by Terry Bridge/The Observer, Sarnia
The exact name hasn’t been selected yet, but Sarnia’s oldest arena will be renamed after the city’s first prominent NHL player and member of a legendary Team Canada squad.
Sarnia city council gave the green light this week to rename Sarnia Arena after Pat Stapleton. The former Chicago Blackhawks defenceman, who died in April 2020, compiled a respected on-ice career followed by several decades of mentoring youth in the sport.
Coun. Bill Dennis called him a “tremendous” role model for hockey players but also how to live life in general.
“It is my honour to support the renaming of the Sarnia Arena after Pat Stapleton,” Dennis said as he made a motion that passed with a 6-2 vote.
Coun. Mike Stark said he was “honoured” to second Dennis’s motion and pointed out other city facilities have been renamed in honour of politicians, civic employees and sports figures such as champion golfer Mike Weir.
“This is in keeping with honouring our greats of the past,” Stark said.
Sarnia resident Brian Keelan first floated the idea shortly after Stapleton died on April 8, 2020, at age 79. Keelan pointed out Stapleton, who earned the nickname Whitey for his fair hair, spent most of his youth playing in the Brock Street South rink and was the first player in the facility’s 83-year history to land a full-time gig in the then-six-team NHL.
He was also a “key” player for Canada in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union, Keelan said.
“The greatest game ever played, in terms of Canadian history, and Whitey did us all proud,” he said.
Keelan added several teammates from the ’72 squad have “enthusiastically” endorsed the proposal.
“There have been 10 players from that team who have had an arena named after them in their hometown, and Whitey would be the 11th,” he said.
Off the ice, Stapleton was a good ambassador for the city and spoke to thousands of children over the years, Keelan said.
“He’s a guy worth remembering,” he said.
Keelan started a petition that gathered about 2,100 signatures, including four on city council, shortly after the anniversary of Stapleton’s death and the idea was recently posted for public feedback. The city’s clerk’s office received 73 responses, with 48 in favour, 21 opposed, and four different suggestions coming in.
The main two reasons for opposing the idea included accomplishments in the sport by other Sarnians and the importance of remembering the history of the arena, which was built in 1948 on the backs of local volunteers.
“We must not forget the people that made this facility a possibility,” said Coun. Margaret Bird, one of two councillors to vote against the proposal.
Coun. Dave Boushy, who cast the other opposing vote, suggested using a citizen’s idea of retaining the name Sarnia Arena while adding ‘Home of hockey legend Pat Stapleton’ on the exterior sign. But Brian White, acting mayor in Mike Bradley’s absence, said that was contrary to Dennis’s motion, which called for renaming it.
Bird also said changing the rink’s name could cause confusion for tourists, who typically refer to buildings by their location. White said he wasn’t concerned about that issue due to the availability of GPS-based maps.
A name such as the Pat Stapleton Sarnia Arena, similar to the Andrew S. Brandt Marina at Sarnia Bay, would avoid any confusion, White added.
“We need heroes,” he said, “and for those who are into hockey, Pat Stapleton represents somebody that you can model yourself after.”
Keelan, who also wants to set up a hall-of-fame-type monument inside the arena, suggested starting a committee to determine the players who would be honoured and to come up with a budget and raise the necessary funds.
“It would be my goal to have this done by September 2022, which is the 50th anniversary of the Team Canada victory,” Keelan said. “Something that … Pat very much wanted to be a part of and promote.”
Stark said he’s heard the figure $30,000 “bandied around” for the budget and asked if that’s a reasonable figure for the group to fundraise to cover their costs. Keelan said he thought that would be “quite easy,” but added his expectation was they’d have to come up with “quite a bit” more than that.
“This is about more than just putting a sign outside of that building,” Keelan said.
by Melanie Irwin/Blackburn News
Sarnia Arena will be renamed after Pat Stapleton.
City council made the decision at its meeting on Monday.
The Sarnia-born NHLer, and member of Canada’s historic 1972 Summit Series team, died at the age of 79, on April 9, 2020.
Councillor Bill Dennis recalled meeting Stapleton as a young boy at an SMAA event.
“I vividly remember a kind, engaging, and very impactful man, I was truly in awe,” said Dennis. “I remember approaching Pat several years later at a Sarnia Bees game, as a shy kid, asking for an autograph. At the time, he made what could have been a terrifying experience, into a warm memory.”
Dennis said it’s time to give back to the man who has done so much for others.
“Today, I find it almost surreal that I’m in the position to give back to someone whose philosophy was to do something, for someone else, with no expectations in return.”
Dennis said he was honoured to support the renaming.
“This man has been a tremendous role model for hockey, for our city, for our country and for in general how to live your life.”
Councillor Mike Stark also supported the renaming after clarifying something with Brian Keelan, who requested the commemoration.
“We have received some negative comments with respect to the inclusion of the name, “Whitey”, given the current issues and in terms of sensitivity, I presume you would be open to the idea that we would use the name Pat Stapleton Memorial?” Stark asked Keelan.
“I sure would,” Keelan interjected. “I certainly would. I know that Pat was in favour of that as well. He wanted to be remembered as Pat Stapleton.”
Fundraising will now be launched to raise over $30,000 for the signage and a hall or wall of fame.
Keelan is hoping to have the project completed by 2022, so a dedication event can be held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Canada’s win in ’72.
Stapleton played 10 seasons in the NHL as a defenseman, eight with the Chicago Blackhawks and two with the Boston Bruins.
He started his junior career with the Legionnaires and was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
Councillor Dave Boushy and Margaret Bird voted against the motion.
They felt the name Sarnia Arena should be retained, but “Home of the hockey legend Pat Stapleton” could be added.
Mayor Mike Bradley was absent from the meeting.
'It would be a big honour for our family': Mike Stapleton hopes Sarnia council renames arena after his dad
by Brent Lale - CTV News London Videographer
ST. THOMAS, ONT. -- Every day Mike Stapleton wishes he could call his family home and hear his father answer with the phrase ‘Hockey Heaven, Strathroy Division.’
“You know you're driving along, you think are going to give him a call and he's not there,” says Stapleton from his home in northern Michigan.
His dad Pat Stapleton, an NHL legend who resided in Strathroy, Ont. passed away April 8, 2020.
“The thing I miss most is talking a little bit about hockey and bouncing some stuff off him. It's those little things I guess you missed. He was quirky, but he was always positive and always willing to help somebody.”
It’s been difficult during the pandemic because of quarantine rules, and border closures, Mike, his sister in Phoenix, Ariz. and his brother in Sweden haven’t been able to get home to see their mom.
He’s not the only one remembering the former member of the 1972 Team Canada Summit Series Team.
Brian Keelan, a Bright’s Grove, Ont. native started a petition last year to rename the Sarnia, Ont. Arena after Pat ‘Whitey’ Stapleton.
“He was the first guy from Sarnia to ever get a full-time job in the NHL,” says Keelan.
“Back when there were six teams in the NHL for all of us to know a guy from Sarnia who's playing in the National Hockey League that was a big deal. He led the way for guys like Dino Ciccarelli, Ian and Tony McKegney and Wayne Merrick and others who came after. Most importantly to me was the contribution to the 1972 Summit Series.”
Due to the pandemic, Keelan could only promote the petition online, yet he feels it was successful.
“We got 2108 signatures on it,” says Keelan.
“I would consider that to be a pretty good indication that people were very much in favor of this. I'm hoping that this will be viewed by everybody as a chance for us to honour one of our own.”
Sarnia native and former NHL star Tony McKegney supports the idea of naming the arena on Brock Street which was built in 1949.
"I got an autograph from Pat when I was five-years old at that arena," says McKegney from his home in Buffalo, NY.
"Pat was our milkman when I as young as my dad told me that story. The thought back then was if someone could go from being a milk-man to a hall of fame calibre hockey player, then we could do it too. Pat also came back to the area and helped a lot of younger players with his hockey camps."
When this petition came up a year ago, there were questions whether the family would approve of the renaming. Since that time, they have said it would be special way to memorialize Stapleton.
“It's a pretty big honour if it goes through and the rink is named under Dad,” says Mike.
“For what he's done for the city of Sarnia and in his career and it's a great honor for us as a family. Hopefully it goes to council and comes out on a good side”.
Nearly a year after starting the petition, Keelan will get 10 minutes via Zoom to make his pitch to Sarnia City Council Monday night.
“We're going to debate the concept and make a decision,” says Councillor Mike Stark, who will be voting in favour of Keelan’s idea.
“I see no reason why we shouldn't be moving forward with supporting Mr. Keelan’s suggestions. I think they're very appropriate, and recognizes the immense contributions that Pat has, has given to the city of Sarnia. I think it goes well beyond his hockey career as he's been a significant contributor to multiple fundraising opportunities, and I think it, it recognizes the uniqueness of his playing career.”
Naming buildings after well known people in a community is not unique. Sarnia’s Fire Station is named after Cliff Hanson, and Mike Weir has a park named after him in Bright’s Grove.
Just south of Sarnia in Dresden, Ont., the community named the arena after former NHL’er Ken Houston who passed away from in 2018.
“Some suggest that we should name it the Memorial Arena and then have dedicated area within the arena,” says Stark.
“I think it's more than that, I think it should be the Pat ‘Whitey’ Stapleton Memorial Arena. Then all of the other players who have contributed should be recognized inside the facility, but ‘Whitey’ deserves a special honour and one I’m proud to support.”
Stapleton played two seasons for the Jr. B Sarnia Legionnaires from 1956-1958. Keelan agrees history needs to be honoured and would like to see statues or murals of the Sarnia hockey stars inside the rink.
“When you come here to play hockey against us, you are coming into our house,” says Keelan.
“You should know who came from this place, who played here and who we developed into hockey players. When you are here, you are in our house now. I’d like to see that gets reflected in the experience they have at Sarnia Arena in the future.”
McKegney agrees that the arena where so many future NHLers grew up playing should have Stapleton's name on the facade. It will help people learn about the local hockey history.
"When kids come to Sarnia to play against them, perhaps their father and grandfather will tell them the story of Pat Stapleton. They along with the local kids can look up his stats. I remember Phil Esposito told me that Pat and Bill White were the best defence pairing in the Summit Series."
Mike remembers hearing the stories about his dad’s time playing in that rink.
“When they did play in the old arena, it was packed,” says Mike.
“They had opened up the Zamboni end to get the Zamboni and people would come in through the back to get in when they were playing. I mean, it would be really a special thing for us. To have an arena named after your dad, I don't know what more honor you could have, especially when he grew up playing in the same building.”
While no one can hear the words ‘Hockey Heaven’ on the phone again, Mike hopes that if the arena is named after his father, he can greet all those who enter the rink at the gates in spirit.
photo - Pat Stapleton, left, dressed as a referee with Rick Fraser, right, presents the cake while singing Happy Birthday to fellow Sarnian and former NHL ref Neil Armstrong on his 84th birthday. The gesture captures Stapleton’s true nature and how he cared for others, the Greenwoods say. Submitted Photo to The Sarnia Journal
Dave & Janet Greenwood
Most people knew Pat “Whitey” Stapleton for his exploits as a hockey player: NHL All-Star, captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, Team Canada member in the famed 1972 series against the Soviet Union.
But as city council considers renaming Sarnia Arena for this man, it’s fitting to know what he did off the ice.
Few are aware of the substantial body of work Pat achieved in the 40-plus years after his playing days. For those accomplishments, he was nominated for the Order of Canada.
Prior to his passing last year, Pat was visiting educators across Canada to discuss his leadership program. It’s called “28,800 seconds: The Power of Teamwork,” a reference to the time it took to play eight games against the Soviets in ‘72.
Pat’s initiative is part of the Niagara Catholic School District’s Social Studies and Canadian History curriculum, taught to 6,000 students in Grades 4 to 6. It stresses leadership and perseverance, resiliency and the importance of teamwork. His efforts were featured in major Canadian newspapers and the New York Times
Pat was a tireless advocate for members of Team Canada. He was responsible for the restructuring and creation of their legacy, called 1972 Summit Series Hockey Team Inc., which supports charities and ensures the players’ stories and lessons are taken to communities and classrooms.
After his playing days, Pat grew concerned about the way hockey is taught to young people, in terms of technique and human values. He saw youth being pushed and pressured with negative results.
He developed a new, holistic approach called “Fundamentals in Action,” to help young players believe in themselves.
He developed unique and creative on-ice drills to encourage creativity, something he saw missing in player development. With sponsorship from Pepsi Cola and Canadian Tire, he took the program to 1,300 communities from Newfoundland to Vancouver. Notably, the U.S. National Junior program prevailed upon him to redesign its approach.
Many have seen Pat speak at banquets throughout Ontario, including Sarnia. He refused the speaker’s fee.
He also spoke at Sarnia high schools and elementary schools. His message was simple: live properly and do the best you can. Often he posed three basic questions to students. What do you want in life? What will you sacrifice to get it? Are you willing to do the necessary work?
Hockey parents would ask him to come and watch their son or daughter play, to provide an evaluation, and perhaps to speak to them. He never hesitated, and at his own expense travelled to arenas in towns throughout Southwestern Ontario.
A few years ago, Pat became aware of a Sarnia man who was down on his luck, sick, and dying. Through this tough time, Pat delivered food and provided financial help. It was his basic philosophy: “Do something for someone else every day, with no expectation of return.” He loved his hometown of Sarnia and cared about people.
For all these reasons, we believe there is no person more deserving of having an arena named after him.
Pat was an extremely modest man, and much of what he did went unnoticed. So it would be right and proper to honour this hometown hero who was so much more than a hockey player, just as we have honoured Andy Brandt, Chris Hadfield, and Mike Weir, to name a few.
We support the Sarnia Arena being named for Pat “Whitey” Stapleton.
Dave and Janet Greenwood are long-time supporters of Sarnia sports.
Mike Harrington: On 10th anniversary of Rick Martin's death (July 26, 1951 - March 13, 2011)
photo - Less than three weeks before his death, Rick Martin (7) joins fellow French Connection linemates Rene Robert (14) and Gilbert Perreault in greeting Terry Pegula prior to the new owner's first game on Feb. 23, 2011 in then-First Niagara Center. (James P. McCoy / Buffalo News file photo)
It was a significant day for those of us who lived the good times. It was the 10-year anniversary of the death of French Connection left winger Rick Martin, gone far too soon at 59. Martin had a heart attack on a Sunday morning while driving and crashed his car into a utility pole on Main Street in Clarence on March 13, 2011, a few hours prior to a late-afternoon home game against the Ottawa Senators.
Known as "Rico" to everyone in the organization, Martin was a ball of life to the team and its alumni. The stories of him on the golf course with his omnipresent cigar are legendary. The stories of him on the ice are, too. That wicked slapshot that whizzed by goalies throughout the 1970s took out more than a few defensemen -- and sometimes as a bit of retribution if the case called for it.
Martin scored the only goal in the first Sabres game I ever went to in the Aud, a 3-1 loss to Chicago on Dec. 9, 1971. I was in the Reds for his 50th of the season against Boston in 1975.
One of the highest privileges in this job is getting to meet many of this club's venerable alumni. It's been a pleasure to get to know Danny Gare and Mike Robitaille, Rob Ray, Brad May and Matthew Barnaby. Rene Robert has been a prince to chat with the last two years during Road Crew events in Las Vegas. Gilbert Perreault, too.
About the best moment you'll ever have in this gig was the NHL100 ceremony in Los Angeles in 2017 featuring Perreault, Dominik Hasek and Pat LaFontaine, who could have done great things here as team president but never got a real chance and is now, sadly, an outcast of the Pegulas.
In 2010, after The News published a centerspread of the top 40 players in franchise history to honor the 40th anniversary season, I was sitting in the arena press room the day before the season opener and Martin walked in. You see alumni every so often, especially at the start of a season (before many of them head to Florida). He headed right toward me. We had never met.
"Hi Mike, I'm Rick Martin," he said. "How's it going?"
Yeah, I know. No intro needed (I didn't say that, but that's what I was thinking). And it was going great.
He said he just wanted to thank me and, by extension, the paper for the time spent honoring alumni. We talked a little about the season -- the team was actual thinking Stanley Cup after winning its division the previous spring -- and then Martin went on his way. Great stuff.
It was the only time we ever talked. I won't forget it.
Martin, you might remember, was a centerpiece of Terry Pegula's 2011 introduction when he and Perreault and Robert skated out to surprise the owner on the ice prior to his first game in charge.
Three weeks later, Martin was gone. When the Sabres won their game later that day, they gathered at center ice to salute the fans and, led by Ryan Miller, pointed their sticks high to the rafters in the direction of Martin's number.
Bruins-Rangers games spark memories of fierce rivalry for Park
Hall of Fame defenseman who played for Boston, New York says teams 'absolutely hated each other'
by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist
Brad Park has a warehouse of tales about the spicy rivalry between the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, teams for which he almost equally split 966 NHL games between 1968-83.
But with the Rangers and Bruins division rivals for the first time since 1973-74, when they were last together in the East Division, and playing for the first time this season at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TVAS), Park said one story nicely sums up what he experienced playing for each team.
Park, then with the Rangers, and Johnny "Pie" McKenzie, with the Bruins, were East teammates in the 1972 NHL All-Star Game in Minnesota. It was late in the second period when Park spotted McKenzie in open ice.
"I hit 'Pie' with a pass and sent him in on a breakaway, and he scored. I didn't congratulate him, and he didn't say thank you," Park recalled. "In those days, you might have had five Bruins and five Rangers on an all-star team, in the same dressing room (four and six in 1972), and we wouldn't talk to each other. We'd be cordial but believe me, there were no long, friendly conversations."
Rangers and Bruins players in that era, Park said, "absolutely hated each other. The mentality was you didn't want to know the guys on the other team. You made sure you never hung out with them in the summer and you made sure that if you walked into a bar or restaurant second, one of the other guys already in there, you walked out first.
"We didn't have the money to hang out in the summer anyway. You had to work. You did construction, manual labor or worked on a farm, those were the jobs you could get. Guys today work out together at the same gym. It's hard to bang heads when you like someone."
The game Wednesday will be the 653rd in the regular season between the Bruins and Rangers, Boston holding a 296-248-97-11 edge. The Bruins' 296 wins are their second-most against any opponent, five fewer than against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and their 2,051 goals scored on the Rangers are the most against anyone.
Boston also holds a strong lead in Stanley Cup Playoff series, 7-3 against New York. The most recent playoff series between the two was in 2013, when the Bruins defeated the Rangers in five games in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The game Wednesday, and again Friday, will be the first two of eight MassMutual East Division games between the Rangers and Bruins this season. Because of travel concerns with the coronavirus pandemic, the NHL realigned its divisions for this season with each team scheduled to play 56 games, all within its division.
Park speaks fondly of the simmering sports feud between New York and Boston that predates his arrival with the Rangers in 1968, of historic duels between baseball's Yankees and Red Sox and the NBA's Knicks and Celtics, "with great fans in both cities for sure. Then you had the Rangers and Bruins going from being the NHL's two worst teams in the early 1960s to among their best in the early 1970s."
Six times in seven seasons in the six-team NHL, from 1959-60 through 1965-66, Boston and New York finished the regular season in fifth and sixth place. Each improved dramatically after the NHL expanded to 12 teams for the 1967-68 season, the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup in 1970 and 1972, and the Rangers reaching the 1972 Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to Boston in six games.
Almost wistfully, Park recalls the 45-rpm record that came from the stands in Boston Garden "like a missile" and exploded into vinyl dust against the boards on the Rangers bench.
"Kids today don't know what a 45-rpm is," the 72-year-old grumbled, wishing he knew the name of the song that a Bruins fan airmailed that night. "They can't throw a Walkman today because they're gone, too, and a phone is too expensive."
Park said he's heard many stories from that era's Bruins about the showers of debris that would hit their Madison Square Garden bench, Rangers fans happy to reply to their Boston "friends."
Park played his first 465 NHL games for the Rangers, scoring 40 points (10 goals, 30 assists) in 42 regular-season games against the Bruins, before he was packaged in a blockbuster trade to Boston on Nov. 7, 1975 with center Jean Ratelle and defenseman Joe Zanussi for Bruins center Phil Esposito and defenseman Carol Vadnais.
Park eventually became a beloved figure in Boston, playing 501 games for the Bruins, scoring 28 points (four goals, 24 assists) in 34 games against his former team.
But at the outset, Boston fans weren't eager to forgive Park for his candid impressions of Bruins stars that he shared in his 1971 autobiography "Play the Man." He used the words "flake", "gutless" and "animals," among others, to describe Bruins players, and called Boston Garden "downright grubby." The reaction to the book was so strong in Boston that Park received death threats and for a time was assigned an FBI escort to and from the Garden ice.
"When I was with the Rangers, the New York press would say that I was as good as or better than Bobby Orr and the Boston press would say, 'Ain't no [darn] way.' Trust me, Bobby Orr was the best I ever saw. I was good but he was great."
Four times between 1970-74, Park finished second to Orr in voting for the Norris Trophy, awarded to the best defenseman in the NHL.
"Bobby Orr, in full stride, there's no way you're skating backwards as fast as he's coming forward," Park said. "He was the best broken-field runner I ever saw through the neutral zone. Bobby could beat you wide and on the inside."
Park recalls arriving in Boston immediately after the trade and waiting at WBZ, the Bruins' flagship radio station, to go on an open-line show.
"I'm sitting in the lobby listening and the fans are furious, having lost Esposito in a trade for me," he said. "I'm hearing that I'm a piece of garbage. The Bruins fan base is hating me unbelievably. And this is my first night in town!"
Park no longer had to worry about being freight-trained by the likes of Bruins forwards Wayne Cashman and Ken Hodge, and knowing the Rangers well helped him to defend against them. Old Broadway buddies became rivals in a New York minute.
He chuckles at the memory of playing for the Bruins, weaving around his best friend and former Rangers teammate Walt Tkaczuk, the latter cussing as he did. When Park tried the same move a second time, Tkaczuk flattened him with a punch that he never saw coming.
"I'm lying on my back," Park said, "and Walt's standing over me, looking down, shaking his head, saying, 'Not twice.'"
