, Napier did put forth a couple of 40 goal seasons during his time with Montreal.

Sewn into the collar of this gamer is the Russell Athletic tag. The game wear on this size L sweater consists of stick marks, a good many board burns, board paint transfer, un-repaired trauma, stitch pops and fine inner pilling. Napier was magnificent at just 20 years of age while wearing this jersey during road games. He finished 3rd in the WHA with 60 goals and added 36 assists for 96 points, both career best totals for the sharpshooter. A tremendous example, hailing from the Birmingham Bulls inaugural season as Napier took the WHA by storm with a 60-Goal season, choice!