On February 19, 1977, New York Ranger’s right wing Rod Gilbert scored his 1,000th career point in a 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders.
Gilbert’s first full season with the Rangers was 1962-63. He was 21. The team held onto him for his entire 18 season career. His retirement was 19 games into the 1977-78 season. He accumulated 406 goals and 615 assists, totaling 1,021 points. He participated in eight All-Star games and 10 separate post seasons but failed to claim a championship ring. But, in his 1,000th game he set up three goals, leading the Rangers to a 5-2 home win over the Montreal Canadiens who were the reigning champions.
Aside from Gilbert’s 1982 Hall of Fame induction the only award he received was the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy following the 1975-76 season for his perseverance and sportsmanship.
It was not always smooth skating for Gilbert. In the last game of the 1959-60 season he took an awkward fall into the boards. His fifth vertebrae was broken, and to make matters worse, he had just been called up to the Rangers from the junior league. Doctors were able to repair the damage removing bone from his left leg and binding the fourth, fifth and sixth vertebrae together. He started playing in the Eastern Professional Hockey League with the Waterloo Beavers and was called up to the Rangers for one game in November 1960. His injury did not make him shy away from hard hits but at times he had to get rehabilitation surgery.
Related Links http://www.legendsofhockey.net/LegendsOfHockey/jsp/LegendsMember.jsp?mem=p198202&type=Player&page=bio&list= (Legends of Hockey Biography)
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