Park retired in 1985 after two seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, a nine-time all-star and winner of the 1983-84 Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. He played 1,113 games, scoring 896 points (213 goals, 683 assists).
From his home in Florida, his two former teams near in his heart if distant on a map, Park will be watching crabby rivals New York and Boston square off again Wednesday and Friday, considering whether he views himself more a Ranger or a Bruin.
"I guess it depends which side of Hartford I'm on," he said with a laugh, the Connecticut city almost dead center between their arenas.
SIMMONS: A rare glimpse into a remarkable hockey life, the trials and tribulations of Frank Mahovlich by Steve Simmons, Postmedia News Imagine being a kid from Northern Ontario, who played hockey, lived hockey and idolized Rocket Richard, and you get called up as a teenager for your first NHL game. And there you are, at Maple Leaf Gardens, all set to face the iconic Montreal Canadiens. This isn’t a children’s book. This was Frank Mahovlich’s life. “Howie Meeker was the coach and, before the game, he looked at me and said ‘You’ll be checking Rocket Richard tonight,'” the great Mahovlich, now 83 years old, said in a rare and lengthy interview. “I’m 19 at the time. I think Rocket was 38. I’d read so many books on him. The first time I’m on the ice, Meeker tells me, ‘Don’t let him get away, he’s too dangerous.’ “I’m right beside Rocket at the red line. And everything I knew about him was, if he got the puck at the red line, we were finished. I panicked, of course. I was bigger than him. I wrapped both my arms around him and held on. He got a little frustrated. At one point, we were so close together his nose was touching mine. “‘Let go, kid,’ Richard said. “And I’m thinking, ‘Rocket Richard just spoke to me. He spoke to me.’ “‘Yes, Mr. Richard,’ I said, and I let him go.” That was the first shift of Mahovlich’s marvellous National Hockey League career, the first of 720 games he would play for the Leafs. He would go to win four Stanley Cups in Toronto in the 1960s and two more in Montreal in the ’70s, and when the Leafs traded him to Detroit, he was the Toronto franchise leader in goals scored (296) in his career and goals scored in a season (48). It would be another 22 years before Rick Vaive, playing in a season with more games, would pass Mahovlich with 54 goals in a season. The records didn’t end when he left the Leafs. In Detroit, Mahovlich scored 49 goals for the Red Wings, tying Gordie Howe for the most in franchise history. And he remains the single-season playoff point-getter for the historic Habs to this day, with 27 in 1971. The sometimes-forgotten Mahovlich left his mark everywhere he played. The magical year for Leafs fans is 1967, the last Stanley Cup season. But the magical year for Mahovlich was 1968 — the year he was traded out of Toronto, the year he escaped from Punch Imlach. Mahovlich calls his last four seasons with the Leafs “the worst four years of my life. I wouldn’t want anyone to experience that. It was a waste of time.” Whatever happened between the late Imlach and Mahovlich has left significant scars on the Big M. Mahovlich doesn’t hide his dislike of the legendary coach and general manager. “He was great the first four years. And then, if you lost a game, if you did something wrong, he’d punish you. It just became ridiculous after a while,” he said. “The last four years were a disaster, really. It was laborious for me. “You have to realize the times we were living in. We were slaves, really. When I played in the NHL, if they said, ‘Jump,’ you said, ‘How high?’ We were getting a minimum wage, rookies were getting paid $7,000 a season. Today, a first-year player gets a million up front. In our days, we were like slaves. “At one time, Chicago offered a million dollars to buy my contract,” said Mahovlich. “Imagine that today? What would that be? A hundred million, I don’t know. Leafs turned it down.” But everything for Mahovlich in Toronto came back to Imlach, including emotional challenges that forced him to miss some games. “It was one man, Punch,” said Mahovlich. “Nobody liked him after a while. No one said anything because nobody did in those days. “I remember when I was a rookie, and (NHL president) Clarence Campbell came to speak to us about our pensions. In the meeting, I raised my hand to ask a question. I was only 19. I asked about the amount of money involved. “He told me to sit down and shut up. He didn’t answer. This is what you were dealing with at the time. You kept your mouth shut or you might get shipped out.” On March 3, 1968, Mahovlich was shipped out. He was traded to Detroit, along with Pete Stemkowski, Garry Unger and the rights to Carl Brewer in exchange for Norm Ullman, Paul Henderson, Floyd Smith and Doug Barrie. In his second season with the Red Wings, he played on a line with Howe and Alex Delvecchio, the best line he ever played on. It was Howe’s only 100-point NHL season. Mahovlich scored 49 goals, second behind Bobby Hull that season. “Playing with Gordie was something special. He was over 40 by then. Playing on that line is a great memory.” That season, ending in 1969, saw all three members of their line in the top 10 in a scoring race that included Phil Esposito, Hull, Stan Mikita, Yvan Cournoyer and Jean Beliveau. That’s some terrific company Mahovlich kept. He told me to sit down and shut up. He didn’t answer. This is what you were dealing with at the time. You kept your mouth shut or you might get shipped out.” On March 3, 1968, Mahovlich was shipped out. He was traded to Detroit, along with Pete Stemkowski, Garry Unger and the rights to Carl Brewer in exchange for Norm Ullman, Paul Henderson, Floyd Smith and Doug Barrie. In his second season with the Red Wings, he played on a line with Howe and Alex Delvecchio, the best line he ever played on. It was Howe’s only 100-point NHL season. Mahovlich scored 49 goals, second behind Bobby Hull that season. “Playing with Gordie was something special. He was over 40 by then. Playing on that line is a great memory.” That season, ending in 1969, saw all three members of their line in the top 10 in a scoring race that included Phil Esposito, Hull, Stan Mikita, Yvan Cournoyer and Jean Beliveau. That’s some terrific company Mahovlich kept. A lot of his friends are gone. So many in the past few years. George Armstrong. Eddie Shack. Bob Nevin. Red Kelly. Johnny Bower. So many from the Stanley Cup teams of the 1960s. “I’m still close with Dickie Duff and I speak to Davey (Keon) every once in a while,” said Mahovlich. “He’ll call from Florida. Or I’ll call him. It’s been tough seeing so many go. These days, I keep to myself and my family. I don’t go out much, maybe for a walk, especially not now.” He doesn’t watch much hockey either, although he said he might watch on Wednesday night when the Leafs play the Canadiens in Montreal. He prefers football or basketball or a little golf on television. The last time Montreal and Toronto were one-two in the NHL standings was in 1961. The Leafs haven’t played Montreal in the playoffs in 42 years. Mahovlich played seven series against the Habs with Toronto, winning three, the final victory coming in 1967. He lost in the Stanley Cup final to Montreal twice. In the two Stanley Cup wins over the Red Wings, the Leafs beat Montreal in the first round each time. And, personally, for six seasons between 1961 and ’66, Mahovlich was voted first- or second-team all-star at left wing. In a league that had Bobby Hull, that was a remarkable acknowledgment. Today, Mahovlich says he hasn’t been to a Leafs game in Toronto in more than 20 years. He doesn’t know when — or even if — he’ll go next. He’s just not engaged with the team the way Bower or others may have been. “I got away from hockey and I never really went back,” said Mahovlich. “I don’t know why. I can’t really identify with this game anymore. “I did go to one game when I was in Ottawa (he was in the Senate for 14 years), it was (Auston) Matthews’ first game. He scored four goals. That was beautiful. But I haven’t met anybody from this team. And I haven’t seen them since.” He is appreciative, though, that the Alumni Association sent him a Leafs winter jacket this season — a token of appreciation. “It’s come in really handy,” said Mahovlich. “It’s nice and warm when I’m going for walks.” In the final game of the 1970 season, Mahovlich’s Red Wings eliminated the Canadiens from qualifying for the playoffs. It was the first time in 22 years Montreal missed the post-season. The following year, Mahovlich was traded to the Habs. “First year I get there, we win the Stanley Cup and we weren’t supposed to,” said Mahovlich. “Ken Dryden came in, I think he played just six games for us in the season. It all worked out pretty well.” Well, not for everyone. Al MacNeil was the Habs coach. Henri Richard was a Montreal legend. In the playoffs, MacNeil benched Richard, who came back and wound up scoring the Cup-winning goal: The benching of Richard and the furor that followed cost MacNeil his job. “I was really upset when they let him go,” said Mahovlich. “Al MacNeil was the best coach I ever had. I had a great playoffs (he led the NHL in scoring) and it all got crazy when the Pocket Rocket got benched.” When it was happening, “I asked Henri, ‘What are you doing?’ “He said, ‘I lost my temper.'” Sam Pollock was the legendary general manager. “He hired Scotty Bowman to replace Al. I asked Sam, ‘Why did you let Al go?’ Sam had an answer for everything, he was that smart. He told me he didn’t let him go, all he did was shuffle the deck.” MacNeil was assigned to Halifax. Scotty Bowman was brought in to coach Montreal. Two years later, in Mahovlich’s second-last NHL season, the Canadiens again won the Cup and the Big M finished third in playoff scoring, one point behind Dennis Hull and two behind teammate Cournoyer. That would be his sixth and final Cup. “It’s not like Henri,” he said and laughed. “He’s got 11. Yvan has nine, I think. But six … six is pretty good.” Before one playoff game that year, Mahovlich went to the ticket window at the Forum to pick up his wife’s seats for that night. And who was standing there, picking up his own tickets, but Rocket Richard. “And it struck me that day, he was picking up tickets for a game I was playing in,” said Mahovlich. They shook hands and hugged by the will-call window, differently than they hugged the first time on the ice. Hockey lives coming full circle.
‘More to it than just hockey’: Revisiting the Summit Series, 48 years later
Last week, I got to hear the hockey heroes of the ’72 series reminisce about their showdown with the Soviets — and what made it so legendary
By Steve Paikin - Published on Jan 13, 2021
Ken Dryden is not only a Stanley Cup champion, Hall of Famer, and former federal cabinet minister. He’s also responsible for the best answer I’ve ever heard to the question, when was the golden age of hockey?
“Whatever you were watching when you were 12 years old,” he once told me.
That is brilliant and oh-so-true, because when I was 12 years old, the most dramatic and important hockey tournament in the history of the world took place. And some of its key contributors gathered last week on a Zoom call to reminisce.
You younger readers need to understand that the Summit Series that took place in September 1972 was unlike anything that had transpired before or has happened since. While Canada had always fancied itself the best hockey-playing country in the world, the fact is that, at the time, we had been getting clobbered at international tournaments on a regular basis.
The Soviet Union drafted its best hockey players into the army, then kept them together all year, moulding them into a fearsome unit. Our amateur players just couldn’t compete. So the idea was, let’s get our best in the National Hockey League to play the Soviets’ best in an eight-game exhibition series, and then we’ll prove once and for all who’s king.
Even though two of Canada’s best players couldn’t participate (Bobby Orr was injured; Bobby Hull had departed for the rival World Hockey Association and was therefore ruled ineligible), the conventional wisdom was that Canada would easily prevail.
When our lads took a 2-0 lead just six minutes into the first game in Montreal, all the pre-series prognostications of Canada winning eight straight games seemed plausible.
Then the Soviets woke up and won that game 7-3. The country was in shock.
“I never believed it was going to be easy,” said Elmira-born Rod Seiling, who was then with the New York Rangers. Having played in the 1964 Olympics, he was one of the few Canadian players with international experience against the Soviets. “I knew how good they were.”
Seiling had warned Team Canada coach Harry Sinden to dress six defencemen for the game, but the coach opted for only five.
“I played every other shift for that whole game in Montreal,” Seiling recalled. “By the third period, I was on my knees. I’d say to Kenny [Dryden], ‘Here they come again!’ It goes back to us not being ready to play.”
Suddenly, all of Canada’s pre-tournament mistakes became apparent. Our guys were accustomed to using the exhibition season games to get into shape. The Soviets already were in shape. Our guys were all from different NHL teams, had never practised together, and, moreover, didn’t like one other.
“I spent a lot of years chasing the Road Runner around,” offered Paul Henderson on the Zoom call, referring to the Montreal Canadiens’ speedy Yvan Cournoyer. “And, all of us a sudden, he’s my friend? He and the Canadiens were the enemy! So our training camp was a feeling-out process.”
The Soviets had been together for years practising their systems and respected their Canadian opponents.
“We didn’t respect them,” added Cournoyer. “You have to be afraid to lose, and we didn’t respect them.”
While our first ever “Team Canada” featured 12 future Hall of Famers, only one three-man forward line remained together for all eight games. And no one would have imagined that when the series began.
Philadelphia Flyer Bobby Clarke and Maple Leaf teammates Ron Ellis and Paul Henderson were well down the list of the original 35 players invited to join Team Canada. Before the series, the players had been told that everyone would get to play and that they’d enjoy a free trip to Europe for their wives and themselves. As a result, the Henderson-Clarke-Ellis tandem doubted they’d get much ice time in a sport that can dress only 20 players per game.
But both Henderson and Clark scored in Game 1, and Ellis assisted on both goals.
“We really wanted to play in Game 2 in Toronto,” Henderson said. “So we went out for beers after the first practice and said, ‘Let’s get serious and show them we can play here.’ We worked our rear ends off and evidently showed the coaches we were as good as what they had out there.”
Canada came back and won Game 2 in Toronto. I was a very lucky 12-year-old fan in the stands, along with my brother and parents. Timmins native Peter Mahovlich stole the show, scoring perhaps still the most artistic goal I’ve ever seen in person in my life.
But then the tournament turned into a horror show. Canada blew a two-goal lead in the third period in Winnipeg and had to settle for a 4-4 tie. And when we lost 5-3 in Vancouver, our heroes were, shockingly, booed off the ice. A sweaty and exhausted Phil Esposito (Boston Bruins, via Sault Ste. Marie) gave a post-game interview in which he assured everyone that the players were trying their best and were pretty unhappy taking brickbats from their fellow Canadians.
Be that as it may, the country was having a collective coronary.
“We were taking time out of our lives to represent our country,” said Seiling. “Then to have the country turn on us … I’m not sure our own families liked us. We’d let them down. They’d been sold a bill of goods that this’d be a romp in the park.”
But that’s when something happened that, in hindsight, might have saved the tournament for Team Canada. I’ve read and listened to a lot of analysis about this tourney for decades, but on this Zoom call, I heard something new about how our team came together.
First and foremost, the coaching staff decided to go with a set roster. That meant permanently benching some future Hall of Famers: they did not take it well, having been promised they’d play. The team was rife with dissension.
“Off the ice, it wasn’t good,” confirmed Henderson. “A lot of guys were pissed off. Hey, if I didn’t play, I would be, too.”
But firming up the roster and leaving the pressure-cooker of Canada turned out to be just what Team Canada needed. Before playing the last four games in Moscow, the Canadians played two warm-up games in Stockholm against a Swedish national team. At the time, many Canada fans thought that was simply delaying the inevitable disappointment of further losses. But it gave the team some valuable time to come together and some experience on the much wider ice surfaces used in European hockey.
“If we hadn’t gone to Sweden, we may not have won the series,” suggested Henderson. “Not only did we get the opportunity to get in shape, but we came together as a team. In Sweden, that was the game changer.”
“I won many Stanley Cups on the road,” added Cournoyer. “You feel closer. There’s no people to distract you.”
Canada won the first game 4-1 and salvaged a tie with a last-minute goal by Esposito in the second. They played against a couple of Swedes named Borje Salming and Inge Hammarström, who would soon be suiting up in blue and white for the Maple Leafs. And it gave the team some momentum heading to Moscow.
At the team’s first practice in Moscow, assistant coach John Ferguson skated up to Henderson and said, “Henny, we need you to come up big. You’re quick, and you can shoot the puck. We’re counting on you to come up big.”
Man, did he ever.
“It’s amazing what a little confidence can do for you,” Henderson said last week. “I just felt so good. I don’t care who you are — every now and then, you need encouragement.”
One of the most impressive turnarounds in sports history was about to take place, but you’d never have known it based on what happened next. In Game 5, our side gave up three goals in the last 10 minutes to lose 5-4, but for some reason, left the ice feeling even more confident that they could compete with the Russians.
“They had a beautiful national anthem which they played after every game they won,” Henderson said. “But when we lost, it was too bloody long!”
Part of what uplifted Team Canada after the game? The few thousand Canadians who had flown to Moscow to support the team. They gave the players a standing ovation as they skated off the ice. They showed up at the team’s hotel and continued to cheer them on. And they made a lot more noise than the 10,000 pro-Soviet fans.
Then, in an unbelievable twist of fate, Canada won the next three straight games, and, in all three, Henderson scored the winning goal — including the one in Game 8 with 34 seconds to play that would put really him in the history books.
“Our national anthem was never sung with more fervour than after those last three games,” Henderson said. “I got goosebumps on my arm.” The native of Kincardine scored five goals in the four games after Ferguson’s pep talk, “So I guess it all turned out pretty good. I almost broke Yvan’s back after I scored — I jumped into him so hard.”
“They thought we’d never win three in a row,” said Cournoyer. “And we just couldn’t lose. If we did, we’d have to stay in Russia, and I wouldn’t be here today talking about 1972. We just had to win, and we did it. And that’s why we’re still talking about it nearly 50 years later.”
It’s since emerged that, if today’s hockey protocols had been in place in 1972, Henderson wouldn’t even have been dressed for the last three games in Moscow. In Game 5, he crashed into the boards sustaining a concussion. Today, a team doctor would have insisted he be scratched from the lineup. But back then, Henderson begged Sinden not to remove him.
“Harry,” he said, “don’t do this to me. I’ll take care of myself, but I wanna play so bad.”
“Paul,” Sinden replied, “we sure as hell need you, and if you want to play, I’m not going to stop you.”
Henderson now jokes: “That’s why I’m an idiot today. I never should have been on the ice.”
Henderson actually wasn’t on the ice in the last minute of Game 8 and did something he’d never done before. He yelled from the bench at Peter Mahovlich to get off the ice so he could go on.
“I can’t even explain it to this day,” he said. “All of a sudden I thought, I’ve just gotta get on the ice. Peter thought it was the coach yelling at him.”
Mahovlich came off, Henderson went on, and the rest is history.
Canada won the last game 6-5. In the third period, with Canada trailing 5-3 and things looking hopeless, Dryden was lights out in the Canadian net, while Vladislav Tretiak, the Soviet goaltender whom Canadian fans were reluctantly falling for, allowed three. Esposito scored two goals and two assists in that game. He had 13 points in eight games, led the tournament in points, and was the undisputed spiritual leader of that team.
“Phil played the best period of hockey ever played by a Canadian player in that third period,” Henderson said.
Cournoyer had tied the game 5-5 with seven minutes to play, setting up Henderson’s heroics. Henderson, who was considered a good but never a great NHL player, scored seven goals in eight games. He is not in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but many think he should be, solely on the strength of his performance in 1972. He’ll turn 78 years old in a couple of weeks and has been successfully fighting chronic lymphocytic leukemia for more than a decade, after doctors gave him five years to live.
When Henderson was inducted into the International Hockey Hall of Fame, in Oslo, in 2013, he was introduced by Tretiak. After the ceremony, the Soviets’ legendary goaltender looked suspiciously at Henderson and said, “I know why you scored that last goal. I’ve looked at the replays over and over again.”
Henderson wondered what was coming.
“It was very bad goaltending!” Tretiak said, then gave his nemesis a big bear hug.
“And I’ve been riding that sucker since 1972!” Henderson laughed.
When the players came home and joined their NHL teams, they noticed something had changed. The Team Canada players would tap one other’s shin pads during warm-ups before their NHL games, even if they were on opposite teams. Some of their NHL teammates wondered how that kind of fraternization was allowed.
“You don’t understand,” Seiling would tell his Ranger teammates. “He’s my opposition tonight, but he’s my friend. I went to war with him. The players from that ’72 team are my lifelong friends.”
“We went to war as a team, and we’re still one 50 years later,” added Henderson.
Yes, future Team Canadas would see similarly big goals. Mario Lemieux at the 1987 Canada Cup; Sidney Crosby at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010. But neither can rise to the importance of Henderson’s in ’72.
“You don’t just watch a game with your eyes; you watch with your feelings, too,” said documentary writer/researcher Paul Patskou, who hosts these special weekly hockey Zoom calls. “If you were around at the time, you knew it was different. It was the Cold War. There was more to it than just hockey.”
Not only that: I was 12.
photo - Team Canada's Paul Henderson (left) shoots on Team USSR's Vladislav Tretiak during the 1972 Summit tournament in Toronto on September 4, 1972. (Peter Bregg/CP)
In 2020 we sadly lost three team members from the legendary Summit Series, Canada's Brian Glennie and Pat Stapleton and Russia's Alexander Gusev.
To date Team Canada has lost 9 of their 35 players and 2 coaches while the former National Ice Hockey Team of the Soviet Union has lost 18 of their 30 players and 2 coaches who competed in Montréal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver in Canada and in Moscow in the former Soviet Union during those memorable 27 days in September of 1972.
This leaves 28 Canadians and 14 Russians looking forward to the 50th anniversary of the Summit Series in September of 2022.
Below are the Honour Rolls for both nations which includes the year of passing for each player/coach:
Bill Goldsworthy 1996
Gary Bergman 2000
John Ferguson, Sr. 2007
Richard Martin 2011
Jean Paul Parisé 2015
Bill White 2017
Stan Mikita 2018
Brian Glennie 2020
Pat Stapleton 2020
Vsevolod Bobrov 1979
Slava Solodukhin 1980
Valeri Kharlamov 1981
Boris Kulagin 1988
Alexander Sidelnikov 2003
Alexander Ragulin 2004
Gennady Tsygankov 2006
Evgeny Mishakov 2007
Viktor Kuzkin 2008
Evgeny Paladiev 2010
Valeri Vasiliev 2012
Vladimir Vikulov 2013
Viktor Zinger 2013
Vladimir Petrov 2017
Alexander Bodunov 2017
Yuri Shatalov 2018
Evgeny Zimin 2018
Alexander Gusev 2020
2020 Broadcast Schedule on CBC:
Saturday, December 19th at 7:30pm ET/8pm NT
Thursday, December 25th at 11:30am ET/12pm NT
Or any time on CBC Gem
It’s 1972, and a small-town girl (Vickie) is accepted into the prestigious National Ballet School and selected to play “Clara” in the Company’s holiday production of The Nutcracker. Unfortunately that’s when Vickie finds out about the mysterious “Curse of Clara”, which threatens to derail everything. Thankfully, she’s got a good friend, the 1972 Summit Series and an imaginary mentor (in the form of Phil Esposito) to keep her “on pointe.” Starring Saara Chaudry, Sara Botsford, Sheila McCarthy, Karen Kain, Bob Cole, and Phil Esposito.
