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1984-85 Ron Hextall Kalamazoo Wings Game Worn Jersey
Lot #455

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1984-85 Ron Hextall Kalamazoo Wings Game Worn Jersey
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1984-85 Ron Hextall Kalamazoo Wings Game Worn Jersey
Lot #455

We attribute this home white heavy mesh gamer by Melville to Ron Hextall’s use during the 1984-85 IHL season. The Philadelphia Flyers selected Hextall in round 6 of the 1982 NHL Entry Draft. After 3 years with the Brandon Wheat Kings, Hextall spent a partial season with the Kalamazoo Wings of the IHL before joining the Flyers AHL affiliate in Hershey. Ron remained with the Bears for 2 years before cracking the Flyers roster in a big way in 1986-87. As a rookie, Hextall won the Vezina Trophy as the leagues top netminder and also captured the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player in the playoffs. Hextall won 37 games as a rookie and then led his Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals where they fell in game 7 to the Edmonton Oilers dynasty. Hextall’s playoff performance was spectacular, winning 15 games, 2 by shutout and posting a 2.77 GAA. He remained a staple with the Flyers for 11 of the next 13 years, playing a season each in Quebec and New York. In 1996-97, a decade after his first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, Hextall again led his team there only to fall to the mighty Detroit Red Wings. Hextall was a 1st Team All Star in 1987, played in the 1988 NHL All Star game and was the first goaltender to ever score a goal by shooting the puck into the opposition’s net, doing so both in the regular season and playoffs.

Hextall was a big man for a goalie, standing 6’ 3” tall. This vintage IHL gamer is tagged in the collar a size XXL and is extraordinarily long. A check of the 1984-85 Kalamzoo roster shows Hexy wearing the player number 33 during his 19 games with the team, which coincides with the background of this jersey. Our Philadelphia area consignor attests to buying this sweater nearly a decade ago from a collector who said he purchased it directly from the Kalamazoo equipment man back in the 1980’s as a Hextall gamer. The 1984-85 Kalamazoo team photo shown above shows the team in their home whites in a style that perfectly matches this sweater. Hexy isn’t in the team photo as he was likely already playing for Hershey at the time. The two goalies pictured are clearly wearing the player number 1 who according to the hockeydb is Georges Gagnon and the player number 30. The only other goaltender identified in the db is Shawn Kilroy who played in 2 games. Gagnon carried the bulk of the load, playing in 63 regular season games and 11 more in the playoffs for the Wings that season, leaving Hexy’s 19 games to perfectly fill the missing gap.

Now onto this enormous extra long goalie sweater; the sleeves have been sliced and opened up to better accommodate a blocker and trapper. Typical goalie use exists with stick and puck marks, some reddish paint transfer, un-repaired holes and inner pilling. A compelling case certainly has been made that Ron Hextall donned this fantastic sweater during his brief stay in the International Hockey League prior to entering the NHL!