Beckett Hockey Card Monthly #12 October 1991 – Jari Kurri
Jari Pekka Kurri (Born May 18, 1960) is a retired Finnish professional ice hockey right winger and a five-time Stanley Cup champion. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2017 Kurri was named one of the ‘100 Greatest NHL Players‘ in history. He is the general manager and owner of Jokerit.
Playing the majority of his career both with Wayne Gretzky and in Gretzky’s shadow as his so called, “Right-hand Man,” Kurri was considered by many to be perhaps the best defensive forward in the NHL. His two-way abilities were the perfect complement for his hard, accurate shooting and scoring proficiency….
Kurri contemplated retirement following the 1996-97 season, but with an offer from the Colorado Avalanche and a chance to reach the 600 career goal mark and win another Stanley Cup, he couldn’t resist. Late in the season, he did, in fact, score his 600th goal, becoming just the eighth NHL player in history to do so. However, the Avalanche was upset in the first round of the playoffs.
Kurri finished his career as the highest scoring European-born player in NHL history with totals of 601 goals, 797 assists, and 1,398 points. He also finished with 106 career PLAYOFF goals and 233 PLAYOFF points, third all-time behind only Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier. While he wasn’t the flashiest player, Kurri was consistent and this ability alone enabled him to become an icon for thousands of fans and young players, both in Finland and throughout North America.