Thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame for Harry's biography where he is enshrined as an honoured member. Harry was born on September 14, 1932.
When Harry Sinden accepted the job of coaching Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series with the Soviet Union, he had no idea he was about to become part of the biggest hockey story of the century.
Sinden rode a roller coaster of emotions during those 28 days, until his powerful collection of NHL stars staged a dramatic comeback on Moscow ice to win the series four games to three with one game tied when Team Canada scored the winning goal with 34 seconds left in the final game as millions of Canadians watching on TV jumped for joy.
Sinden had been the target of critics earlier in the series when the Soviets took a 3-1-1 lead in games. He also faced the difficult task of keeping a large squad of more than 30 stars happy with their playing time. Selected as coach on the basis of his international experience as a player, Sinden was available because he had gone into the home-building business in Rochester, New York, after the Boston Bruins rejected his request for more money.
In the 1969-70 season, with Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito playing starring roles, Sinden coached the Boston Bruins to their first Stanley Cup since 1940-41. Later he succeeded Milt Schmidt as general manager of the club in 1972-73. Over the years, Sinden gained a reputation as a penny pincher in negotiating contracts with players. But he always managed to put a respectable team on the ice in Boston.
In the summer of 1999, he made history by becoming the first GM to turn his back on a salary arbitration award, letting Dmitri Khristich, a 29-goal scorer, walk away from the team with no compensation. Sinden had been highly critical of Khristich's performance in the playoffs and was highly incensed when an arbitrator awarded him a salary of $2.8 million. Khristich became a free agent and signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 1999-2000 season. In the 1996-97 season, Sinden was fined $5,000 by the National Hockey League for a verbal assault on a video replay judge in Ottawa. During a January 22 game between the Bruins and Senators, Sinden jumped all over Ian Sandercock after he'd disallowed a goal in the second period of Boston's 4-1 win.
Although he was an outstanding amateur hockey player, Sinden never played in the National Hockey League. Born in Collins Bay, Ontario, near Kingston, he captained the Whitby Dunlops to the Allan Cup Canadian senior championship in 1957, then to the World Championship title, representing Canada in Oslo, Norway, in 1958.
After the Dunlops scored two quick goals late in the game to defeat the Soviet Union 4-2, the Canadian anthem was played and Sinden stood on the top pedestal of the medals stand, leaning over to give the captain Nickolai Sologubov a hug. The Dunlops won all seven games, outscoring the opposition by a whopping margin of 82-6.
Sinden was also recruited by the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen to play in the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California, winning a silver medal. He went on to become a player-coach with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Eastern Professional Hockey League. In the 1961-62 season, he shared the award for best defenseman in the league with Jean Gauthier of the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens.
In 1965-66, as player-coach of the Oklahoma City Blazers of the Central Professional Hockey League, Sinden won the Jack Adams Award when he guided the team to second place in regular-season play, then to eight straight playoffs wins to become CPHL champions.
USA Hockey honoured Sinden in 1999 by granting him and the U.S. women's hockey team the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding hockey service in the United States. The U.S. team had defeated Canada to win their first women's Olympic gold medal in hockey at Nagano, Japan, in February of 1998.
Sinden was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 1983.
By JAY COHEN, AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO — A posthumous study of Stan Mikita's brain shows the hockey Hall of Famer suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy at the time of his death a year ago. Dr. Ann McKee, the director of the BU CTE Center, announced the findings during the Concussion Legacy Foundation's Chicago Honors Dinner on Friday night at the request of Mikita's family. CTE is a degenerative brain disease associated with repeated blows to the head. It is known to cause memory loss, violent moods and other cognitive difficulties. It can only be diagnosed after death. Mikita, who helped Chicago to the 1961 Stanley Cup title, died last August at age 78. He had been in poor health after being diagnosed with Lewy body dementia — a progressive disease that causes problems with thinking, movement, behavior and mood. McKee said Mikita had Stage III CTE and Lewy Body Disease. "Two neurodegenerative diseases that our research has shown are associated with a long career in contact sports such as ice hockey," McKee said. Mikita spent his entire career with the Blackhawks, beginning with his NHL debut in 1959 and running through his retirement after playing 17 games in the 1979-80 season. He is the franchise's career leader for assists (926), points (1,467) and games played (1,394), and is second to Bobby Hull with 541 goals. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983. He also was the first player to have his jersey retired by the Blackhawks in 1980. Mikita's family declined to speak with the media at the dinner. Mikita's daughter, Jane, accepted the 2019 Courage Award on behalf of the family.
Robin Short/The Telegram - ‘Most of them were good, normal guys’
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Rick Noonan, one of the principal organizers of the Canadian national hockey team players reunion in St. John’s this week, served as a Hockey Canada executive on national teams for many years, including general manager of the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Games squad that placed sixth. But before donning the shirt and tie, Noonan worked as an athletic trainer, winning a couple of Memorial Cups with Toronto St. Mike’s (1961) and the Toronto Marlboros (1964). He also worked as a trainer with the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1963-64 season. In 1970, he headed west to join the University of British Columbia’s athletic department, hooked up with Fr. David Bauer and eventually served as head trainer for Canada's national hockey team. An interesting part of Noonan’s career came in 1972, when he was assigned by Hockey Canada to assist the Soviet Union squad for its first four games of the Summer Series in Canada (Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver). Noonan was the only Canadian to have regular access to the Soviet dressing room, and was on the Soviet bench during the first four games of the series. “Most of them were good, normal guys,” he said of the players, suggesting the idea of a Russian hockey player during that time being robotic and lacking personality was a myth. “Some were more serious than others. The guys who were politically tied to Russia were certainly the serious ones. “But most were happy to get out of Russia to play in a tournament. A lot of them enjoyed their vodka. Things have certainly changed (in Russia) since then. Coke and toilet paper aren’t the big items they were in 1972.” The latter is in reference to the Russian Summit Series players taking advantage of items which were commonplace in Canada, but were hard to come by in their home country almost half a century ago. Noonan once related how the Soviet team gulped six dozen bottles of Coca Cola after a practice and that the Russian players regularly left their hotel rooms with not only the soap, shampoo and the like, but also with the toilet paper. Noonan didn’t walk into the Soviet locker room a complete stranger, as many players recognized him from his work with Canadian national teams. “Eyeball to eyeball, they knew me,” he said. When the series shifted to Moscow for Games 5, 6, 7 and 8, Noonan remained home in Vancouver, back at work at UBC. He watched each of the last four games on TV with Fr. David Bauer, coach of Canada’s national team. When Paul Henderson scored the series-clinching goal for Canada with 34 seconds left on the clock in Game 8, Noonan and Bauer celebrated with UBC students. They probably didn’t know who Noonan was, or what he had been doing the previous week.