Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/21/06 at 03:57 PM ET
It's rumoured that the expression "Johnny-come-lately" refers to legendary goaltender Johnny Bower's first appearance with the National Hockey League's (NHL) Toronto Maple Leafs. Most hockey enthusiasts know that Bower is the answer to the trivia question, "Who backstopped the Maple Leafs to their last Stanley Cup?" That was in 1966-67, almost 40 years ago. However, few realize how close the long-time Mississauga resident came to never joining the team in the first place. Now 82, Bower still owns a firm handshake and a warm smile that hides most of the 200 stitches used to heal wounds suffered during an era in which goalies stared down the NHL's top sharpshooters without benefit of a face mask.continued picture via Oldtimers Hockey
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