It was about ten years ago when I tried to get in touch with someone from the Buzinski family. I tried Saskatoon and Swift Current. I tried Calgary, where Steve Buzinski’s son Peter was supposed to live. But I had no luck anywhere. It’s too bad. I would’ve liked to have learned more about the man.
Steve Buzinski was the goalie for the New York Rangers on the night of November 8, 1942, when Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard scored his first NHL goal.
Of course, being scored on by the Rocket was nothing to be ashamed of. Richard scored on dozens of the poor, padded people. This Ranger rookie just happened to be the first, that’s all.
Rocket was 21 years old and wore number 15 at the time for the Habs. He had yet to change to number 9, and he was still a few broken bones away from becoming the icon he became.
Buzinski had been called up from the minors to replace the Rangers’ goalies Chuck Raynor and Sugar Jim Henry, who were both enlisted to fight in the war overseas. Buzinski’s career was only nine games, letting in 55 goals, and he had a not so great average of more than six goals a game.
The Rangers soon released Buzinski, and the youngster returned to Swift Current and worked for the federal government until his retirement.
I would have liked to have known what Buzinski thought about his Rocket connection. Was he proud of the fact? How was the goal scored? Did the Rocket scoop the puck up for a souvenir? And why did Buzinski not play in the minors after being released by the Rangers?
But I couldn’t find any of his family, so I have no idea.