ATD2011 Bio Thread
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02-14-2011, 02:52 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
With our fifth selection, the 157th overall in this year All-Time Draft, the Detroit are very please to select
Monsieur Ferdinand Charles Flaman
Fernie, The Bull
Date of Birth:
January 25, 1927
Place of Birth:
Dysart , Saskatchewan, Canada
Stanley Cup Champion (1951)
Stanley Cup Finalist (1957, 1958)
EAHL First All-Star Team (1945, 1946)
Second All-Star Team Defense (1955, 1957, 1958)
Played in NHL All-Star Game (1952, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959)
Team Captain (1955-1961)
Team Assistant Captain (1955)
Rhode Island Hockey Hall of Fame (1965)
Northeastern Hall of Fame (1989)
Collegiate Hall of Fame (____)
Saskatchewan Hall of Fame (____)
Hockey Hall of Fame (1990)
- Named the #88 best Toronto Maple Leafs players of All-Time by the book
Maple Leafs Top 100: Toronto's Greatest Players of All Time
. He played 3 1/2 seasons (228 games) with them
Scoring Among Defence (4th, 5th, 5th, 10th, 10th)
Goalscoring Among Defence (3rd, 7th, 7th)
Assist Among Defence (3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th)
Penalty minutes (1st, 3rd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 6th, 7th, 8th)
Penalty minutes Among Defence (1st, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th)
Playoff Assist (10th, 10th)
Playoff Penalty minutes (2nd, 4th, 5th)
Playoff Scoring Among Defence (2nd, 3rd)
Playoff Goalscoring Among Defence (1st, 3rd*, 3rd*)
Playoff Assist Among Defence (1st, 4th, 4th*)
Playoff Penalty minutes Among Defence (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th)
*Achieving these results with one goal or one assist
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
1954-55: 3rd position (
1955-56: 5th position (
1956-57: 3rd position (
1957-58: 3rd position (
1958-59: 5th position (
Norris record without Doug Harvey on the ballot: 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 4th, 4th
Originally Posted by
Legends of Hockey
Basing his game on discipline and a strong physical presence, Ferdinand Charles Flaman was one of the game's top stay-at-home defensemen in the 1950s. Although he contributed to his team's transitional game when needed, it was as an open-ice bodychecker and for his ability to clear opponents from around his goal that Flaman acquired his reputation.
Despite the load of players they acquired in exchange for Flaman, many Bruins observers panned the deal as a detriment to their club. Flaman fitted in with his new club and
became renowned for his hitting. Later that spring, he played an integral role on the blue line when Toronto won the Stanley Cup.
During his second stint in Beantown,
he took on a greater leadership role than previously.
Originally Posted by
Joe Pelletier's Greatest Hockey Legends
Ferny Flaman, the Scott Stevens of his day.
Flaman was a rugged, no-nonsense defenseman
with the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs for 15 National Hockey League seasons. He scored just 34 career goals, but
Flaman was known more for his vicious body checking, his aggressive play and his uncanny shot blocking ability.
After establishing himself as a feared enforcer
, thanks largely to memorable battles with the Leafs' Bill Eznicki and Gus Mortson,
Flaman never went looking for a fight, though he found more than a few anyways. He was always the first player to arrive on the scene should one of his teammates find themselves in any sort of peril.
Far more impressive than his fistic ability was his feared status in the bodychecking department.
Flaman developed a reputation as one of the leagues most feared hitters and classic defensive blueliners while in Toronto.
Originally Posted by
Mike Wyman; Golden Years: Fern Flaman
Warren Zevon wrote a hockey song about a big farm boy from Saskatchewan. He called it “Hit Somebody,” a title that pretty much sums up Fern Flaman’s career. A big, strong kid from Saskatchewan’s farm country.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder joined a team that featured the kraut Line of Schmidt, Dumart and Bauer up front and was backstopped by Frank Brimsek in nets.
Flaman’s role was a simple one. As a stay-at-home defenceman he was charged with defending his territory against invaders by whatever means necessary.
With both the physique and the attitude needed, he did the job for the next three complete seasons.
Flaman flattened forwards coming too close to the Bruins net and laid others out in open ice with body checks that made many opponents reluctant to return to his side of the ice. When it was bare-knuckle time, Flaman administered more than a few thrashings to pugilistic foes, carving out a reputation as one of the NHL’s top brawlers that would follow him for the rest of his career.
