Saturday, October 06, 2012

Pokey Reddick

As a boy Eldon Reddick was dubbed "Slowpoke" by his father. The nickname stuck and evolved into Pokey.

Which is kind of funny because on the ice Pokey was anything but slow. He was an acrobatic goaltender known for his lightning quick reflexes. He, like so many middle of the pack goalies of the 1980s, was spectacular - often spectacularly good, sometimes spectacularly bad.

Reddick was a WHL workhorse goalie with the New Westminster Bruins and Brandon Wheat Kings, but was never drafted by a NHL team. He signed on with the Winnipeg Jets as a free agent. The Jets would get full value for their investment in the untried goalie.

After just one season (29 games played at that) in the minor leagues, Pokey Reddick wrestled away the starting goaltender job  in Winnipeg in 1986-87. He and fellow rookie Daniel Berthiaume ousted incumbent Steve Penney and the two became Manitoba celebrities with their spectacular play. They were dubbed Pokey and the Bandit.

Reddick got the lion's share of the work that season, posting a 21-21-4 record, but he would lose out the starters role to Berthiaume by the playoffs. 

Pokey's surprise debut turned out to be his best taste of NHL action. The following season he was very inconsistent and shuttled back and forth between the minors. When Bob Essensa arrived the next season after that Reddick was moved along. 

Reddick joined the Edmonton Oilers. Though he spent most of his time in the American Hockey League, he did get his name on the Stanley Cup when the Oilers won in 1990. 

Aside from a two game audition with the Florida Panthers, Pokey Reddic was destined for minor league stardom throughout the 1990s. In the early 2000s he extended his career with a move to Europe, playing for the Frankfurt Lions.


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