Joel also enjoyed a long career as a solid defenseman before he focused his attention towards coaching.
Also known as "Herbie," Joel survived through 13 NHL seasons through intelligence and dependability. A poor skater by NHL standards, Joel learned quickly how to play within his limitations to make himself into a valuable NHL commodity. Although he put up some impressive numbers in junior hockey, Joel played a conservative and unspectacular defensive game at the NHL level, always making the safe play. This didn't win him many accolades with the media or the fans, but his coaches and teammates truly appreciated Quenneville's subtle yet important contributions
Twice he was named as the Whalers most valuable defenseman (1984 and 1985) and he played a big role in helping Hartford win the Adams Division championship in 1987.
- Charter Member of the IIHF Hall Of Fame
- Member of the USA HHOF
- Olympic Gold (1960) - was USA's captain
- Olympic Silver (1956)
- World Championship Bronze (1962)
- 4th in scoring in 1960 Olympics with 12 points
- Led USA with 10 points in the 1956 Olympics (6th in tournament)
- Named Top Defender at World Championships (1962)
- 27-17-44 in 46 games in Seven Pool A, Senior Men's Major International Tournaments from 1956-1969
- Led Midwest Collegiate Hockey League in scoring four straight seasons (1952, 1953, 1954, 1955)
- Leadership: Playing Coach of the Green Bay Bobcats from 1962-1971
Originally Posted by Spitfire11
Scored 144 goal and 298 points in just 111 games for the NCAA University of Minnesota, 2.6 points per game, and 1.3 goals per game and still holds all Minnesota's scoring records. He also led Eveleth High School to four straight Minnesota high school championships from 1948-1951, never losing a single high school game in four years, 10 of his records still stand.
Originally Posted by VintageMinnesotaHockey
Mayasich is regarded by many as one of the best American born Ice Hockey players of all-time even though he never played professionally. Mayasich won the Western Collegiate Hockey Association scoring title in 1954 and 1955 and was an All-American three years in a row at his university. Mayasich's #8 is the only retired number today by the Historic Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey program. Mayasich was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976
Originally Posted by John Mariucci
John (Mayasich) brought college hockey to a new plateau. He was the Wayne Gretzky of his time. And today if he were playing pro hockey, he would simply be a bigger, stronger, back-checking Gretzky
Originally Posted by The First Miracle On Ice
Opponents simply had no way to shut him down. His moves were too crafty, his shots too hard. Mayasich had his own unique calling card -- a wicked slap shot that would have been the envy of any NHLer except Bobby Hull.
Originally Posted by Jack McCartan
For my money, John Mayasich was the best American hockey player that I've ever seen.
Originally Posted by Reading Eagle, January 29, 1956 (Olympics)
Mayasich, a former University of Minnesota athlete, was the standout player for the Americans, playing a brilliant all-around game and back-checking powerfully.
Originally Posted by The Spokesman – Review, February 1, 1956 (Olympics)
the two big architects of the gigantic hockey reversal were John Mayasich, a four-time All-American from Minnesota who scored three times…
Originally Posted by The Day, March 17, 1958 (College)
although he is playing, John Mayasich, the top defenseman from Eveleth, Minnesota, has a bad shoulder. Almost every time he made contact at last night's contest, he winced. But he went all the way and the coach says Mayasich would be in action again tonight.