Flaman’s robust approach was a major contribution to the Leafs success the next spring
as they rolled over his old mates from Boston in five games.
Back in black, Flaman showed that he had a few offensive skills
, picking up 18 points in 1954-55, the most he had put on the score sheet as a big leaguer while continuing to be a guy opposing forwards kept an eye out for when they crossed the Boston blue line.
Named captain upon Milt Schmidt’s retirement, Flaman kept the C for the rest of his Boston tenure,
a forceful presence who led by example and took his somewhat underpowered team into the playoffs in three of the next six seasons.
Originally Posted by
Who's Who in Hockey
Before Bobby Orr and the Big Bad Bruins came along in the late 1960's, the Boston hockey club was notorious as a bashing sextet.
From 1954 through 1961, it's chief basher was defenseman Ferdinand Charles Flaman, a smooth-skating defenseman who broke into hockey as a teenager during World War II.
Rare was the night when Flaman lost a fight.
He decisioned Rangers' badman Lou Fontinato at Madison Square Garden and once nearly killed Montreal's Henri Richard with a devastating, but legal body check during a game at Boston Garden.
Originally Posted by
Joseph R. Beare; Boston's Fern Flaman: The consummate Bruin and Husky (1/31/2007)
Flaman, who is famous both for his storied NHL career and his 19-year tenure as a division one NCAA coach, retired from hockey in 1989, but left a mark on Boston sports history that will not soon fade.
Born on January 25, 1927, in Dysart, Saskatchewan,
Flaman quickly developed into a hard-nosed and steady stay-at-home defenseman. Flaman was famous for his grit and character.
In the "Original Six" era, teams often played each other in back-to-back games, so resentment from previous nights would invariably spill over to the next contest.
Flaman did not take lightly any slights against his club and was notorious for having his gloves off, and his stick cast aside, before the finish of the national anthems.
His willingness to battle for teammates and refusal to shy away from the rough aspects of the game
made him a perfect candidate for Bruins captaincy and he served as Boston’s leader from his return in 1955 until his retirement in 1961.
Originally Posted by
Fred Cusick: voice of the Bruins
From the outset, Fernie was a fan favorite. He was a hard-hitting defenseman who could deliver open ice body checks and keep the front of the net clear.
Originally Posted by
The Bruins Black and White: 1924-1966
When it came to defending the territory in front of the net, Fernie Flaman gave no quarter.
Flaman fought battles with some of the premier hard hitters of the era: Rocket Richard, Ted Lindsay and Lou Fontinato.
Originally Posted by
Boston Bruins: Greatest Moment and Players
Fernie achieved permanent status in 1946-47 with the Bruins and became an instant favorite in Beantown,
where his lusty bodychecks and potent fists endeared him to the Boston Garden faithful.
Thus, it seemed eminently appropriate that the Bruins reclaimed Flaman in a trade at the start of the 1954-55 season.
Having matured while losing none of his mustard, Flaman added spice to the Boston backline that made him one of the most feared player in hockey.
Originally Posted by
Hockey's Glory days: the 1950's and 6s
Fern Flaman was a tough, stay-at-home defenseman known for his powerful bodychecks and his ability to cleat the area in front of his team's goal.
Originally Posted by
Weekend Magazine (02/09/1959)
Strickly of the hockey hardrock is defenseman veteran Ferdinand Charles Flaman, captain of the Boston Bruins.
While an extensive sin-bin record dosn't carry an automatic stamp of greatness, it must be borne in mind that a bashing defenseman may influence people, but he hardly wins friends among opposition. It was recently figure that Fern has probably had more bouts on ice than Floyd Patterson has had in the ring. nd it must be added that Fern dosn't pick his spots - among those with whom he has slashed have been ''Rocket'' Richard, Fontinato, Beliveau, Skov, Harvey, Jack Evans, Olmstead and Prystai.
He has been a major star ever since. Boston likes his hockey in the bashing tradition of Eddie Shore and Flaman was made for Boston.
