Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Steve Buzinski
Steve Buzinski had a very short NHL career, playing in just nine games as a wartime replacement for the New York Rangers. During his stay in the NHL, he sported a rather shoddy 6.11 goals against average, which earned him the nickname "The Puck Goes Inski." It's a nickname which stuck with him his entire life. When asked who or where the nickname started, Buzinski replied "I have no idea at all. A lot of this is a figment of somebody's imagination." Although Buzinski couldn't be sure who started the nickname, he has always suspected it was Ranger teammate Alf Pike.

After playing in the NHL, Buzinski returned to intermediate hockey, playing until the end of the 1952-53 season. He then coached at the intermediate level for six years before getting into a career in research.

When asked if he could recall any moments that stood out in his hockey career, Buzinski said there were several, but none from the pro ranks, because as he noted "I wasn't there long enough to have any memories." He said being on a dominant intermediate team in western Canada is part of his fondest memories. He did remember negotiating his contract with the New York Rangers' Lester Patrick. "He was tough," Buzinski recalled. "He suggested a salary and I objected and he said 'Fine, go home.'" Buzinski ended up signing the contract for $5,000 for the duration of the season.

Frank Boucher, the Rangers coach during Buzinski's time in New York, said everyone liked the diminutive goalie from Dunblane. "We all enjoyed him tremendously, he was a fine little fellow," he said. "But he had a problem though; he couldn't stop the puck. He played nine games for us and allowed 55 goals. We had to let him go." In fact, over the many years since his dubious NHL career, Buzinski has achieved far more recognition for his incredibly bad goaltending than he ever would have had he just been a middle-of-the-road NHL puck-stopper.

One of the funnier Steve Buzinski stories took place in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Buzinski challenged a Leaf player to the puck and was seemingly knocked unconscious following a goal. A heated debate then arose between the two teams as to whether Buzinski was hit by the puck or an errant stick from a Leaf player in the crease, which would have disallowed the goal. When it seemed like the Leafs and the puck option were winning the side of the officials, Buzinski immediately opened his eyes, sprang upright and screamed "it was the stick!" He then promptly laid back down on the ice and closed his eyes. Teammate Lynn Patrick was laughing so hard, he skated over to the Ranger bench to tell coach Boucher what Buzinski had done. "He gave us almost enough laughs to alleviate the pain he caused us," Boucher noted.

Season Club League GP W L T SO Avg GP W L T SO Avg
1934-35 Saskatoon Nutana SCJHL 6 5 0 1 1 1.37 2 0 2 0 0 4.00
1935-36 Prince Albert St. Marks SAHA 2 0 2 0 0 8.50
1936-37 Prince Albert Mintos N-SSHL 2 0 6.50
1937-38 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1938-39 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1939-40 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1940-41 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1941-42 Swift Current Indians SIHA 8 6 1 1 0 2.00
1942-43 New York Rangers NHL 9 2 6 1 0 5.89
1942-43 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1945-46 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1946-47 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1947-48 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1948-49 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1949-50 Swift Current Indians SIHA
1950-51 Swift Current Indians SIHA 24 10 11 3 0 3.37 5 1 3 1 0 4.06
NHL Totals 9 2 6 1 0 5.89

Signed as a free agent by NY Rangers as a war-time replacement for Jim Henry, October, 1942.
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