Originally Posted by Christian Science Monitor, March 25, 1960 (Olympics)
and Mayasich, who played a wonderful defensive game throughout the Olympics… (Snippet of pay article )
Originally Posted by Hartford Courant, March 9, 1961 (World Championships)
Mayasich Leads Yanks Again – it was big John Mayasich of Green Bay, who led the Yanks. Playing the whole game, the US national team veteran rushed and… (Snippet of pay article)
Originally Posted by Milwaukee Journal, January 9, 1962 (USHL)
Green Bay has been bolstered by the return of John Mayasich, playing coach who serves either at center or defense…
Originally Posted by Tri-City Herald, March 21, 1969 (USHL)
John Mayasich, the Americans 35-year-old coach from Green Bay, played a stout game on defense…
- 6'1", 201 lbs
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1987, 1996)
- 22nd All-time in games played with 1431
- 23rd All-time in PIM with 2479
- Captain of two NHL franchises for a total of 6 seasons
- 8 20-goal seasons
- 7 50-point seasons
- 148 NHL Fights
- Played in NHL All-Star Game (1996)
- Career Adjusted +22
Originally Posted by loh.net
A combative right-winger with an above average scoring touch... Over the years, he reached the 20-goal mark eight times and was valuable team leader who often played his best hockey in the post-season... The hard-working youngster scored eleven goals and played solid defensive hockey under Mike Keenan in 1986-87. He also contributed ten points when the club reached the Stanley Cup finals that spring. Mellanby's scoring touch and diligent effort all over the ice made him one of the Philly's top players... The robust forward scored 82 points over two years with the Oilers and helped Edmonton reach the semi-finals in 1992. After the Florida Panthers claimed him at the 1993 Expansion Draft, Mellanby became a regular with the club for seven and a half years... he was an offensive and emotional leader on the young club when it marched all the way to the Stanley Cup final... As the team struggled in the late 1990s, the classy veteran continued to battle. In February 2001, the powerful St. Louis Blues acquired him as they readied themselves for the playoffs. Mellanby scored three goals while helping the club reach the Western Conference championship... As a member of the Thrashers, Mellanby would be named Captain in only his second season with the club. That season he would help the Thrashers reach the playoffs for the (only) time in franchise history...
Originally Posted by Philadelphia Flyers Encyclopedia
added to the depth of the flyers offense a time it was seriously needed… Mellanby continued to be a force behind team success… He could score and fight… Mellanby took leadership qualities to other teams… The work ethic and competitiveness established in Philadelphia remained very much alive in Florida.
Originally Posted by The Greatest Moments and Players of the Philadelphia Flyers
Scott Mellanby seemed too young for the NHL and certainly not ready to be an impact player. But the man who brought him into the fold – GM Bobby Clarke – had no doubts about the young man's future. "If he wasn't ready for the NHL, we wouldn't have signed him. We've been watching him for a long time and we like what we see."… "My game then was getting into the corners, working the puck out".… In the 1987 playoffs he looked every bit the well-rounded player Clark thought he would be. "Scott fit in well," recalled former teammate Ron Sutter. "He was good along the boards, rarely made a mistake and played an all-around game."… At this point Mellanby's career appeared ready for an orbit to significantly higher level. He was playing all ends of the ice, doing the intangibles that appeal more to management and stats loving fans and gaining NHL maturity…
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1987-88
Mellanby is a good, hard skater with a lot of drive and the ability to back up a defenseman at the blue line. Right now, he goes right to the defenders and does so at one speed, so he'll have to moderate that to be successful. He checked fairly well in his first year in the league, and his skating and hockey sense helped him there. Mellanby has the ability to read the play – both offensively and defensively – and that ability should improve as his experience increases. He has a hard shot which should be released quicker, and Scott likes to draft cross ice to the left face-off circle before delivering it.… Mellanby is a physical winger and he uses his size to advantage offensively and defensively. He'll use his body to check and – like most flyers – enjoys the hitting part of the game. But he'll also drive to the net with his strength by staying with the puck even when he is checked. He strong enough to not only get his arms and hands free, but also to get off a quality shot. Just as he has the determination to drive to the net despite the opposition, Mellanby has the determination to make it in the NHL. He works hard at improving his game and showed that he has the character to rebound from setbacks.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1988-89
though the strength of Mellanby's game found in the physical aspects of hockey, he is still a good – and improving – finesse player. He's a strong and powerful skater, but he's a little stiff. That means he's not very agile or fluid, and straightahead style is to his benefit. He uses his teammates fairly well, and can make plays coming out of the corner with the puck… Has a good shot, quick and strong… Gets planted in front of the net on the flyers PowerPlay… Has outstanding size and strength… Puts those assets to work in a strong boards and corners game, and he's a good bet to outmuscle the opposition for the puck… He willingly uses his body to check and enjoys the hitting part of the game…
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1989-90
has yet to fully acclimate to the speed of the NHL game in terms of play reading and puck movement, but he continues to show the understanding of the play's implications and he does get into scoring position eventually… Plays the physical game with gusto… Has a tendency to go one step too far…
