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.
Thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame for Guy's bio:
Guy Lapointe set new standards for NHL defensemen during his 16-year NHL career. Although he played for the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins, he spent most of his time in the league with the Montreal Canadiens, and it was with the Habs that he established himself as a member of the team's "Big Three" defensive specialists. Along with Larry Robinson and Serge Savard, he played a major role in the Canadiens' winning the Stanley Cups six times during his time with the team.
He played his junior hockey with Maisonneuve, Verdun and the Montreal Junior Canadiens. He then became a professional in 1968-69, signing on as player with the Houston Apollos of the Central Hockey League before moving on to the Montreal Voyageurs of the AHL the following year. He joined the Canadiens in 1970-71, and although Habs management loved his obvious potential, they were a little unsure of his steadiness in the pro game.
But Lapointe overcame this youthful inconsistency and quickly established himself as one of the game's all-time great defensemen. He was a solid checker and opposing goalies feared his slapshot, which was particularly effective on the Habs' lethal powerplay. Being a solid two-way player was something he worked hard on throughout his career.
Near the start of his NHL career, Lapointe was chosen to play in the historic 1972 Summit Series against the USSR. He also competed internationally for Canada in the 1976 Canada Cup and the 1979 Challenge Cup against the Soviets, which replaced that year's All-Star Game.
In 1982 Montreal traded Lapointe to St. Louis. He had been unhappy because of dwindling ice time with the Canadiens but realized that the Habs had a group of up-and-coming defensemen. "I think Montreal traded me not because Guy Lapointe asked for it, but for the good of the team," he said. "We've got six good defensemen who can do the job and one more in the minors. So I think it is a good time for me to leave. And I think that Montreal is going to have good memories of Guy Lapointe because I was playing good hockey. It's better to leave now than wait until I'm in my decline and people start to boo me," he said, in reference to the Montreal fans' treatment of his co-defensive stalwart Serge Savard in his final, lesser years with the team. Lapointe had also suffered a serious eye injury that many observers felt had slowed him down.
In his first year with the Blues, Lapointe broke his cheekbone and played only 50 games. The next season he signed with Boston as the Bruins tried to replace their star defenseman, Brad Park. For his part, Lapointe was anxious to show fans that the eye and face injuries of previous years wouldn't slow him down.
Lapointe went on to become general manager of the Longueuil Chevaliers of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, then an assistant coach with the Quebec Nordiques and later a scout with the Calgary Flames. When the Minnesota Wild joined the NHL, Lapointe was hired as the franchise's Chief Amateur Scout.
Guy Lapointe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993. In 2014, his number 5 was retired by the Montreal Canadiens, an honour he shares with Bernie Geoffrion.
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.
Thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame for Jocelyn's bio:
As a junior rearguard with the Montreal Junior Canadiens from 1968 to 1971, Jocelyn Guevremont established some very impressive credentials, especially for his offensive work from the point.
The newly-formed Vancouver Canucks made the young rearguard their first-ever amateur selection in the 1971 Amateur Draft. And although he lacked defensive skills during the early going, he applied himself steadfastly to balance his game. As such, he finished his rookie campaign with a league-record 51 points, the most, up to that time, scored by a rookie.
As an offensive specialist, Guevremont continued his industrious efforts to shore up his defensive game. The results came to fruition after his trade to the Buffalo Sabres in 1974. There he succeeded in maintaining his offensive output while landing on the positive side of the plus/minus scale year in and year out.
He lasted with the Sabres until 1979. At that time, he was dispatched to the New York Rangers. In the Big Apple, however, Guevremont saw only limited action, spending much of his time in the press box watching new recruits make rookie mistakes. He was finally sent down to the New Haven Nighthawks of the AHL. But before he left, he warned the Rangers' management that unless he got some ice-time on his next invite the NHL, they could consider him to have a chronic shoulder ailment.
As a result, word traveled across the league that the veteran defender was damaged goods. The fallout came in the form of no offers from other NHL clubs, such as the St. Louis Blues, who would have otherwise picked him up. Tired of waiting by the phone, Guevremont retired at the close of the 1979-80 campaign.