- ''When hockey players talk shop, they frequently discuss the matter of who is their toughest opponent. A note of something bordering on awe creeps into the conversation when the name Flaman comes up. It is not a question of fear, for Flaman is not a vicious player, but a question of knowing that Flaman can deal a devastating body check, that he is among the most competent of defencemen in the business, and that, if aroused, he is one of the most capable fisticuffers in the league.'' -
Sportswriter Jim Proudfoot
- ''If there were slurs about him, we had guys on our Bruins, guys like Fern Flaman and Leo Labine, that would go right after them.'' -
Bronco Horvath, on Willie O'Ree
- ''Hockey players are rough, but they are clean. One who isn't wouldn't last long against the rough competition in the NHL. From what I have seen and from what I hear other players say, Fern Flaman of the Bruins is the roughest. Some of his own teammates agree with me and they ought to know.'' -
- ''I think almost every team had a tough fella you had to be careful of. Not necessarily for fighting, but for bodychecking. Pierre Pilote. Fernie Flaman. Leo Boivin. Bobby Baun. Doug Harvey in Montreal. -
Andy Bathgate on the toughest competitor in his time
- ''Fernie was a solid bodychecker and was a his best when things were rough.'' -
- ''I was pretty cocky then, so I hit him and he fell down. He was mad after that. That turned out to be one of the biggest mistake I have ever made, because every time we played Boston he used to nail me two or three time during the game. Flaman was the toughest player I ever came up against. He wasn't too dirty against me, but he hit me every chance he got.'' -
- ''I think the roughest player in the league is Fernie Flaman.'' -
- ''That Flaman, he bothers me more than anybody else in our league. I can't think or anyone else who gives me such a bad time. He always got his stick between my legs or hooks my stick or something.'' -
- ''Any other player I do not worry about, but when I go near that fellow, believe me I look over my shoulder.'' -
- ''He's the toughest defenseman I ever played against.'' -
Biography & Personal Life:
*Achnowledgement: part of this biography is taken words for words from the book
Boston Bruins: Greatest Moment and Players
. I peppered some additional information on top of the original article.
''My first hockey was played on outdoor rinks. I'd spend as much time as possible and listen to any person who could give me advice about the game. There was one fellow in town, who worked for the fire-department and was a hockey bird-dog on the side, who recommended me. I would up on the Bruins chain - they had a farm team in the Eastern League called the Boston Olympics - but they had too many players, so they loaned me to another team in the Eastern League called the Brooklyn Crescents. Next thing I know, I'm playing against the Curtis Bay, Maryland Coast Guard Cutters, a wartime club that had NHL stats such as Frankie Brimsek of the Bruins, Johnny Mariucci of the Blackhawks and Art Coulter of the Rangers. What a thrill that was; the first time I had ever been exposed to NHL players and I'm skating against them. I was in awe.''
When an opening developed on the Boston Olympics, Flaman took the train to Beantown and wore the white jersey with the winged crest and soon became a fixture at Boston Garden: ''They paid me 75$ a week,'' he recalled. ''I played for the Olympics for three years in one heck of a league. We'd go in to Madison Square Garden and play the New York Rovers and there would be crowds as big of those the Rangers got.''
Flaman improved to the point where the Bruins organization moved him to the highest minor league club, the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. He realized that it would only be a matter of time before he replaced one of the older Bruins' defenseman. ''There's a real touch of irony here,'' Flaman explained. ''When I was a kid, playing peewee hockey in Saskatchewan, we had numbers on our jerseys and we also had the names of an NHL player we hoped to play like. Well; the name on my jersey was Babe Pratt, who had been a terrific defenseman with the Rangers, then the Maple Leafs, and finally, the Bruins. When I was ran in Hershey, Babe was in Boston. The ironic aspect of the story is that when Babe was sent down to Hershey in 1946-47, I was the guy who replaced him. That sure made me feel strange.''
If Fernie wasn't the most popular Bruin, he certainly was always among the top three favorites at Boston Gardens. Considering his youth, Fernie had good reason to expect that he would be wearing the black and gold for several seasons. That's why the trade to Toronto stunned him to the core.
''The trade was the lowest point in my life,'' Flaman said. ''I had felt a part of Boston. I had played three years with the Olympics and nearly three more years with the Bruins. On top of that, it had been in the papers that I would not be traded, that I was an ''untouchables''. Next thing I know, I'm with the Maple Leafs.''
Flaman spent the next four seasons in Toronto. In his first year with the blue-and-white, Flaman played mostly beside rugged defenceman Bill Barilko. That season, Flaman won his first and only Stanley Cup in his illustrious career. After the Leafs outscored Flaman's former team 17 to 5 in the semi-final, they then triumphed over the Montreal Canadiens, also in five games. Every match needed a few minutes of extra time to bring things to a conclusion and Toronto won it on Bill Barilko’s last goal.
