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1987-88 Dave “Tiger” Williams & Shane Churla Hartford Whalers Game Worn Jersey - Tiger’s Last NHL Jersey
Lot #341

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1987-88 Dave “Tiger” Williams & Shane Churla Hartford Whalers Game Worn Jersey - Tiger’s Last NHL Jersey
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1987-88 Dave “Tiger” Williams & Shane Churla Hartford Whalers Game Worn Jersey - Tiger’s Last NHL Jersey
Lot #341

GAMEWORNAUCTIONS.NET is pleased to bring this exciting collection of game worn enforcers and tough guys to the hobby exclusively thru our Spring 2018 Auction. These 11 NHL and minor league game worn jerseys have been held in a private collection since being purchased beginning nearly 20 years ago and have been out of hobby circulation ever since. Included in this group of legendary tough guys are some extremely difficult to find players and styles, most which are being offered at auction for the first time!

This home white mesh gamer by CCM was worn by two of the NHL’s most revered enforcers, Dave “Tiger” Williams and Shane Churla, during the 1987-88 NHL season. The Toronto Maple Leafs selected Williams in the 2nd round of the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft. This legendary enforcer made his NHL debut in 1974-75 with the Leafs and spent part of the first 6 years of his career with the club. It was in Toronto that Tiger built his legend, scoring at an unexpected clip while becoming the leagues foremost bad boy. As part of the Leafs dump of much of their 1970’s era talent, a deal in 1980 sent Williams packing to Vancouver. Tiger next spent parts of 5 seasons with the Canucks where he earned All Star status and went to the Stanley Cup Finals. He then spent a partial season in Detroit before joining Los Angeles in 1985. Williams played for the Kings for parts of 4 seasons before a final partial season with the Whalers. When all was said and done, Tiger had played in 962 regular season games, scoring 241 goals and 513 points to go along with a seemingly unbeatable NHL record of 3966 PIMS! Tiger also amassed 455 PIMS in 83 playoff contests! Not only was he the ultimate goon, but Tiger could also light the lamp as evidenced by his 35-goal season with Vancouver in 1980-81, which earned him a spot in the NHL All Star Game.

The Hartford Whalers selected Churla in the 6th round of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. This legendary enforcer began his NHL career with the Whalers in 1986-87. After just two games with the Whalers in 1987-88, Churla joined the Calgary Flames for parts of two seasons. During the 1988-89 season, Shane became a member of the Minnesota North Stars, the franchise with which he would be best known. Churla spent 5 seasons representing the Twin Cities before relocating with the franchise to Dallas where he played for 3 more seasons. Shane finished up his career a couple of years later after stints with the Kings and Rangers. All told this goon spent 11 years wreaking havoc around the NHL, putting up a single season best 333 PIMS with Dallas in 1993-94. In 488 career regular season games he amassed an incredible 2301 PIMS, 4.72 PIMS per game, the highest qualifying total in NHL history!

This jersey is packed with history! Upon Tiger’s arrival to Hartford in October 1987, Shane Churla was wearing this jersey and thus the player number #22 that Tiger had worn virtually his entire NHL career. At the time, Churla was a young enforcer entering his sophomore NHL season with just 20 games of NHL experience. Churla was obviously unwilling to part with the #22 thereby forcing the NHL’s all-time PIMS leader, Tiger Williams, to choose another number. Williams chose to wear #25 and thus started what would be his final NHL season in an unfamiliar number. One can only imagine what practices were like between the young up and coming Churla and the legendary veteran Williams. Tiger won the battle for playing time in Hartford, relegating Churla to just 2 games while registering 14 PIMS before his trade to Calgary on January 3, 1988. With Churla now out of the way and the player name change to this jersey complete, Tiger assumed this jersey and was once again wearing his familiar #22. Tiger wore this jersey on home ice until his NHL career reached an end later that season. Incidentally, when Hartford visited Calgary on January 27, 1988 it came as no surprise to anybody when Tiger and Churla dropped the gloves to settle their bad blood.

The sleeves on this jersey have been customized with elastic added to the wrists. The game wear on this sweater is solid and consists of stick and slash marks, board burns, board paint transfer, un-repaired burn holes and inner pilling. Fight abuse is readily evident with a stitch popped collar, a pair of fight straps with one wrapped in tape and with both showing nice use, general filth and washed out bloodstains. The upper verso has undergone a name change from Churla to Williams. First worn by a baby faced Shane Churla, who would wind up as the NHL’s all-time leader in PIMS per game and who denied the veteran Tiger Williams, the NHL’s all-time PIMS leader his player #22. Tiger would find revenge by getting nearly all of the playing time for the Whalers, which eventually led to Churla being dealt away, thus allowing Tiger to end his career in his beloved #22. This is the only Tiger Williams or Shane Churla Hartford Whalers gamer we ever recall seeing at Auction. Our consignor purchased this jersey in the late 1990’s. It has sat in his private collection, out of hobby circulation for the past two decades! To any serious collector of enforcers this gamer would become an instant cornerstone. Presented is an incredible opportunity to acquire a historic gamer, worn by a pair of legendary enforcers at the outset and end of their respective careers. Churla wore this sweater just 20 some odd games into his NHL career before relinquishing it to Williams and then it became the last jersey that Tiger wore in his NHL career, choice!