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.
Thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame for Phil's bio: Born February 20, 1942 he was the centerman who held the greatest scoring record of them all before Wayne Gretzky came along and broke it - 76 goals in a single season in 1970-71. Espo won the Art Ross Trophy five times, the Hart Trophy twice, the Lester B. Pearson Award twice and the Lester Patrick Trophy for service to hockey in the United States. What's more, he was a ten-time All-Star and represented Canada in the 1972 Summit Series, the 1976 Canada Cup and the 1977 World Championship. While a member of the Boston Bruins, he scored 40 or more goals in seven straight seasons and 50 or more in five straight seasons. In his 76-goal season, he also recorded an amazing 76 assists for a league record at the time of 152 points. Phil Esposito grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and must have had plenty of target practice against his younger brother Tony, who went on to become one of the game's great goalies. Unbelievably, Phil had a hard time at first even breaking into the NHL. He played for the St. Louis Braves in the Central Hockey League from 1962 until 1964. In his first year with the Braves, he scored 90 points in just 71 games and waited expectantly to be called up by the Chicago Black Hawks, the team that owned his rights. But the Hawks kept him waiting and he responded by recording another 80 points in just 43 games in his second year with the Braves before finally getting the call to the Hawks. He scored 23, 27 and 21 goals in his first three seasons in the Windy City, and fans of the team noted he was often in on key scoring situations with linemate Bobby Hull. But Esposito never felt that Hawks coach Billy Reay had very much confidence in him. Sure enough, he was shipped to the Boston Bruins for the 1967-68 season. The Black Hawks thought they were unloading an unproven talent to the Boston club, but in fact the trade only went in favor of the Bruins. Over his career in Beantown, he joined up with greats Bobby Orr, Wayne Cashman, Ken Hodge and Gerry Cheevers on a powerhouse team that won two Stanley Cups in three years. While Espo was gaining a reputation among NHL coaches and fans as a goal scorer, his fellow players were also beginning to recognize that they were dealing with a real character and a practical joker in the dressing room and on road trips. He liked to smoke cigars, and one reporter, noting his constantly furrowed brow and droopy expression, started calling him "the Happy Worrier." Besides these traits, teammates noticed that he was a player who stuck steadfastly to ritual. One night when a sore throat caused him to put on a black turtleneck, he played especially well. From then on, the turtleneck became a regular part of his game-time garb. This was just one example of the quirky Esposito's adherence to game-day habits. On the international front, Phil starred for Team Canada in the classic Summit Series as the leading individual scorer - with seven goals and six assists - and inspirational leader of the team that defeated the Soviets in the best eight-game series ever played. He joined brother Tony, who was teaming with Ken Dryden as the Canadian netminder on the legendary team. After the glory years in Boston, Esposito was traded to the New York Rangers early in the 1975-76 season and found life a lot different in the world's media capital. He had slowed down a step, and the critics were descending on him, perhaps because he had been such a brash character in his prime. After retiring from the Rangers, Esposito became one of the team's assistant coaches and then moved on to a position as a TV analyst for the Madison Square Garden network. In 1986 he was named vice-president and general manager of the Rangers, a position he later accepted with the expansion Tampa Bay Lightning when that team entered the league.
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.
Thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame for Paul's biography - A skilled right-winger, Paul Henderson used his speed and a willingness to gamble on offense to great effect during his pro tenure. He scored at least 20 goals seven times in the NHL and was a top performer in the World Hockey Association. Despite an exemplary career as a professional, Henderson carved his permanent place in hockey history with his scoring heroics for Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series versus the Soviets. Born in Kincardine, Ontario, Henderson was signed as a teenager by the Detroit Red Wings' organization. He was a standout with the parent club's top junior affiliate, the Hamilton Red Wings, where he scored an OHA best of 49 goals in 48 games during the 1962-63 season. That impressive year also featured a two-game call-up to the Wings. The next year he split his playing time between the Motor City and the Pittsburgh Hornets of the American Hockey League. Henderson developed into a consistent, full-time NHL winger in 1964-65, playing on a line with Pit Martin and Larry Jeffrey. The following season he recorded his first 20-goal season and helped Detroit reach the Stanley Cup final, where they succumbed to the Montreal Canadiens in six games. Henderson lost 24 games to injury in 1966-67 but still managed to score 21 goals. Late in the 1967-68 season, Henderson was involved in a multi-player deal that brought him to the defending Stanley Cup-champion Toronto Maple Leafs. Norm Ullman was the key player joining Henderson in Hogtown while the Wings' prize catch was Frank Mahovlich. Henderson scored a personal best of 27 goals during his first full year in Toronto in 1968-69. He formed an effective partnership with former Red Wings teammate Norm Ullman and emerging star Ron Ellis. Between this season and 1971-72, the Ullman-Henderson-Ellis line established a host of Maple Leafs single-season scoring records for a forward line. In 1970-71 Henderson scored a career high of 60 points then registered a personal best of 38 goals the following season. What was lacking from this period of individual success for Henderson was any sort of post-season achievement by Toronto. After being in 33 playoff games in three seasons from 1963-64 to 1965-66 with Detroit, Henderson took part in only 19 post-season matches in seven seasons with the Maple Leafs. The triumph that stands out in Henderson's career is from the early 1970s. Coming off his 38-goal performance in 1971-72, the speedy winger was deemed a potential asset on the Canadian squad being that was assembled for the upcoming Summit Series against the Soviets. Team Canada coaches Harry Sinden and John Ferguson believed that Henderson would add depth and stability to their squad. Nobody on either team could have anticipated what would transpire during the series. During Canada's disappointing 1-2-1 showing in the first four games of that series in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver, Henderson performed admirably on what was essentially a checking line. He and linemates Ron Ellis and Bobby Clarke were the most cohesive unit from the first day of training camp and they were arguably three of the most consistent players among the Canadian contingent in the first half of the series. After a heartbreaking loss in the first game in Moscow, game five of eight, Canada stormed back to win the last three games, each by a goal. Remarkably, Henderson scored the winner in each of these one-goal decisions. The most spectacular was the winner with two minutes to go in game seven, which gave Canada a 4-3 win. Late in the eighth game, with the score tied 5-5, Henderson called for Pete Mahovlich to come off the ice. He immediately headed for the net and narrowly missed his first chance before jumping on the rebound of a Phil Esposito shot. Henderson took two swipes at the puck before slipping the series-winner past Vladislav Tretiak with 34 seconds left in the game. This historic moment earned Henderson a special place in Canadian history. Nearly every Canadian who is old enough is able to recall where they were when "the goal" was scored. Exhausted and distracted 1972-73, Henderson managed to play only 40 games for Toronto. The team was seriously weakened by defections to the World Hockey Association and finished well back of playoff contention. Improvements came the following season and Henderson scored 24 goals in 69 games. During this period, Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard feuded with many of his players. After experiencing the euphoria of the Summit Series, Henderson felt the environment around the Toronto team seemed stale. This contributed to the famous winger's yearning for a change of scenery. Henderson stayed in Toronto but joined the Toros franchise of the World Hockey Association prior to the 1974-75 season. Before suiting up for his new club, he took part in the 1974 Summit Series, which matched most of the Soviets from the previous series against a Team Canada squad made up of the top stars from the WHA. Skating with the likes of Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull and '72 series-veteran Frank Mahovlich, Henderson was expected to come up with some pretty good offense and leadership. He played well but the Soviets were out for revenge and posted a 4-1-3 series win. In five seasons with the Toronto Toros/Birmingham Bulls franchise, Henderson scored 140 goals but took part in only five playoff games. On September 17, 1979, he was signed by the Atlanta Flames and split the season between that NHL team and the Birmingham Bulls of the Central Hockey League. Henderson scored his last 13 NHL points in Dixie before retiring from the league. One night in March, he gained a measure of revenge against Ballard by scoring two goals in a 5-1 Atlanta win at Maple Leaf Gardens, which earned him selection as the game's first star. Henderson played his last pro season in 1980-81 and then retired. His NHL total is 236 goals, but it was his unforgettable moments on the ice at the Luzhniki Arena in Moscow that ensured his immortality in hockey 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.
Thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame for Serge's biography: Rangy defenseman Serge Savard played 17 seasons in the NHL, 15 (his first season consisted of two games) with his hometown team, the Montreal Canadiens, and two with the Winnipeg Jets, who lured him out of retirement after he'd left Montreal following the 1980-81 season. A member of the Canadiens "Big Three" defensive stars along with Guy Lapointe and Larry Robinson, Savard was known as "the Senator" by his teammates for his involvement in activities - mostly in politics - outside the game.In the mid-1980s, he served as general manager of the Habs. But hockey had been the first thing on Savard's mind since his boyhood in Montreal.
When he was 15, a scout noticed him playing a school league game and put him on the team's list of promising reserves. Savard progressed quickly and within a few seasons was captain of the Junior Canadiens. Unlike many prospects of the day, Savard wanted to complete high school. But the Habs signed him to a contract and sent him to Houston to play for the Apollos of the Central Hockey League in 1966. He won the rookie of the year award that season with Houston and the following year was called up by the Habs. By the 1968-69 season, only his second full one in the NHL, he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Habs won the Cup in a four-game sweep over the Blues in the finals. Although Savard was overshadowed by his better-known teammates, he did win another significant award during his years as a player. In 1979 the NHL presented him with the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to "the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey." Savard almost didn't make it much further in NHL play, however. In a game during the 1970-71 season against the Rangers, he skated after New York's Rod Gilbert, trying to stop a breakaway. Savard dove for the puck and felt his left leg crumble underneath him. The result was five separate fractures and three operations that took him out of the game for three months. After a complete recovery, Savard continued to have problems with the leg and further injuries. In the 1971-72 season, he suffered a new fracture to the same leg after being hit. In 1973 he injured his ankle severely as he tried to help firefighters break down a door during a fire at the Canadiens' hotel in St. Louis. But the injuries failed to stop Savard. Upon his return to the game, he started to blend his patient, hard-working style with the hard-charging, rushing play of Lapointe and Robinson, the skillful scoring of Guy Lafleur and the outstanding play in the net of Ken Dryden. The result was another Cup for the Habs in 1976, when they swept the defending champion Philadelphia Flyers in four straight games, a victory that many relieved fans hailed as a triumph of skilled play over the fight-filled game of the Broad Street Bullies.
Internationally, Savard's attitude was rewarded by his being named to the Canadian team for the 1972 Summit Series. He appeared in five of the eight games, and - as Savard liked to remind people - Canada won four of those games and tied the other. By 1981 Savard had had enough of being knocked around in the NHL. He had, after all, played on eight Stanley Cup-winning teams with Montreal and had seen more doctors and surgeons than he cared to remember. His retirement didn't last long, though. He was lured out of inactivity by the Winnipeg Jets, who wanted him for his experience on a young but improving team. Savard lasted two seasons in his comeback with Winnipeg before the Canadiens came calling again. They bought him out of the final year of his contract with the Jets so he could return to Montreal as the team's managing director.
Savard, who had been active in the business world during his last days as a player and during his retirement, inspired the confidence of the Habs players and management. Savard was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1986.
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.
Thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame for Frank's biography: Frank Mahovlich was a talented and classy winger, a large man with the skills and hands of a pure scorer. Known as "the Big M," Mahovlich was touted as a superstar while still a teenager. He went on to have a marvelous career, patrolling the left wing for 22 professional seasons in both the NHL and WHA. Many of those years were filled with glory as he earned individual awards and the Stanley Cup, but Mahovlich struggled through most of his hockey life with the stress that comes from great expectations. Born in Schumacher, a small town in northern Ontario, he was a prodigy with the St. Michael's team that represented Toronto in the Ontario Hockey Association. When he was 17, he scored 24 goals and scouts and fans alike began to fill the arenas where he played to get a look at the big kid everybody was talking about. The next season he fired 52 goals in 49 games, won the Red Tilson Trophy as the league's most valuable player and made his first three appearances with the Leafs. Those who saw him play in junior talked about his potential to dominate, even at the professional level. In his first full season in the NHL, 1957-58, he was solid and at times spectacular and his 20 goals and 36 points were enough to earn him the Calder Trophy as top rookie. He beat out Bobby Hull, who also entered the league that year as a much talked about youngster. At 19, Mahovlich seemed on the cusp of not just a great but a record-shattering career. His next two seasons were erratic on the ice but consistent on the score sheet. He hovered around 20 goals, good totals for a young player, but many Toronto fans wanted a superstar performance each night, on every shift, and 20 goals wasn't good enough. In 1960-61, he began to play the way everyone had always expected. Still only 23 years old, he had an exceptional start to the season and led the league for much of the year in goals. With 14 games remaining, he had 48 goals, two less than Maurice Richard's record of 50. He seemed destined to seize the position of the game's top scorer. Those final two goals never came, however. Bernie Geoffrion overtook him late in the year, tying the Rocket's record in the process. People began talking not about how much talent Mahovlich had, how he'd scored 48 goals at such a young age, but what was missing in him that prevented him from achieving more. Although the Leafs won the Stanley Cup for three consecutive seasons beginning in 1962, and even though Mahovlich averaged over 30 goals a year, he was the focus of much criticism and constant boos when he played in front of the home crowd. When he failed to score a goal in the 1963 playoffs, he was booed during and after the game in which the Leafs clinched the title. Even the next day the heckling continued at a reception in downtown Toronto for the Cup winners. Mahovlich responded to Imlach's berating by not reacting to it. He admitted later that the two men didn't speak for five years. Though the team and the doctors didn't admit it for several years, Mahovlich was hospitalized in 1964, suffering from acute tension and depression. He returned to the team but struggled on the ice, his goal production dropping to 18 in 1966-67, the year of his final Cup victory with Toronto. The Leafs played the Montreal Canadiens on November 1, 1967 - an important game between long-time foes. Mahovlich played a wonderful game, scoring a goal and adding two assists in Toronto's 5-0 win. He was named one of the three stars of the game and took his bow in front of the remaining fans as was the custom at the end of the evening. Many in the crowd cheered the big winger, but there were also boos, even on that night. The next day, with the Leafs leaving on a trip to Detroit, Mahovlich got up from his seat on the train, told a teammate he was going home and left. He was soon under the care of the Toronto General Hospital psychiatric staff. He was in a deep depression and, according to many reports, had suffered a nervous breakdown. Mahovlich stayed away from the rink to deal with his nervous condition. After more than a month, during which he missed 11 games, he made his return at home in a game against the Canadiens. While he was away, young Mike Walton had taken up the slack in scoring for the Leafs, winning several consecutive games with late goals. When Mahovlich stepped on the ice, he was on a line with Walton and the Leafs captain, George Armstrong. Mahovlich gathered the puck at center and sailed down the right wing into the Montreal zone, pulling a defenseman wide with him to open up the middle. With one perfectly placed pass, Mahovlich found Walton, who fired it into the net. In all it took 18 seconds for the Big M to announce his return, and now the fans were united in their applause. Near the end of the season, the Leafs decided to part ways with their big winger. In the biggest trade of the year, he was sent to the Detroit Red Wings with Pete Stemkowski, Garry Unger and the rights to another Leaf enigma, Carl Brewer, for Paul Henderson, Norm Ullman and Floyd Smith. Freed in Detroit from all the pressure and