Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from the Windsor Star,
Friday night’s visitation saw Ferguson’s son, John Jr., the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and his three sisters and their spouses accept condolences from a long line of friends.
The family members stood by a wooden urn containing the ashes of Ferguson, who was cremated earlier.
A video montage played on a screen above the urn, and the room was filled with flowers from many in the hockey community, including Thomas Steen, father of current Maple Leaf Alex, who played for Ferguson on the Winnipeg Jets.
There were several collages of photos showing Ferguson playing hockey, with his racehorses, and going about everyday life.
from the Windsor Star,
A memorial service scheduled Saturday for the late John Ferguson Sr. is likely to attract a who’s who of the hockey world to pay tribute to the Montreal Canadiens tough guy who made the Windsor area his home.
Ferguson, 68, the father of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson Jr., succumbed to prostate cancer Saturday.
There will be no private service, Ferguson’s daughter Christina Ruhl said Monday, but they are anticipating a strong turnout from the hockey fraternity for the Saturday memorial.
“My brother (John Jr.) has been receiving quite a few phone calls,” said Ruhl.
“A lot of people have said they want to come and it’s just a question of getting flights and everything. We put it later in the week to give people time to get here.”
added 6:49am, from the Ottawa Citizen,
Hull respected Ferguson for his work as an NHL enforcer, although it might have cost Hull’s Blackhawks a Stanley Cup. In the 1960s and ‘70s, the Canadiens and Blackhawks met three times in the final, and Montreal won all three.
But in that ‘65 meeting, it was a beating put on Eric Nesterenko by Ferguson that swung the series. Whether accidentally or with a purpose, Nesterenko brought his stick down on Ferguson’s head in Game 5 of the series - and paid for it with three vicious rights to the face by Ferguson.
Bleeding profusely, Nesterenko went off for “repairs,” and did return, but sheepishly. Montreal won the game 6-0, and though the Blackhawks pushed the series to the limit, their will was gone. Chicago fell meekly in Game 7, 4-0.
from John McGourty at NHL.com,
To hear Tom McVie tell it, John Ferguson Sr., who died Saturday after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer at age 68, liked to be surrounded by family and friends, hockey and horse-racing people, good food, good music and good horses.
Understanding that Ferguson was losing his battle to cancer, a group of life-long friends gathered with John and his wife, Joan, back in March for one last good time.
from Dave Stubbs at the Montreal Gazette,
Four decades ago, because of John Ferguson, I was sent to bed without supper and docked a week’s allowance.
And while I long ago forgave the Montreal Canadiens’ hard-rock winger whom we sadly lost to cancer on Saturday at age 68, I’m not so sure about my sister.
Fergy was one of my childhood heroes; nothing unusual about that for a Montreal schoolboy in the mid-1960s who thought the Stanley Cup was loaned autumn through spring by the Canadiens to the National Hockey League.
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