Winner of the 2017 Canadian Screen Award for Best Animated Program
Very, very special thanks to a great friend and supporter for the Members of Team Canada 1972's initiatives Vickie Fagan for her inspiration and being the driving force behind this most wonderful project and to Smiley Guy Productions for bringing it to life.
Six-time Cup champion, now cancer-free, says Montreal will 'have to deliver' this season
by Dave Stubbs/NHL.com columnist
Guy Lapointe very much likes the new look of the Montreal Canadiens, and the Hall of Fame defensemen from the team's glorious 1970s feels certain the 2020-21 edition will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"They're going to be a contender and there's no doubt in my mind they'll make the playoffs," Lapointe said Friday. "They reinforced every position this offseason by adding backup goaltender Jake Allen, Joel Edmundson on defense and good forwards in Josh Anderson and Tyler Toffoli. They'll have no excuses this year, they'll have to deliver.
"I'm looking forward to the season."
An official start date for this season has not yet been announced.
It was a year ago Friday when the Canadiens announced Lapointe, a member of Montreal's "Big Three" on defense, along with Serge Savard and Larry Robinson, had been diagnosed with oral cancer, located at the base of his tongue.
Lapointe won the Stanley Cup six times with Montreal, and six times was in the top five in voting for the Norris Trophy as the top defenseman in the NHL. He was the runner-up to Boston Bruins icon Bobby Orr in 1972-73.
Lapointe's NHL career of 884 regular-season and 123 Stanley Cup Playoff games ran from 1968-69 to 1983-84, with his first 777 League games and 112 playoff games with the Canadiens. He finished his career by playing with the St. Louis Blues (62 games) and Boston Bruins (45), and his No. 5 was retired by the Canadiens on Nov. 8, 2014, joining the No. 18 of Savard and No. 19 of Robinson.
He also was a stalwart on the blue line for victorious Canada in the 1972 Summit Series, the eight-game series pitting an NHL all-star team against one from the Soviet Union.
From late February into early March, Lapointe underwent aggressive cancer treatment with 35 sessions of radiation and three bouts of chemotherapy. Doctors have declared him cancer-free, but there remain challenges for a robust 72-year-old whose legendary appetite matches his sense of humor.
"I had no idea this was the anniversary," Lapointe said from his home west of Montreal. "I feel pretty good but half of my tongue is paralyzed. Sometimes I have problems speaking some words. And I still can't taste any food or any drink. I'm limited with food because I have a hard time swallowing.
"I can't eat pizza, burgers or steak. I saw the doctor last week and he said it's 50-50 that I'll get my taste back. It might take another year. I had very strong treatment because my cancer was very advanced."
But it seems the radiation and chemotherapy didn't touch his lighter side.
"I feel like a garbage can: You open my lid, throw food into me and put my lid back on," Lapointe joked. "It's stressful at times. I can smell the food my wife makes me but I can't taste any of it. On the bright side, I've lost 50 pounds. I was 270, overweight with some reserves, and now I'm at 220, about 10 pounds over my playing weight. The doctor told me I had to lose some weight. It didn't come off the way I wanted to lose it, but I feel strong physically so I have no problem with that."
With a weakened immune system, the famously social Lapointe hasn't seen a former teammate in the past year, staying in touch by phone, and has only rare visits with his children. But he knows that too will improve with time.
"They want me to be careful, especially with the pandemic now," he said. "It's been a tough ride. I won't lie to you, some mornings are hard. But the positive thing is that my cancer is gone. Some people have it a lot worse than me."
Savard’s time in Winnipeg, friendship with Hawerchuk, among highlights of biography
Author of the article: Ted Wyman
This past August, Hockey Hall of Famer Serge Savard experienced great joy and terrible sadness within about a five-minute period.
He was driving with his wife, Paulette, near their home in Hilton Head, S.C., when they received a phone call from her doctor. She had just undergone a CAT scan to see if there had been any return of the esophageal cancer she suffered from a couple of years earlier.
“We got a call from the clinic and the clinic said ‘Your wife is free of cancer. It came out perfectly,’” Savard said in a phone interview this week.
“So we were so happy, big high-fives in the car. We were celebrating.”
About five minutes later, he received another phone call. This one was from fellow Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk.
“Dale says ‘Serge, hi, how are you? Well sir, I’m just calling to say goodbye.’
“Holy f—, I’ve never had a call like that in my life.”
Hawerchuk, just 57 at the time, was suffering from terminal stomach cancer and was in hospital, unable to eat or drink. He knew his time was coming to an end and he used what he had left to reach out to friends and say farewell.
“He said ‘Say hello to your wife and the kids, I love you all,’ Savard related.
“And he started to cry.
“And I started to cry too.”
Hawerchuk passed away just a week later, prompting an outpouring of support from around the NHL and the hockey community.
His death hit hard for Savard, who served as a mentor, friend and good neighbour to a teenaged Hawerchuk when they were teammates with the Winnipeg Jets from 1981 to 1983.
It was important enough that Savard made a late change to his biography, Serge Savard: Forever Canadien, written by Phillippe Cantin, which is due to hit shelves next Wednesday.
The book, originally released a year ago in French, was updated to include the details of Hawerchuk’s passing in a chapter about Savard’s time with the Jets.
Savard, 35 at the time, had been convinced to come out of retirement by his old friend and teammate John Ferguson, who was general manager of the Jets in 1981.
Savard had been somewhat pushed into retirement by Canadiens management after 14 seasons and eight Stanley Cup wins, but Ferguson acquired Savard’s rights in the 1981 waiver draft.
Ferguson tried for months to get Savard to come to Winnipeg, but it wasn’t until his team lost 15-2 to the Minnesota North Stars one night in December that the Jets’ GM really started to get desperate.
“He called me in the middle of the night,” Savard said.
“He was with (Jets coach) Tom Watt and he said ‘You have to come, you have to come. I need you. My kids are very, very young and they need an experienced guy to stabilize the team.’”
To his surprise, when he ran the idea past Paulette, she said “Give me 24 hours and our bags will be packed.”
Savard moved his wife and three kids to Winnipeg and played two seasons with the Jets before returning to Montreal to become general manager of the Habs.
He bought a house on Lancaster Blvd., in Tuxedo and Hawerchuk bought a home just down the street, inviting teammates Scott Arniel and Brian Mullen to live with him.
“We had a one-year-old daughter at the time and those guys would babysit for us,” Savard said. “The three of them rocked Catou in her cradle.”
“My wife would cook a big spaghetti sauce for those kids when they were coming back from the road. They had nothing in their fridge."
Savard won eight Stanley Cups as a player and two more as a general manager and was on the winning side of the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and Russia, but he says his two years in Winnipeg were among the most memorable of his life.
“I don’t say that to please the people in Winnipeg,” said Savard, now 74. “I’ve been saying that all along. They were among the two finest years of my life that I spent there. We were very happy. The kids went to school there. We had great friends.”
Savard helped the Jets reach the playoffs in each of his two seasons in Winnipeg and planned to stay for a third season when the Canadiens, under new ownership, asked him to return and serve as general manager.
“I went to see Fergie and he said ‘Well, I don’t think you could pass that up,’ Savard said. “I asked him, ‘What do you think I should ask for as a salary?’ He said ‘Well sir, don’t sign for under $100,000.’”
Savard returned to Montreal and helped orchestrate Stanley Cup wins in 1986 and 1993.
He wound up spending most of his adult life with the Canadiens, fulfilling a fantasy he had as a young child growing up in Landrienne, Que., a community northwest of Ottawa in the Abitibi region, near the Ontario border.
“As a kid, my dream was to play for the Montreal Canadiens,” Savard said. “As a youngster, I was listening to the radio when Jean Beliveau played his first game in Montreal.”
But even through all those Stanley Cup wins, all those years playing with the likes of Beliveau, Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, Jacques Lemaire and Ken Dryden, Savard has other memories that stand out.
Going back to Landrienne for the purposes of the book was a major highlight.
“To tell you the truth, my youth stands out,” Savard said. “When we went back to the village where I’m from, it was the 100th anniversary of the village and I met all the friends I used to skate on the pond with. We would divide ourselves and play hockey for four or five years. It was a lot of fun going back to that and how I became a member of the Montreal Canadiens from there.
“All of a sudden when we started to talk about the four Stanley Cups in a row, I had nothing to say. Everybody was expecting us to win. When you lose eight games during a season (in 1976-77), there’s not much to say. But my favourite part of the book was talking about growing up.”
Then there was 1972, a time etched in the memories of so many Canadians.
Canada took on Russia in the Summit Series and Savard was a stalwart on defence.
After going 1-2-1 in the four games in Canada, Savard and his teammates went to Moscow and lost Game 5, 5-4.
But they won the next three games and took the series when Paul Henderson scored his famous late game-winner to make the score 6-5 in Game 8.
“Team Canada ’72 is probably the top of my memories in the game,” Savard said. “I don’t think an athlete can elevate himself as high emotionally as we did in Moscow in 1972.
“We won the last three games on the big surface and it meant so much to all of us.”
It was nine years after that when Savard decided to retire and then un-retire to join the Jets.
Winnipeg had entered the NHL along with Edmonton, Quebec and Hartford in 1979, following a merger with the World Hockey Association.
The Jets had a great team in the WHA, winning championships in three of the last four years, but they were stripped bare when they entered the NHL.
Drafting Hawerchuk first overall in 1981 was a major turn in their fortunes.
Bringing Savard on board helped Hawerchuk and his young teammates grow.
“We only have good memories of Winnipeg,” Savard said. “Such a great group at that time. Dale was 18 years old at that time and he was outstanding. We loved having him live close to us. He was such a great kid.
“To me, I fit like a glove there and I made so many good friends that I’ll never forget those years. My wife, she still talks about it. Life wasn’t really like that in Montreal. In Winnipeg, everybody was close to each other.”
So close, that some 39 years later, Savard received that fateful call from his old friend Hawerchuk.
“I’m sick just thinking about it, that he had to go through that at such a young age,” Savard said. “He was such a good kid, such a good living man. He helped people. He had a lot of friends in the National Hockey League. People respected him.”
'Social distancing has been pretty tough' for outgoing Hockey Hall of Famer
by Dave Stubbs/NHL.com Columnist
MONTREAL -- Rod Gilbert is adapting to the new realities of public life, and the New York Rangers legend isn't finding them much to his taste.
"For a social guy like me, social distancing has been pretty tough," Gilbert said this week. "I love to yak and shake hands and hug and tell the fans how much I appreciate them. Not being able to do this is a little depressing, to tell you the truth. I like keeping in touch with fans with phone calls and FaceTime and Zoom calls, but there's nothing like interaction in person.
"I'm doing Zoom calls with 15 or 20 Rangers season ticket-holders every week. They get to ask me questions about my career and my most memorable moments with the Rangers. I love to socialize with fans. They're my family, actually."
In many ways, fans remain Gilbert's lifeblood more than four decades after the last of his 1,065 NHL games, every one played for the Rangers, between 1960-61 and 1977-78.
During 18 seasons in New York, he scored 1,021 points (406 goals, 615 assists), as well as 67 points (34 goals, 33 assists) in 79 Stanley Cup Playoff games. Gilbert retired with 20 Rangers scoring records (alone or shared), trailing only one other right wing, Gordie Howe, in total points; his No. 7 was retired by the team in 1979, the first number so honored by the Rangers.
Gilbert also played a starring role for Canada in the historic eight-game 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union.
If social distancing brought about by the coronavirus leaves him yearning for up-close-and-personal time with fans, Gilbert has the realities clearly in perspective. Whenever he's home in his midtown Manhattan condo, he's out on his 33rd-floor balcony at 7 p.m. tapping a hockey stick on the railing to celebrate the countless front-liners, from doctors and nurses to grocery-store clerks and delivery people, who continue to work through the pandemic.
"This virus is sticking around pretty good," the Hockey Hall of Famer said. "These people are risking their lives every day, and it's not over."
The president of the Rangers Alumni Association remains very active in the community for myriad worthy causes. A recent ALL-IN Challenge, a global initiative to raise funds to fight food insecurity among the needy, brought in $15,000 for an upcoming suite-experience Rangers game at Madison Square Garden. Gilbert has also teamed with current Rangers center Mika Zibanejad in recent months to do extensive work for the Robin Hood Relief Fund, benefitting New York non-profit organizations working on the front lines to assist those in need.
On Wednesday, he and his wife, Judy, marked his 79th birthday with a gathering of more than 20 -- but in a responsible way. His siblings, children, grandchildren and a friend who also celebrates a July 1 birthday assembled on a Zoom video call, with family hopping on from north in Montreal, south in Florida and numerous points in between.
"It's a wonderful thing, a call like this," he said. "You get to see everyone at the same time."
Gilbert always gets a kick out of the fact that his native Canada celebrates his July 1 birthday with a national holiday; that the country's birthday is also July 1 is apparently just a coincidence.
He recalled that his late father's birthday was July 1, as is that of a sister-in-law. His birthday also falls a few days before that of a late brother.
"Tough autumns or winters or something," he joked of the early July delivery-room traffic jam. "My dad always took the day off and we celebrated together. Canada Day was, and always is, a special day for me."
For now, Gilbert and his wife are away from the city, two hours east near the tip of Long Island. They were scheduled to move into a new summer home in Sag Harbor, but the pandemic stopped all construction work on that. He's hopeful it will be ready by next summer.
Instead, most of their time is spent on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where Gilbert laughs at the 50-year-old board game that Judy recently dug out of a closet. It was one in a series of five done in the early 1970s that featured versions for baseball, basketball, boxing and football.
"Rod Gilbert's Violent World of Pro Hockey" is anything but; players are ranked on charts in offensive and defensive categories, with the puck advanced and shot at the net based on the tumble of dice. It won't soon be confused with anything branded EA Sports NHL.
"I look at that box today and I have no idea what it is," Gilbert said of the game. "I have no idea how it came about. I guess I'd know better what it is if I opened the thing and looked at it. We did all kinds of stuff in my playing days. People send me old ads and pictures of myself and I say, 'Wow, I did that?'
"There's a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle of me and I think 495 of them are the white of the ice. People write to me and tell me where to stick my puzzle."
He laughed again.
"And it's not in the cupboard."
Photos: Getty Images/HHoF Images
The members of Team Canada 1972 gratefully thank Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Liason Officer/Executive Assistant Ruth Cowen for sending us this photo of the flag at half mast in front of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary, Alberta honouring our fallen brother Pat Stapleton.
Pat’s family would like to thank everyone for their outpouring of love, kind words and generous gifts of flowers and food.
In Pat’s spirit we are asking that you please consider directing your support to those organizations on the front lines, to our health care workers in the ICU, hospitals, essential services and those in need of assistance.
We will all celebrate Pat’s life when the time is appropriate. Please stay safe and healthy.
With much thanks. Bless you all.
The Stapleton Family
PAT "WHITEY" STAPLETON - JULY 4, 1940 - APRIL 8, 2020
It is with much sadness that we inform you of the passing of Team Canada 1972 member Pat Stapleton. Pat was a passionate advocate for all of the Members of Team Canada 1972 and the Power of Teamwork message Canada’s Team of the Century held for all Canadians. Pat was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of 1972 Summit Series Hockey Team Inc., the organization representing the 37 members of Team Canada 1972. He worked tirelessly to build and embed the Power of Teamwork messaging into the education system with a dream of building a positive, lasting legacy of Team Canada 1972 through to the 50th anniversary in 2022 and beyond. Those of us who worked alongside Pat on this mission will pick up that torch and see it through to fruition inspired by the permanent impact his energy, enthusiasm and positive attitude had. We have lost not only a hockey legend but a truly great human. If you ever called Pat’s house he would answer the phone “Hockey Heaven” – there is no doubt that he is now resting in peace in Hockey Heaven. Thanks for everything Pat and stay Perfect.
Pat Stapleton Biography
Born on July 4, 1940 in Sarnia, Ontario, Pat Stapleton lived a champion’s life inspiring our youth to be champions too and live their lives at the highest level.
Pat was a part of 15 championship teams. A perennial All-Star at every level of hockey he ever competed in and has played alongside and against the greatest players of all-time.
Pat played three years for his hometown Junior B Sarnia Legionnaires starting as a 15-year-old. In his second season Pat helped lead them to a Western Junior B title and followed that up with an all-Ontario Sutherland Cup championship leading his team in scoring despite being a defenseman.
Pat then played Junior A hockey with the St. Catharines Teepees for two seasons helping teammates Stan Mikita, Chico Maki and Vic Hadfield to a regular season championship before winning the Memorial Cup the following year backstopped by the incredible Roger Crozier.
After a solid year with the Sault Ste. Marie Thunderbirds of the Eastern Professional Hockey League, Pat was claimed by the Boston Bruins in the Inter-League Draft. The Bruins were part of the Original Six NHL at that time and was able to give Pat a valuable 18-month trial before sending him to the minors.
Pat excelled for two years with the regular season and playoff champion Portland Buckaroos of the Western Hockey League. Pat played center and defense winning the Hal Laycoe Cup as Most Outstanding Defenseman.
Pat was then traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a day where he was claimed on the Interleague Draft by the Chicago Black Hawks.
Pat then joined the Hawks full time the next year where he performed brilliantly for 8 seasons. As a Hawk Pat was voted to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1966 and duplicated this honour in 1971 and 1972. He played with the Hawks until the end of the 1972-73 season and helped the squad reach the Stanley Cup finals in 1971 and 1973.
Despite his small 5’ 6” stature Pat’s quick hands and lightning reflexes, combined with a hard, accurate shot, made him one
of the most effective point men in the NHL. Defensively, he was a master of the poke-check and was able to consistently steer opponents away from the goal.
In 1967 the Hawks captured the Prince of Wales Trophy, emblematic of finishing in first place - the first time Chicago had finished first overall in 50 years in the six-team league.
The Hawks repeated again in 1970. After expansion the Hawks were moved to the Western Conference and defenceman Bill White joined the team beginning in the 1970-71 season. Pat and White became an elite tandem helping the Hawks win three consecutive Campbell Conference Championships in 1971, 72 and 73.
Pat and White played an important role for Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series against the USSR where they competed together in seven of the eight games leading all players in the historic series in plus/minus.
Prior to the 1973-74 season, Pat made the jump to the new World Hockey Association where he signed with the Chicago Cougars as player-coach winning the Dennis A. Murphy Trophy as the league’s top defenseman as well as being named to the WHA First All-Star Team and capturing the Eastern Division Championship. In 1974 Pat along with Ralph Backstrom, Dave Dryden and Rod Zaine became team owners of the Chicago Cougars.
Before the start of the next season, Pat competed in the 1974 Summit Series that pitted the USSR against the top Canadian players from the WHA where Pat served as team captain on a club including Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull alongside former Team Canada 72 teammates Frank Mahovlich and Paul Henderson.
Before retiring from the game, Pat moved on to the Indianapolis Racers and the Cincinnati Stingers where he led the Racers in scoring in the 1975-76 season. After hanging up his skates Pat remained with Indianapolis for one more season as head coach becoming Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier’s first professional coach.
Pat retired from his remarkable professional career playing 1100 games in the NHL and WHA over 18 seasons and coaching in another 199 games. Pat holds or shares NHL and WHA records for most assists in a game by a defenseman with six. Pat was also the first defenseman in NHL history with 50 assists in a season.
Pat had been married to his wife Jackie for 60 years. They raised a family of six children, three daughters and three sons and have been blessed with thirteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Jackie and Pat’s son Mike is a veteran of 731 NHL games.
On July 10, 2013 the 37 team members and coaches or their legal heirs of Team Canada 1972 were incorporated as an Ontario company known as 1972 Summit Series Hockey Team Inc./Équipe De Hockey De La Série Du Siècle 1972 Inc. They are overseen by an elected board of directors which includes Harry Sinden, Ken Dryden, Phil Esposito, Brad Park, Serge Savard and John Ferguson Jr. Pat Stapleton served as their chairperson.
After more than 47 years of accolades and honours the members of Team Canada 1972 launched a multi-faceted legacy venture as their way of giving back to Canadians. In October 2014 the Members of Team Canada 1972 launched “Legends to Legacy, 28,800 Seconds: The Power of Teamwork with Thanks and Gratitude for Being Canadian” to inspire every Canadian with the lessons learned from the Summit Series, particularly those highlighting what can be achieved through teamwork.
The Niagara Catholic District School Board has been incredibly proud to be selected to pilot this amazing program for the past two school years. The program is evidence-based, story-driven and had yielded extraordinary results.
Pat has worked tirelessly to preserve the legacy of Team Canada 1972 and the lessons that can be learnt from it. He has had and will continue to have a profound effect of the lives of many people throughout the world.
Ken Dryden has written a poem about the brutal relentlessness of COVID-19.
The former federal cabinet minister, NHL legend and author said he wrote it last week, after much thought.
It captures our apparent powerlessness in this most unnerving of moments:
For all of us who don’t know
We can read what we want to read
Believe what we want to believe
Hope what we want to hope
Say what we want to say
Eloquently, beautifully, compellingly, persuasively
Presidents, prime ministers, dictators
We can blog, tweet, post, proclaim
Reach thousands, millions
We can want what we want
Do what we want
COVID-19 is not impressed.
Hall of Famer had 15 shutouts in 1969-70, most in modern-day NHL season
by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist
Tony Esposito had big plans Sunday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his record-setting 15th shutout.