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1990-91
Mellanby brings a number of weapons to bear in his finesse game… Read the ice well and get into position to score… Has the hand skills to score from in tight as well… Not a graceful skater by NHL standards, but a driving skater, and that power generates speed for him down the way… Can be defensively reliable, but can also make mistakes in his positional play.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1991-92
Mellanby is a grinder with a fine scoring touch the potential to produce 30 to 35 goals… Hands are the least of Mellanby's worries… As a skater, he is something of a workman… Falls somewhat short in imagination away from the puck… Mellanby does some of his best work in confined areas along the boards of the corners. There, the game slows to a crawl more suited to his speed, Mayor he can scrum for the puck – using the strength his upper and lower body to significant advantage. Mellanby will throw his shoulder into people, will reveal a mean streak and will fight if things sink to that.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1992-93
has a decent burst of straightahead speed, which helps him drive to the attacking zone the dump and chase game. Has a finesse move or two, plus a decent scoring touch. He is alert and responsible away from the puck, more from the defensive sense of the offensive sense. He would have more goals if he spotted the holes and jumped into them in the attacking zone… Mellanby hits eagerly. He is especially active in the attacking zone of course, forechecking aggressively. He is better, though, in confined areas where it is just Mellanby, a defenseman and a tango for the puck in the corner.… He's not going to make it on his hockey gifts alone; Mellanby needs to flesh out the bones of his game with hard work. He knows that, accepted, and plays as though honored by the privilege of wearing and NHL sweater. Desire is the turbo drive of his game.
Originally Posted by Hockey Almanac 1993-94
in the mold of a power forward, Mellanby isn't blessed with great agility or moves, but he skates with speed and force. He isn't shy about banging bodies or battling along the boards for a loose puck. He throws his share of body checks and will shed his gloves for occasional bout, but he's no goon... Mellanby isn't much of a playmaker. He gets his share of assists, but is more useful as a finisher.
WILL - play it tough
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1993-94
his effectiveness comes in tight spaces where he can use his size. He is good on the power play, working down low for screens to tip. He doesn't have many moves, but he can capitalize on loose pucks… Mellanby seems to score goals that count. 24% of his goals over the past three seasons were game winners… Mellanby has become very responsible defensively… Mellanby forechecks aggressively, using his body well to hit and force mistakes in the attacking zone. He participates in one-on-one battles in tight areas and tries to win his share. He is also willing to mix it up and take penalties of aggression.
Originally Posted by Hockey Almanac 1994-95
strong skater and a willing banger... His leadership helped the younger players on the team… One of the reasons the Panthers were so competitive in their first year in the NHL was the presence of players like Mellanby…
WILL - score and play tough
CAN'T - be a fancy Dan EXPECT - excellent leadership
DON'T EXPECT - good manners
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1994-95
the goals don't come naturally to him, but he is determined and pays the price in front of the net.
Originally Posted by Hockey Almanac 1995-96
He'll camp in front of the net and scrounge for rebounds and deflections.
WILL – bump and grind EXPECT – a leader
Originally Posted by Hockey Almanac 1996-97
Mellanby is a powerful skater who crashes the zone and camps in the high slot, creating havoc with his size and strength. A willing banger, Mellanby has experienced a tremendous revitalization in his career since becoming a cornerstone veteran on a talented, hard-working team. He has been a pillar of strength… You have to look hard to find something wrong with Mellanby's game. Criticizing him for his lack of foot speed for example, is like putting down a piece of chocolate because it doesn't taste enough like sirloin steak… He has worked hard and become one of the NHL's most respected leaders.
WILL – win respect
CAN'T – be underestimated EXPECT – great team guy
DON'T EXPECT – to push him
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1996-97
his success is based on his work ethic. Any letup and the letdown will come in the scoring department.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1997-98
he was the Panthers main target on the first power-play unit… He works for screens and tips… Has developed a quicker release and more confidence in his shot… Seldom misses an opportunity to rub his glove in an opponents face… He's very strong along the boards and uses his feet when battling for the puck.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 2000
has become more of a defensive player in recent seasons
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 2001
he could be a rental player down the stretch for playoff team with the more traditional style that Florida's.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 2002
added leadership to the blues, and management like him enough to give him a new two-year deal… Will still give his best effort on a nightly basis.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 2003
he has played through pain, both physical and personal… He is a gamer… He had an outstanding playoffs.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 2004
every successful team needs a heart and soul guy just like him… He kept the blues from feeling sorry for themselves for being without Chris Pronger most of the season.
