Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Old-Timers

WITH 11 STANLEY CUPS AND 513 NHL GOALS BETWEEN THEM, WALLY STANOWSKI, MILT SCHMIDT AND THE LATE ELMER LACH BELONG TO AN ERA OF PRO HOCKEY NEARLY LOST TO LIVING MEMORY.

BY BRETT POPPLEWELL,

SOME PEOPLE—doctors primarily, like the ones who brought Wally Stanowski back to life after his pulse flatlined a few years ago—might look at a 95-year-old with a water gun in his hands and a briarwood pipe dangling from his mouth as something of a medical anomaly. But the raspy-voiced, wispy-haired man with the staggered gait is more than just a curiosity, Stanowski is the oldest surviving Toronto Maple Leaf and New York Ranger, two titles he never wished for but now hopes to maintain for as long as possible.

Though he struggles to raise his left arm above his chin, hears poorly, has a pacemaker and wishes his gnarled hands worked like they used to, he doesn’t complain, not even when he’s interrupted from his lunch—a pastrami sandwich with a side of slaw. Stanowski, who was born when Robert Borden was prime minister, left Depression-era Manitoba and joined the Maple Leafs shortly after Hitler invaded Poland. He’s a man of simple tastes. He prefers plain tobacco to the flavoured stuff and enjoys the musical accompaniment of Bing Crosby while he works through a 1,000-piece puzzle.

His wisdom is terse yet revealing.

On the stacks of National Geographic he keeps by his bed: “There’s a lot of information in there.”

His secret to longevity: “Lots of beer and a good woman.”

On pigeons: “They’re the reason I carry a water gun.”

And modern hockey: “It’s terrible.”

continued at Sportsnet...

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com