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02-08-2012, 05:47 PM
Rob Scuderi
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D Gus Mortson
5-11, 190
Shoots Left

Mortson, who has been a Leaf ever since he broke into the NHL in 1947, said: "Four-for-one trade, eh? Guess I can't be very good."
797 NHL GP, 198 points, 1380 PIM
x4 SC winner

All-Star Voting Placements: 1 ('50), 7 ('54), 9 ('57), T9 ('48), 10 ('47)
Norris Trophy Voting Placements: 7 ('57), T10 ('54)
x1 NHL 1st All-Star Team
x8 All-Star Games
Led league in PIM four times

Originally Posted by LoH
Gus Mortson grew up in the mining country of Northern Ontario and related analogies have followed him throughout his life. He was sometimes referred to as "Old Hardrock" because of his origins and his style of play.

He graduated from the St. Mike's Majors of the OHA in 1945. He turned pro the following year and joined the Tulsa Oilers of the USHL to serve the customary apprenticeship of the day. But the following year, Leafs' GM Conn Smythe launched a rebuilding campaign on behalf of his club. He brought names like Howie Meeker, Gaye Stewart, Gus Bodnar, and Joe Klukay into the fold. He also elected to take a chance with a couple of young defenders, Jim Thompson and Mortson. The two caught on, Thompson the stay-at-home defender and Mortson the flashier, whirling rusher who had a nose for trouble and abrasive play. The two became known as "The Gold Dust Twins."

Over the six years that followed, the "Twins" served as a defensive foundation during a great run for the Leafs as they captured Stanley Cup victories in 1947, 1948, 1949, and 1951. In 1952, however, the Leafs were in need of first-string goaltender. They managed to pry Harry Lumley away from the Blackhawks in exchange for Cal Gardner, Al Rollins and Mortson.

In the Windy City, Mortson continued his rough-house ways, lasting with the club for a total of six campaigns. By the close 1956-57 season, his villainy was confirmed as he led the league in penalty minutes for the fourth time in his career. In 1958, he was traded to his arch rivals, the Detroit Red Wings, where he concluded his NHL career at the end of the season.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Gus Mortson was once one of the baddest men in hockey.

He, along with his defensive partner and fellow "Gold Dust Twin" Jim Thomson, perfected the art of defending the zone by playing the man instead of by playing the puck. They grabbed, hooked, pushed and shoved any puck carrying opponent who came into the Leafs zone. Their tactics were effective although often illegal. Mortson earned a career total of 1390 PIM in 797 games. In fact, four times he was the NHL's season penalty minute champ. Twice he was punished with lengthy suspensions for deliberately trying to injure another player

But he was also among the top defensemen. Mortson was an excellent skater and could carry the puck...
He also explains the focus of his game very clearly,
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
"When you played hockey in our time, it wasn't so much how many goals you scored, it was how few you let be scored against you while you were on the ice," explained the New Liskeard, Ontario born Mortson. "Thomson and I, we kept track of all the goals against because that was your only arguing point when you had to go see (GM Conn) Smythe for a contract. All the years we played in Toronto, we had less than a goal against average."

Rivalries with the stars of his time
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
At Chicago Stadium in 1948 Gordie Howe and Gus Mortson surprised fans by dropping the gloves "with full vim and vigour." Apparently the two hockey stars went at it so hard that it was decided they would not serve the 5 minute sentence in the penalty box. You see, back then the penalty box was basically shared by each team, with little to stop angry players to continue their disagreement. It was decided Howe and Mortson would stay on their own team's bench, but under police guard!

This was the second official NHL all star game.
In the first game in 1947, Chicago scoring star Bill Mosienko badly hurt his ankle, causing much controversy regarding the All Star game. As a result, most players tended to avoid physical play...All of which makes the Howe-Mortson fight of the 1948 NHL All Star game even more amazing!
Pelletier calls this the only ASG game fight ever, but Howe's quotes in the article below refute this.

Originally Posted by CBSSports - Jan 25, 2008
"There was a lot more intensity back then," Howe once said, recalling the (All-Star Game) fights he had in 1948 with Gus Mortson and in 1951 with Maurice Richard. "You hated those ********."
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen - April 2, 1947
A five-minute penalty-box brawl three minutes before the finish involved nearly every player of both clubs as Gordon Howe, of the Red Wings, was assessed a 10-minute misconduct penalty for punching Gus Mortson, of Toronto, and Mortson also drew a misconduct for slugging with a policement at the rinkside.

The brawl was settled without an serious injuries, but defenceman Bill Quackenbush, of the Wings, was helped off the ice earlier in the final period after getting a chilling block from Mortson.
Originally Posted by The Leader-Post - Sep 30, 1950
Toronto Maple Leafs and their Pittsburgh farmhands of the American Hockey League treated each other with little friendliness...

The game was featured by a rousing slugging between defencemen Gus Mortson of Toronto and Tim Horton of Pittsburgh, following which Mortson was given a game misconduct penalty for attacking referee Hugh McLean.
Originally Posted by The Leader-Post - Apr 5, 1947
As far as Ted Lindsay and Gus Mortson are concerned-when the chips are down, they're down. An opposing player is just that. Nothing more.

Lindsay and Mortson, clashed Tuesday night in a Stanley Cup playoff game-and touched off a near-riot in which fans, policemen, sports writers and Maj. Conn Smythe of the Leafs became involved. Off the ice the two are pals. On the ice-pleasantries are forgotten.