"I'm going to sit in front of the TV, put my feet up, and watch reruns," Esposito said with a laugh from his Florida home. "Whatever might be on."
On March 29, 1970, Esposito set an NHL record for rookie goalies with his 15th shutout, making 23 saves in a 4-0 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Chicago Stadium to break the record previously set by George Hainsworth of the Montreal Canadiens in 1926-27.
Esposito, now 76, still holds the modern-day NHL shutout record for the 15 he earned that season. Hainsworth had 22 for Montreal in 1928-29, and Ottawa's Alec Connell (1925-26, 1927-28) and Boston's Hal Winkler (1927-28) each also had 15, but those came in a very different era when rules gave a huge advantage to the goalie.
The 50th anniversary Sunday was Esposito's second milestone in a few days; 40 years ago on March 26, he became the NHL's first goalie to win at least 30 games eight times.
Signed by the Canadiens as a free agent in September 1967, the native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, broke into the NHL with Montreal in 1968-69, going 5-4-4 with a 2.73 goals-against average and two shutouts in 13 games.
But with Gump Worsley, Rogie Vachon and Ernie Wakely in the system, and Ken Dryden on his way up, Canadiens general manager Sam Pollock left Esposito unprotected in the 1969 intra-league draft, and he was plucked by the Blackhawks, who had missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 1968-69 with Denis DeJordy, Dave Dryden and Jack Norris dividing the workload in net.
"The Canadiens had to make a decision between protecting me or Gump," Esposito said. "Gump was a proven goalie, a nice guy. I liked him. And he was underrated, you know? He was a lot better than many people think."
At season's end, Esposito remembers sitting in Pollock's office in the Montreal Forum for a talk.
"I didn't take any (nonsense) and you know what Sam was like," he said, laughing again. "I was pretty outspoken and vocal in those days. Sam sat me down and told me what I had to do and I said, 'What do you know about it?' Let's just say that Sam and I didn't see eye to eye.
"I knew the draft was coming. I don't know why Chicago chose me, but they picked me up. When I went to training camp, the other goalies were Dryden and DeJordy. I was a very competitive guy. It might be a terrible thing to say, but I knew I could beat them for the No. 1 job."
And that he did. Esposito played 63 of Chicago's 76 games in 1969-70, going 38-17-8 with a 2.17 GAA and his 15 shutouts, winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie and the Vezina Trophy as the best goaltender.
Over the next 12 seasons, the workhorse played as many as 71 regular-season games (1974-75), and never fewer than 48 (1971-72). Esposito would go on to win the Vezina again in 1972 and 1974, and he played in 886 games with Montreal and Chicago, posting a lifetime 2.93 GAA with 76 shutouts before retiring in 1984.
Esposito, who was also a standout for Team Canada in the historic eight-game Summit Series against the Soviet Union in 1972, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1988.
Esposito says his historic rookie season really got rolling with his first shutout, when he made 30 saves in a 5-0 win against the Canadiens at the Forum on Oct. 25. He was still wearing the brown fiberglass mask he'd worn with Montreal, his familiar white model having been molded but still a few weeks from delivery.
"It was tighter than that," Esposito said of the score. "The Canadiens were tough in their building. You knew you had to play your best."
His second shutout came at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 9, a 9-0 blowout. The third came in Chicago against the Canadiens again, 1-0 on Nov. 16. It was after that one that the Topps chewing-gum company produced his rookie card, No. 138 in the set, declaring that two shutouts against the Canadiens before the season was two months old put him "on the threshold of a brilliant career in the N.H.L."
Four of Esposito's 15 shutouts came in 1-0 nail-biters. His 12th, on March 11 at home against Boston, was a 0-0 duel against the Bruins' Eddie Johnston. Three were laughers: 9-0, 7-0 and 6-0.
"I don't think it's any easier to get a shutout when you're up by a lot," he said. "When you're up by six or seven goals, you play looser. You might take a chance. With a 1-0 game, you'll tighten up, especially in the third period."
In total through his 15 shutouts, Esposito made 375 saves, an average of 25 per game. The most saves he made in a shutout was 36, with 21 being the fewest. He blanked Montreal, Toronto, Boston, the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues twice each, with his other three coming against the Los Angeles Kings, Oakland Seals and Philadelphia Flyers. Three times Esposito had shutouts in consecutive starts, and twice he had three over a four-game stretch. Nine shutouts came at home, six on the road.
One shutout came in October, three each in November and December, and four each in January and March.
"Don't ask me what happened in February," Esposito said. "How the heck would I know?"
In a normal world, Esposito and his wife, Marilyn, would be in Chicago today, the Blackhawks' Hall of Fame ambassador having been booked to visit United Center suites during the team's final four scheduled home games of the regular season.
"It's hot down here in Florida, so people are out for walks or on their bikes," he said, like everyone else in a holding pattern with the NHL season paused. "But I miss hockey. Tonight, it'll be reruns. Anything but the news."
Member of Canadiens' 'Big Three' during 1970s has form of disease with high cure rate
Guy Lapointe, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame who won the Stanley Cup six times with the Montreal Canadiens in the 1970s, has been diagnosed with oral cancer.
"Dr. Keith Richardson, the treating physician from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), indicated that the cancer is located at the base of the tongue," the Canadiens said Wednesday at the request of Lapointe's family. "Lapointe will begin his treatments in the coming weeks. This form of cancer has a high cure rate.
"The family wishes to thank the personnel at the MUHC as well as all hockey fans and asks for respect of their privacy as they face this challenge."
Lapointe and fellow defensemen Larry Robinson and Serge Savard formed the "Big Three" who helped the Canadiens win the Cup in 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979. He finished his career with 622 points (171 goals, 451 assists) in 884 NHL games for the Canadiens, St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.
He still holds Canadians records for most goals by a defenseman in one season (28 in 1974-75) and goals by a rookie defenseman (15 in 1970-71). His No. 5 was retired by the Canadiens on Nov. 8, 2014, an honor he shares with Bernie Geoffrion.
Lapointe, 71, has been an amateur scout for the Minnesota Wild since 1999.
Depuis ses premiers matchs disputés sur une patinoire de fortune à Landrienne, en Abitibi, où il a passé son enfance, Serge Savard a été animé par une seule passion: celle du hockey. Dans ce récit biographique, l’athlète et homme d’affaires qui a évolué au sein de l’organisation du Canadien de Montréal pendant 33 ans nous entraîne dans les coulisses d’une carrière plus grande que nature. Sous la plume habile du journaliste Philippe Cantin, il revient sur les moments forts, les hauts comme les bas, qui l’ont façonné comme joueur – de ses années d’apprentissage en tant que recrue jusqu’à sa retraite du Canadien – et, plus tard, comme directeur général du club. Cet ouvrage captivant et abondamment documenté dresse le portrait de la riche histoire du hockey au Québec à travers la vie d’un homme qui en a été l’un des témoins les plus privilégiés.
Consistent coaching at all age levels seemed key
The Russians were good at hockey — that much was apparent.
In 1972 a team from the Soviet Union had given Team Canada a run for its money, though they ultimately lost the Summit Series. But they won a repeat of the series in 1974, proving that Soviet hockey skills were no fluke. And that same year, a group of hockey coaches from across Canada travelled to Moscow to find out why.
"To a man, they're impressed with the hockey program backed by the unlimited resources of the state," said CBC reporter Ron Laplante.
At the Red Army sports club in Moscow, the coaches looked on as a group of 11-year-olds who had been shown by "scientific tests" to have hockey potential played the game.
"So, their entire education is built around their hockey training," said Laplante, noting that some kids had started the program at as young as six years old.
Players Vladislav Tretiak and Valeri Kharlamov, both Summit Series standouts, had honed their skills with the club.
"These kids are doing the same drills that the national team does," said a coach. "Our guys, from 12 to 15 or 17, they don't get the same type of training."
"Where we're losing out, I think, is from [age] 12 on," said another.
Gathering knowledge about the Soviets' system was one thing. Applying that knowledge to Canadian hockey was another.
"[There are] two totally different ideologies," said a coach with a Newfoundland accent, comparing the "capitalistic" and "communistic" natures of each country. "Here it's the state, totally. In our country we have everybody involved."
As a group of boys in hockey jerseys carried weights and jumped from foot to foot behind him, Laplante summed up the coaches' conclusions.
"They feel that our system is standing still while the Russian one is moving ahead quickly," he said. "In order to at least stay even with them, the time has come for us to make some changes."
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.
Mike McGraw/Chicago Daily Herald - The Concussion Legacy Foundation honoured Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita and his family with the Courage Award at the annual Chicago Honours event Friday, September 13, 2019 at The Palmer House. Mikita died last year at 78. Concussion Legacy Foundation CEO and co-founder Chris Nowinski, an Arlington Heights native, talked about Mikita's impact on the study of concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). "While he was alive and while he was well, he came to Boston and enrolled in one of our studies and then his family honoured his wish to donate his brain when he passed away," Nowinski said. "He's the most famous hockey player to have his brain studied. "He's been a leader in the community for his entire life and he made a significant contribution with his last act. We want to recognize that because without brain donations, we'll never have a treatment for this disease. We'll never understand how to protect our kids." The event also featured former Bears safety Gary Fencik and spotlighted some Chicago families who have been impacted by severe brain injuries. The event is co-hosted by former Bears running back Mike Adamle and longtime Chicago news anchor Rob Johnson.
Meet Team Canada 72 goaltender Ken Dryden in Sarnia, Ontario on November 6, 2019 at 7pm and pick up a copy of his new book, "Scotty".
June 28, 1964: The Montreal Canadiens make a franchise-altering trade with the Boston Bruins, although no one knows it at the time. Shortly after taking 16-year-old goalie Ken Dryden with the 14th pick in the NHL Draft, the Bruins trade him to the Canadiens with Alex Campbell for Guy Allen and Paul Reid. However, Dryden opts for college instead of the pros and goes 76-4-1 in his final three seasons at Cornell before signing with the Canadiens. He makes his NHL debut late in the 1970-71 season, goes 6-0-0 and is named as Montreal's playoff starter. Dryden goes on to win 12 of 20 games, helps the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup and is awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs. Dryden wins the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie in 1971-72, helps the Canadiens win another Cup in 1973 and is the backbone of the team that wins four consecutive championships from 1976-79. He retires after the 1978-79 season at age 31.
June 25, 1993: The Hockey Hall of Fame announces its newest members. They include goaltender Billy Smith, a cornerstone of the New York Islanders' four straight Stanley Cup championships from 1980-83, as well as two members of the Montreal Canadiens' dynasty of the late 1970s, forward Steve Shutt and defenseman Guy Lapointe. The other newcomer is center Edgar Laprade, a member of the New York Rangers for 10 seasons in the 1940s and '50s. Two owners, Seymour Knox III (Buffalo Sabres) and Frank Griffiths (Vancouver Canucks), are named to the Hall in the Builders Category.
June 23, 1975: The Los Angeles Kings sign free agent forward Marcel Dionne after obtaining him and defenseman Bart Crashley in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings receive forward Dan Maloney and veteran defenseman Terry Harper from Los Angeles as compensation. Dionne plays nearly 12 seasons with the Kings and breaks the 100-point mark in seven of them. He wins the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer in 1979-80.
June 18, 1975: Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins wins the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman for the eighth consecutive year. Orr is honored after another record-setting season in 1974-75. He leads the NHL in scoring with 135 points, sets a record for defensemen by scoring 46 goals, ties Bobby Clarke of the Philadelphia Flyers for the League lead in assists with 89 and is No. 1 in plus-minus at plus-80. The 135 points give Orr his second Art Ross Trophy (no other defenseman in NHL history has led the League is scoring), though he finishes four points shy of his NHL career-best 139 points, including a League-leading 102 assists, in 1970-71. That Boston team finishes first in the NHL during the regular season but loses to the Montreal Canadiens in the Quarterfinals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, 1974-75 marks the last time Orr's knee problems allow him to be a full-time player. He plays 10 games with the Bruins in 1975-76, signs as a free agent with the Chicago Blackhawks in the summer of 1976 and wins MVP honors at the 1976 Canada Cup. But he's limited to 20 games with Chicago during 1976-77 before having more knee surgery and misses all of the 1977-78 season. Orr plays six games in 1978-79 before retiring on Nov. 8, 1978, with 915 points (270 goals, 645 assists) in 657 games. The Bruins retire Orr's No. 4 jersey on Jan. 9, 1979, and he's inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame later that year.
June 12, 1979: At age 31, Bobby Orr becomes the youngest player in NHL history to be selected for induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame. The Hall waives its usual three-year waiting period, meaning Orr is inducted months after officially ending his NHL career. Knee problems limit Orr to 36 games in his final three seasons after he leads the League in scoring in 1974-75 with 135 points and wins the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman for the eighth consecutive season.
June 11, 1969: The Chicago Black Hawks (then two words) hit the jackpot at the annual intraleague draft when they claim rookie goalie Tony Esposito from the Montreal Canadiens. For their $25,000, the Blackhawks get a goalie who wins the Calder and Vezina trophies in his first NHL season and wins 418 games for Chicago, earning induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
May 18, 1973: Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins wins the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman for the sixth straight season. It's the first time in League history that any player wins an individual award six times in a row. Orr ends 1972-73 with 29 goals and 101 points; Guy Lapointe of the Canadiens is second among defensemen in each category with 19 goals and 54 points.
May 17, 1979: Ken Dryden of the Montreal Canadiens becomes the first goalie in NHL history to score a point in the Stanley Cup Final. Dryden is credited with an assist on Jacques Lemaire's goal at 17:10 of the third period that wraps up a 4-1 win against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden in Game 3. Dryden makes 19 saves, allowing only a third-period goal by Ron Duguay, and helps the Canadiens take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.
May 11, 1972: Bobby Orr scores his second Cup-winning goal in three seasons, helping the Boston Bruins defeat the New York Rangers 3-0 at Madison Square Garden in Game 6 of the Final. Orr beats Gilles Villemure during a power play midway through the first period, then sets up the first of two goals by Wayne Cashman in the third period. Gerry Cheevers makes 33 saves for his fifth playoff shutout. Orr becomes the fourth player to score two Cup-winning goals in his NHL career.
May 8, 1970: Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins wins the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player, becoming the first defenseman to win the award since Babe Pratt in 1944. It's the first of three consecutive MVP awards for Orr, who also wins the Norris Trophy as the League's top defenseman for the third straight season.
May 7, 1972: Bobby Orr supplies the offense for the Bruins in a 3-2 victory against the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at Madison Square Garden. Orr scores two goals in the first period and sets up a shorthanded goal by Don Marcotte late in the second. The three-point game gives Orr 22 points, breaking his own single-season NHL record for defensemen of 20 in 1970.
May 4, 1972: The New York Rangers win their first Stanley Cup Final game at Madison Square Garden since 1940 by defeating the Boston Bruins 5-2 in Game 3. Defenseman Brad Park scores two goals and has two assists for the Rangers, who haven't played a home game in the Final since April 3, 1940. In the 1950 Final, New York played two "home" games at Toronto and the rest at Detroit because the Garden was hosting the circus.
May 4, 1969: The Montreal Canadiens complete their second straight sweep in the Stanley Cup Final by defeating the St. Louis Blues 2-1 in Game 4 at St. Louis Arena. Ted Harris and John Ferguson score in the first 3:03 of the third period, and goalie Rogie Vachon makes 32 saves. The Canadiens limit the Blues to three goals in four games. Montreal's Serge Savard wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, becoming the first defenseman to win the award.
May 3, 1979: Jean Ratelle completes a hat trick by scoring 3:46 into overtime, giving the Bruins a 4-3 win against the Canadiens in Game 4 of the Semifinals at Boston Garden. The win evens the best-of-7 series 2-2. It's the only playoff hat trick in Ratelle's Hall of Fame career.
April 26, 1977: Ken Dryden becomes the fourth goalie in NHL history with 50 victories in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the first to do so with the Montreal Canadiens. The milestone comes when he makes 19 saves in a 3-0 win against the Islanders at the Forum in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals.
April 25, 1972: Bobby Orr has three assists in the Boston Bruins' 5-3 victory against the St. Louis Blues at St. Louis Arena in Game 4 of the Semifinals, completing a four-game sweep. Orr finishes the first two rounds of the playoffs with 15 assists, the most ever by a defenseman in one playoff year. He breaks the mark set by Team Canada 1972 teammate Pat Stapleton of the Chicago Blackhawks and J.C. Tremblay of the Montreal Canadiens one year earlier.
April 24, 1983: Brad Park carries the Bruins into the second round of the playoffs when his goal at 1:52 of overtime in Game 7 gives Boston a 3-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres in the Adams Division Final at Boston Garden. Park ties the game 2-2 with a power-play goal midway through the second period before beating Bob Sauve for the win. He becomes the first player in NHL history to score the final goal in regulation and get the overtime goal in a seventh game. Park also becomes the first NHL defenseman to score two goals in a Game 7, and he scores the 1,000th playoff goal in Bruins' history.
April 19, 1962: Two future Hockey Hall of Fame members, defenseman Tim Horton and center Stan Mikita, set Stanley Cup Playoff records in Toronto's 8-4 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 of the Final at Maple Leaf Gardens. Horton, not known for his offense, assists on three of Toronto's goals, giving him 15 points, a record for defensemen in one playoff year. Mikita sets up two second-period goals to break Gordie Howe's single-season record with 21 points. His 15 assists are also a record for one playoff year.
April 11, 1975: The New York Islanders establish their own identity by stunning the New York Rangers when J.P. Parise scores 11 seconds into overtime for a 4-3 victory in the third and deciding game of their Preliminary Round series at Madison Square Garden. Parise jams a pass by Jude Drouin from the right corner past Ed Giacomin before many of the fans at the Garden have returned to their seats after intermission. It's the fastest overtime goal in playoff history, a mark that stands until 1989. Islanders general manager Bill Torrey later says Parise's goal is more important to the organization than the overtime goal by Bobby Nystrom that won the Stanley Cup in 1980. "That goal put us on the map," Torrey recalls years later.
April 11, 1971: Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins becomes the first defenseman since 1922 to have a hat trick in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Orr scores three goals in a 5-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens at the Forum in Game 4 of the Quarterfinals. He ties the game 1-1 midway through the second period and scores twice in the third to help the Bruins even the series at two wins each.
April 5, 1970: Bobby Orr has a second-period assist in the Boston Bruins' final game of the season, a 3-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Garden, to become the first defenseman to lead the NHL in scoring. Orr finishes with 120 points (33 goals, 87 assists) in 76 games.
April 5, 1980: Marcel Dionne wins his only NHL scoring title by getting two assists in the Los Angeles Kings' 5-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Dionne finishes the season with 53 goals and 137 points. Edmonton Oilers' Wayne Gretzky also has 137 points, but Dionne wins the Art Ross Trophy because he scores two more goals.
April 4, 1979: Montreal's Ken Dryden becomes the first goaltender to win at least 30 games in each of his first seven NHL seasons. Dryden gets his 30th and final win of the 1978-79 season in the Canadiens' 4-1 victory against the Red Wings at the Forum. He retires a few weeks later after helping the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup for the fourth consecutive year.
April 3, 1971: Boston defenseman Bobby Orr sets up three goals in an 8-3 win against Toronto at Maple Leaf Gardens to become the first player in NHL history to have 100 assists in one season.
April 2, 1972: On the same day, Vic Hadfield becomes the first player in Rangers history to score 50 goals in a season. Hadfield, playing with a broken thumb, reaches the mark when he beats Denis DeJordy of the Montreal Canadiens for his second goal of the game at 14:46 of the third period at Madison Square Garden. Hadfield gets an ovation from the packed house at the Garden.
March 30, 1976: Center Jean Ratelle reaches the 100-point mark when he scores a goal and has two assists for the Boston Bruins in a 4-4 tie against the Buffalo Sabres at Boston Garden. Ratelle, acquired from the Rangers on Nov. 7, 1975, becomes the first NHL player to have 100 points while playing for two teams in the same season.
March 30, 1969: Pat Stapleton of the Chicago Blackhawks ties an NHL single-game record for defensemen with six assists in a 9-5 win against the Detroit Red Wings. Stapleton also becomes the first defenseman in League history to be credited with 50 assists in one season.
March 29, 1970: Chicago Blackhawks rookie goaltender Tony Esposito gets his 15th shutout of the season, an NHL record for rookie goalies, in a 4-0 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Chicago Stadium. Esposito, claimed from the Montreal Canadiens in the intraleague draft, wins the Calder and Vezina trophies as the League's outstanding rookie and goaltender. The 15 shutouts are the most by any goalie since 1929.
March 29, 1973: Philadelphia Flyers center Bobby Clarke becomes the first player from an expansion team to score 100 points in a season. His 100th point is a goal that helps the Flyers defeat the Atlanta Flames 4-2 at the Spectrum.
March 28, 1967: Chicago center Stan Mikita and Detroit forward Gordie Howe each makes history in the Blackhawks 7-2 win against the Red Wings at Chicago Stadium. Mikita gets his 60th assist of the season, breaking his own single-season record of 59, set in 1964-65. Howe becomes the first player in NHL history to reach 1,500 points when he assists on a goal by Bruce MacGregor midway through the first period.
March 27, 1973: Mickey Redmond becomes the first 50-goal scorer in the history of the Detroit Red Wings when he scores twice in an 8-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Maple Leaf Gardens. Redmond is the seventh NHL player to reach the 50-goal plateau, joining Maurice Richard and Bernie Geoffrion of the Montreal Canadiens as well as Phil Esposito and Johnny Bucyk of the Boston Bruins, Bobby Hull of the Chicago Blackhawks and Vic Hadfield of the New York Rangers. Redmond scores his 50th at 16:47 of the third period, beating Toronto goaltender Ron Low, then scores his 51st at 17:05. He breaks the Red Wings record of 49 goals held by Gordie Howe and Frank Mahovlich. "I must admit, I didn't even see the puck," Redmond said of his 50th, a deflection of a shot by defenseman Gary Bergman. "I just saw the goalie look behind him and I knew I must have got it."