Upon the tragic death of playoffs hero Barilko, Flaman was then paired with the equally rough-and-tumble defenceman Leo Boivin. During his years in Toronto, Flaman was less boisterous and did not seems the own thesame edge in his game when he was wearing the royal blue and white of the maple leafs. During the summer of 1954, GM Conn Smythe invited him into his office one day for a conference: ''He asked me if I'd like to go back and play for the Bruins. That was awfully nice of him, being that my wife was from Boston and my home was there. Yes, I told him, I would like to be a Bruin again. I respected Smythe for letting me know in advance where things stood. You don't find many people in sports as decent as he was to me.''
Flaman became a Bruin again in time for the 1954-55 season and, for Fernie, it was a golden period: ''The homecoming was great. I was named assistant captain and played under Milt Schmidt, who had been my teammate in the previous run with the Bruins. Working for Milt was good and the fans treated me just great. In 1959, while I still was playing, they tossed me a Fernie Flaman Night and presented me with a car and many other gifts. Getting the respects of the Boston fans and the Night was a highlight of my career.''
Off the ice, Flaman was on the quiet side, humorous and perceivable. In the summer, he worked in sales promotion for a floor-covering firm in Boston's Walpole district.
Like so many other hockey ''cops'', Flaman experienced little pleasure in relating his battles of yesteryear: ''They never were a highlight of my career. Of the guys I played against, Gordie Howe was the toughest. We didn't fight because we had a mutual respect for one another. But we both played it hard and I'm sure I received a few nicks from him, and I gave him a few too.''
Also, although he was known as the toughest defenseman in the league, Flaman did not necessarily want that advertised: ''I've got a wife and daughter to support,'' Flaman told reporter Herb Ralby back in 1948. ''I can't have everybody in the league after me which is what happens to a player with that reputation.''
Although Flaman never played on a Stanley Cup winner after he left Toronto, several of his Boston clubs were extremely competitive and twice reached the Cup Finals, losing to the powerful Montreal Canadiens in 1957 and 1958.
In the late 1950's, alongside Doug Harvey, Ted Lindsay, Jimmy Thomson and Gus Mortson, Flaman was one of the founders of the first players' association to be recognized by the NHL, the crude precursor to the union that was formalized in 1967.
Upon the end of the 1960-61 season, his last year in the NHL, Flaman's 1,370 penalty minutes were third in league history at the time of his retirement. Though he had trained himself for a career as electrician following his athletic career, he was not yet ready to give up the game he loved. He took a job as a player/coach with the AHL’s Providence Reds, where he is credited with playing a big role in developing a young Eddie Giacomin, later a Rangers’ net minding legend. Not only was he the team's best defenseman, but as coach he guided the Providence Reds to the league's best record in 1962-63. Most significantly, this experience in the AHL made Flaman discovered a passion for coaching.
After three years in the dual role and a fourth in a coaching capacity, Flaman moved on to become coach and general manager of the Fort Worth Red Wings of the Central Hockey League. Flaman then returned to the Bruins organization as a scout. His chief responsibility was assessing college prospects in the northeastern U.S., something that tided him over until a more permanent proposition came his way.
That proposition came in 1970 and Flaman accepted a position as the head coach at Northeastern University, a post he held for almost two decades. Don McKenney, the famous Boston center of the 1960's, would be his assistant to Fern Flaman for 19 years.
Among his high points as a college coach was the ECAC and NCAA coach of the year award in 1982, one ECAC title and an appearance in the NCAA Final Four. He also won four
tournaments, symbol of hockey supremacy in the Boston area. Flaman’s influence on Northeastern’s hockey program is unparalleled as nearly every accomplishment in the history of the club was achieved with Ferny at the helm: ''If you look at the peaks of Northeastern hockey, it is all Ferny,'' laughed Jack Grinold, Athletics Director of Communications at Northeastern, who worked in the athletics department throughout Flaman’s entire tenure. ''We have only won four Beanpots; Ferny won ‘em all. He coached here longer than any coach, 19 years, and had more victories than anyone else.'' Indeed, when Flaman announced his retirement from coaching on Valentine’s Day of 1989, he registered an amassing a 255–301–23 record with the club.