conflict in Toronto, Mahovlich experienced a rebirth. He also joined his younger brother Pete, known as "the Little M" even though he had five inches on Frank. The elder Mahovlich became more outgoing, joking with teammates and fans. He was put on a line with Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio and had his best goal-scoring year in his first full season with the team, 49 goals in 1968-69. In Detroit, Mahovlich played more minutes than ever on the first line on the powerplay and sometimes even killed penalties. When Howe became the third player to break the 100-point plateau in 1968-69, Mahovlich was cited as a significant factor. After several successful and happy years in Detroit, Mahovlich was on the move again, the victim of a Detroit team that was struggling and dumping high-priced players to rebuild. The Montreal Canadiens were preparing for a run to the Cup and acquired the big left winger for three players in January 1971. Once again, Mahovlich was teamed with his brother Pete, who had joined the Canadiens the year before. Mahovlich had a spectacular playoffs with a Montreal team that won the Stanley Cup that year due in large part to his league-leading 14 goals and 27 post-season points. Mahovlich was truly happy in Montreal. He had his best overall season in 1971-72, collecting 96 points, and earned a place on the Canadian team that battled the Russians in the 1972 Summit Series. In 1973 Mahovlich was selected to the NHL's First All-Star Team, one of only three times he achieved that honour. And once again he was outstanding in the playoffs, capturing his sixth and final Stanley Cup. Mahovlich and Montreal were a natural fit and only his aging legs and a move toward younger athletes in the Canadiens organization prevented him from continuing to put up big numbers late into his career. Instead of finishing his career in Montreal, Mahovlich signed a lucrative contract with the World Hockey Association. The Houston team selected him in the 1972 Entry Draft and then traded him to the Toronto Toros, who attempted to sign both Mahovlich brothers. They were thrilled when Frank, at age 36, signed a four-year deal. He was one of the league's top scorers and headlined the team in its attempt to compete with the Leafs. The Toros team moved after two seasons to Birmingham, deep in the southern U.S., and became the Bulls. Though Mahovlich still had a great desire to play, the Bulls didn't capture the imagination of the fans. At the end of his four-year contract, having just turned 40, Mahovlich parted ways with Birmingham, which was replacing its expensive veterans with unproven juniors in an attempt to stay afloat. Frank Mahovlich was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1981, and in 1998, in recognition of his years of class on the ice and off, he was appointed to the Canadian Senate by Prime Minister Jean Chretien. Wikipedia: Awards and achievements: Calder Memorial Trophy winner in 1958. Played in 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1974 NHL All-Star Games. Selected to the NHL First All-Star Team in 1961, 1963, and 1973. Selected to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1969, and 1970. Stanley Cup champion in 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1971 and 1973. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1981. Inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. In 1997, he was ranked number 26 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players. Inaugural inductee into the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame as a "Legends of the Game" in 2010 Number (27) Retired by the Toronto Maple Leafs (shared with Darryl Sittler) In January, 2017, Mahovlich was part of the first group of players to be named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history.
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.
Thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame for Ron's biography: Born in Lindsay, Ontario, an hour northeast of Toronto, the swift right winger gained his amateur training with the fabled Toronto Marlboros. He was a prolific scorer in junior and starred when the Marlies won the Memorial Cup in 1963-64. The young winger impressed coaches and fans in his first NHL season by scoring 23 goals and narrowly losing the Calder Trophy race to Detroit netminder Roger Crozier. He was immediately a vital two-way performer playing on a line with stalwarts Dave Keon and Bob Pulford. The veterans were impressed with the fact that the youngster's zeal was as strong while checking as it was when racing in on the opposition's goal. In 1966-67, he was one of the youthful troops that supported such legendary oldtimers as Red Kelly, Johnny Bower, Terry Sawchuk and George Armstrong. This gritty squad overcame a mediocre regular season to win the Stanley Cup. Ellis provided the crucial first goal in the sixth game of the finals versus Montreal, which the team won 3-1 to take the series in six games. Following the trade of Frank Mahovlich to Detroit, Ellis played on his most cohesive forward unit with Paul Henderson and Norm Ullman. This trio was adept at forechecking