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Red Wings legend Ted Lindsay visits the Memorial Cup

Via the Mississauga News’s Stuart McComish, Red Wings legend Ted Lindsay recalled his tenure with the St. Michael’s Majors—in 1944—while visiting the Memorial Cup on Tuesday:

“I was 17 when I left home to go play at St. Mike’s,” said Lindsay, who was honoured Tuesday night with a banner unveiling before the Memorial Cup round-robin game between the Kootenay Ice and the Saint John Sea Dogs. “You’re at an age then when you know more than anyone in the world. You know more than your parents. But they gave me good values. St. Mike’s wasn’t a long part of my life, but it was a very important part of my life. The Basilian fathers were great men and great teachers. I had wonderful parents, but when I went to St. Mike’s the fathers were my parents.”

Lindsay played the 1944 season with the Majors, but they lost to the Generals in the Ontario Hockey Association finals. The rules at that time allowed a team in the Memorial Cup to bring in four players as military replacements. The Generals did just that adding Lindsay, Johnny Marois, David Bauer and Gus Mortson for their series against the Trail Smoke Eaters.

“You know hockey people, they write all their rules in pencil so they can change them whenever they want,” said Lindsay, who turns 86 in July 25. “It was near the end of the war and teams were allowed to bring in military replacements at that time. We went and played for Oshawa against the Trail Smoke Eaters who were supposed to be the greatest team to come out of the west.”

Lindsay also offered a blunt assessment of the state of the NHL game:

 

“I don’t care much for hockey anymore,” said Lindsay, who still pays regular visits to the Red Wings dressing room. “In my day it was a defensive game, now it’s all offence. The equipment is different now and the players can all skate, but I see a lot of dumb hockey players come in to Joe Louis Arena. But hockey is still the greatest game in the world. The United States and Europe are developing a lot of players now and hockey remains the greatest team sport in the world.”

He doesn’t just visit the Wings’ locker room—he works out there. At 85.

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“I don’t care much for hockey anymore,” said Lindsay, who still pays regular visits to the Red Wings dressing room. “In my day it was a defensive game, now it’s all offence.

Well, that’s not an opinion you see expressed too frequently—that the NHL game is “all offence” nowadays.  You have to respect Ted Lindsay, but this is a “huh?” comment for me.  Every team plays a defensive system, goaltending has never been better, shot-blocking is down to a science, and scoring sure ain’t at any kind of all-time high.

Maybe you just have to chalk it up to the utter impossibility of trying to compare a six-league team, sans Euros, with today’s NHL?  Or, if you look at his career, he played during the only era where goals-per-game was lower than it was in the “dead puck” era of the late ‘90s / early 2000’s.

Cause if today’s game is “all offence,” I’d hate to watch NHL games where teams finally figured out how to play defense.

Posted by Lex Talionis on 05/25/11 at 11:07 AM ET

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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.