But Flaman’s road to success at the collegiate level did not pass without sadness. In 1984, his family was stricken by tragedy when his son, Terry, a former captain of the Harvard hockey squad, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. That year, the Huskies would advance to the
championship under Flaman’s guidance and, in what is remembered as one of the most poignant moments in
history, Flaman’s gravely ill son, by then confined to a wheelchair, was brought in to the dressing room before the contest to give his father’s team a pep talk. The Huskies then went out to the ice, dominated play and took home the coveted
trophy, but not before Ferny’s son was wheeled around the rink, clutching the cup victoriously. Unfortunately, Terry passed away a few months after the events.
Aside from being a legend behind the bench, Ferny also possessed a quick wit and a sharp business mind: ''During the 80s, at one time we wanted to measure the effectiveness of our coaches as business men, how they were handling their budgets,'' said Grinold. ''We had a coach who had a masters in business from an Ivy League college, and here Ferny who was without a high school degree. He was our most efficient manager, and our MBA graduate was our most inefficient manager.''
After his coaching career, Flaman couldn't get himself to take a break, and accepted a position as a scouts for the New Jersey Devils, a hob he would held from 1991 to 1995: ''I love scouting,'' said Flaman, ''I scout high school defensemen mostly. Kids around 17 and 18. But if I see a good forward, I'll put him in my report. It keeps me young.''
Flaman was awarded the highest honour of his career when he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, in 1990. The fathers of two boys and a girl, Flaman will always be best remembered for the multi-faceted career that he led in the city of Boston. He defined leadership and heart throughout a career that spanned five decades, and his long-standing contributions to hockey in New England are immeasurable.
Fun & Interesting Facts:
- Flaman was a good amateur boxer in his teens
- A naturalized United States citizen, Flaman was only the third American player to play for the Maple Leafs. The first two were Doc Romnes and Roger Jenkins
- Gordie Howe recorded his first hat trick on October 11, 1953 in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs when he fought Maple Leaf’s player Fernie Flaman, got an assist and scored a goal
- According to a poll taken of the six general managers in 1958 to determine the toughest player they had ever seen, Flaman appeared on every list.
- In late-1959, Andy Bathgate wrote a controversial article, mentioning Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Fern Flaman, Pierre Pilote, Ted Lindsay and teammate Lou Fontinato as spearing specialists: ''None of them seems to care that he'll be branded as a hockey killer.'' (Bathgate was fine by the NHL for writing the article)
- For most of his career, either in Toronto or his second stint in Boston, Flaman pairing partner was Leo Boivin, who played a similar kind of game. They were one of the most feared duo of defenceman in the league.
- In 1995, Flaman won the Stanley Cup as a scout for the Devils
- Once during a tense, rough and brawling hockey game, courageous Camille Henry, one of the tiniest players in the National Hockey League, lost his temper and tangled with big tough defenseman Fernie Flaman. As they grappled, shoulder to shoulder, pint-sized Henry suddenly shouted a warning at his huge opponent who outweighed him by more than fifty pounds: ''Watch out, Fernie, or I'll bleed all over you!''
Signing, Trades & Injury:
- On November 16, 1950, Flaman was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs by the Boston Bruins with Ken Smith, Phil Maloney and Leo Boivin for Bill Ezinicki and Vic Lynn
- Flaman missed part of the 1953-54 season do to a groin injury
- On July 20, 1954, he was traded to the Boston Bruins by the Toronto Maple Leafs for Dave Creighton
- One night, Doug Harvey was stationed near Flaman and swung hard at the puck. He missed it but his follow-through caught fernie flush on the jaw, shattering it at several places.
3rd East Div. 5th overall
Lost quarter-final vs Hershey Bears.
1st Est Div. 2nd overall
Lost semi-final vs Buffalo Bisons
3rd East Div. 6th overall
Lost quarter-final vs Hershey Bears
5th East Div. 9th overall
2nd South Div. 3rd overall
Fort Worth Wings
Lost final vs Tulsa Oilers
5th South Div. 8th overall.
Fort Worth Wings
- From 1970 to 1989, coached the NorthEastern University to a 255 wins, 301 losses and 23 ties records
American Hockey League
Central Hockey League
Central Professional Hockey League
Eastern Amateur Hockey League
Eastern College Athletic Conference
National Collegiate Athletic Association
National Hockey League
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