Originally Posted by Miami Herald, April 27, 1997
The rule is unclear, but the Panthers are certain Scott Mellanby was not to blame for plowing into goaltender Mike Richter on a controversial play ...
Originally Posted by USA Today, May 6, 2002
known for playing best when he plays prickly...
Originally Posted by Chicago Tribune, April 25, 2007
one of the NHL's most respected leaders
Last edited by seventieslord: 11-01-2010 at 12:31 AM.
- 5'9", 190 lbs
- Stanley Cup (1949, 1951)
- AHL 2nd All-Star Team (1953)
- Placed 12th, 13th among NHL defensemen in scoring (1942, 1950)
Originally Posted by loh.net
Defenceman Bill Juzda used his 5'9" 190 lb. frame to punish opposing forwards with some of the hardest open ice hits of his era. He was not blessed with immense talent in the areas of skating and puck handling but he played his position effectively and was a difficult defender to get past.
Originally Posted by The Leafs: An Anecdotal History
A short, blocky man who provided the Leafs with four years of obstinate defense
Originally Posted by Hockey Towns
Among Hubbard's teammates one year was the rambunctious Bill Juzda, who'd played with the NY Rangers and the Leafs. "We called him The Beast. He could hit like nobody I've ever seen... Juzda and I played defense together. He'd get the man, and I'd get the puck."
Originally Posted by Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide Of Everyone Who Has Ever Played In the NHL
The pair (Barilko and Juzda) were regarded as the hardest hitters in the game, and proof for Juzda comes in the form of a famous photograph from the Gardens that shows Maurice Richard breaking the "unbreakable" Herculite glass, the result of a thundering Juzda check.
Originally Posted by Metro Ice
Meanwhile, Richard broke his stick over Juzda's head, snapping the shaft in two. Juzda arose slowly, like a Frankenstein moster, and tackled Richard, bringing him down violently.
Originally Posted by Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame
The life and hockey career of Bill Juzda was every bit as colourful as his nickname “The Beast”. A hockey journey that began in 1938 with the Elmwood Junior Maple Leafs saw success through Junior, AHL, NHL, Intermediate and Senior levels.... Following the war he joined New Haven and was drafted by the Rangers in 1946-47. The next season he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs where he stayed until 1951 and won two Stanley Cups... Upon returning to Winnipeg he played for the Maroons and twice lost in the finals of the Allan Cup; once in 1955, they lost to the Penticton Vees in the western final (the Vees went on to win the World Championship). The Maroons settled for a tour of Czechoslovakia where veterans still refer to a bone-rattling body check as a “Juzda”.
Originally Posted by Stuart Juzda
"He was very competitive. He was known as Rocket Richard's Anglo nemesis," ... "He was a very defensive defenceman, the old-fashioned kind. Actually, if you look at the penalty minutes, he had very few."
Originally Posted by Ultimate Hockey
Leaf boss Conn Smythe wanted (Leo Boivin as) a replacement for Bill Juzda, who had retired at the end of the previous season.
Originally Posted by Fishler's Hockey Encyclopedia
the closest thing to a fireplug on skates… "He was a terrific body checker," said Bill Ezinicki, who played both with and against Juzda. "A guy who Is capable of wrecking you."
Originally Posted by Those Were the Days
Richard broke his stick over Juzda's head, snapping the shaft in two. Juzda staggered to his feet, arose, tackled Richard, picked up a stick, and broke Buddy O'Connor's jaw with it.
Originally Posted by Conn Smythe: If You Can't Beat Them in the Alley
we had figured at first he would wind up in the minors, but he just dug in from training camp on and defied us to play without him. He was a big body checker, along with everything Else, guts to burn, gave every ounce, every game.
Originally Posted by Years of Glory 1942 to 1967: The NHL's Official Book of The Six-Team Era
Bill Juzda, a railroader out of Winnipeg who hit with the force of the locomotives that he jockeyed in the offseasons. In one of his more memorable games with the Rangers, Juzda had body checked Toe Blake of the Montréal Canadiens so heavily that Blake's skate became lodged in the boards. When he fell, Blakes leg was badly broken, and his playing career was over.