March 26, 1980: Tony Esposito of the Chicago Blackhawks becomes the first goaltender in NHL history with eight 30-win seasons. Esposito's milestone victory comes in a 7-2 road victory against the Quebec Nordiques, the Blackhawks' first win in Quebec. It also comes 10 years to the day after Esposito breaks Harry Lumley's 16-year-old "modern" record with his 14th shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory against the Detroit Red Wings.
March 24, 1978: Phil Esposito sets an NHL record with his 29th hat trick when his New York Rangers defeat the Washington Capitals 11-4 at Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland. Esposito, who also has an assist, passes the mark set by his former linemate, Bobby Hull of the Chicago Blackhawks
March 22, 1970: Boston's Bobby Orr sets two marks by scoring two goals and assisting on two others a 5-0 win against the visiting Minnesota North Stars. Orr scores late in the first period and again with 1:03 remaining in the third; the second goal makes him the first defenseman in NHL history to score 30 in a season, The two assists give Orr 78, surpassing the NHL single-season record of 77 set by teammate Phil Esposito in 1968-69.
March 22, 1964: Eddie Johnston of the Boston Bruins becomes the last goalie in NHL history to play every minute of every game in a season. As is the case in each of Boston's first 69 games, Johnston is in goal for the Bruins' season finale against the Chicago Blackhawks. And as is usually the case, he loses; the Blackhawks score four times on 40 shots and hold off the Bruins for a 4-3 victory at Boston Garden. The loss leaves Johnston with a record of 18-40-12 and a 3.01 goals-against average in 70 games for the last-place Bruins.
March 21, 1974: Boston's Bobby Orr scores three goals for his fifth NHL hat trick and reaches the 30-goal mark after promising a gravely ill 16-year-old boy he will score a goal for him. The Bruins defeat the St. Louis Blues 7-0 at Boston Garden.
HAPPY 71st BIRTHDAY BOBBY ORR
Thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame for Bobby's bio:
Truly special athletes, the ones that fathers talk about to their sons and daughters, change the game they play. Arguments emerged late in the 20th century about who most deserved to be called the greatest hockey player of all time. Perhaps it was the retirement of Wayne Gretzky in 1999, surely a contender as hockey player of the century, or perhaps it was a desire to sum up 100 years of a sport that had come into its own and grown exponentially around the world that led to these discussions.
Hockey fans in Parry Sound, Ontario, in the late 1950s saw a lot of this hockey genius in its infancy. Doug Orr, Bobby's dad, had been a speedy player and gifted scorer in his own right. He wanted his son, still small for his age but also enormously talented, to play forward in order to take advantage of his speed and puckhandling abilities. Bucko McDonald, a former NHLer who played defense in the 1930s and 1940s and coached Bobby when the youngster was 11 and 12, believed his charge had all the makings of an outstanding defenseman. He taught Bobby the ins and outs of the position and encouraged him to use his offensive skills as well.
Professional teams agreed. The Boston Bruins went to unusual lengths to land the small prospect. When Orr was 14, Boston made arrangements for him to play with the Oshawa Generals in the metro Junior A League. He continued to live at home and commute to each game. Though he didn't attend a single practice with the team, Orr was selected to the league's Second All-Star Team. All the speedy youngster required was size to make him a bona fide star. He was 5'6" and 135 pounds at 14. The next year, when he moved to an Oshawa high school and played in the Ontario junior league, he was 5'9" and 25 pounds heavier. By the time his junior career was over - when he was all of 17 and a man playing with boys - he was a sturdy 6' and almost 200 pounds. The phenomenon Boston fans had been reading about since he was a freckle-faced kid with a brushcut was ready to enter the professional game.
In his first National Hockey League game, against the Detroit Red Wings and Gordie Howe, 18-year-old Orr impressed the home crowd and the many reporters with his defensive abilities. He blocked shots, made checks and moved opposing players away from the net. He also recorded his first point - an assist.
Orr was better than good in his first season. He won the Calder Trophy as the best rookie and also made the NHL's Second All-Star Team. He was second in the league in scoring by defensemen and was a plus-30. Not only did he score and pass, he fought when needed, defeating his opponent more often than not, and could play a physical game. But some observers felt he was too daring, that he left himself open to hits with his all-out rushes and that his body had yet to develop to sustain him over the regular-season grind. Orr did suffer an injury in his rookie season, hurting his left knee on a daring rush. It was the beginning of a long battle with his knees that eventually ended his career.
Orr won his first Stanley Cup in 1970 and it was with a flourish only he could manage. His Bruins, a team that hadn't won the Cup in 29 years, were attempting to sweep the St. Louis Blues in the finals. Game four went into overtime. Orr had taken Derek Sanderson's pass from the corner and flashed in front of the net to bury it behind Blues goalie Glenn Hall. As Orr streaked past the net, he was upended by defenseman Noel Picard. Orr jumped, or flew, as he saw the puck beat Hall and the arena erupted. The resulting picture, with Orr's arms raised and his body floating three feet above the ice, was in newspapers and magazines around the world. Orr was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs' most valuable player, an award he would win when Boston again won the title in 1972, again with the Cup-winning goal coming off Orr's stick.
Orr revolutionized the sport with his scoring ability and playmaking from the blue line. Other defenders, beginning as early as Lester Patrick in the nascent days of the game, had been offensive threats, but Orr dominated. He won two scoring titles, the only defender to accomplish that feat, and had career season highs of 46 goals and 102 assists. More than just statistics, Orr had the ability to control the game, to take over. He had the speed to float away from defenders and also to recover should he lose possession or get caught on a rush. Often, odd-man rushes in the other team's favour were reversed by his effortless strides. Some argued that he wasn't defensively sound, but hockey people rejected these claims.
For eight consecutive seasons Orr won the Norris Trophy as the best defenseman and three times he was the league's most valuable player to collect the Hart Trophy. Orr's plus-minus rating when he was at his best was untouchable at plus-124 in 1970-71, when he scored 139 points.
At the beginning of the 1971-72 season, Orr signed a contract that guaranteed him $200,000 per season over five years. It was the first $1 million deal in hockey and Orr's agent, Alan Eagleson, predicted at the time that Orr would someday own part of the team if he continued to star for Boston. As it turned out, when it came time to negotiate a new contract prior to the 1976-77 season, the Bruins did offer Orr a piece of the ownership but the star player said his agent never informed him of the proposed deal. Orr, who had struggled with his left knee and played only 10 games in 1975-76, felt as though Boston no longer wanted him and signed instead with the Chicago Black Hawks. Once considered the saviour and then the hero of the rejuvenated Bruins, Orr left the team that had been a part of his career since he was a teen in Parry Sound.
Orr took advantage of a chance to play in a major international competition - the 1976 Canada Cup - when Chicago management gave him permission to play. Having missed all of the Summit Series, the Canada Cup proved to be Orr's only major appearance in a competition against the best the world had to offer. He was outstanding in the Canadian team's run to the championship. He was co-leader of the team in scoring, finishing the seven games tied with another great defender, the New York Islanders' Denis Potvin, with nine points. Orr was selected to the tournament All-Star team and capped the experience with the most valuable player award.
Orr's performance at the Canada Cup had the Chicago faithful energized for his first appearance in colours other than Bruins black and gold. But Orr's left knee would once again impede his career. He played 20 games of his first season in Chicago weakened by his sixth operation on the knee in April 1976. He spent the entire 1977-78 season recuperating, trying to revive his battered knee, which doctors described as nothing but bone rubbing bone after so many operations and injuries.
He made a valiant attempt to return, playing six games at the start of the 1978-79 season. Though Orr didn't feel incredible amounts of pain, he was limited in his movements and unable to practise much with the team. In one game against the Detroit Red Wings, he was on the ice for four Detroit goals and described his play as "terrible." At the age of 30, he decided he was only hindering his Chicago squad. Howard Cosell, the legendary sportscaster, announced in October 1978 that Orr had retired, though it later turned out he had mistaken Orr for Bobby Hull, who was also contemplating leaving the game. A few days later, Orr called Cosell and told him he was indeed retiring and asked him to attend the press conference. Cosell refused, jokingly saying that he didn't "cover old news."
Because of his continuing problems, Orr had never collected a paycheck from the Black Hawks. He said he was paid to play hockey, and after his retirement he accepted a reduced salary to become an assistant coach, a position he had filled while sitting out the year before.
Orr was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979. He worked frequently with charities in the coming years and maintained close links with the game. He later became an agent, helping young players benefit by sharing his difficult early experiences through the business side of the sport. In 2003, the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame opened in his hometown of Parry Sound, Ontario.
March 15, 1979: Phil Esposito, now with the Rangers, scores four goals in New York's 7-4 victory against the Bruins at Boston Garden. It's the 31st hat trick of Esposito's NHL career.
March 15, 1970: Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins becomes the first defenseman in NHL history to have 100 points in a season. He reaches the milestone by scoring two goals and assisting on two more in a 5-5 tie with the Detroit Red Wings at Boston Garden. Orr enters the game with 97 points, then scores a goal and has an assist in the first period. Point No. 100 comes when he scores a shorthanded goal on an end-to-end rush 27 seconds into the second period, and he assists on a third-period power-play goal by Phil Esposito. Orr is the fourth player in League history to have 100 points in a season, joining Esposito, Bobby Hull and Gordie Howe; he's the first to have 100 points and 100 penalty minutes in the same season. Orr finishes the season with 120 points, becoming the first defenseman in NHL history to win the scoring title.
March 14, 1971: Future Hockey Hall of Famer Ken Dryden, a late-season call-up from the minors, makes his NHL debut with the Canadiens in a 5-1 victory against the Penguins at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena. Dryden finishes with 35 saves, allowing only a goal by John Stewart.
March 12, 1974: Bobby Orr becomes the first player to score 100 points for five straight seasons when he has an assist in the Boston Bruins' 4-0 win against the Buffalo Sabres at Boston Garden. Gilles Gilbert gets his seventh NHL shutout.
March 11, 1971: Phil Esposito of the Boston Bruins scores twice in a 7-2 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at the Forum in Inglewood, California, to become the NHL's all-time single-season leader in goals. Esposito breaks Bobby Hull's single-season record of 58 when he scores No. 59, beating Denis DeJordy at 7:03 of the first period. He becomes the first NHL player to score 60 goals in a season when he beats DeJordy again at 15:40 of the second period. Teammate Johnny Bucyk surpasses another Hull record by scoring two goals, giving him 99 points and surpassing Hull's single-season mark for left wings. The Bruins also become the first NHL team to win 50 games in one season.
March 9, 975: Bobby Orr of the Bruins sets the NHL single-season record for goals by a defenseman when he scores his 38th in a 5-2 win against the visiting Atlanta Flames. He breaks his own mark, set in 1970-71. Orr finishes the season with 46 goals. He also has three assists and becomes the first defenseman in League history to reach 600 in his career.
March 8, 1977: Bobby Orr announces he will not be able to play for the remainder of the 1976-77 season because of knee problems. But Orr, in his first season with Chicago, also says he's not contemplating retirement. He finishes with 23 points (four goals, 19 assists) in his first season with the Blackhawks. After sitting out 1977-78, Orr returns to play six games in 1978-79 before retiring.
March 6,1971: The Boston Bruins defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 at the Civic Arena to set an NHL record for most wins in a season. It's their 47th victory, one more than the mark of 46 set by the Montreal Canadiens in 1968-69.Phil Esposito scores three goals and sets a modern NHL record with his sixth hat trick of the season.
March 5, 1985: Marcel Dionne has an assist in the Kings' 6-0 victory against the Penguins to become the first player in NHL history to score 100 points in a season eight times in his career.
March 5, 1977: Marcel Dionne scores a goal in the Los Angeles Kings' 3-3 tie against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Forum in Inglewood, California, to become the first player in Kings history to have 100 points in a season. Dionne, a 121-point scorer with the Detroit Red Wings in 1974-75, also becomes the first player in NHL history to score 100 points with two different teams.
March 5, 1972: Brad Park becomes the third defenseman in NHL history to score 20 goals in a season when he beats Dunc Wilson in the third period of the Rangers' 6-1 victory against the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden. Park joins Flash Hollett (1943-44) and Bobby Orr, who does in it 1971-72 for the fourth of seven consecutive seasons.
March 5, 969: Phil Esposito assists on each of the Boston Bruins' goals in a 2-2 tie with the Detroit Red Wings at Boston Garden. The assists are Esposito's 62nd and 63rd of the season, setting an NHL single-season record.
March 3, 1968: In one of the biggest trades in NHL history, the Toronto Maple Leafs send forwards Frank Mahovlich, Pete Stemkowski and Garry Unger to the Red Wings. Norm Ullman, Floyd Smith and Paul Henderson go to Toronto.
March 2, 1969: Phil Esposito becomes the first player in NHL history to have 100 points in a season when he scores two third-period goals in the Boston Bruins' 4-0 victory against the Penguins at Boston Garden. The milestone comes one night after he breaks the single-season points record of 97 held by Stan Mikita of the Blackhawks.
Francesca Wood's Grade 8 class at Loretto Elementary School in Niagara Falls focusing on growth mindset with 28-8 The Power of Teamwork program. Loretto is one of 8 Niagara Catholic District School Board schools running a pilot of Team Canada 72's National Curriculum Project - 28,800 Secoinds: The Power of Teamwork.
February 28, 1974: Boston Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr is credited with the 499th and 500th assists of his NHL career in his 522nd game, an 8-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings at Boston Garden. Ross Brooks, Boston's 36-year-old rookie goaltender, ties an NHL record with his 14th consecutive victory.
February 27, 1977: Stan Mikita becomes the eighth player in NHL history to score 500 goals. Mikita joins the 500-goal club when he lifts a backhand shot over Cesare Maniago with 6:04 remaining in the third period of the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Chicago Stadium.
February 24, 1968: Rod Gilbert of the Rangers sets an NHL record with 16 shots and scores on four of them in a 6-1 victory against the Montreal Canadiens at the Forum. It is the fourth NHL hat trick for Gilbert, a Montreal native.
Spring training can be weird. Last February, the Nationals were visited by a camel. Earlier Nationals pitchers spent the day throwing lettuce. Later Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Orr stopped by the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches to meet the Nationals. According to MASN, Bobby, now serves as a hockey agent and lives near West Palm Beach in Jupiter, Florida. He is friendly with the Nationals’ visiting clubhouse manager, Matt Rosenthal, whose son plays youth hockey. Rosenthal invited Orr to come see camp and meet the players, but no one was as excited as Adam Eaton. “I mean, arguably top two players of all time? Arguably,” Eaton said to MASN. “I mean, I was speechless. It’s hard for me to be speechless, as you know. It’s hard for me to be at a loss for words. And I wanted to talk to him, but nothing came out when I was talking. It’s really cool.” Eaton posted about meeting Bobby on his Instagram. Mike Rizzo, the Nationals General Manager and known Chicago Blackhawks fan, was in awe while giving Bobby a tour. He said he got a photo and will frame it in his office. “And on top of it all, he’s a great human being,” Eaton said. “I really enjoyed the 30 seconds I got to talk to him. It was awesome. Probably the highlight of my spring training. It already happened.”
February 20, 1972 – Jean Ratelle became the first player in Rangers history to tally 100 points in a season, accomplishing the feat as the Blueshirts defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 4-3, at MSG.
February 22, 1983: Marcel Dionne of the Los Angeles Kings becomes the NHL's first nine-time 40-goal scorer. His 40th goal of the season comes 8:03 into the third period of a 5-3 win against the Boston Bruins at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
February 22, 1964: In one of the biggest trades in NHL history, the Toronto Maple Leafs send defensemen Arnie Brown and Rod Seiling with forwards Bill Collins, Dick Duff and Bob Nevin to the New York Rangers for forwards Andy Bathgate and Don McKenney. The trade works out well for each team: Bathgate and McKenney help Toronto win the Stanley Cup in 1964, and Brown, Seiling and Nevin are keys to the revival of the Rangers. In 1972 Seiling is a member of Team Canada in the historic Summit Series. Exactly 45 years later, the Rangers retire Bathgate's No. 9.
Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Esposito had a trio of birthday celebrations. 1971: On his 29th birthday, Esposito becomes the fourth player in NHL history to score 50 goals in a season, joining Maurice Richard, Bobby Hull and Bernie Geoffrion. The Boston Bruins center scores in a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at the Forum in Inglewood, California. 1972: Esposito celebrates his 30th birthday by scoring two goals, including his 50th of the season. He also has an assist in Boston's 3-1 win against the his former team, the Chicago Blackhawks, at Chicago Stadium. It's Esposito's second straight 50-goal season. 1974: Two years later, Esposito again reaches 50 goals on his birthday. This time, he becomes the first player in NHL history with four straight 50-goal seasons by scoring three times for his 22nd NHL hat trick in Boston's 5-5 tie against the Minnesota North Stars at Met Center.
February 19, 1977: Rod Gilbert scores a goal and has an assist to become the 11th player in NHL history and the first member of the Rangers to earn 1,000 points. He reaches the milestone in his 1,027th NHL game, a 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
February 18, 1970: Bobby Orr scores his record-setting 22nd goal of the season, beating Wayne Rutledge during the Boston Bruins' 5-5 tie with the Kings at the Forum in Inglewood, California. Orr breaks his own NHL single-season mark for goals by a defenseman, set the previous season. He finishes with 33 goals.
February 17, 1979: Montreal's Ken Dryden earns his 46th and final NHL shutout when the Canadiens defeat the Washington Capitals 2-0 at the Forum. The win gives Dryden a record of 22-1-4 in his past 27 games.
February 16, 1980: Jean Ratelle of the Boston Bruins has an assist in a 5-3 win against the Colorado Rockies in Denver to move past Beliveau into seventh place on the NHL's all-time scoring list. The assist gives him 1,220 points. Ratelle finishes his NHL career in 1981 with 1,267 and is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame five years later.
February 14, 1988: Marcel Dionne passes Phil Esposito to move into second place on the NHL all-time goal-scoring list when he scores two power-play goals for the New York Rangers in a 4-4 tie with the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Dionne's two goals give him 719 for his NHL career, two more than Esposito.
February 13, 1975: Bobby Orr has an assist for the Boston Bruins in a 3-1 road loss to the Buffalo Sabres to become the first player in NHL history to reach 100 points in six consecutive seasons. It's the final 100-point season of his NHL career.
February 11, 1968: The New York Rangers rally for a 3-3 tie with Detroit in the final game played at the old Madison Square Garden. Rod Gilbert has three assists for New York, including one on Jean Ratelle's game-tying goal in the third period that turns out to be the last in the old Garden. The Rangers play their first game in the new (and current) Garden one week later.
February 6, 1971: Phil Esposito scores a goal and assists on two others in the Bruins' 4-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres at Boston Garden. The three-point night gives Espo back-to-back 100-point seasons.
Ronald McDonald House New York has selected New York Ranger Hockey Club veteran player and Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert to be honoured with the Child's Champion Award at the Friday, February 22, 2019 25th Annual Skate With the Greats at the Rink at Rockefeller Center. The recognition is bestowed upon Rod Gilbert in honour of his 25th year participating in this signature event raising awareness and millions of dollars for children with cancer. All ticket holders will have the opportunity to meet, greet and skate with many of your favourite New York Ranger Alumni Greats for autographs and photograph opportunities. It is truly an event for both your business associates as well as the whole family especially any hockey fan young or old. Please join with Rod Gilbert in support of helping the children and their families at Ronald McDonald House New York. For Skate With The Greats special Silver Anniversary memorabilia, event tickets or financial support www.rmh.newyork.org/events/skate. Ronald McDonald House New York provides a temporary home for paediatric cancer patients and their families in a strong, supportive and caring environment which encourages and nurtures the development of child-to-child and parent-to-parent support systems.
February 2, 1980: Phil Esposito of the New York Rangers becomes the second player in NHL history to score 700 goals when he gets Nos. 699 and 700 in a 6-3 victory against the Washington Capitals in Landover, Maryland. He scores No. 699 in the second period, then joins Gordie Howe in the NHL's 700-goal club early in the third period by taking a pass from Don Maloney and beating Wayne Stephenson with a wrist shot.
February 2, 1974: Bobby Clarke has six points, including his second NHL hat trick, Ross Lonsberry scores three goals and Simon Nolet has a goal and four assists in the Philadelphia Flyers' 12-2 win against Detroit at the Spectrum. It's the first double hat trick in Flyers' history.
One of the most storied teams in Belleville's rich hockey history took centre stage at CAA Arena Friday evening. The Belleville McFarlands were honoured for the 60th anniversary of their 1959 World Championship victory on the second annual History of Hockey Weekend prior to the Belleville Senators game versus the Toronto Marlies. As part of the event, the Senators rebranded their current fan zone as a nostalgic nod to the team that took the city - and the country - by storm six decades ago. Included in the update was the opening of McFarland's Pub, a display of memorabilia from the Hockey Hall of Fame, and a silent jersey auction and raffle for fans. Seven former McFarland's made the return to Belleville, with the majority of them having played on the 1958 Allan Cup Senior Championship team.
