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The Malik Report

An important member of the Red Wings’ 50’s championship family honored in the U.P.

It’s not often that a news story from the


Houghton Mining Gazette tells the story of someone who you and I don’t know played a huge role in Red Wings team history, but here’s just that from the Mining Gazette’s Stephen Anderson:

Gordie Howe’s illustrious professional hockey career spanned five decades, but if it wasn’t for Baraga native Carl Mattson, Howe’s career may have lasted just five years. Howe fractured his skull during the 1950 playoffs, and Mattson, the Detroit Red Wings head trainer was the first one on the ice to attend to Howe, playing an influential role in treating Howe’s life-threatening injury, which required emergency surgery.

That’s one of many stories of the unheralded Mattson, who will be posthumously inducted into the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame today. He passed away in 1985, and he’ll be one of 11 people inducted during the 41st annual induction banquet at Danforth Place in Escanaba.

“The era in which Carl worked saw very little in the way of staffing compared to today’s NHL, thus increasing both the number of ways Carl affected the team’s performance and their importance,” read a letter from current Red Wings general manager Ken Holland addressed to Ron Tervonen, who wrote the nomination letter for Mattson.

Continue reading, because while the story of a man who passed away in 1985 being honored in 2012 isn’t an everyday occurrence, it’s still worth your time.

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Dear, dear George,

The Mining Gazette is located in Houghton.  You’re thinking of the Mining Journal which indeed is in Marquette.

Surprising that the UP has so many people involved in training/coaching but so few players.  This is with 3 Div 1 college hockey teams and loads of peewee/high school hockey in the area.  The only player I know of from the UP is Jeff Finger, and we know how that worked out.

Posted by Chris from San Francisco on 04/30/12 at 07:20 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I always get those confused…Sorry.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/30/12 at 07:23 PM ET

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.