Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Montreal Gazette,
Now that Gainey and Robinson have joined the list, the question is: Who will be honoured next season as the Canadiens approach their 100th-anniversary celebrations.
Guy Lapointe, the third member of the Canadiens’ Big Three on defence beside Robinson and Serge Savard, is a possibility and there will be a heated debate over whether Patrick Roy is worthy of the honour. Roy retired as the all-time NHL leader in wins and won two Stanley Cups with Montreal, but his stormy departure in 1995 is part of his permanent record.
The one person who has been overlooked and I’m hoping it’s because the club is saving him for its centenary, is the late Hector (Toe) Blake. To the current generation of Canadiens fans, Blake is a distant memory, the coach who guided the Canadiens to eight of their record 24 Stanley Cup wins.
But many people forget that Blake was a Hall of Fame player.
from the NY Post,
Hockey lost one of its great gentlemen when former Devils GM Max McNab passed away Sunday at age 83.
McNab, who lived in Las Vegas with his wife June after retiring from hockey, was the Devils’ second GM, replacing Billy MacMillan Nov. 22, 1983. He was succeeded by Lou Lamoriello on Sept. 10, 1987.
more and McNab also played for the Wins in the late 40’s and early 1950’s.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
But every time a new great game comes along, that New Year’s Eve game has managed to remain “The Greatest Hockey Game Ever Played” point of reference.
And the New Year’s Eve game in the Montreal Forum in 1975 still has a phenomenal “I was there” value. So if I have to pick a game, as was the assignment for this series, why not claim this game?...
Outside the Forum, scalpers were asking $150 for a pair of tickets an hour before game time. That was an insane amount of money to pay to go to a game at the time. Those of the standing room-stuffed crowd of 18,975 who paid that kind of money had no complaints.
What made this game great was that, in the end, it turned out to be about the glory of the game. Hockey that night, in the building which was the cathedral of the sport, was, with apologies to the Brazilians and soccer, The Beautiful Game.
The Montreal Canadiens and the Soviet’s Central Red Army ended up in a 3-3 tie.
from The Ice Hole at the Province,
I was off to the Intourist, the source of so many stories from 1972, the home for Team Canada then and their ghosts now.
It’s where the players were allegedly fed crow and horse steaks.
There had to be someone still there from 1972, someone who remembered the Canadians, someone who could confirm or officially kill one of hockey’s greatest urban legends.
The Intourist was a 22-story glass, aluminum, and concrete cell-like hotel that was the brainchild of Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev, who envisioned it like a skyscraper he saw in Manhattan (yeah, that was a swing and a miss Kruschev).
from the Toronto Star,
Whatever became of his original 1967 Stanley Cup ring?
Bitter that the Leafs traded him after he led all scorers with seven goals and 15 points during the 12-game playoff run that culminated in Toronto’s last Stanley Cup, Pappin wasn’t too sentimental about the golden bauble.
So after spending the 1967-68 season with the Leafs, Pappin gave the ring as a gift to his first wife’s father, Peter Kyrzakos, when he was dealt to the Chicago Black Hawks.
“I was traded to Chicago in ‘68. I hated (Toronto general manager and coach Punch) Imlach, I hated everything to do with the Leafs so I gave the ring to my father-in-law,” the 67-year-old Pappin told the Star last night.
But Kyrzakos, who had a home in Vero Beach, Fla., lost the ring at a beach sometime during the 1970s.
“He never told me he lost it,” said Pappin, who scored the Cup-winning goal in 1967 as the Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens in six games. “He hired people, got divers and everything, to look for it for two days.”
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette:
“I first became friends with him when I was a boy with the Canadiens,” [Montreal Canadiens physician Dr. David] Mulder recalls.
“I got to know him with Toe Blake and (one-time Canadiens scout) Ron Caron when I was looking after the junior Canadiens. When Sam fell ill, his disease was outside my realm, but I sort of directed him to people who treated him here at the Montreal General.
“One thing that always stood out with my relationship with Sam is I always thought his intensity was only matched by his loyalty. He was very loyal to people he knew. He came back to see us when he had serious medical problems, but he was more than that to me. He was a mentor in many other ways.
“We had many talks about being a general manager ... about meeting people,” Mulder said. “I learned an awful lot from Sam. On practical life lessons, you couldn’t have a better teacher than Sam Pollock.”
from Evan Grossman of NHL.com,
When Sam Pollock became general manager of the Montreal Canadiens in 1964, the Habs were in the middle of a four-year Stanley Cup drought. At that time, that was unheard of in the hockey-mad metropolis – especially after the club had won five straight titles from 1956-1960.
As a result, it was not the easiest time to be at the helm and certainly not the easiest city to be running hockey operations.
This, of course, was the same city where, as the legendary Tom Johnson, a member of those Montreal dynasty teams told NHL.com, “If you lost two games in a row, you had to walk the back streets.”
continued... Read it, even if you are 15 or 85, we have lost a part of the game and he must be remembered.
from Habs Inside/Out,
Sam Pollock, Canadiens’ brilliant former GM, dies at 81.
They will have more details as they become available.
from Randy Schultz at NHL.com,
While Montreal was considered an outstanding baseball city, back in the 1950s, it always has been a Mecca for hockey.
And Lasorda was right in the middle of it.
“The Montreal Canadiens had a great, great team at that time, especially in the mid-50s,” recalled Lasorda, who managed the Los Angeles Dodgers for 20 seasons, leading them to eight divisional championships, four National League pennants and two World Series Championships. “I got to know a lot of the players who played for the Canadiens during that era.
“In fact, Butch Bouchard was the president of our baseball team during that time. I got to know Toe Blake, Doug Harvey, Rocket Richard, Boom Boom Geoffrion and Jacques Plante, among others.”
from the Windsor Star,
More than 400 mourners bid farewell to hockey great John Ferguson in a downtown Windsor church Saturday morning.
Ferguson, a former Montreal Canadiens player who made Windsor his home, died last week at the age of 68 after battling cancer.
A slow procession, including Ferguson’s son John Ferguson Jr., the Toronto Maple Leafs’ general manager, and many former National Hockey League players, marched into All Saints Anglican Church to the piercing sound of bagpipes.
A Windsor police officer saluted them as a few onlookers bowed their heads in respect.
Inside the church, friends, family members and well-known hockey players and coaches of the past and present, such as Jean Beliveau, Serge Savard, Scott Bowman and Jean-Guy Talbot, filled the pews to listen to tributes to Ferguson, better known as Fergie.
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