and opportunistic scoring. Ellis's role was crucial since he usually stayed back to guard against the counter attack while his linemates pushed forward. Prior to the 1968-69 schedule, former Maple Leafs great Irvine "Ace" Bailey insisted that Ellis wear his retired number 6 because he admired his high-caliber yet clean style of play. One of the young forward's greatest accomplishments wasn't resorting to rough or dirty tactics while doggedly checking such stars as Bobby Hull and former teammate Frank Mahovlich. Boston Bruins general manager Harry Sinden was another Ellis admirer. He was the impetus behind the Toronto winger's invitation to training camp when Team Canada 1972 was being assembled prior to the Summit Series against the Soviets. Despite a serious neck injury suffered in the opening game, Ellis played a strong checking role in all eight games of the series. Between 1966 and 1975, Ellis recorded nine straight 20-goal seasons, but the stress of the NHL grind became too great for him to bear and he retired after scoring 32 goals in 1974-75. During his two-year sabbatical, Ellis pursued a business career that enabled him to gain valuable experience away from the hockey rink. He also focused on the Christian faith, which had become an important part of his life. When Ellis first heard the news that Canadian professionals were eligible for the World Championship in 1977, he volunteered his services as a consultant. It turned out that he was asked to try out for the team, which he did successfully. Canada finished fourth, but many observers noted that Ellis played some of his best hockey in years. Feeling spiritually recharged, Ellis agreed to come to the Toronto Maple Leafs' training camp in 1977 under new coach and fellow Christian Roger Neilson. He reached the 20-goal mark for the team record of 10 straight years and helped the team reach the Stanley Cup semifinals for the first time since winning it all in 1967. The following year he lost 17 games to injury and the team began to disintegrate because of the destructive antics of owner Harold Ballard. One of the most distasteful incidents in the mismanagement of the Toronto team during this period occurred when Ellis arrived at Maple Leaf Gardens to find that his equipment was locked away and that his services were no longer needed. Following his retirement, Ellis continued to work in the business world and eventually returned to the game under the auspices of the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. His ability in public relations and involvement with the Hall's educational outreach programs have proven invaluable.
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)
Mickey Redmond Born December 27, 1947 Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm) Weight 170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb) Position Right Wing Shot Right Played for Montreal Canadiens Detroit Red Wings National team Canada Playing career 1967–1975 Thanks to the Hockey Hall of Fame for Mickey's bio: Mickey Redmond received a steady infusion of hockey culture from the moment he was born two days after Christmas in 1947. His father, Eddie, was a big, raw-boned redhead who, at one time, played semi-pro with Jean Beliveau and the Quebec Aces among a host of clubs from across North America. Young Mickey joined his younger brother, Dick, on regular excursions to the local rinks. By age 14, Redmond's family had moved to Peterborough, Ontario, where Mickey joined the local Junior A Petes of the OHA for four seasons. He was a league all-star during two of those campaigns, having made a clear statement of his scoring prowess. In 1967, he attended training camp with the Montreal Canadiens, a club replete with top-flight players. Cracking the lineup was a great feat and afforded Redmond the opportunity to work as an understudy to Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Jean Beliveau, and J.C. Trembley. Redmond got in on two Stanley Cup victories with the Canadiens before being traded to the Red Wings as part of a package to bring Frank Mahovlich over to Montreal in 1971. In Detroit, Redmond was slowed by injuries in the early going, but quickly bounced back to catch fire. In his second season with the club, he became the first Red Wings in team history to top the 50-goal mark in a single season. And to make sure it wasn't just a dream, he went out and netted another 51 goals the following year. But his quick rise to the top was followed by an equally fast decline, starting from the moment he felt the first tinge of pain at the base of his back. He played through the intermittent pain for several seasons, until the problem became unbearable. Upon having his back examined it was determined that he'd suffered permanent damage to a nerve running directly to his right leg. The pain grew so severe that he had difficulty walking. An operation aimed at repairing the damage was unsuccessful, forcing Redmond to retire prematurely at the age of 29 in 1976. Since leaving hockey, he has been a colour analyst for Hockey Night In Canada and for Detroit Red Wing broadcasts.
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).