In the first Toronto-Detroit game of the season Lindsay creased his buddy's nose with a stick. In the next Wing-Leaf set-to they collided again and Lindsay re-opened the cut on Mortson's nose.

Tuesday night's action started when Lindsay conked Gus on the head. Said Mortson, fingered a well-bumped forehead:"I checked Lindsay and I guess he didn't like it. He turned and let me have it."

Maj. Smythe added: "sometimes a person has a hard time finding out who his friends are." Asked why he's so rough with his off-ice pal, Lindsay made it known: "I don't know anybody when a hockey game starts.
Originally Posted by The Milwaukee Journal - Nov 21, 1949
...Gus Mortson made the mistake of angling the with usually placid Maurice (Rocket) Richard. Maurice let fly with a right to the chin and Gus took a count.

Other Quotes
To Managing Director Conny Smythe of Toronto Maple Leafs the Stanley Cup playoff performance of his rookie defence duo-baby-faced Jimmy Thomson from Winnipeg and sturdy Gus Mortson from Kirkland Lakes, Ont.-is something to talk about.

And talk he did Saturday night as the Leafs doffed their hockey regalia for street clothes after taking the measure of Montreal Canadiens 4-2 in the third game of their best-of-seven Stanley Cup final.

"Those kids have only been scored on four times in eight games," he said, without naming the players but nodding to the corner where the 20-year-old Thomson and the 21-year-old Mortson were dressing. "Only four times in eight games."

He might have gone further and cited more statistics-that the Leafs were scored on 22 times in the eight games-eight times in their three starts with the Canadiens and 14 times in the five semi-final games with Detroit Red Wings. Thus 18 percent of the goals against Toronto were scored on the pair of rookies and they were used extensively in the series.

...Hard-going Gus Mortson picked up the puck in the centre ice and steamed right past Reardon. Big Butch Bouchard, the other Montreal rearguard, tried to get over to stop Gus but was too late and his drive from 35 feet whistled past Goalie Durnan's paw into the far upper corner of the cage.

Defensively too, much praise can be heaped on the work of Mortson, Thomson, and Bosch, all deserved star rating for their efforts. 49,5122186&dq=gus+mortson&hl=en

Ron (Prof) Caron, lead bird dog for the Canadiens, scratched his usually encyclopedic memory (for hockey) and said: "Well, there was Jack Stewart and Jimmy Orlando with Detroit. Both big hitters. And Jimmy Thomson and Gus Mortson on those big Stanley Cup teams from Toronto in the 40s. They were good hitters. Smart too."
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - Nov 1, 1946
"Candiens aren't going to push my club around any more," Conn Smythe, managing director of the Leafs, was quoted as saying when the Leafs were in pre-season training. "I've got some good, strong, young defencemen who will trade bumps with anybody, and I've got some good big forwards who will do the same.

The husky young defencemen he was referring to are Gus Mortson, Jimmy Thompson and Garth Boesch...Mortson is a fast-skating, hard-shooting youth from Kirkland Lake, which is why Smythe has nicknamed him "The Nugget."
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - April 12, 1951
Rough Series Expected
The impression here is that the series will be rough, a style of play at which Candiens are adept. Frank Selke is obviously worrying whether Canadiens can stand up to the Leafs in that kind of going.

Lynn Patrick said the Leafs powdered his Bruins right out of the series in the first two games. They whacked Milt Schmidt and Johnny Peirson into complete submission and left the Bruins without much in the way of a scoring threat.

"Jim Thomson did most of the heavy work them for them, but they've got a bruising defence," he said. "Guys like Bill Barilko, Bill Juzda and Fernie Flaman can hurt you if they get a good shot at you and that Gus Mortson is no Little Lord Fauntleroy. Barilko was just about their best man in the series and he didn't do a thing against us all season. We hardly noticed him. But it always seems to happen like that."

Originally Posted by Twenty Greatest Hockey Goals
Rollins was sent back in at the next whistle, but with a faceoff in the Canadiens' end at 19:21, he came out again. The Leafs had forwards Kennedy, Smith, Sloan, Bentley, and Watson on the ice with defenceman Gus Mortson. The Canadiens went with their top line...Sid Smith raked the puck all the way across the crease to Tod Sloan, who was standing alone to the left of McNeil and - with just 32 seconds to go - slid the puck into the net!

Originally Posted by The Vancouver Sun - Dec 28, 1950
Defenseman Gus Mortson of the Leafs and Ed Slowinski put on a good boxing show before being separated by the officials in the first period.
Originally Posted by Meriden Record - Oct 30, 1952
Gus Mortson, tough Chicago defenseman, blasted home a goal from inside the blue line...
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - Feb 26, 1948
Two defencemen, Gus Mortson of Torono and Clare Martin of Boston, started a battle on the fringe and Mortson scored a knockdown in quick fashion.
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - Apr 7, 1950
Ted Kennedy and Joe Klukay each had a turn as the lone forward on the ice with defencemen Thomson and Gus Mortson. They checked so fiercely that the Red Wings only got one shot at Broda.
Hawks rumored to be after Mortson before the Lumley trade
Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - Oct 26, 1948
The Chicago Black Hawks, trying to bolster their swinging door defence, would like to get Gus Mortson from the Toronto Leafs. The latter are reported to be in the mood to dicker, if the Hawks will deal them Doug Bentley...

Last edited by Rob Scuderi: 05-11-2012 at 04:52 PM.
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