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1980 Jack Carlson & 1979-80 Rob Laird Minnesota North Stars Game Worn Jersey
Lot #39

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1980 Jack Carlson & 1979-80 Rob Laird Minnesota North Stars Game Worn Jersey
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1980 Jack Carlson & 1979-80 Rob Laird Minnesota North Stars Game Worn Jersey
Lot #39
This home white mesh gamer by Steichens was worn by Jack Carlson and Rob Laird during the 1979-80 and 1980-81 NHL seasons. Carlson, a Minnesota native, is one of hockey’s all-time legendary tough guys who began his career in 1974-75 in the WHA with the Minnesota Fighting Saints. Jack and his two brothers, Jeff and Steve of Slapshot fame, were all playing for the Johnstown Jets in the NAHL in 1974-75 and were the inspiration for the movie Slapshot.

Just as filming was about to begin, Jack was called up to the Fighting Saints and Dave Hanson was named to replace Jack in the movie, and the “Hanson Brothers” were formed. Jack went on to a decade long professional career. He spent 5 years in the WHA, representing the Fighting Saints for parts of 3 years, then briefly playing with the Oilers and finally representing the Whalers for parts of 3 more years. Carlson then joined the NHL, playing for the Minnesota North Stars during the latter part of the 1978-79 season. Towards the end of that season, Carlson suffered a serious back injury that required spinal fusion at the Mayo Clinic. Jack was devastated and missed a year and a half, but returned to the NHL in 1980-81 where he and his North Stars made an improbable trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. Jack spent one more season in Minnesota and played for another couple of years with the St. Louis Blues before retiring. Carlson made a brief comeback two and a half years later when he played in 8 games for the North Stars.

During Jack’s WHA career he played in 272 games and amassed 694 PIMS! He left many an injured opponent in his wake and is looked back upon as one of hockey’s all-time toughest customers. Carlson stood at 6’ 3” 205 lbs. and wore thick black horn-rimmed glasses just as you remember his brothers wearing in the movie Slapshot.

Sewn into the collar of this gamer is the Steichens, wash and 79 year tagging. The game wear on this massive size 56 sweater is on the lighter side with some stick marks and board burns worthy of mention. This jersey was originally made up for Carlson to be worn in 1979-80, but due to back surgery Jack didn’t play at all during that season. The North Stars were noted recyclers of their jerseys during this era and we believe that this jersey was then likely given to Rob Laird, who was hastily called up and played in a lone game in 1979-80 for Minnesota. Evidence of a nameplate change exists and we surmise that this jersey was then given back to Carlson to wear upon his return from back surgery in the fall of 1980, which would be consistent with both the North Stars recycling practices of the era while having the proper 1980 nameplate that resides high between the shoulders on this sweater’s verso. Previously unknown to the hobby, this exciting find has sat in the original owners hands since being acquired back in the early 1980’s via a team function near the Met. Carlson remains one of the more popular players of his era and as such his jerseys have remained highly desirable among collectors.