One of those ex-McFarland's, Red Berenson, was a 19-year old star at the University of Michigan in 1959 and wound up going on to play nearly 1,000 games in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings. He says his time with the McFarland's was one of his big career highlights and that it was nice to see some old friends and share some stories. "“It was a great event when it happened, when we all played together in 1959, when we won the World Championship. I haven’t seen some of these guys since then, because I went back to college. I was the youngest player on the team and was on a different path. It’s great to see some of them and some of them are still doing pretty well and looking pretty good." The team was backed by strong goaltending from Gordie Bell, and stellar defence from the likes of Jean-Paul Lamirande, Al Dewsbury and Belleville's own Floyd Crawford, who captained the team. Up front, the likes of Berenson, Belleville natives Wayne "Weiner" Brown and Lionel Botly, Prince Edward County's Keith MacDonald, player-coach Ike Hildebrand, Pete Conacher and others were the men who dazzled with their speed, finesse and scoring ability. "I was in awe of how good these guys were and they were playing senior hockey," Berenson said. "They had the camaraderie and the confidence, because they already won the Allan Cup, they knew how to win and they were a great big family. They loved each other and they played hard for each other. It was a great experience for me as a young player." The native of Regina, Saskatchewan added it’s important for young hockey fans to understand just how much a team like this means to a small-town-type city like Belleville and events like this certainly help develop that understanding. "I remember when I was a kid and they would celebrate former junior players or pro players and I looked up to all of them. I thought it was magical to be able to meet them and get their autograph. You can see a little bit of that here." Chief Operating Officer of the Senators Rob Mullowney says the special part about the weekend was to reunite long-time teammates and rekindle fond memories. "It's really a privledge for us to host them and pay tribute. That's something I think we'll never see happen again, a local senior hockey team winning a world championship. It's a tremendous part of the rich history of this community and we're really proud to tell that story." Those memories from the late 1950s were plentiful from all players and their families, but one that stuck out for Wayne "Weiner" Brown was proudly wearing the maple leaf on his chest for Canada at the World Championships in the former Czechoslovakia. "When we were in Prague, and you put the Canadian flag on and you're behind the iron curtain, it makes you a hero," an emotional Brown said. For Berenson, beating the former Soviet Union, who had been the pre-tournament favourite due to their vast depth of professional-type players, was a highlight that stood out. "When we played the Russians, there were no Russians in the NHL then. The best Russians were playing on that team. We beat them 3-1." The Senators wore McFarland’s-inspired uniforms for Friday night’s game against the Marlies and will also don them for Saturday’s contest. Following Saturday's game, the jerseys will be auctioned off and Mullowney said the proceeds will go back to minor hockey in the area. The players who were able to return were honoured on the ice in a pre-game ceremony as well and dropped the puck prior to Friday's game. A documentary of the McFarland's championship success was also played before the game on the big screen inside CAA Arena.
Injuries are a part of life, and most certainly a part of sports. There is no doubt that if Buffalo Sabres fabled sniper Rick Martin had not sustained a career-ending injury he would have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame long ago. Martin would likely have played at least five more years in the NHL. He also would have easily attained the shoo-in induction numbers of 500 goals and 1,000 points. Martin was a Paul Bunyan-esque player, at least in terms of his explosive shot. There are tales in Buffalo of Bernie Parent’s eyes growing as big as saucers at the sight of a Martin slap shot. Gilles Meloche suffered cracked ribs after stopping one. There was even talk of a Martin howitzer beating a goalie and ripping out the back of the net so fast that it was missed by everyone including the goal judge. These aren’t tall tales, Martin was a legendary player when he played and was nearly unstoppable. But injuries do happen and Martin sustained a devastating one during a November 8, 1980 game against the Washington Capitals. A collision with Caps’ goalie Mike Palmateer, in which Palmateer kicked Martin’s knee, caused the leftwinger to suffer severe cartilage damage. The injury all but ended Martin’s career, and led to a lawsuit in which then Sabres’ coach Scotty Bowman and the team’s physician were both named. His injury is the reason why Martin is not yet in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but it is the only one. On the contrary, there are numerous reasons for his induction that we shall discuss, and possibly right a wrong by garnering enough attention. Rick Martin – A Remarkable Rookie Season The Sabres made Rick Martin the fifth overall selection in the 1971 draft. Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne, Jocelyn Guevremont, and Gene Carr were the only players chosen ahead of him. Obviously, Martin forged a greater career than at least two of those players. In his rookie 1971-72 season, Martin was better than a point per game player. With 74 points in 73 games, he tied with eventual “French Connection” linemate Gilbert Perreault for most points on the team though Martin achieved it in three less games. The year prior, the sleek center, Perreault, had set the NHL record for goals in a season by a rookie with 38. Martin broke that record when he notched 44 tallies. More importantly, Martin quickly established himself as one of the premier goal scorers in the NHL in only his first year. Those 44 markers placed him sixth in the league, beating out established scorers such as Hall of Famers Frank Mahovlich, Johnny Bucyk, Stan Mikita and Rod Gilbert as well as other proven vets like Mickey Redmond, Dennis Hull and Bill Goldsworthy. Martin finished second to Canadiens star goaltender Ken Dryden in Calder Trophy voting as the league’s top rookie. In retrospect, the argument could have been made that the 1971-72 Calder should have been Martin’s. While Dryden was still technically a rookie in regards to games played, he had already showcased his immense talent the year prior when he backstopped Montreal to a Stanley Cup title. A Scoring Machine With “The French Connection” In March of Martin’s rookie season, the Sabres traded colorful veteran Eddie Shack to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for right winger Rene Robert. With the trade, the Sabres had assembled the pieces of what would be the most dominant forward line of the 1970s. Although we won’t focus on the trio but will specifically stick to discussing Martin and his accomplishments, it should be noted that “The French Connection” have all had their jerseys retired by the Sabres, and hockey fans are well aware of their dominance. Martin’s performance individually may oftentimes be overlooked due to the trio’s success as a unit. Martin became the premier left winger throughout much of the 1970s. Five times between 1971 and 1980 Martin surpassed the 40-goal mark. Within that span, he found the back of the net 375 times in the regular season. He nearly had three straight seasons of 50 goals: 52 in 1973-74 and 1974-75 and 49 goals in 1975-76. He still has the Sabres’ record for most hat tricks in a career with 21, ranked third all-time among left-wingers of the modern era. Because of his immense production, Martin was named a First Team All-Star in 1974 and 1975. Then, a Second Team All-Star in 1976 and 1977. He also played in seven straight All-Star Games from 1972 to 1978. No left winger was more dominant. Don’t believe it? Comparing Martin to Other Left Wingers - Martin scored 384 career goals, but we will focus on the 375 from 1971 to 1980, mainly because this total came before his injury. Once Martin sustained the knee injury, his production was still there (more on that shortly) but he couldn’t play regularly. Two of Martin’s contemporaries on the left side who have received Hall of Fame induction are former Philadelphia Flyers great Bill Barber and Canadiens great Steve Shutt. Both Barber and Shutt are often thought of as the best players at their position during their careers, and overshadow Martin in most discussions but they weren’t more productive. While Martin’s rookie season was in 1971-72, Barber and Shutt first played in 1972-73. To be fair, we will look at their production through 1980-81 in order to give the same time frame for comparison. Looking at those years, Barber scored 326 goals—49 less than Martin – and had one 50-goal season as opposed to Martin’s two. Shutt scored exactly the same number of goals as Barber in that span—326. While Shutt had a 60-goal season, it was the only time that he would score above 50 in a year. It is shocking to see it spelled out that way. Martin’s Astounding Goals per Game - The most telling number of Martin’s career is the rate at which he scored per game. He scored 384 times in only 685 games. It is astounding that Martin’s 0.561 goals scored per game is the eleventh highest in NHL history. His rate of goal production is better than each of these Hall of Famers: Phil Esposito, Maurice Richard, Marcel Dionne, Cam Neely, Pat LaFontaine, Guy Lafleur, Howie Morenz, Mike Gartner, Teemu Selanne… need we go on? Martin left the game with such a high number intact because he still managed to produce after his injury. Bowman traded him to the Los Angeles Kings on March 10, 1981, in exchange for draft picks. Still nagged by a knee that regularly filled with fluid, Martin still played four games with the Kings and in those four games, he scored two goals and four assists. A Posthumous Induction for Martin - Martin did not win a Stanley Cup. Some would argue that is why Barber and Shutt are in the Hall, but he is not. He came close in 1975 as Buffalo lost in the Finals to the Flyers. He tied with Perreault in playoff scoring during the Sabres’ Cup run, each with 15 points in 17 games and he was the Sabres’ leading scorer in the Final. In six games against Bernie Parent and the Flyers, he had two goals and four assists. While there is no Stanley Cup championship to his name, Martin should be in the Hall of Fame from his play alone. His production, the regularity at which he did it, and the depth of his numbers still stand. He belongs. Sadly, if and when Rick Martin is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, it will be done posthumously. Martin passed away in March 2011 from a heart attack while he was driving. It would have been a great tribute for him to have witnessed and taken part in his own induction. However, it would be most meaningful now for his family to see an honor bestowed upon him just the same. One he should have received long ago.
January 25th is a very special day for Team Canada 72's inspirational leader Phil Esposito. On January 25, 1964: as a rookie centre for the Chicago Blackhawks Phil scored his first very NHL goal of his storied career. He beat Detroit Red Wings goalie and future Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk at 16:01 of the second period during a 5-3 loss at Olympia Stadium. Exactly 8 years later on January 25, 1972 Phil's Boston Bruin teammate defenseman Bobby Orr set Phil up for the winning goal early in the third period to lift the East Division All-Stars to a 3-2 victory against the West Division at the NHL All-Star Game in Bloomington, Minnesota. Bobby earned the MVP award after the East rallies for the win.
January 21, 1985: Dionne scores a first-period goal against the Edmonton Oilers. It's the 611th of his NHL career, moving him past Bobby Hull into third place on the all-time list.
By Timothy Garske/mgoblue.com - GLOUCESTER, Mass. -- The America Hockey Coaches Association announced its 2019 awards on Friday (Jan. 18) and former legendary Michigan ice hockey head coach Red Berenson is the recipient of the prestigious John MacInnes Award. Berenson, along with the other 2019 award recipients, will be recognized either at a luncheon during the Frozen Four in Buffalo or during the 2019 AHCA Convention in Naples, Florida. Established by the AHCA in 1982 to honour former Michigan Tech coach, John MacInnes, this award recognizes those people who have shown a great concern for amateur hockey and youth programs. The recipients have had high winning percentages, as well as outstanding graduating percentages among their former players. The winners of this award have helped young men grow not only as hockey players, but more importantly, as men. Berenson becomes the second Wolverine to be inducted in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, joining Vic Heyliger, who was inducted in 1992. Michigan went 848-426-92 (.654) in the Berenson era, including the 1996 and 1998 NCAA national championships -- the eighth and ninth in school history. Berenson's accomplishments behind the bench at Michigan put him among the greatest coaches in college hockey history. Under Berenson, the Wolverines qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 23 of the past 27 seasons. His run of 22 consecutive appearances from 1991-2012 marks the longest streak ever in college hockey. In that time, Michigan reached the NCAA Frozen Four 11 times: back-to-back appearances in 1992 and 1993; four consecutive appearances in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998; three consecutive showings between 2001-03; 2008 and 2011. Besides 1996 and 1998, U-M also reached the national title game in 2011, losing 3-2 in overtime to Minnesota-Duluth. A three-year varsity letter winner, Berenson is one of the top players in Michigan hockey history, earning All-America and Michigan Most Valuable Player honours in both his junior and senior seasons (1961, '62). His 43 goals and nine hat tricks in his last season still stand as Michigan records. Berenson holds two degrees from the University of Michigan, his bachelor's degree from the School of Business Administration in 1962 and a Master of Business Administration degree in 1966. Berenson played in the NHL for 17 years as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues. He accumulated 261 goals and 397 assists in 987 games -- the most career points by any Michigan alumnus in the NHL -- leaving an indelible mark on league history. Following his retirement as a player after the 1977-78 season, he served on the coaching staff of the St. Louis Blues and earned the Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year in 1981. Berenson continues to be involved within the Michigan Athletic Department, currently serving as a special advisor to Warde Manuel, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics.
"All of a sudden, I was in New York. I never had a chance to think about it. It was just turn a page, and there I was." by Kevin Mitchell, Saskatoon StarPhoenix. Hockey gave Jim Neilson a prominent name and nose. The latter flows across his face, left to right and back again. Hockey foes shaped those slopes over four decades at rinks from Prince Albert to Oakland. “My nose,” the ever-stoic Neilson says simply, “has been rearranged. I had it straightened one time, and second game back, it’s back where it is now. It’s my characteristic, I guess.” Before putting his most prominent features through the wringer, Neilson was a five-year-old child walking into his new home at a Prince Albert orphanage. He stayed there a dozen years, learned to play hockey, then skated onto Broadway at age 21, playing for the New York Rangers in a world far removed from his humble upbringing. That 1962-63 NHL debut launched a career that didn’t end until 1978-79, when he played one final season with the WHA’s Edmonton Oilers and a rookie named Wayne Gretzky. In between: More than 1,000 NHL games, four all-star nods, two top-five placings in Norris Trophy balloting. He was invited to Team Canada’s training camp prior to the 1972 Summit Series, but pulled out because of a knee injury. Neilson’s three kids have launched a spirited attempt to get the unflappable defensive defenceman into the Hockey Hall of Fame — “maybe,” former teammate Brad Park writes in a support letter, “it is time to honour those who put the defence of their team ahead of crossing the red line.” “When dad started out,” says daughter Dana Neilson, “the goaltenders weren’t wearing masks yet, and he finished his career with Wayne Gretzky as a teammate. “Dad’s story, because of where he came from and how far he went in his career — being on the all-star team with Bobby Orr — you hear these things and think his story is one that should be told. Should it be told in the Hall of Fame? We think so. But it should still be told, as far as we’re concerned.” Neilson’s first home bordered a northern Saskatchewan lake, where his father Olaf Neilson — who moved from his native Denmark in the late 1920s — worked as a mink rancher. His mother, Rosie Rediron, was a Cree from the Big River First Nation, and she left the family and returned to her reserve when the kids were very young. That left Olaf in a tough spot: Busy mink ranch, remote locales, and kids needing to be schooled. He felt the best option was St. Patrick’s Orphanage in Prince Albert, and that became home for Jim and two little sisters. The boy watched out for his siblings, while forming a new family unit in the orphanage. “(Olaf) probably came once a year, and I hardly knew him eventually,” Neilson says now. “I guess that was your family there, you’re so used to them being around, whatever you’re cooking up, and you’re going to school with them. I was basically a true orphan, in a certain sense.” Jim sat in a classroom, did chores, played copious amounts of hockey. He skated against kids from schools around the city, learning on the fly. When he reached his mid-teens, he walked from the orphanage each day to St. Mary High School. Sister Ignatius, a nun at the orphanage and staunch fan of the Detroit Red Wings, slid him extra sandwiches because of his walk, and because of all the calories he burned while playing hockey. Neilson appreciated that nice touch. He liked the orphanage, he says now, except he was often hungry. “I can’t remember too many sour things about the orphanage,” he says. “In essence, that’s probably the only thing I knew. I got there at an early age, and we were all in the same boat. There was a few Native kids there, but it was basically any orientation or background … your house might have burned down, so the kids had to go somewhere. Or maybe a family breakup. A lot of French kids there, some German … everybody and his dog were there. It was a real mixture of people at the orphanage. “And for anything that was negative about it … I can’t really say. It would be so minimal. I was a busy guy at the orphanage. I was good at my work, and with the chores. I got extra duties. The orphanage was fine by me, except we were always hungry. It wasn’t like a government-sponsored deal — it was done mostly by Knights of Columbus, and donations, and things like that. But overall, we survived it, and went up the ladder pretty good from there. I had a good background.” There was no TV at the orphanage, and Neilson never watched an NHL game in all the years he lived there. But he remembers sitting near the radio on Saturday nights, listening to Foster Hewitt call Hockey Night in Canada. He learned about Montreal and Toronto from those broadcasts. He didn’t know where those cities were, exactly, but he absorbed the exploits of players like Doug Harvey without ever seeing them play. “I couldn’t emulate anybody,” he says, though he remembers a couple of his favourites — fellow Saskatchewanian Max Bentley, and goaltender Turk Broda. “I was blessed with some ability, and I was always on the ice. We played a lot of shinny; you learned how to stick-handle, handle the puck, you were turning, skating. Nothing like hockey schools or anything like that; you just learned on your way up, and whatever you picked up, you took with you.” Teenaged Neilson played junior hockey with the Prince Albert Mintos in 1959-60 and 1960-61, walking to games, hockey bag over his shoulder, because he often didn’t have coins for bus fare. He figures he must have watched his first televised games after leaving P.A., and breaking into the pro ranks with the Kitchener-Waterloo Beavers of the old Eastern Professional Hockey League in 1961. They named him EPHL rookie of the year. In 1962, he bounced into New York, with a Rangers jersey, playing a full-time NHL role as a rookie — far from his unconventional home, but retaining that sense of calm he’s always carried. “All of a sudden, I was in New York. I never had a chance to think about it. It was just turn a page, and there I was,” he says. Neilson remembers pulling in $7,200 that first season, with $1,000 left in his pocket when he returned to Saskatchewan. He doesn’t recall his first NHL game, but one night at Boston Garden, he scored Goal No. 1 while temporarily playing forward. He grins at the memory — the last marker, with 1:45 to play, in a 7-1 thrashing of Boston — and notes self-effacingly: “I put the clincher in the back of the goal.” And from there, Jim Neilson built a career. Twelve seasons with the Rangers, two with the California Seals, two with the Cleveland Barons, and one final campaign with the WHA’s Oilers, where he watched Wayne Gretzky — “this skinny little kid” — walk into the dressing room for the first time after coming over from Indianapolis. Unlike most of his hockey contemporaries, Neilson is visibly Aboriginal — “I don’t look too Danish to anybody,” he quips, referring to the other side of his heritage — and during his playing days, he’d often tour Saskatchewan reserves at the invitation of the provincial government, sharing his story with kids there. Neilson’s continued to work in the Indigenous community after retirement, including time spent with the Native Economic Development Program. He was called “Chief” around the league and in the broader public, and sometimes attracted insensitive headlines like this one, topping a story on how he just might be the ice general the Rangers need: “Big Chief Aims To Light Up Smoke Signals.” Milton Tootoosis, a counsellor with the Poundmaker Cree Nation, wrote an impassioned recommendation for Neilson’s proposed Hall of Fame induction, including a story about seeing the player’s image on a cereal box. “As a poor Cree kid on the Indian reserve who loved hockey at a young age,” Tootoosis writes, “I could relate to him instantly. I recall thinking to myself as I ate my cereal one cold Saskatchewan winter morning ‘wow, an Indian hockey player on a cereal box and I wonder how he did it?’ ” Neilson, for his part, says he learned his values at the orphanage. He was known across the league as a man who played the game hard and tough, but with integrity; a gentleman. “Try to do a good job, do it to your best, and be a good teammate. That started at the orphanage,” he says. “Just the values of being a good person,” he adds. “The nuns tried to instil that in you. You went to church every day, and those things become part of you. You learn some practical things about yourself.” Neilson now lives in Winnipeg. Last year, his kids — daughters Darcy and Dana and son David — read a Hockey News feature: The top 50 players for each franchise. Neilson was No. 30 on the Rangers list, with the vast majority of those ahead of him already in the Hall of Fame. That got them thinking. “The conversation’s there. It’s always been there. We’re just doing it now,” says David, who was himself a talented hockey player — four seasons with the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders, two more with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, and nearly a decade in the minor pro leagues. The siblings put a big package together: Life and career details, clippings, stats, and recommendations from people inside and outside the hockey world. “Jim defines ‘defenseman’ as well as anyone who has ever played our game,” writes former Rangers teammate Rod Gilbert. Neilson played 1,023 NHL games all-told, compiling 69 goals, 299 assists, 368 points and 904 penalty minutes. He played with the Rangers in the 1971-72 Stanley Cup final, losing to the Bruins, and he says his one hockey regret is that “it would have been nice to hoist that rascal.” Neilson’s not one for fuss and bother; he’s a quiet fellow, understated. So he was initially surprised to hear what his kids were up to with the Hall of Fame package, which needs to catch the eye of a selection-committee member before it goes further. There’s plenty of forwards in there with 500 goals, he says; players with many, many all-star nominations and Stanley Cup titles. Neilson himself was a four-time all-star and a long-time role model for Indigenous kids. He was rock-steady on defence, note his children, a goalie’s best friend, a dressing-room leader, and chipped in a point every three games on average. Gilbert — a member of the Rangers’ famed GAG (goal-a-game) line — says Neilson’s smooth passing from the defensive zone was a “huge help” to the unit’s success. “I kind of thought about it after,” Neilson says. “These kids are hockey fans, knowledgable, the whole ball of wax. I said ‘sure, fine.’ And I got to thinking — I mentioned 500 goals, and all the criteria, but I know Dick Duff’s in there. I can’t say he doesn’t belong there, but he’s (won) some Stanley Cups. And I have to have the right leverage with somebody. And that story of mine … somebody might look at that and say ‘it’s worthwhile looking into, and checking it out further.’ ”
January 18, 1967: The NHL All-Star Game is held at midseason for the first time. The Stanley Cup champion Canadiens defeat the All-Stars 3-0 at the Forum. John Ferguson (Team Canada 72 coach) scores two goals and goalies Charlie Hodge and Gary Bauman combine for the shutout, still the only one in All-Star Game history.
January 18, 1964: The Boston Bruins defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 11-0 at Boston Garden for the biggest shutout win in their history. Dean Prentice scores three goals and assists on three more, and Andy Hebenton has his third NHL hat trick and an assist. Ed Johnston (Team Canada 72) gets the shutout.
January 17, 1973: At age 23, Philadelphia Flyers forward Bobby Clarke becomes the youngest captain in NHL history when he succeeds Ed Van Impe. Bobby remains captain through the 1978-79 season, then returns as captain from 1982-84. Bobby's appointment by the Flyers as team captain comes just slightly more than three months after the Summit Series concluded on September 28, 1972. Bobby clearly established himself as a leader on and off the ice for Team Canada earning the respect of his teammates and his nation.
January 15, 1984: Tony Esposito (Team Canada 72) gets his final NHL victory and shutout when the Blackhawks defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-0 at Chicago Stadium. The winningest goaltender in Blackhawks history makes 35 saves for his first shutout since March 27, 1983. It's the 423rd NHL win and 76th shutout for Esposito; 418 of the victories and 74 of the shutouts come with the Blackhawks, who select him from the Montreal Canadiens in the 1969 intraleague draft.
Janiary 15, 1970: Bobby Orr (Team Canada 72) has two assists in the Boston Bruins' 6-3 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at Boston Garden, setting an NHL single-season record for defensemen with 51. Orr passes the mark of 50 set by Pat Stapleton (Team Canada 72) of the Blackhawks in 1968-69. The record-setting assist comes on the first of two third-period goals by Phil Esposito (Team Canada 72).
