Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bernie Wolfe

Bernie Wolfe was a goaltender for the Washington Capitals from 1975-1979. Those Caps were perhaps the worst team of all time. The 1974-75 Caps went 8-67-5 while giving up a record 446 goals against in the process. The 1975-76 Caps didn't do a whole lot better going 11-59-10. After being subjected to such mediocrity, it should come as no surprise that Wolfe doesn't miss playing anymore.

"I think I'm one of the few to say that I've never missed hockey for as much as a day since I retired." said Wolfe in all seriousness.

Wolfe was playing with Sir George Williams University in Quebec when the Caps signed him in June of 1974. He was actually the first goaltender under contract for the new franchise. Bernie spent that season in the minors but battle mononucleosis and as a result never played for the big club. He arrived in the US capital in the Caps' second season.

Wolfe's first NHL game came in Kansas City. The game was a rare 6-2 road win for the Caps. In fact Wolfe's first game and first win also marked only the second time in Caps history that they earned two points while on the road! Wolfe played in 40 games that year. He won 5, lost 23 and tied 7 with a 4.16 GAA.

Wolfe picked up his only NHL shutout in his second season. The shutout was against the Detroit Red Wings at the old Olympia. For Wolfe it was the highlight of another long season in which he went 7-15-9.

In all Wolfe played 120 NHL games with a career record of 20 wins, 61 losses and 21 ties and a career GAA of 4.17. He played his whole career with the Washington Capitals.

Playing goal on such a bad team caused Wolfe to feel insecure about his future as a hockey player. He was smart enough to continue his education in the off season as well as getting his feet into the financial consulting business which he began to take a liking too. Finally, on the first day of training camp for the 1979-80 season Wolfe announced his retirement so that he could get on with his life and worry about his future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My all time favorite player. I have the portrait of him that used to hang by the Capital Club, signed, hanging in my office. Because of Bernie I became a goalie and enjoyed great times and much success through high school...and even beyond.


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