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Calvin Pickard Tribute/Retrospective

Seattle's season ended with a whimper last night, losing to the Portland Winterhawks 8-2 in front of nearly 8000 at the Memorial Coliseum. The Tbirds started fast and took the lead with a PP goal to open the scoring but the team seemed deflated as the Winterhawks answered just 9 seconds later on a snipe by Ty Rattie. The shot was first class, but it was a save Pickard needed to make in a game of this magnitude, and it didn’t happen.

The loss brought an end to the career of Pickard; a career that will no doubt go down as one of the best goaltending careers in the history of the WHL, despite the lack of playoff success.

As the first of several season wrap-up articles I plan to write this week, I wanted to spend an entire article recapping the career of Calvin Pickard…

Picks has been a solider for this franchise beyond the call of duty. He has never publicly complained about the teams that have been placed in front of him and by all accounts he has been a model citizen and an amazing teammate. Heartfelt comments and well-wishes poured in from teammates, fans, media and other players around the league.  He deserved better opportunities than he received during his time here in Seattle and I would like to thank him for the great memories and performances that we were able to see. Before we completely send Pickard off into the sunset to bigger and better things (because we may not ever see him back in Seattle again....) let's take a look at the WHL career of Calvin Pickard.

Pickard was drafted by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the 2nd round of the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft. Erik Fleming was drafted in the 1st round and Brandon Carlson was selected in the 3rd round. The younger brother of "Chetter" came into camp as a 15 year old with some high expectations. Anything resembling the career of Chet Pickard would have been considered a success. He wasted no time making a lasting impression as he didn't surrender a single goal in the camp scrimmages. Seattle fans knew they had something special.

September 19th, 2008 - Pickard's first official game in the WHL came at the CN Centre in Prince George where he stopped 32 of 37 shots in a 5-2 Seattle loss. He was greeted to the WHL by Dale Hunt (former Silvertip) and Brett Connolly who scored the Cougars first two goals.

October 11, 2008 - Pickard records his first WHL victory and shutout in the same game as he blanked the (then) hapless Portland Winterhawks 2-0, stopping all 20 shots in the process.

February 20, 2009 - Pickard stops all 36 shots and earns the game's 1st start in beating Spokane 3-0 for his first home shutout.

February 22, 2009 - Two days later, Pickard is forced to make at least 40 saves for the first time in his career stopping 40 of 42 shots to help Seattle earn a 3-2 victory at home over the Vancouver Giants.

March 7, 2009 - Playing in front of his brother Chet Pickard (rested on that night) Calvin stopped 24 shots to record his 3rd shutout of the season and first over Tri-City as the Tbirds blasted the Americans 6-0.

March 21, 2009 - Sadly this date marks the one and only playoff win in Pickard's illustrious career. Pickard stopped 33 of 34 shots and bested current Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Dustin Tokarski as the Tbirds evened the series in Spokane with a 2-1 victory. Seattle would drop the next 3 games and lose to the Chiefs 4-1 in the series.

September 8, 2009 - Pickard opens the 2009-10 season with a 4-3 victory over the Everett Silvertips stopping 46 of 49 shots in the process.

October 2, 2009 - A date that most Tbirds fans will likely remember for a very long time. Seattle is out-shot 57-20 in the game against the Tri-City Americans and it just didn't matter. Pickard stopped all 57 of the Americans shots, leading Seattle to a razor thin 1-0 victory. In the 3rd period alone, Seattle was out-shot 16-2 and Pickard was up for the challenge turning aside shot after shot including 5 American Power Plays. I researched the league records as much as I possibly could and nobody seems to be able to refute that this game is likely a league record for the most saves made in a shutout effort.

December 11, 2009 - Pickard owns the Ams again, stopping 54 of 55 shots and the Tbirds win 5-1 over Tri-City.

March 14, 2010 - In the final game of the season, with no hope of making the playoffs. Pickard stops 51 of 54 shots and Luke Lockhart scores 2:26 into the Overtime period, giving Seattle the 4-3 victory over the BC Division champion Vancouver Giants.

