Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Moose Vasko
Elmer Vasko was a large, fast, and skilled defenseman who came up through the Chicago Blackhawks farm system. While with St. Catharines his Tee Pees won a Memorial Cup in 1956. The next year, he was with the Blackhawks to stay. At first, he thought the Chicago fans were booing him as he roared up ice like a battering ram. Instead of booing him the Blackhawks fans were raising their voices in a chorus of "M-o-o-s-e!"

At 6'3" Vasko was a huge man for his time. The Chicago fans likened his up-ice charges to that of a moose. Yet, for his first three seasons in Chicago the stay was not particularly pleasant. The team was in one of the darkest spots in club history. Last place finishes were common and the chances of making the playoffs were bleak. To make matters worse, Vaske could not play to his full capacity. He had to wear a special shoulder harness just to play a shift. After his shoulder surgery in 1959 Vasko improved vastly.

Vasko's improved play coincided with the improvement in the Blackhawks. He was partnered with Pierre Pilote to form one of the toughest defensive tandems in the league. The result was a Stanley Cup victory in 1961.

Five years later, he decided that the thrill had left the game for him and he retired. But as the 1967 expansion approached Minnesota North Star general manager-coach Wren Blair approached his Chicago counterpart, Tommy Ivan, to get permission to approach Vasko. This time Vasco was ready to return to hockey. He won his fourth All-Star honour in 1969 before finally retiring as a player in 1970.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1953-54 St. Catharines Teepees OHA-Jr. 59 5 17 22 25 15 0 2 2 10
1953-54 St. Catharines Teepees M-Cup 11 0 2 2 6
1954-55 St. Catharines Teepees OHA-Jr. 49 16 20 36 75 11 2 3 5 17
1955-56 St. Catharines Teepees OHA-Jr. 47 9 31 40 90 6 2 3 5 8
1955-56 Buffalo Bisons AHL 4 0 3 3 4 3 1 0 1 2
1956-57 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 64 3 12 15 31
1957-58 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 59 6 20 26 51
1958-59 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 63 6 10 16 52 6 0 1 1 4
1959-60 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 69 3 27 30 110 4 0 0 0 0
1960-61 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 63 4 18 22 40 12 1 1 2 23
1961-62 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 64 2 22 24 87 12 0 0 0 4
1962-63 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 64 4 9 13 70 6 0 1 1 8
1963-64 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 2 18 20 65 7 0 0 0 4
1964-65 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 69 1 10 11 56 14 1 2 3 20
1965-66 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 56 1 7 8 44 3 0 0 0 4
1966-67
1967-68 Minnesota North Stars NHL 70 1 6 7 45 -36 14 0 2 2 6
1968-69 Minnesota North Stars NHL 72 1 7 8 68 -18
1969-70 Minnesota North Stars NHL 3 0 0 0 0 -1
1969-70 Salt Lake Golden Eagles WHL 54 4 6 10 34
NHL Totals 786 34 166 200 719 78 2 7 9 73


NHL Second All-Star Team (1963, 1964) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1961, 1963, 1964, 1969) Claimed by Minnesota from Chicago in Expansion Draft, June 6, 1967.
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