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1987-88 Shane Churla & Dave “Tiger” Williams Hartford Whalers Game Worn Jersey – Tiger’s Last NHL Jersey
Lot #7

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1987-88 Shane Churla & Dave “Tiger” Williams Hartford Whalers Game Worn Jersey – Tiger’s Last NHL Jersey
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1987-88 Shane Churla & Dave “Tiger” Williams Hartford Whalers Game Worn Jersey – Tiger’s Last NHL Jersey
Lot #7
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 Maple Leafs where he spent 6 years. It was in Toronto that Tiger built his legend, scoring at an unexpected clip while becoming the leagues foremost bad boy. As part of Toronto’s dump of much of their 1970’s era talent, a deal in 1980 sent Williams packing to Vancouver. Tiger next spent five seasons with the Canucks where he earned All Star status and went to the 1982 Stanley Cup Finals. He then wrapped up his career playing for a brief time in Detroit, spending four years with the LA Kings and then a final season with the Hartford 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 games. 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, quite impressive for the NHL’s all-time PIMS leader.

The Hartford Whalers selected Churla in the 6th round of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. This noted enforcer made his NHL debut in 1986-87 with the Whalers. The following season, after playing in just two games with Hartford, Churla joined the Calgary Flames. Shane then went on to represent the Minnesota North Stars, the franchise with which he would be best known. Churla spent five seasons in the Twin Cities before relocating with the franchise to Dallas where he played for three more years. He finished up his career a couple of years later after stints with the Kings and Rangers. All told this old-school goon spent 11 years wreaking havoc around the NHL. He put up a single season best 333 PIMS with Dallas in 1993-94. In 488 career regular season games he amassed an incredible 2301 PIMS, a 4.72 PIMS per game average, 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 unwilling to part with the #22 thereby forcing the NHL’s all-time PIMS leader, Tiger Williams, to choose another number. Williams started his final NHL season wearing the number 25. 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, Tiger assumed this jersey and would go on to finish his career wearing this sweater that bears his familiar player number 22.

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 evident with a stitch popped collar, washed out bloodstains, general filth and a pair of fight straps, one wrapped in tape and both showing nice use.

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 initially denied the veteran Tiger Williams, the NHL’s all-time PIMS leader, a chance to wear his player number 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 familiar number 22. This is the only example of a Tiger Williams or a Shane Churla Hartford Whalers gamer we ever recall being offered at Major Auction. This historic gamer was worn by a pair of legendary NHL tough guys, and would become an instant cornerstone in any serious collection of enforcers. Churla wore this sweater at the outset of his NHL career before relinquishing it to Williams where it became the last jersey that Tiger wore in his NHL career, choice!