June 26, 2010 - The Colorado Avalanche select Pickard 49th overall and he is the 3rd goaltender selected in the draft behind Jack Campbell and Mark Visentin.

September 25, 2010 - Pickard picks up his first win of the 2010-11 season with a 37 save effort to defeat the Portland Winterhawks 4-1.

October 2, 2010 - Pickard beats the Winterhawks again, this time in the shootout. He stops 44 of 46 shots in regulation and stops Ty Rattie, Brad Ross and Ryan Johansen in the shootout to earn the victory.

November 2, 2010 - Seattle defeats Red Deer 4-1 behind 46 saves from Pickard. Red Deer would go on to earn 104 points and win the Central Division.

November 24, 2010 - Seattle loses 5-4 in the shootout... but not because of the play of Pickard who stops 55 of 59 shots. Adam Hughesman scores the only goal in the shootout and the Americans finally beat Pickard.

December 18, 2010 - Portland pumps in 52 shots on goal and Pickard stops 50 of them to earn Seattle the 4-2 victory over the Winterhawks. Brenden Dillon has 4 assists for the Tbirds in the win.

January 18, 2011 - The shootout bites Pickard again on this night but not before stopping 55 of 58 shots against the Kamloops Blazers. Brendan Ranford and Colin Smith score in the shootout for the 4-3 Blazers win.

February 13, 2011 and February 23, 2011 - Pickard makes 106 saves on 108 shots in beating the Spokane Chiefs twice in the span of 10 days and Seattle picks up two wins.

October 15, 2011 - 43 saves on 45 shots as the Tbirds defeat the visiting Saskatoon Blades at the Showare Center 4-2.

November 19, 2011 - In Seattle's only win over Portland this season, Pickard stops 47 of 50 shots on goal and the Tbirds defeat the Winterhawks 6-3 on the heels of 5 2nd period goals.

January 22, 2012 - Pickard breaks the WHL record for career saves when he makes save number 6,959, passing former Thunderbirds goaltender Danny Lorenz. Pickard would finish his career with 7,727 saves in just 4 WHL seasons.

March 10, 2012 - In a game he will otherwise want to forget, Pickard breaks the WHL record for career minutes played at the 7 minute mark of the 3rd period in a 11-3 loss to the Portland Winterhawks. Passing Kurtis Mucha with his 13,709th minute played, Pickard finishes his career with 14,025 minutes played... again, in just 4 seasons.

March 11th, March 13th and March 16th, 2012 - Pickard stops 107 of 113 shots during a 3 game winning streak to keep Seattle alive for the playoffs.

The Winnipeg, Manatoba native finishes his career with a record of 91-120-27 with 12 shutouts. 241 games played, surrendering 769 goals on 8496 shots for a save percentage of .909.

Pickard has been an absolute pleasure to watch in the past 4 seasons. Seattle hasn't provided very many highlights and nearly all of them has been a direct result of our good humored goaltender. The 2012-13 version of the Seattle Thunderbirds will have a gigantic hole in their goal crease and in the locker room. Calvin's legacy will be repeated for years after he packs his bags today for bigger and better things.

I won't speak for anyone else even though I suspect that I share the feelings of many... Thank you Calvin.


Anonymous said...

We agree Tyler! I know a lot of people wanted him traded. But he was a major factor in the chance we had of going to the playoffs. Maybe they didn't get it done, but it wouldn't even have been close had they traded him. IMO.
Wishing Pickard all the best and a big thank you for putting up with Seattle! :-)

Anonymous said...

My wife was just devastated at his reaction to the loss. As Winterhawk fans, we have loved watching Calvin in net against us, win or lose.

He is a class act and was very cordial to my wife and two year old daughter. We wish him the best and we will be keeping tabs on his career.

Anonymous said...

As a devote Winterhawks fan I hated to see Pickard in net because I knew it would be a tough night for the hawks. Pickard is a class act and a great goalie. We in Portland applaud his career and wish him the best of luck in the future.

Anonymous said...

Much respect to the winterhawk fans for love they give to Pickard. As a Seattle season ticket holder, he was the reason my girlfriend and I kept going this season.

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