Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
John Ferguson Sr. has passed away at the age of 68.
The five-time Stanley cup winner succumbed to his second bout with cancer on Saturday at his home in Windsor, Ontario.
‘‘On behalf of my entire family, I’d like to thank the many friends, professional colleagues, medical personnel, and hockey fans who have supported us through this difficult time. Your expressions of sympathy have helped bring comfort to us. Your kind words have helped strengthen us.’’ John Ferguson Jr. said in a statement.
Ferguson’s son, John Ferguson Jr., is the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
*Note: a profile of John Ferguson, Sr. can be found on Legends of Hockey
Most of you will not recognize the name, but Jimmy Skinner was very much involved with the Wings during their glory days in the 1950’s.
He was 90 and the last I heard he was living in the Windsor area.
After defeating the Canadiens for the Stanley Cup in 1955, Jimmy Skinner accepted congratulations on his feat, and wearily commented: “I’m tired and I want to take a bath.”
Update 10:31pm ET: (alanah)
From the AP via Toronto Star,
“He coached with the likes of Gordie Howe and all the great teams they had back in the ‘50s,” Chittaro said. “He was still mentally sharp. He had lots of great stories.”
The Stanley Cup that Detroit won in Skinner’s first year as coach was the team’s seventh. The Wings were 123-78-46 under him.
Skinner was born on Jan. 12, 1917, in Selkirk, Man.
from Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star,
Still, the first home game was a magical night. There were almost 15,000 people in the stands. Before the game, the winless Scouts were given a long standing ovation.
And they played their guts out that game and outshot a star-studded Chicago Blackhawks team (that team had Hall of Famers Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita and star goaltender Tony Esposito). The Scouts lost 4-3, but when it ended there was another standing ovation for the Kansas City players.
“What an amazing crowd,” Scouts coach Bep Guidolin said. He was called Bep because his mother spoke English with a thick accent, and she called her youngest son “Beppy” instead of “Baby.” The nickname was shortened to Bep. He, too, may have been hired for his name.
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