January 14, 1971: Phil Esposito scores three goals, setting a modern NHL record with his fifth hat trick of the season, in the Boston Bruins' 9-5 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at Boston Garden. Esposito also has three assists for a six-point night. It's his 10th NHL hat trick and it helps the Bruins extend their home winning streak to 12 games.
January 13, 1979: The "Triple Crown Line" plays together for the first time in the Los Angeles Kings' 7-3 victory against the Red Wings in Detroit. Center Marcel Dionne scores four goals, including the 300th of his NHL career, playing between right wing Dave Taylor and left wing Charlie Simmer, who gets the spot two days after being recalled from the minors. Taylor scores a goal and Simmer contributes an assist.
January 13, 1971: Five days after being named general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, Ned Harkness trades left wing Frank Mahovlich to the Canadiens for forwards Mickey Redmond (photo), Bill Collins and Guy Charron. Franl helps the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup in 1971 and 1973 while Mickey becomes first 50-goal scorer in Red Wing history in 1972-73 - a feat he repeats the following year.
January 11, 1986: Marcel Dionne of the Los Angeles Kings becomes the first player in NHL history to score 20 goals in each of his first 15 seasons. Dionne scores twice and has an assist in a 4-4 tie at St. Louis vs the Blues.
by Stu Cowen/Montreal Gazette - There was a time in the NHL when helmets were more about “the look” than protection. The most cool helmet was the CCM HT2 model — better known as “the Paul Henderson helmet.” The really cool way to wear it was with the chin strap hanging well below the Adam’s apple and, of course, no visor. If you grew up playing hockey in the 1970s and you didn’t have a CCM HT2 helmet, you probably wish you did. I was lucky enough to have one. Henderson made the CCM HT2 model really popular after scoring the winning goal in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union while wearing it and then jumping into the arms of Yvan Cournoyer for one of the most famous photos in hockey history. It became by far the most popular helmet in the NHL after the league made them mandatory for incoming players starting with the 1979-80 season. But now the Paul Henderson helmet is gone from the NHL, replaced by newer models with better protection. All the helmets today basically look the same, whether they’re made by CCM, Bauer or Warrior, the three main companies. Former Canadien Sheldon Souray might have been the last NHL player to wear the CCM HT2 helmet. Gone are the days when a helmet was part of a player’s personality, whether it be the bubble “Stan Mikita helmet” made by Northland, Wayne Gretzky’s Jofa — which was basically a margarine bowl with a chin strap — Mark Messier’s big WinnWell model or the Snaps helmet Butch Goring received from his father as a 12-year-old and continued to wear throughout his 16-year NHL career, putting many coats of paint on it. Henderson wore the CCM HT2 for the first time in March 1966 — when almost no NHLers wore a helmet — after suffering a bad concussion while playing with the Detroit Red Wings. “I was told I had to put a helmet on for the rest of the season,” Henderson recalled in a phone interview Wednesday from his home in Mississauga, Ont. “So they gave me a CCM helmet. I didn’t ask for it … I hated the bloody thing. I never, ever thought that I would keep it on because nobody wore one and I sure as hell wasn’t going to be the guy.” That summer, CCM approached Henderson and offered him a substantial amount of money at the time if he would continue to wear the helmet the following season. Sid Abel, who was the Red Wings coach and general manager, told Henderson he didn’t want his players wearing helmets. Henderson explained that CCM was offering him money to wear it and added that his wife wanted him to wear a helmet since he had already suffered four concussions. Abel didn’t believe Henderson that CCM was going to pay him, so he showed the coach/GM the contract he was offered. “That’s the only way he believed me,” Henderson recalled with a chuckle. “So I said to him: ‘If you don’t think I’m playing well, I’ll take the helmet off.’ But I said: ‘I think if I’m playing OK, I should have the right to wear the helmet. He said: ‘OK, that’s reasonable.’ “About four games later, New York came in and we beat them 5-3 and I had four goals and an assist that night and he came up to me after the game and said: ‘Paul, I got no problem with you wearing a helmet.’ ” The “Paul Henderson helmet” was officially born. “The thing that saved me is that Mikita put one on the year before,” Henderson said. “It was that round thing — it looked like an igloo. But that’s the story. I had no intention of leaving it on until CCM came on and wanted to pay me to wear it.” Surprisingly, Henderson said other NHL players didn’t tease him about wearing a helmet. “Not one person,” he said. “I was amazed. When I went to training camp, I thought even some of my guys would have teased me. But I can’t ever remember a guy ever saying anything. I thought I would get it, for sure. But I was a pretty clean hockey player. I wasn’t a fighter or anything like that. If I was a fighter, I think it would have been a lot more difficult. “That model probably went out of circulation a long time ago, when I come to think of it,” Henderson added. “It turned out to be a good deal for CCM. I thought they were overpaying me at the time. But CCM was so good to me. When I jumped to the WHA (leaving the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Toronto Toros in 1974), they kept paying me for another two years when I was right out of sight here. It turned out good for both of us. “I still have people come up to me and tell me: ‘I wore the Paul Henderson helmet.’ Kids called it the Paul Henderson helmet.” They certainly did — and they felt fortunate if they got to wear one.
January 9, 1981: Phil Esposito plays in his final NHL game, a 3-3 tie for the New York Rangers against the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden. Esposito, 38, gets an assist on a first-period goal by Dean Talafous and retires with 717 goals and 1,590 points, second to Gordie Howe in each category.
January 7, 1981: Marcel Dionne of the Los Angeles Kings scores two goals to become the 13th NHL player with 1,000 points. Dionne reaches the milestone in a 5-3 win at the Hartford Whalers, his 740th NHL game. At the time, he's the fastest to 1,000 points in NHL history.
The Blackhawks honoured former forward Dennis Hull with “One More Shift” prior to the Monday, January 7, 2019 game against the Flames at the United Center. The Blackhawks’ “One More Shift” program is an ode to former players that allows fans to recognize them one more time as they skate on the United Center ice. Dennis took to the ice during the national anthem after starting lineups were announced. In-arena elements will also featured highlights of Dennis' career with the Blackhawks. In 13 seasons with the Blackhawks, Dennis scored 640 points (298 goals, 342 assists) in 904 games, the eighth-most games played in franchise history. Dennis was the second participant in the “One More Shift” program this season after current television color commentator and former forward Eddie Olczyk did so in November. Chicago has honoured several former players with “One More Shift,” including Bryan Bickell, Eric Daze, Troy Murray, Al Secord and Team Canada's late Stan Mikita last season.
January 4, 1973: Bobby Orr scores his 163rd NHL goal (in his 428th game), breaking the NHL record for career goals by a defenseman. Orr beats St. Louis Blues goaltender Jacques Caron at 19:25 of the second period to surpass the mark set Hockey Hall of Famer Red Kelly, who had scored 162 goals in 846 games as a defenseman. Despite Orr's milestone goal, the Bruins lose 4-2.
Kevin Donovan (Toronto Star) - In case you stand out behind the house on Pinehurst Cres. and shut your eyes tight you’ll be able to hear the sounds echo throughout the years. Slapshots, the laborious thunk of rubber pucks into worn leather-based gloves, and the unfold of fine deeds from Etobicoke out internationally. Upstairs, within the dwelling the place Murray and Margaret Dryden raised NHL goalies Ken, of Montreal Canadiens fame, and Dave, the volunteer gang is busy at work preserving the Sleeping Youngsters Across the World charity buzzing. “It’s magical, fantastic,” says Dave Dryden, a retired highschool principal and former chairman of the charity who, previous to changing into an educator, performed for the Buffalo Sabres and different groups. Immediately, Dave, 77, is a cross between a grizzled Sean Connery and an equally grizzled Harrison Ford. His spouse, Sandra, is just not happy with the gray scruff. “She says it has to go,” says Dave, strolling across the dwelling, for a few years now the busy headquarters of the charity. The Dryden kids’s’ travelling salesman father Murray and spouse Margaret began Sleeping Youngsters in 1970. Murray had seen one too many impoverished kids in his travels and needed to make a distinction. He died in 2004, Margaret in 1985. The Dryden’s kids, Dave, Ken and Judy, and their kids have continued to construct the charity that raises cash to supply “bedkits” to kids in India, Kenya, Tanzania, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Honduras and Bangladesh. A bedkit is a set of important gadgets — every $35 donation offers one bedkit — particular to the nation. A faculty uniform, books, typically a handled mosquito web for locations with malaria, and a mattress or sleeping pad, relying on the native customized. Sleeping Youngsters has raised $40 million since 1970 and all the cash has gone to buy bedkits. They way back surpassed Murray and Margaret’s authentic aim of 1 million bedkits (1.5 million now). The charity says in its easy attraction on its web site (it doesn’t solicit donations however depends on phrase of mouth) that every bedkit “provides a baby an unprecedented feeling of hope for the longer term” and offers “a baby with the means to go on thriving and the promise that the world holds a brighter future.” In return, donors obtain a photograph of the youngsters who obtain the kits they funded, sorted and mailed out by the ladies and men who volunteer upstairs on the Dryden dwelling. What separates Sleeping Youngsters from a lot of the different 85,000 charities in Canada is that this: 100 per cent of the donor greenback goes to the great works. It’s nearly completely volunteer primarily based; they’ve just one workers member, the modestly compensated govt director Linda Webb. Fundraising is barely achieved by phrase of mouth (no solicitation), and the tons of of volunteers who journey the world delivering the bedkits pay for their very own air fare, lodging and all journey bills. These supply journeys, which might be gruelling, final two to 3 weeks and value every volunteer roughly $4,000 out of their very own pockets. “I must say that what our donors appear to love is the 100 per cent,” Webb says. The Dryden household and buddies pitch in regularly to maintain the mother and father’ legacy thriving. “It’s a part of our household tradition,” Dave says.On the opposite finish, in international locations like Tanzania, folks similar to neighborhood organizer and counsellor Mama Wandao search for the areas of biggest want and put together for the deliveries when the Sleeping Youngsters volunteers arrive annually. In an interview by e mail, the 80-year-old Wandao, who works for a neighborhood non-governmental group, mentioned the Canadian charity has made a huge effect. “One baby obtained her bedkit when she was in (Grade Three) and we met her three years later in one other college and she or he was nonetheless carrying the college shirt she obtained. She was thrilled and she or he shed tears of happiness when she met the volunteers,” Wandao remembers. Then there’s Wandao’s story of a neighborhood Tanzanian boy, now a person working as a tailor, who obtained a bedkit when he was in grade college. “Now this younger man provides his time voluntarily stitching uniforms for others and is so excited to take action,” she mentioned. Every $35 bedkit is made up of regionally bought items, one thing Murray and Margaret Dryden stipulated, as a result of it helps the native economic system. Sleeping Youngsters has made 5 donation journeys to Tanzania over the previous decade, offering bedkits to 28,000 kids. The principles laid down by the late Murray Dryden are such that even Mama Wandao wants to search out folks to fund her a part of the work. “Quite a lot of people have pitched in” to assist her out, protecting her prices and the small wages paid to native helpers, Dave says. Charity volunteers say they depend on native volunteers like Wandao to assist them discover the neediest kids, but additionally to be delicate to neighborhood norms. “We all the time have our antenna up as a result of we are not looking for anybody (who receives a bedkit) to be ostracized. Canadian charities are inspired to maintain fundraising and administrative prices as little as potential. The Star, which has investigated the charity sector for years, has discovered that the most effective charities attempt to maintain these prices to 20 per cent of every donor greenback. How does Sleeping Youngsters maintain it to zero? A few methods, explains Dave and Webb. Aside from having volunteers do every little thing and pay their method, Murray and Margaret additionally left a $3-million legacy fund, together with the Etobicoke home, and the cash the charity invests coated prices for a few years. One other method, and it is a comparatively latest transfer by Sleeping Youngsters, is that they created the “Pinehurst Membership” named for the road the Dryden house is on. Every spring, they host what Dryden calls the “costliest breakfast on the town” on the Royal York Lodge. The 90-minute breakfast, full with a keynote speaker, raises $125,000 yearly, charging friends $150. The funds go into an funding fund managed by volunteers within the monetary neighborhood. “We don’t wish to construct a struggle chest,” Dave says. “We simply wish to make certain we keep on with the 100 per cent.” Out in again of the Pinehurst dwelling, the cement pad he and brother Ken (a former Liberal cupboard minister) and sister Judy performed on is gone. There was a drainage challenge some years again and work, together with shifting a retaining wall nearer to the home, needed to be achieved. The day earlier than the work crews arrived, the Stanley Cup confirmed up. Ken had heard that starting in 1980 gamers who had gained the cup may deliver it to their hometown. He had had gained six cups within the 1970s with Montreal. The league allowed it and in 2011, native children, charity volunteers and “the outdated boys” confirmed as much as see the cup and play some ball hockey shinny. The subsequent day, whereas the patio was being demolished and rebuilt, the Sleeping Youngsters volunteers have been again upstairs sorting pictures of mattress package deliveries. Donations to SCAW might be made at scaw.org. photo - Montreal Canadiens legendary goalie Ken Dryden #29 and a few of the “outdated boys” at a shinny sport on the Dryden dwelling the day the Stanley Cup was on show. (Dryden Household)
Chicago Blackhawks owners Bill Wirtz and James Norris owned the old Arena on Oakland Avenue before the Blues were born as a NHL expansion team. So it's no coincidence that they put one of their minor league affiliates, the Braves, in that building to drive business. That franchise moved from Syracuse and the Eastern Professional Hockey League during the 1962-63 season. The Braves then operated there in the Central Professional Hockey League from 1963-67.So who played for the Braves? Some guys hockey fans might have heard of, like Phil Esposito (Team Canada 72), Dennis Hull (Team Canada 72), Pat Stapleton (Team Canada 72), Wayne Maki, Lou Angotti, Roger Crozier and Fred Stanfield. After Norris and Wirtz decided to sell the Arena, they helped engineer the birth of the Blues as two of the league's most influential leaders. The Braves moved south to Dallas and were reborn the Black Hawks. photo - After two seasons playing for the St. Louis Braves at The Arena, future Hall of Famer Phil Esposito suited up for the Chjicago Blackhawks in 1964. (AP Photo)
The Chicago Blackhawks honoured Tony Esposito at the 2019 Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium on January 1, 2019.
ON THIS DAY - JANUARY 1 - 1973: Team Canada 72's Bobby Orr ties an NHL record for defensemen with six assists in Boston's 8-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Pacific Coliseum. Orr ties the record set by Babe Pratt on Jan. 8, 1944 and matched by Team Canada 72's Pat Stapleton on March 30, 1969. Team Canada 72's Phil Esposito scores three goals and Johnny Bucyk becomes the first player to score 400 goals for the Bruins.
The Blackhawks and Bruins paid tribute to their former players at the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. Blackhawks and Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Johnny Bucyk, Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Bobby Orr, Denis Savard and Eddie Shore were recognized in field decor inside the stadium, with players showcased on individual shamrocks surrounding the rink. Bourque, Bucyk, Esposito, Hull and Savard, as well as a representative for the Mikita family, were in attendance for a pregame ceremony and will greet the current Bruins and Blackhawks at the famed Notre Dame tunnel. (photo - Tramyers_NHL)
by Chris Bradford (Pittsburgh Sports) ST. LOUIS -- Jack Johnson is and will always be a Michigan Man. Hockey, football, doesn't matter. You can tell that when you see Johnson walk around PPG Paints Arena or the Lemieux Complex in his navy blue ball cap with the maize 'M' on it. "I'm very proud and have nothing but great memories there," Johnson was saying following the Penguins' morning skate Saturday at the Enterprise Center. "I have lifelong friends that I was teammates with and classmates there. That'll never go away." One of those lifelong friends will be on hand tonight for the game against the Blues: Johnson's college coach, the legendary Red Berenson is dropping the ceremonial first puck as the Blues are honoring the 50th anniversary of Berenson's record six-goal game against Philadelphia on Nov. 7, 1968. Following his playing days, Berenson joined the Blues' coaching staff and later became head coach, winning the Jack Adams Award in 1980-81. In 1984, he became head coach at the University of Michigan where he guided the program for 33 seasons. Berenson won three national titles and is the NCAA's fourth all-time winningest hockey coach with 848 victories. Most importantly, according to Johnson, was that he inspired his players. Though born in Indiana, Johnson was raised in Michigan and dreamed of playing for Berenson. Nope, there was no hard recruiting sell on Johnson. When he was 10, he attended Berenson's hockey camp in Ann Arbor and even made a promise. "I remember raising my hand, when I was young and dumb and saying 'One day, I'm going to play for you,' " Johnson recalled. He did just that. After being drafted third overall by the Hurricanes in 2005, Johnson starred for Berenson for two seasons in 2005-06 and 2006-07. Johnson even went back to play that second season against the objection of then-Carolina GM Jim Rutherford, who ultimately dealt his top prospect to the Kings in September of 2006. "It was awesome, two of the best years of my life," Johnson said. "(Berenson's) a guy who's kind of done it all. I used to say if I accomplished half of what he did, I'd consider it a pretty good run. He was great, always encouraging and instilled a lot of confidence in us. He really emphasized being a student-athlete at the University of Michigan. A student first and athlete second. Everyone that's played for him, he's had a huge impact on everyone." In fact, Johnson said he is still working toward his degree at U-M in the summer. Two years ago he attended school on campus. The 31-year-old says he's about seven classes short of his degree in general studies. One summer, Johnson says he even went to the university's compliance office in a failed attempt to walk-on the football team. What position would have he played? He didn't know. He says he just wanted the chance to run out the tunnel in the iconic blue and maize uniform at Michigan Stadium.
Michael Traikos (Montreal Gazette) We think Team Canada head coach Tim Hunter was being complimentary when he called Cody Glass the “Jean Ratelle of junior hockey today.” But first, we have to check back with our father. Or make that our grandfather. That’s how dated the reference was. For anyone under the age of 50, the point that Hunter was making was that Glass is a calm and collected playmaker who has the ability to make the difficult look easy. Think Joe Thornton or Nicklas Backstrom. Two years ago, Glass had 94 points in 69 games for the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. Last season, the 6-foot-2 centre amassed 102 points in 64 games. He has since followed it up with a whopping 54 points in 26 games, including 42 assists. “He’s one of the most skilled guys on the team,” Hunter said of the Winnipeg native, who was cut from last year’s team because of a lack of size. “He’s much stronger than he was last year. He was too light last year to play on this team. He’s much more fit and much more stronger and able to fend off checkers and make the play that he needs to make.” As the first-ever pick of the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017, there is some pressure on Glass to grow into a franchise player for the new NHL franchise. But like Mark Scheifele, who was the Jets’ first pick after the franchise returned to Winnipeg, there is no sense in rushing his development. At 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, Glass still has some growing to do. He knows that, which is why he wasn’t disappointed that he is in his fourth year in the Western Hockey League, while the three players selected right after him in the 2017 draft are all contributing in the NHL. “Another year of junior, another year of developing always helps in the long run,” said Glass, who had four assists in a 14-0 win against Denmark on Wednesday. “I think confidence-wise, I think I have just better capabilities of keeping my mind right. I think that’s the biggest thing. It’s a mental game out there too. Not everyone sees it, but obviously the game can be mentally frustrating for you. I felt like I’ve helped that stuff.” Sounds like something Jean Ratelle might say.
Ice hockey legend Yevgeni Zimin, who made history by scoring the first goal for the Soviet Union in the 1972 Series against Canada, died on Thursday, December 28, 2018 at the age of 71. The sad news was announced by FC Spartak on Twitter, the team where Zimin spent almost 10 years, during which he won two national titles with the Red and Whites. Zimin started playing hockey with Lokomotiv Moscow in 1964, but joined Spartak in 1965 and played there until 1974. Together with the invincible ‘Red Machine,’ as the Soviet team was dubbed for its decade-long string of victories, Zimin claimed two Olympic titles in 1968 and 1972. The forward shot to international fame in 1972 during the legendary Summit Series against NHL professionals, becoming the first goal scorer for the Soviet team at the eight-game tournament. Possessing explosive speed, Zimin scored midway through the first period, putting an end to Canada’s early momentum after they netted two goals at the beginning of the first period. The important goal inspired the Soviet players, who later reversed the course of a tough game, beating the hosts by a crushing score of 7-3, with Zimin adding one more goal to his name in the series opener. However, the player failed to take part in all eight games against Canadian rivals – he was withdrawn from the team after two games due to injury. Zimin’s funeral was held in Moscow on Saturday, December 29, 2018 (photo - © Getty Images / Melchior DiGiacomo)
Jeff Seide from The Hockey Writers wrote an article chronicling the best player to ever play on each NHL team. Four Team Canada 72 players made this list: Bobby Orr (Boston), Stan Mikita (Chicago), Marcel Dionne (Los Angeles Kings) and Bobby Clarke (Philadelphia). Here’s what Jeff had to say about our Fab Four. Bobby Orr, Defense - Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979. Orr revolutionized the blue line position with a mix of speed, scoring and playmaking. He played 12 seasons in the NHL, all but two of them for the Boston Bruins. In both of his Stanley Cup Championships, Orr scored the game-clinching goal and was named the playoff MVP. He’s a nine-time All-Star, eight-time (consecutive) Norris winner, three-time Hart winner, two-time Smythe winner and is the only defenseman to win the Art Ross twice. He also won the Calder Trophy in 1966-17 season and the Lester B. Pearson Award in 1974-75. He holds the record for most points (139) and assists (102) in a single season by a defenseman. In his NHL career, Orr played in 657 games, scoring 270 goals and 645 assists for 915 points. Stan Mikita, Center/Right Wing - Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983. While Bobby Hull holds the Blackhawks record for most goals, Mikita gets the nod for being their best player. Statues of both franchise players, who gained notoriety for being among the first to use sticks with curves blades, were installed outside the United Center in 2011. Stan Mikita began his NHL career at the age of 18. Known as “Stosh,” Mikita was generally regarded as the best centerman of 1960s. In his first few seasons Mikita was among the most penalized players in the NHL. He then drastically cleaned up his game and limited his penalties after he returned from a road trip and found out his daughter questioned why he spent to much time sitting down. He had been serving a ten-minute misconduct in the penalty box. In addition to winning the Stanley Cup in 1961, he won the Lester Patrick Trophy, is a two-time Hart Trophy winner, a two-time Lady Byng Trophy winner, and a four-time Art Ross Trophy winner. The eight-time All Star is the only player in NHL history to win the Hart, Ross, and Lady Byng trophies in the same season, doing so in consecutive seasons, in 1966–67 and 1967–68. After a game in 1967 in which an errant shot tore a piece off one of his ears, Mikita was one of the first players to wear a helmet regularly. He was able to have the piece of his ear stitched back on. League-wide, Mikita ranks 40th all-time in games played (1,396), 32nd in goals (541), 18th in assists (926) and 14th in points (1,467). Marcel Dionne, Center - Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. Dionne, all of 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, was chosen by the Detroit Red Wings with the second overall pick of the 1971 NHL Amateur Draft. In his first season with the Wings, he set the NHL record for scoring by a rookie with 77 points. After four years, he was traded to the Kings and became their franchise player. Dionne centered the famous “Triple Crown Line” with wingers Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor. In the 1979-80 season he tallied 137 points, tying Wayne Gretzky for tops in the league and won the Art Ross Trophy that year, besting The Great One by two goals. Dionne was a four-time All Star, two-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Award. He is third in the NHL for most 100+ point seasons (eight). He played 18 years in the NHL and ranks 52nd in career games played (1,348) played, fifth in goals (731), 10th in assists (1,040) and sixth in points (1,771). Bobby Clarke, Center - Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987. While a case could be made Hall of Famers Bernie Parent or Eric Lindros, the best Flyer to date is Bobby Clarke. Clarke played his entire 15-year career with the Flyers, leading them to the playoffs in 13 of those seasons. His accolades include two Stanley Cups, three Hart Trophies, plus Lester B. Pearson, Masterton and Selke awards. He had three 100-point seasons, twice leading the league in assists and played in eight All-Star Games. Clarke often centered Reggie Leach and Bill Barber, forming the LCB line. In 1975-76, the trio scored 141 goals–a record for most goals by a line. That year he had a plus-minus rating of plus-83 while amassing 119 points, setting a personal best and franchise record for most points in a single season. Among all NHL players, he ranks tied for 146th in games played (1,144), tied for 134th in goals (358), 25th in assists (852) and 44th in points (1,210).