Originally Posted by Portraits of the Game: Classic Photographs From the Turofsky Collection at the Hockey Hall of Fame
one of the most famous shots in hockey appeared the next day in both the Star and the telegram but is printed here in its entirety for the first time. A surprised Vic Lynn watches the rocket bounce off the new Herculite at the gardens just as the glass shatters. This split second required remarkable luck to capture… Although Lynn, because of his proximity to the rocket in this picture, seems to have been the hitter, it was in fact "The Beast," Bill Juzda , who caused Richard's skate to hit the glass.
Originally Posted by Barilko: Blood On the Ice
Bill Barilko was enjoying an excellent season, playing alongside Bill Juzda on a more regular basis after an injury to Garth Boesch. Juzda and Barilko became the Leafs' best defense pairing that season, and upon his return Boesch ended up relegated to fifth on the depth chart.
Originally Posted by Blood on the Ice
when Ted Lindsay was done with Ezinicki, Bill Juzda nailed Ted with a hard left and felled him.
Originally Posted by Chicago Tribune, January 16, 1947
Juzda had four stitches taken In his scalp but returned In the second... (snippet of pay article)
Originally Posted by NY Times, March 6, 1947
suffered a possible fracture of the left knee in the third period when he was driven into the boards by Bill Juzda... (snippet of pay article)
Last edited by seventieslord: 11-04-2010 at 01:25 AM.
- 5'9", 165 lbs
- Stanley Cup (1947, 1948, 1949, 1951)
- 6th in goals, 15th in points (1947)
- Top-10 in Playoff Scoring Twice (8th-1947, 9th-1949)
- During the span of Meeker's six productive seasons (1947-1952), only one undrafted player had more points or a higher PPG average.
Originally Posted by loh.net
Meeker played one more year of junior hockey, dividing his time between the Stratford Kroehlers and the Brantford Lions of the OHA before missing the next two years due to military service during World War Two. He was badly injured during his service, when a grenade went off between his legs. Thankfully, he made a full recovery. He returned to hockey for the 1945-46 season at the age of 21, joining the Stratford Indians of the OHA Senior A. In seven games he had eight goals and 13 points. It was this strong play that earned him notice from the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, who proceeded to sign him to a free-agent contract on April 13, 1946. In his rookie year with the Maple Leafs, Meeker appeared in 55 games, scoring 27 goals and 45 points, which was good enough to earn him the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, beating out other big names including Detroit's Gordie Howe. He also tied the NHL record of most goals scored in one game by a rookie when he scored five against the Chicago Black Hawks on January 8, 1947.
The post season was every bit as successful for Meeker and the Maple Leafs, who went on to win the first of three consecutive Stanley Cup championships. In 1947, Meeker scored four goals and four assists in the playoffs as the Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens in the championship finals. In 1948 they upended Howe and the Red Wings in four straight games and turned the same trick again in 1949. Meeker missed a good portion of the 1948-49 regular season due to a collarbone injury, sustained in a practice...
Meeker was a member of a fourth Stanley Cup championship with Toronto, in 1950-51 where they defeated the Canadiens four games to one on the famous overtime Cup winning goal by defenseman Bill Barilko. He played another three years in a Leafs' uniform but never attained the level of offensive success throughout his career that he did in that first rookie season of 1946-47. During his playing days with the Maple Leafs, Meeker was a member of the "Tricky Trio" line with Ted Kennedy and Vic Lynn.
Originally Posted by Fischler's Hockey Encyclopedia
when Conn Smythe returned to Toronto after serving in Europe during World War II and began rebuilding his Maple leaf hockey club, he emphasized a policy of hard-nosed play. "Nobody," said Smythe, "pops anybody on this club without getting popped back. I'm not interested in hockey players who don't play to win. You can take penalties, but you gotta play to win." Then, Smythe went about the business of finding youngsters who fulfilled his requirements. One of these kids was Howie Meeker, a fighter of the Smythe mold… Meeker helped create the cup winning goal by teammate Bill Barilko. Howie outsped several pursuing Montréal players early in the overtime, captured the puck, and set up teammate Harry Watson…
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
With Meeker's tremendous success on radio and television (as well as in print for that matter), it is easy to forget that once upon a time Meeker was a pretty good hockey player in his own right... his promising playing career was cut short...
