Jim Bartlett

I want you to think back to when Rocket Richard was infamously suspended for the balance of the 1954-55 season and playoffs. Upon his incarceration, who did the Montreal Canadiens call up from the minor leagues to take his spot on the roster?

The answer is Jim "Rocky" Bartlett, a 5'9" 165lb mighty mite from Verdun Quebec.

Bartlett's stay in Montreal was short, just two regular season contests and 2 more in the playoffs. He did not score a point, and was drafted by the New York Rangers in something called the Intra-League draft later that summer.

Although he spent most of the next three seasons in the minor leagues, the move to the Rangers organization was a good one for Bartlett. By 1958-59 he enjoyed his first of three full seasons in the NHL, two with the Rangers and a third with Boston. He scored 34 goals and 57 points in 191 career NHL games. A willing fighter, he was a fan favorite in New York along side partner in crime Eddie Shack. The pugilistic duo was dubbed "Nuts and Bolts."

By 1961 he was back in the minor leagues, playing with the Providence Reds and then the Baltimore Clippers until 1973. He was somewhat of an AHL legend, famously playing on the "B" line in Providence with Stan Baluik and Pierre Brillant. He almost lost an eye though in 1963, thanks to an errant stick. Bartlett obviously returned.

Bartlett would one day go on to work as a chauffeur for none other than New York Yankee's owner George Steinbrenner.

"I don't have any problems with him," Bartlett says. "He's a little gruff with people who work for him. He can be a little harsh with them, but with me, it's no problem. I just say it the way it is and that's it. "Sometimes he'll get in the car and he'll tell me, `I'm not in the mood for talking.' I'll say, `Well, I'm going to tell you my story anyway.' When I'm done, he wants to talk and he's asking me questions about what I told him."

Bartlett thanks his hockey career for landing him the driving job, a position he held for 20 years.

"When he found out I used to be a hockey player, that's when one thing led to another."

Bartlett became Steinbrenner's unofficial hockey tutor when his company bought into the New Jersey Devils. Bartlett had to explain the game to him.

"He'd take me up to the box with him. I had to show him everything. Why did the whistle blow when the puck went across the red line. That's a two-line pass. What about when the whistle blew when it was touched up. That's icing. When he has other people in his box, he'll say to them, `Anything you want to know about the game, just ask Jimmy."


Anonymous,  5:14 PM  

hey Jimmy very long time used to watch you play in baltimore , you had a four goal game and i ended up with that stick signed by the entire clipper team.

Anonymous,  6:53 PM  

I was friends with Bartlett and don nusinov, told jimmy he would give him a watch from nusinovs jewelry store if jim ever scored a hat trick.Well jim scored 4 goals against springfield goalie Jacques Caron on a sunday afternoon game in Baltimore.As soon as we saw Bart,and gave him the watch, I went to Philadelphia to see the flyers that night. P.S. IT WAS A PHENOMINAL DOUBLE HEADER. I loved the way Bartlett played.

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP