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01-30-2013, 04:11 PM
Rob Scuderi
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LW, Bert Olmstead

(thanks to EagleBelfour for the basis of this bio and a number of quotes)

602 points in 848 GP
59 points in 115 playoff GP, x5 Stanley Cup winner (1953, 1956-1958, 1962)

Nickname: Bert, Dirty Bertie
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 180 lbs
Position: Left Wing
Shoots: Left
Date of Birth: September 04, 1926
Place of Birth: Sceptre , Saskatchewan, Canada

Stanley Cup Champion (1953, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1962)
Stanley Cup Finalist (1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1959, 1960)
Second All-Star Team (1953, 1956)
Played in NHL All Star Game (1953, 1956, 1957, 1959)
Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (1985)

Top-10 Scoring (4th, 5th, 7th, 9th)
Top-10 Assist (1st, 1st, 2nd, 9th)
Top-10 Penalty minutes (7th)
Top-10 Playoff Scoring (2nd, 5th, 6th 9th)
Top-10 Playoff Goalscoring (4th, 6th, 7th, 10th)
Top-10 Playoff Assist (1st, 1st, 5th, 6th)
Top-10 Playoff Penalty minutes (5th, 5th, 6th)
Calder Nomination (3rd)
Top-10 Hart Nomination (5th, 6th)

- In 1949-50, he was put together on a line with Metro Prystai and Bep Guidolin. They were dubbed the "Boilermaker Line"
- Olmstead was traded to Detroit by Chicago with Vic Stasiuk for Lee Fogolin Sr. and Stephen Black on December 2nd, 1950
- Eight days later, he was traded to Montreal by Detroit for Leo Gravelle
- Bert Olmstead 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 scored eight points in a game, tying a league record
- Olmstead was claimed by Toronto from Montreal in Intra-League Draft om June 3rd, 1958
- In Toronto, Punch Imlach named Olmstead his assistant and he was the one running the practices
- He was claimed by NY Rangers from Toronto in Intra-League Draft, June 4th, 1962. He refused to report, although the Montreal Canadiens promessed him to trade for him in the first month
- Olmstead played in the Stanley Cup final in 11 of his 14 seasons in the NHL
- In the 1967–68 season, Olmstead served as coach of the expansion Oakland Seals

Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
For much of his time in Montreal he played on the number one line. Initially this meant playing with Elmer Lach and Maurice Richard, succeeding the retired Toe Blake on the famed scoring line. Later he was on the left wing with Jean Beliveau and Boom Boom Geoffrion, and, surprisingly, it was his more famous linemates who claimed Bert was the key to the combination.

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.

In Toronto, his career was rejuvenated and his experience proved a catalyst to the team's improved fortunes as the 1950s became the 1960s...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.

Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier's Greatest Hockey 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."

Originally Posted by 1958 Parkhurst Card
Olmstead did not possess tremendous skating skills or speed, but he made up for his shortcomings with strength in the corners, power, defensive ability and forechecking skills, and an excellent scoring touch and playmaking vision... In Montreal, Dirty Bertie, as he was known to opposing players on the wrong end of his body checks called him, played for the Stanley Cup in every season with Les Habitants, winning four with the organization (1953, 1956-1958). Olmstead led the league in assists in 1954-55 and 1955-56, setting an NHL record for assists in the latter, until it broken by linemate Jean Beliveau in 1961.
Originally Posted by Our History - Montreal Canadiens
Power forwards have been around a lot longer than the term itself. Lean and mean Bert Olmstead did a lot of the heavy lifting on two of the greatest forward lines of all time. A 20-goal scorer with Chicago the year before, Olmstead joined the Canadiens during the 1950-51 season and remade himself into one of hockey’s greatest playmakers.

Olmstead’s job was to work the left side of the ice, winning battles along the boards and digging the puck out of the corners to create scoring chances for his teammates. He filled this role as well as any man in the league.

Originally Posted by Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol. 3
Olmstead was a hard hitting type of player who went into the corners with determination and did not yield the puck without a battle. He was a leader and his spirit rubbed off on the other players.
Originally Posted by Sports Illustrated - 3/19/1956
Nonetheless, despite the unquestioned contribution of Montreal's big scoring guns and of Bert (Old Elbows) Olmstead—that relentless puck-digger who has been almost as instrumental as Beliveau in making their line with Geoffrion the outstanding forward combination in the league

Originally Posted by
Olmstead also talks about a sixth sense that the line had about each other's positioning. In his autobiography, Beliveau talks about Olmstead ordering him not to assist him in retrieving pucks along the boards. Whether he was fighting one, two or three opponents, Olmstead promised Beliveau he would get him the puck if Beliveau was in front of the net, in position to shoot. It worked that way for five years.

"There wasn't enough room for both of us in the corner and somebody had to score the goals," Olmstead said. "I knew I could get the puck so I told him, 'Don't move from where I last saw you. It takes me three, four or five seconds to get the puck and it's going where I last saw you.'

"You gave Jean the puck in the slot and it was in!" Olmstead said. "We didn't have to do fancy plays, just bread and butter. If it didn't go in, somebody made a hell of a stop."

