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07-27-2014, 11:56 PM
  #9
Concordski
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Ya it is an interesting story & not without precedent. Howie Meeker served two years (won a by-election, Conservative, Waterloo South Riding) in Parliament in the early 50's also while playing for the Leafs. Red Kelly was sort of recruited as a "Star Candidate" and worked on a number of Committee's after getting elected. He asked for & received permission from Imlach, Stafford Smythe et al and was given the green light to run, provided it didnt interfere with his ability to show up for games & practices etc. Apparently pretty hectic, an awful lot of travel, and his wife gave birth to a couple of kids during that period to top it all off. Never missed a game due to his MP duties but some close calls apparently. Like arriving 5 minutes before a puck drop. Because of who he was (multi-time All Star etc) Imlach cut him a lot of slack. Didnt freak on him the way he did for far less on say a Brewer or Baun.

Conn Smythe still had an office at Maple Leaf Gardens & sort of kept an eye on things including the players, busying himself with charities, thoroughbred racing & breeding, special projects & so forth one of which was leading the charge against Liberal Prime Minister Lester Pearson who wanted to replace the Red Ensign with a "new" Canadian flag to be unveiled in 1967, Canadas Centennial Year. Was quite the hotly debated issue for several years. Canada had fought in 2 World Wars and other hot zones under that flag & 10's of 1000's dying under it. Was the symbol, emblem of the country. Old Soldiers & Conservative traditionalists were enraged. Didnt help matters that the design concepts being floated were beyond pathetic. So as Red Kelly tells it, whenever Conn Smythe saw him at the Gardens he'd bend his ears inside out over his Liberal parties plans to mess with Canadas flag & emblem, but that he was always a Gentleman about it....
I did not know about Howie Meeker. It appears as though he did not play as much upon his election to the House of Commons, whereas Red Kelly was able to do both (I assume he didn't have a perfect Ottawa attendance record, but no one ever does).

And yes, star candidates are a thing, but star candidates are now usually retired NHL players, sons of politicians, news anchors, public intellectuals and MuchMusic VJs. Times have changed. Active NHL players in parliament have gone the way of the SoCreds.

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