Serge Aubry

There has always been a clear hierarchy in hockey. The NHL is the pinnacle, the best league to which all pros aspire. Below that is a succession of lower leagues, each clearly a step below the previous. In the early 1970s, with the World Hockey Association in the mix, that hierarchy was even richer.

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In order, the list looks something like this: NHL, WHA, AHL (American Hockey League), IHL (International Hockey League), and CHL (Central Hockey League). Below the CHL are other even smaller leagues from which no player ever emerged to play in the NHL.

Goalie Serge Aubry, though, made an impressive rise for several seasons. The Montreal native turned pro with the Tulsa Oilers in 1967, the year the NHL expanded from six teams to twelve.

The Oilers were a CHL team, and over the course of the next three years Aubry enjoyed success with them. He eventually moved up to the AHL and then signed with the Quebec Nordiques in 1972 when the WHA began. Aubry played there for five years but was never able to get to the NHL.

Clearly, though, the roots of his success were with the Oilers, and he attributed part of that success to a lucky blue suit that he wore all the time.

There came a day, however, when the suit no longer favoured him with the glory he had come to expect of it, so he enlisted the help of some teammates to rid the world of this once-fine garment.

He took the suit to a friend’s lawn, where several players stomped on it, spat on it, and more or less treated it with the lack of respect that it had come to deserve. Aubry then doused the suit with gas, added a match to the deal, and burned the suit into oblivion. The hockey world had one less superstition to concern itself with.

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