Originally Posted by Jean Beliveau: My Life in Hockey by Jean Beliveau
Another veteran who shaped my game in my first years with Montreal was Bert Olmstead, the hard-rock left-winger who could hammer an opponent senseless and seconds later chew you out on the bench because you were three inches out of position on a play. The best years Boom and I ever had - and remember that we won back-to-back scoring championships in 1955 and 1956 - was when Bert was on our line. He never let us relax or gave us a minute's rest. He was always after us, pushing, pushing.

Often, Bert would be banging away in the corner with two or three opponents draped over him, while I wanted out front of the net. Instinctively, I might drift over to help him, but he'd scream, "Get the hell out of here! Get back in front, and stay there!" More often than not, he'd come up with the puck, Boom or I would receive the pass, and we'd find ourselves staring down the goalie, unopposed.

Pity the defensemen who faced us in those days. If you played on the right side, Dickie Moore and Bert Olmstead would be pounding you shift after shift.

Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - 1/5/1961 (Lloyd Percival)
Bert Olmstead of the Toronto Maple Leafs is praised by [unreadable word] hockey experts for his great forechecking, his ability to go into a corner and dig the puck out. This makes Bert the kind of player any coach loves to have on his side. But if you watch Olmstead carefully you will suddenly begin to realize that he has other [unreadable word] equally well developed.

One of the skills Olmstead has developed to a high level is setting up a play. Perhaps because he is not a smooth skater Bert's ability to set up a teammate with a perfect pass, to make the move that creates a good offensive situation, is inclined to be overlooked. But the young player, anxious to learn how to set up a play, can do no better than watch the Leaf left winger.
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix - 10/31/1962
He was considered by many to be the major inspiration behind Toronto's Stanley Cup victory last season, despite the fact he played only 56 games and scored 36 points during the regular season.

A belligerent checker, he began his NHL career with Chicago Blackhawks in the 1948-49 season.,4757926

Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - 4/21/1958
It is a tribute to the shrewdness of Frank Selke in obtaining Bert from the Detroit Red Wings some years ago. Since that time he has become a major cog in the big Canadien wheel. Always known as one of the top playmakers in the league, Bert's usefulness does not stop there. He is also an excellent penalty killer and one of the best back-checking wings in hockey.
Originally Posted by The Windsor Star (Jack Dulmage) - 3/25/1961
The loss of Bert Olmstead due to a knee injury suffered in a collision with Howe, complicates Imlach's problem of checking the big Detroit right winger.

In the first game, Imlach, at the start employed the Olmstead line against Howe. Abel accepted this arrangement, countering the Frank Mahovlich line with the Ullman unit...But after a while, Imlach moved Mahovlich against Howe. This suited Abel better. "I'd sooner have it that way...But darned if no sooner he does that than he comes back with Olmstead. So right there I decided to hold the line. That's why I pulled Howe off and sent out Ullman's line.,2748887

Originally Posted by Hockey is a Battle: Punch Imlach's Own Story by Punch Imlach and Scott Young
One of the toughest things I had to do at the 1962 meetings was leave Bert Olmstead unprotected...Olmstead had been able to play only about forty game the previous season. The way he played the game was all out, all the way. He played the danger spot, the corner, as if there was no tomorrow. In close quarters or at passing or taking a pass he was as good as he ever had been, if not better. But when end to end skating was needed he had trouble.

...And I know he went out that season and in the 1962 playoffs to show me that he still deserved to be protected. Some people thought he was a dominant figure in our last two games against Chicago, when we won the Stanley Cup, and I wouldn't argue with that.

Originally Posted by (Red Fisher) - 1/19/2009
The Leafs had put Bert Olmstead on Geoffrion. Olmstead, in a twist, was a former Canadien who had held Gordie Howe off the score sheet some years earlier when he had reached the 49-goal mark. And for two periods, Olmstead worked his magic, holding Geoffrion to only one shot in each period.

Originally Posted by Sports Illustrated - 11/6/1967
Olmstead, a fine checking wing himself...

Originally Posted by The Sunday Sun - 4/1/1961
Cesare affirms that it is the few veterans who are the backbone of the Leafs but singles out George Armstrong and Bert Olmstead more than Red Kelly. "Armstrong as captain, has to get the team going. Olmstead is the guy who can fire the team up."
-''I grew up on a farm and I learned early how to work hard.'' - Bert Olmstead

-''He didn't stand any nonsense from us. Bert was about hte best left wing I ever saw when it came to fighting for possesion of the puck. And if I was where he wanted me, parked in front of the net, his pass would be perfect. Playing with Bert, I always felt that he got the best out of me, that he made me do smarter things than I would of done myself.'' - Jean Béliveau

-''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.'' - Kenny Reardon

-''Ollmstead could hammer an opponene senseless, and seconds later chew you out on the bench because you were three inches out of position'' - Jean Béliveau

-''The last game I played for Montreal I won the Cup and the last game I played with Toronto I won the Cup. So there you go!'' - Bert Olmstead

Last edited by Rob Scuderi: 12-09-2014 at 05:33 PM.
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