Gump Worsley

Gump Worsley

Infobox Ice Hockey Player
position = Goalie
shot =
height_ft = 5
height_in = 7
weight_lb = 155
played_for = New York Rangers
Montreal Canadiens
Minnesota North Stars
league = NHL
nationality = CAN
birth_date = birth date|1929|5|14|mf=y
birth_place = Montreal, PQ, CAN
career_start = 1952
career_end = 1974
draft =
draft_year =
draft_team =

image_size = 180px
halloffame = 1980

Lorne John "Gump" Worsley (May 14, 1929, in Montreal, QuebecJanuary 26, 2007, in Beloeil, Quebec) was a professional ice hockey goaltender. Born and raised in Montreal, he was given his nickname due to friends deciding he looked like comic-strip character Andy Gump.


At the beginning of his career, Worsley played four years in the minor leagues, most notably for the New York Rovers of the EHL, the St. Paul Saints of the USHL and the Saskatoon Quakers of the WHL. He achieved success with all three teams, garnering First Team All-Star and leading goaltender recognition for three straight seasons between 1950 and 1952.

In the fall of 1952 he was signed by the New York Rangers of the NHL, and though playing for a last place team, won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year. However, after asking for a $500 a year increase in pay, he was promptly returned to the minor leagues for the following season. Playing for the Vancouver Canucks of the WHL, he won the league most valuable player award in 1954.

He resumed position as starting goaltender for the Rangers in 1954, beating out future NHL star Johnny Bower. Wearing the traditional number 1 for goaltenders on his hockey sweater, he toiled for the oft-hapless Rangers for the next nine seasons, generally playing well for poor teams.

In the summer of 1963, he became involved in a proposed players' union, and was promptly traded to the Montreal Canadiens. While he was relegated to the minor-league Quebec Aces for parts of two seasons — and characteristically winning First Team All-Star honors in the AHL in 1964 — Worsley played his best years for the Habs as a member of four Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1965, 1966, 1968 and 1969. His best season was 1968, where he followed up a Vezina-winning performance and a career-low 1.98 goals against average by going undefeated in the playoffs with eleven straight wins. He quit in the midst of the 1969–70 season, feeling the pressure of performing in Montreal and being phased out in favor of younger goaltenders. He was suspended for not reporting to the Canadiens' Montreal Voyageurs farm team.

Worsley was lured out of retirement by the Minnesota North Stars, and playing in tandem with Cesare Maniago, starred for parts of five more years, retiring at the age of 44 after the 1973–74 season. His best season with the North Stars was 1972, where he was second in the league in goals against average with 2.12 and was named to play in the National Hockey League All-Star Game.


He suffered many injuries during his career, including a back injury with Vancouver of the WHL which nearly ended his career, a knee problem in the 1956 playoffs that required surgery, a shot from Bobby Hull in 1961 that hit him in the forehead, a severed tendon in 1960, knee surgery in 1966, a pulled hamstring in 1963–64, and a pulled hamstring in 1972–73 that reduced his effectiveness and depressed him to the point where he temporarily retired from hockey. The blast to the forehead from Bobby Hull landed him, unconscious, in Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital. Upon awakening, he was asked how he was feeling and replied, "Good thing the puck hit me flat!" [ [] Worsley at Legends of Hockey.]


At the time of his retirement, Worsley had played more games than any goalie except for Terry Sawchuk and Glenn Hall. He retired with a record of 335 wins, 352 losses and 150 ties, with 43 shutouts, and a goals against average of 2.91.

Gump was known for his wry sense of humour and various eccentricities. Early in his career with the Rangers, when he was regularly facing 40–50 shots a night, he was asked; "Which team gives you the most trouble?" His reply - "The New York Rangers."

Accused by Rangers' coach Phil Watson of having a beer belly, he replied; "He should know better than that. He knows I only drink scotch".

He was also vehemently opposed to wearing a mask. He was in fact the second-to-last goaltender to play without a mask, wearing one only in the last six games of his career. Asked about why he chose to go without he told reporters; "My face is my mask."

He was also well known for his fear of flying in airplanes due to one flight in his semi-pro career that was nearly his last. The New York Rovers were flying in a plane to play a game on the road when an engine caught fire and had to make an emergency landing in Milwaukee. As a result, he suffered terribly whenever he had to fly. He was quoted to say; "It's the one time I don't talk. I'm too scared to say anything".

Gump suffered a nervous breakdown in the 1968–69 season after a rough flight from Montreal's Dorval Airport to Chicago, and received psychiatric treatment and missed action as a result. It is said that when he came out of retirement to play for the North Stars he was assured that, as Minnesota was in the central part of the continent, the team traveled less than any other in the league.


Stanley Cup Champion 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969(with Montreal)

Vézina Trophy 1968 (with Rogatien Vachon)

2nd team allstar 1968

Induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1980 .

Retirement and death

Worsley suffered a heart attack January 22 2007 and died at his home in Beloeil, Quebec on January 26 2007. [;_ylt=AitjHgRyOGWm9plWgdgMqfJ7vLYF?slug=ap-obit-worsley&prov=ap&type=lgns]

Career achievements and facts

* Won the Vezina Trophy in 1966 and 1968.
* Named to the NHL First All-Star Team in 1968.
* Named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1966.
* Played in the All-Star Game in 1961, 1962, 1965 and 1972.
* Owns the record for the most career losses in the NHL with 352.
* Currently 7th in all time games played, 15th in career wins and 24th in shutouts.
* One of the last two goaltenders (the other being Andy Brown) to play in the NHL without a face mask, doing so until his final season.
* Was affectionately known to Minnesota North Stars fans as "the Gumper".
* This is where the popular term "Stacking the Gumpers" originated. Stacking the Gumpers is how a goaltender makes a save by lying on his side and making a "wall" out of his leg pads or "Gumpers."
* Two Canadian indie rock bands, Huevos Rancheros ("Gump Worsley's Lament") and The Weakerthans ("Elegy for Gump Worsley"), have recorded tribute songs to Worsley. Canadian band Sons of Freedom also named their second album "Gump" after Worsley.


*"They Call Me Gump" by Lorne "Gump" Worsley with Tim Moriarty
*"The Trail of the Stanley Cup", Volume 3 by Charles L. Coleman
*"The Complete Encyclopedia of Hockey" edited by Zander Hollander
* [ Hockey Hall of Fame Obituary]

External links

*Legendsmember|Player|P198003|Gump Worsley

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