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02-04-2012, 05:27 PM
MLD Glue Guy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BC, Canada
Country: Canada
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LW Bert Olmstead

181 G, 421 A, 602 Pts in 848 GP
Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame
1952-53, 1955-56, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1961-62 Stanley Cup Champion
1952-53, 1955-56 2nd Team All-Star
1st (54-55), 1st (55-56), 2nd (53-54), 9th (52-53) in Assists
4th (55-56), 5th (53-54), 7th (54-55), 9th (52-53) in Points

Montreal Canadiens' Legends:
During his playing days Bert Olmstead had a reputation of being a ferocious, antagonistic checker. Today he would classified as a top power forward. "Dirty Bertie" wasn't a natural, and because of that he had to work harder than most players. He wasn't the most fluid skater around but he made up his lack of talent by an enormous will to win. He even got upset during exhibition games if there was a lack of commitment from his teammates.

Hall of Fame defenseman Ken Reardon once said of Bert: "He's the best mucker in the league. By mucker I mean that he's the best man in the corners. He goes in there and digs the puck out for you."
Legends of Hockey
Although he wasn't known as a scorer or point-getter, Olmstead did set an NHL record for most assists in a season with 56 in 1955-1956, a record that wasn't broken until Jean Beliveau collected 61 five years later. He also scored eight points in a game, tying a league record, but most of all he was known for his leadership qualities, for getting the most out of his teammates and inspiring those around him to play better. As Punch Imlach later said, he coached himself.

Olmstead's departure from Montreal wasn't pleasant. After the 1957-58 season, the Montreal doctors told him he had no strength left in his knees and the Habs left him unprotected in the Intra-League Draft. Toronto coach Billy Reay pounced at the chance to claim him, and just like that Olmstead went from the Canadiens to the dreaded enemy, the Maple Leafs.

In Toronto, his career was rejuvenated and his experience proved a catalyst to the team's improved fortunes as the 1950s became the 1960s. Early in the 1958-59 season, assistant general manager Punch Imlach fired coach Reay and installed himself as coach, immediately naming Olmstead his playing assistant. In day-to-day life, this meant that Imlach would handle the club and coach games and Olmstead would run the practices. The season culminated with one of the greatest stretch runs to qualify for the playoffs, and the Leafs made it to the finals before losing to Montreal.

After three months as playing assistant, Olmstead resigned as assistant and kept to his on-ice responsibilities with his linemates Mahovlich and Bob Nevin. The team made it to the finals in 1960 and two years later won the Stanley Cup, in large measure because of Olmstead's role on the team and despite his having missed two months of the season with a badly broken shoulder.
Legends of Hockey One on One:
Bert Olmstead was perennially passionate about the game he played, backing down from no one and expecting his teammates to show the same fire that was stored in his belly. This drive helped the winger collect five Stanley Cup championships during his career, a career that concluded with election to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Montreal proved to be an ideal situation for Olmstead. He was placed on the Canadiens' top line, replacing the retired Toe Blake on the Punch Line beside Maurice Richard and Elmer Lach. The leftwinger made strong contributions to the Canadiens, and in 1952-53, Olmstead first sipped champagne out of the Stanley Cup. That season, he was also named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team.

Last edited by Hedberg: 02-15-2012 at 06:11 PM.
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