Cournoyer learned much on, off ice from Beliveau Canadiens captain from 1975-79 still reveres legendary predecessor by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist MONTREAL -- It has been four years since the death of Montreal Canadiens icon Jean Beliveau, four years since Yvan Cournoyer, a fellow 10-time Stanley Cup champion and Hall of Famer with the Canadiens, stood at the altar of Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral on Dec. 10, 2014 and eulogized his dear friend. "Oh captain, my captain … bon voyage," Cournoyer said that day, his voice tight with emotion during Beliveau's nationally televised funeral. Cournoyer was visiting the Canadiens' seventh-floor executive offices at Bell Centre during a game against the Boston Bruins on Dec. 17. It was the second intermission, and having for a short time left the guests he had brought to the game, he was standing between large oil paintings of Beliveau and Maurice "Rocket" Richard. There is a canvas of each of the Canadiens' greatest players on this floor; those of Richard and Beliveau, respectively captains from 1956-60 and 1961-71, are framed side by side. The painting of Cournoyer, captain from 1975 until his retirement in 1979, is a few dozen steps down the hall. "It doesn't seem like four years. A couple of years maybe," Cournoyer said, studying Beliveau's portrait. "Jean always told me, 'Time goes so quickly.' When I arrived in the NHL I was 20 and he was 33. He was like a father to me. I laced my skates in the dressing room beside him. We were roommates on the road. "I have so many memories, and when Jean passed away all the memories came back. Long after we retired it was always nice to see him because he was always asking, 'How's everything? How are you doing? Is everything fine?' He always kept himself informed about what we were doing. It was always a nice conversation with Jean. We could always talk." Cournoyer was one of the last Canadiens to visit Beliveau at the his Montreal-area home before his death Dec. 2 at age 83 following a lengthy illness. Cournoyer was devastated, inconsolable after the visit, at Beliveau's public visitation at Bell Centre on Dec. 7-8, as a pallbearer and eulogist at the funeral, and for long afterward. But time has softened the loss, and today Cournoyer's memories are warm and painless, even if he still finds himself, like so many, wanting to pick up the phone just to hear Beliveau's familiar baritone. "There were so many things about Jean," said Cournoyer, 75. "When he was talking in the room, and it wasn't that often, he was always positive, in the right way, never negative and never loud. He'd eat with us on the road or go for a quiet drink. He liked to have fun, and he liked to talk hockey a lot. "Jean was very special as our captain. He always said to us, 'The hockey season is very long but if you have something that doesn't go well in the summer, I'm always available. Just call me and we'll figure out what we need to do. And if you have good things happening in your life, call me too. I'm there all year-round, not just during the hockey season.'" For years there was a single portrait of Beliveau in the small foyer inside the Canadiens' Bell Centre alumni lounge, a dressing-room photo that captured the eye and the imagination every time you left. Last season two more portraits joined it: Cournoyer in the middle, Guy Lafleur on the right. "It's wonderful to see us together, especially in black and white," Cournoyer said with a laugh. "We had tough times sometimes, but we always came out of them together. It wasn't easy all the time. Everyone says, 'You won all the time.' Well, if we did, it was for a reason. "I learned so much from Jean. He always believed that if you have something to talk about, if something goes wrong, don't wait. He'd say, 'Let me know right away. The more we wait, the worse it will be.' When I became captain, I knew if there was something wrong I'd have a meeting on the road right away and we'd talk about it." And that thought had Cournoyer smiling about an event during the 1966 Stanley Cup Final, his second NHL season. "Detroit had beaten us two straight games at home (3-2 and 5-2)," he said. "Jean wanted to have a team meeting on the road in Detroit to get a few things straight. He had to fight with (general manager) Sam Pollock to get about $400 for a team dinner. That was a big thing, to spend that amount for a team meeting. Jean got the money, we had the meeting, and we won four in a row to win the Cup (4-2 and 2-1 in Detroit, 5-1 back in Montreal and 3-2 in overtime in Detroit). That was something I'll always remember. I think it was worth the $400." Like Beliveau was as a player and in retirement, Cournoyer is busy in the community. Each played every one of his NHL games for the Canadiens, cornerstone members of the organization. The mantle of elder statesman is Cournoyer's now and he embraces it. For many fans his cheerful face and strong handshake are reminders of the Canadiens' glorious era of the 1960s and 1970s, Montreal and Cournoyer winning 10 Stanley Cup championships between 1965-79. With Lafleur and alumni director Rejean Houle, Cournoyer is a team ambassador, a title he's had for almost 20 years. He makes a minimum of 25 official public appearances each season and another 15 or 20 with his own company. In truth, every time he steps out the door alone or with his wife, Evelyn, Canadiens fans view him, respectfully, as public property. "I need a schedule," Cournoyer said. "I need to work and I like to work. I've been working since I think I was 7 years old. I cleaned the ice at my rink, worked in the flower shop. For me, it's natural. Everybody in the grocery store says hello. I feel right at home. "I was leaving a store and a woman chased me across the parking lot to say, 'I have to shake your hand, you were my idol. I remember one game you fell two or three times but you got up and scored a goal.' Maybe it's because I played with no helmet and no visor. I look a little bit older but people still recognize me and I'm happy to say hello to everybody." If it all comes naturally, Cournoyer says it's because he learned well from Beliveau, who famously answered by hand every piece of fan mail that reached him from 1953, when he arrived in Montreal from Quebec City, through cancer treatment, using his experience to buoy other cancer patients, until 2010, when the first of two strokes left him unable to sign his name the way he believed fans deserved. Throughout our visit, Cournoyer flexed his meaty left hand, which was swollen because of a carpal tunnel problem he soon will have repaired surgically. "But I'm right-handed so I can still sign autographs," he joked, signing a few more in the alumni lounge for star-struck fans. Over his shoulder was the corner where Beliveau would sit when he attended Bell Centre games. The small couch has been replaced by a few chairs, where Beliveau's wife, Elise, their daughter, Helene, and their guests now gather between periods and until traffic has thinned out after the final siren. "There is no doubt that Jean's presence will always be felt in that corner, in this room and around the team," Cournoyer said, friendship and reverence blended as one. "Maybe the greatest compliment you could give him would be to say that he was a teammate. No matter how much we looked up to him, Jean was one of the guys because he wanted to be."
December 14 was a very memorable date for three members of Team Canada 1972, Bobby Orr registered his first hat trick in 1968, Tony Esposito earned his first career NHL shutout also on the same day in 1968 and Marcel Dionne tallied his 500th NHL goal on this day in 1982. Bobby Orr scores three goals for his first NHL hat trick in the Boston Bruins' 10-5 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at Boston Garden. Orr, 20, scores twice in the first period and once in the second. Each of the three goals is set up by a lead pass from forward Ed Westfall, who also has a goal and keeps Chicago's Bobby Hull off the scoresheet. Orr also has two assists, the second on Westfall's third-period goal. Orr gets his hat trick midway through the second period, beating goaltender Dave Dryden from 35 feet. He receives an 80-second standing ovation and more than 50 hats are tossed onto the ice. Orr misses the chance for a fourth goal by shooting wide of an open net in the third period. 1968: Tony Esposito earns his first NHL shutout by making 25 saves for the Montreal Canadiens in a 1-0 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Spectrum. It's one of Esposito's five wins with the Canadiens, who lose him to the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1969 intraleague draft; he wins 418 games with Chicago before retiring in 1984. He is inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988. 1982: Marcel Dionne becomes the ninth player in NHL history to score 500 goals. The milestone comes when his second of the game gets the visiting Los Angeles Kings even with the Washington Capitals at 2-2. But the Capitals score five unanswered goals for a 7-2 victory.
It was announced in August, and on Wednesday night, it was made official: Red Berenson is a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. And rightfully so for his contributions to the sport over the past half century. Berenson led Michigan to 22 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 1991-2012. Along the way, the Wolverines reached the Frozen Four 11 times and captured two national titles. He finished with an all-time record of 848-426-92 – a winning percentage of .654. His playing career was nearly as impressive; Berenson potted 70 points as a junior forward with the Wolverines in 1961-62 before signing with the Montreal Canadiens. One 987-game NHL career later, Berenson recorded 261 goals and 397 assists for a total of 658 points over a 16-year span. Berenson went on to serve as an assistant coach and eventually the head coach of the St. Louis Blues from 1978-1982, and then two years as an assistant in Buffalo before returning to Ann Arbor. During his time behind the Michigan bench, Berenson coaches numerous NHL players, including Max Pacioretty, Dylan Larkin, Kyle Connor, Zach Werenski, Luke Glendening, Jack Johnson, Andrew Copp and Mike Knuble. Natalie Darwitz, Laeland Harrington, David Poile and Paul Stewart were also enshrined in the exclusive club. The late Jim Johannson was also honored with the Lester Patrick Trophy for his outstanding service to hockey in the United States. - Stefan Kubus, mihockey.com (photo - Red Berenson drops the puck during the 'Red Berenson Rink at Yost Ice Arena' dedication ceremony - Michael Caples/MiHockey)
2018 Canada’s Walk of Fame Allan Slaight Award Winner Jessie Reyez killin' it in her Team Canada 1972 sweater. Team Canada 72 presented the 2018 Canada's Walk of Fame inductees with a Team Canada 72 sweater. The Allan Slaight Honour recognizes the achievements of young Canadians who have the ability to turn their talent into inspiration. The honour is presented annually to a young Canadian who is making a positive impact in the field of music. Some previous winners have inclided Drake, Carly Rae Jepson, Brett Kissel and Shawn Mendes.
We all watched with great pride as teammate Vic Hadfield’s number 11 was retired by the New York Rangers and will remain for all eternity in the rafters of Madison Square Garden alongside the other legends of Rangers’ history including his great friends and New York Ranger linemates and Team Canada teammates Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert. We hope that before long Ranger teammate and Summit Series Most Valuable Defenseman Brad Park will be joining those hallowed rafters. Here are some comments from the New York Post’s Larry Brooks: Hadfield did it all through 13 years and 841 games as a Blueshirt. He did it with his fists that he threw down in a series of memorable fights in the penalty box with Henri Richard and he did it with gnarled hands that were good enough for him to become the first 50-goal-scorer in franchise history in 1971-72. He did it with leadership abilities he used as captain in the run to the 1972 final. He did it with wit, humour and personality. “Oh, he was a leader, all right,” said Emile Francis. “He was the right guy to take over as captain [after Bob Nevin was traded following the 1971 playoffs]. I didn’t even think of anyone else. He was the type of individual that his teammates would follow. He garnered respect right away in this league. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for his teammates.” The members of Team Canada 1972 pass on their congratulations to Vic and his family. Besides Rod Gilbert, Jean Ratelle and Brad Park, Team Canada 72 teammates Rod Seiling and Red Berenson also played with Vic in the Big Apple. Don Awrey was a teammate of Vic’s with the Pittsburgh Penguins as was the late Gary Bergman with the Buffalo Bisons. Vic shared his junior hockey days in St. Catharines with the Teepees with Pat Stapleton and the late Stan Mikita winning a Memorial Cup with Pat in 1959-60.
(Chris' tweet after receiving his Team Canada 72 sweater at Canada's Walk of Fame induction ceremonies) Meeting your heroes is a thrill. Paul Henderson scored the winning goals in games 6, 7 & 8 during the 1972 Canada-USSR Summit Series. My school was shut down to watch. He signed my jersey :) Thanks Paul!
Canadian darlings, multiple World and Olympic champion dance figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir show off their Team Canada 1972 sweaters presented to them, and other inductees, by the Members of Team Canada 1972 at the 2018 induction ceremonies of Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto, ON on Saturday, December 1, 2018. Team Canada 1972 were honoured with a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in 2015. Also inducted in 2018 along with Tessa and Scott were comedienne Andrea Martin, astronaut Chris Hadfield, actors/writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg along with musicians Andy Kim and the late Leonard Cohen.
THE CURSE OF CLARA Winner of the 2017 Canadian Screen Award for Best Animated Program. The Holiday Season, the Summit Series and The Nutcracker converge when an aspiring ballet dancer conjures up an imaginary mentor in the form of Phil Esposito. When small-town girl Vickie is accepted into the prestigious National Ballet School and selected to play “Clara” in the Company’s holiday production of The Nutcracker, things look like they couldn’t get any better. And they can’t, because that’s when Vickie finds out about the mysterious Curse of Clara. Thankfully, she’s got a good friend, the 1972 Summit Series and an imaginary mentor to keep her “on pointe.” Broadcasts nationwide on CBC-TV on: Friday, December 21st at 7pm local time. Sunday, December 23rd at 6:30pm local time.
Great listening to hockey legend Pat Stapleton in conversation with Dr. Barry Wright at Brock this morning. His words will stick with me “You become what you think about. You master your own thoughts.” Kaitlyn Little - Marketing and Communications Officer, Brock Univeristy
Niagara Catholic District School Board Director of Education John Crocco (left standing) and Team Canada1972 chair Pat Stapleton (right sitting) at the 28:8 - The Power of Teamwork launch at Brock University earlier today. It's a great partnership with the NCDSB, Canada's Team of the Century and Goodman School of Business at Brock University..
Members of Team Canada 1972, including chair Pat Stapleton and general manager Chad Dawson are with Professor Barry Wright at the Goodman School of Business at Brock University in St. Catharines, ON training ten teachers from the Niagara District Catholic School Board so they can implement our curriculum program, "28,800 Seconds, The Power of Teamwork" in their classrooms this year. This is the pilot of our National Curriculum Program..
Kenneth Wayne Dryden, P.C., O.C. B.A. (Cornell University), LL.B. (McGill University) Doctor of Letters, honoris causa Author, lawyer, politician, academic, sports executive, member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, and philanthropist, the Honourable Kenneth Wayne Dryden has established himself as a Canadian renaissance man. The beloved goaltender of the Montreal Canadiens helped the team win six Stanley Cups, was awarded five Vezina Trophies as the leagues’ outstanding goaltender, the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player during the playoffs. Regarded as the most consistent goalie of modern time, his celebrity only grew as one of two goaltenders in the epic 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union. The unforgettable series that captured the imagination of all Canadians. Also striving for academic excellence, Mr. Dryden earned a degree in law from McGill University. His contributions to hockey extend beyond the ice to roles as team president, commentator, analyst and best-selling author. He has published several books on the sport that are unique among others in their literary thoughtfulness. Nominated for a Governor General’s Award, The Game is regarded as the best hockey book ever written. His latest book Game Change, focuses on what he considers to be the most crucial issue facing athletes today: the devastating life-effects of brain injuries in sports. Hockey was followed by a distinguished career in public service initially as Ontario’s first Youth Commissioner and later as a Liberal Member of Parliament serving as Canada’s Minister of Social Development. A champion of youth literacy and education, Mr. Dryden established and is the principal funder of apost-secondary scholarship program that for twenty-five years has provided eight scholarships a year to improve access to higher learning for youth fromfoster homes and group homes. As an academic, he has taught at McGill University’s Institute for the Study of Canada. The course entitled “Thinking the Future to Make the Future”, challenges students to imagine the world and the Canada they want to live in, and to set out the steps required to achieve this future. In 2013, Ken Dryden was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for his contributions to Canadian life as a hockey player, author and public servant. Kenneth Wayne Dryden, C.P., O.C. B.A. (UniversitéCornell), LL.B. (Université McGill) Doctorat ès lettres, honoris causa Auteur, avocat, politicien, universitaire, dirigeant sportif, membre du Temple de la renommée du hockey et philanthrope, l’honorable KennethWayneDryden s’est imposé comme un véritable homme-orchestre canadien. L’idole des Canadiens de Montréal a remporté six coupes Stanley, cinq trophées Vézina (meilleur gardien de but de la Ligue nationale de hockey), le trophée Calder (meilleur joueur recru) et le trophée Conn Smythe (joueur par excellence des séries éliminatoires). Gardien de but le plus constant du hockey moderne, KenDryden est entré dans la légende lors de la Série du siècle de 1972 opposant le Canada à l’Union soviétique et qui a marqué l’imaginaire du pays tout entier. Soucieux de sa réussite universitaire, M.Dryden a parallèlement obtenu un diplôme en droit de l’Université McGill. Au-delà de ses prouesses devant le filet, Ken Dryden a œuvré à titre de président d’équipe, de commentateur, d’analyste et d’auteur à succès. Il a publié plusieurs ouvrages portant sur le sport qui se démarquent par la qualité de sa réflexion littéraire. En nomination pour un Prix du Gouverneur général, Le Match est perçu comme le meilleur livre jamais écrit sur le hockey. Dans son dernier ouvrage, Game Change, M.Dryden aborde ce qu’il estime être le plus grave problème touchant les athlètes d’aujourd’hui: les effets dévastateurs permanents des lésions cérébrales. Après avoir accroché ses jambières, Ken Dryden a connu une brillante carrière au service de l’État, d’abord à titre de premier Commissaire à la jeunesse de l’Ontario, puis de ministre libéral du Développement social du Canada. Grand promoteur de l’éducation et de l’alphabétisation chez les jeunes, M.Dryden est le fondateur et principal donateur d’un programme de bourses d’études postsecondaires qui, depuis vingt-cinq ans, permet chaque année à huit jeunes vivant en foyer d’accueil d’avoir un meilleur accès à un enseignement supérieur. Universitaire, il a enseigné à l’Institut d’études canadiennes deMcGill. Son cours, Thinking the Future to Make the Future, invitait les étudiants à imaginer le monde et le Canada de leurs rêves, et à établir les moyens de les façonner. En 2013, KenDryden a été reçu Officier de l’Ordre du Canada pour ses contributions à la vie canadienne à titre de hockeyeur, d’auteur et de fonctionnaire.
Red was honoured for his 33 seasons of coaching Michigan hockey when the Red Berenson Rink was officially dedicated in his honour on Friday, January 5. Red will join a growing list of arenas named in honour of Team Canada 72 members. There are likely more but we are aware of Arena Olympia Yvan Cournoyer and Centre Marcel Dionne which are both in Yvan and Marcel’s hometown of Drummondville, Quebec. There is also the Amphitheatre Gilbert-Perreault in Victoriaville, Quebec. In Faribault, Minnesota you will find The Shattuck-St. Marys Jean-Paul Parise Arena recognizing JP’s 12 years guiding their hockey program. The city of Mississauga named an arena after Paul Henderson to thank Paul for his charity work in the Mississauga area where Paul now resides. We also have the Bobby Orr Community Centre in Bobby’s hometown of Perry Sound, Ontario. You can also find the Arena Rodrique-Gilbert in Montreal, Quebec. Our apologizes to any player that we have missed.
Team members Serge Savard and Pat Stapleton are joined by government officials and others, at the unveiling of a plaque to honour "An Event of National Historic Significance".
'The Curse of Clara" has been named the Best Animated Program at the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards.As reported previously on this website, "Clara" stars the voice and image of Team Canada 1972's own Phil Esposito. Congratulations to Vickie Fagan and everyone else who made "Clara" such a success.
Team Canada 1972 has lost one of its fiercest competitors, with the announcement that Vladimir Petrov has died at the age of 69. (Petrov, number 16, can be seen above battling Phil Esposito in front of the Soviet net.) The team sends it condolences to his family and to the surviving members of the 1972 Soviet National squad. For some insight into Vladimir's career, check out his Wikipedia page.
Team Canada 1972 extends a warm "thank you" to everyone who came to the 72 Summit Series Tour shows and all the other fans they met along the way. The team held the opening night of their 2016 cross-country event on September 2 in Montreal, after which they travelled to Winnipeg (Sept. 6) and Vancouver (Sept. 8), before the finale in Toronto (Sept. 10).