Matt Ravlich

It took a while, but after several seasons in the minor leagues Matt Ravlich became a regular if unheralded defenseman in the last few years of the Original Six. Ravlich graduated from the St. Catherines Teepees, then a Chicago junior affiliate, in 1958. But he did not make the Blackhawks roster until 1964-65.

Ravlich, a close friend of Phil Esposito, was an ornery defender known to make life difficult for oncoming attackers. Though his penalty minute totals were not outrageous. He was also known to drop the gloves on more than a few occasions. Even for his era he was somewhat small at 5'10" and 180lbs, but even the big tough guys respected Ravlich and his damaging upper cut. He goes down in history as all but forgotten, but those who dropped the gloves with him always remembered.

By 1969 Ravlich was off to Detroit, then Los Angeles for a season and a half and Boston for a handful of games. He continued playing in the minor leagues with the Bruins farm team until 1974. He served as coach as well.

In 410 NHL games Matt Ravlich scored 12 goals, 78 assists and 90 points to go along with 364 well earned minutes in the penalty box. He added another goal and six points in 24 playoff contests.


Anonymous,  4:54 AM  

Ravlich was one of the most underrated fighters in hockey history. Guys who fought him usually ended up cut and requiring repair. The only other fighter who had an upper cut comparable to Ravlich was Dan Maloney. In the 64-65 playoffs, one game after John Ferguson attacked and beat up Eric Nesterenko, Ravlich challenged Ferguson to fight. Fergy wanted nothing to do with him.

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