Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Diane Armstrong of the Timmins Times,
At one point in his career, Danny was known as the “Half Dressed NY Ranger”. Then 23 years old, he was called up to the Rangers to make his NHL debut. After his first four games, he had scored two goals as a rookie. Game five was at Madison Square Gardens. Just as he finished dressing up, Alf Pike, the Ranger’s coach, told him to take off his equipment as he wouldn’t be playing. Off came the jersey, pads, pants & skates and back on went his dress shoes, suit, shirt and tie. Then Pike returned and said “Put your equipment back on,” so Dan put on all his gear. The scene was repeated with another change of clothes. Danny was just finishing for the third time when Pike came back and said “You might not be playing after all, so get half dressed.”
I did tell you that Danny had an impish sense of humour. He donned his skates, socks, pads and hockey pants. Above the waist he wore a white shirt, tie and suit jacket. When Pike returned, Danny said, “I’m half dressed coach, and ready to go either way.”
Alf Pike was not amused. Danny never played another shift in the NHL.
more on Dan Belisle including his appearance in Slap Shot…
from Chicago Breaking News,
Reggie Fleming, a member of the Chicago Blackhawks 1961 Stanley Cup champions, passed away this morning at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, his son Chris said today. He was 73.
A hard-nosed defenseman known for the kind of grittiness that earned him the reputation as one of the toughest hockey players in his day, Fleming was especially valuable as a penalty-killer. He also set what was then a single-game NHL record for penalty minutes as a rookie with the Hawks during a matchup with the New York Rangers.
Reggie’s son Chris did a series of interviews with his dad after he suffered a stroke and heart attack four years ago . Watch the first of the series…
The rest of the interviews can be watched here, with the last interview done about a month ago.
If I may suggest, maybe take a few minutes of your day to watch the first video of the series which may in fact lead you to watch the rest of the series.
added 6:41pm, Chicago Blackhawks Chairman W. Rockwell “Rocky” Wirtz and General Manager Dale Tallon have released the following statements regarding the passing of former Blackhawks forward Reggie Fleming, 73.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
For decades, the photograph was folded in half and archived in a wood barrel in the basement of former Canadiens goaltender Gerry McNeil, remarkable history unceremoniously stored.
It is a magnificent, early 1950s oversized glossy snapped by photographer James (Scotty) Kilpatrick, the sharp fold giving this end of Detroit Olympia ice a second crease: McNeil is sprawled on his back, wearing the tortured look of every maskless netminder, as teammate Émile (Butch) Bouchard arrives to clear the rebound.
Five years ago, upon the death of his father, David McNeil discovered the image in a dusty cardboard box stacked in the basement locker of the Pointe Claire condominium where his parents had lived.
McNeil has since learned more about the precious Kilpatricks his father had been given and squirreled away, photos he discussed during a poignant half-hour presentation at the Bell Centre last Saturday to the annual meeting of the Society for International Hockey Research.
continued and make sure to check out Gerry McNeil: Goaltender Under Pressure Manuscript Description that contains some fantastic old-school hockey pictures.
from Joe O’Conner of the National Post,
It was not his fault. Not entirely. He did not start it. He was just trying to defend himself from an angry mob of Boston Bruins. They were coming at him in waves: Terrible Teddy Green, Johnny (Pie) McKenzie, Johnny Bucyk and Gerry Cheevers. Everybody. The Boston bench was empty. Even the Bruins fans were coming at him, throwing punches and beers and God knows what else over the glass at the old Boston Garden.
It was hockey mayhem on April 2, 1969. It was the last NHL game Forbes Kennedy would ever play.
added 3:36pm, Thanks to a pointer left in the comments, I have added a video of the start of the incident below…
from Roger Knox of the Vernon Morning Star,
Playing hockey was his job, and he took his skills east to play with the New York Rangers’ farm team, the New York Rovers, of the Eastern Hockey League in 1946-47. He played in 47 games, scoring 19 goals and 37 points.
The following year, (Larry) Kwong would make hockey history, becoming the first Asian-Canadian to play in the NHL, when the Rangers suited him up for a game in Montreal against Rocket Richard and the Canadiens at the old Forum.
Kwong, a left winger, waited for two periods before Rangers coach Frank Boucher finally tapped him on the shoulder in the third period.
On March 13, 1948, Kwong hopped over the Forum boards, along with the Rangers’ top two scorers, Buddy O’Connor and Edgar Laprade, and into the record books.
His shift lasted one minute. He didn’t score and it was back to the bench, never again to play in the NHL.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Martin Brodeur and Terry Sawchuk might be the Kings of the Shutout, but the NHL has rarely seen two more different personalities.
Fire and ice, as they say….
As a young kid, Sawchuk was forced to strap on the pads and go in net for a team in Winnipeg to replace their previous goalie, who had passed away. The boy who died just happened to be Sawchuk’s brother.
When he was 12, Sawchuk remained tight-lipped about hurting his right arm in a game of rugby. Two years later doctors found it had been broken and, subsequently, had healed poorly, leaving it two inches shorter than his left arm.
Jerry Green, a retired sports columnist from the Detroit News, will on occasion submit a column. Today he writes about the fighting debate and goes old school…
My introduction to hockey in Detroit occurred some 55 years ago, a night when Lindsay took on most of the Maple Leafs. He beat the considerably larger Jim Thomson into a bloody mess—to the agitation of Toronto coach King Clancy, himself a noted pugilist as a player. Lindsay and Clancy almost tangled by the bench, over the boards.
Also near the end of the game, a spectator near me berated the Wings’ Glen Skov. This didn’t sit well with Terry Sawchuk, the Wings’ Hall of Fame goaltender. So Sawchuk attempted to reach the critic by scaling the wire mesh protective barrier—in full goalie regalia.
Sawchuk’s corrugated leg pads became impaled on the wire. So Lindsay took up the battle for his trapped teammate.
“Go ahead and shoot off your (naughty-word) mouth,” Lindsay shouted at the fan. He trod along the wooden rinkside seats in his skates, then beat some guy into a bloody pulp. As I recall, it was the wrong guy, but I had been indoctrinated into the intensity of Detroit hockey.
from Greatest Hockey Legends,
Sad news to pass along your way tonight: New York Ranger Alf Pike has died at the age of 1991.
Alf Pike has one of the game’s all time great nicknames: The Embalmer.
Pike did not earn his nickname by being one of the game’s great villains like you might expect. No, he came about his handle much more innocently and literally - he was a licensed mortician.
NHL Network profiles players who helped revolutionize the sport of hockey. Catch tonight’s episode at 8:30 ET.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
“Bank robbery,” Marc Poulin says, hopefully in jest, “is still in planning.” On Poulin’s kitchen table in Lachine are probably 15 masks he could use for a heist. Sadly, he’d probably not get far - it wouldn’t be hard to find a fleeing Ken Dryden, Terry Sawchuk, Eddie Giacomin or Gerry Cheevers with a sack of loot in his fist.
For the past three years, Poulin has used his hands and imagination to produce dozens of styles of vintage fibreglass goalie masks, painstakingly detailed masterpieces of a bygone NHL.
Upon close inspection of his work, you marvel at the courage of the men who wore the genuine article. And the guts of those before them who had lumbered barefaced and scarred into action.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org