Originally Posted by The Leafs In Autumn
who would've picked Howie Meeker for future fame in the old days? Not me. I remembered him as the guy who scooted down right wing. He had a funny way of skating. It got him where he was going but it was motion without elegance… Meeker got the job done but looked mildly comical doing it.… Meeker was a sassy little guy with the leafs.
… Here's Babe Pratt, huge and ponderous, slowly skating toward the center ice line at the gardens far behind the rest of the play. Pratt is on the Boston Bruins, but a couple of years earlier he'd been a brief Leaf hero… So here's Pratt trailing the play, which is already moved swiftly from the Boston and belief side, and here's a Meeker skating up behind him. His path carries into practice right side. Pratt doesn't know Meeker's there. Meeker moved close enough to breathe on him. And then, as sudden as an evil wink, out of some mad inspiration, as Meeker passes Pratt he slaps his stick on the back of babes skates. Pratt's feed shoot out from under him like Oliver Hardy executing a pratfall. His bum bounces off the ice, and in the crowd we are all laughing fit to bust. We've seen the joke, but the referee and linesmen and the other players have been tending to business. Their backs were turned. What's with the laughs, they don't know. But we know, and Meeker notes. I'm 15 years old, and I think how easy great guy, a cutup.… "You remember that?" He said. "Well, Pratt had run me into the post at his end of the rink. He didn't do that very often, but he did it this time. So when I came back behind the play, I gave him a wack to get even. It was a foolish thing to do. There was humor in it, you know, a 5 foot 8 guy dumping a 6-foot 4 guy – but foolish. But I own up to it. "
"… Me, I could skate and I could check. I couldn't pass. A lot of us on the team have that affliction. And with the puck, I was a dumb player. I didn't know how to move with the puck, where to go, how to get in position to make the next play.… The line worked for us for as long as Kennedy had the sense to get out ahead of the play and crossed the line before Vic and me... Like I was telling you, he didn't have the legs. Lynn & I did, and with Kennedy firing the puck to us young scooters, we could always pop away at the net. Kennedy wasn't bothered by the affliction the rest of us had. He was a great passer. He kept Lynn & me in the league."
"Gardner was a good stop and go hockey player, Harry went up and down his wing, and I did a lot of checking. We fit together okay."
Originally Posted by PowerPlay! The Story of the Toronto Maple Leafs
then there was Howie Meeker, from new Hamburg, Ontario, who had survived a grenade blast at his feet during the war and showed the kind of right wing speed that Smythe liked...
... One of those kids was Howie Meeker, a fighter of the Ezinicki mold... Doctors said he'd never play hockey again. But there he was on leafs. Meeker was fast and tough, and he loved to fight with Gordie Howe of Detroit and Tony Leswick of the Rangers. Al Nickelson of the Toronto daily Star described about with Leswick: "the two started shoving, and the action ended when Meeker picked Leswick off in a crotch hold, threw him on the ice with the bodyslam, and, with Meeker atop, Leswick's head hit the ice, leaving him a groggy fellow."
Meeker's hard work was crucial to Barilko's Stanley Cup Winning goal:
Originally Posted by The Leafs: An Anecdotal History
on Kennedy's line, the responsibilities were simple. Howie Meeker and Vic Lynn skated – both had excellent strength and speed – and Kennedy passed.
... Gardiner, Meeker and Watson came on as forwards for the leafs.… The puck was in the Montréal zone. Meeker had put it there. Meeker, always a player of hustle and speed, chased after the puck behind the Montréal net and to the right of the goalie… Tom Johnson, Montréal's tall defenseman, fought Meeker for the puck. Meeker won. He popped it in front. Harry Watson, two McNeil left, took a crack at the puck. Nobody's certain whether Watson's shot forced McNeill to make a save or whether the puck bounced off the poster off another Montréal player. What is sure is that, in the next millisecond, McNeil went down, diving to the left corner of the net, while the puck caromed in the opposite direction, in front of the goal to the right side. It was at this point that Bill Barilko seized the moment...
Originally Posted by Hockey! The Story of the World's Fastest Sport
Meeker, who later was to become a member of Canada's Parliament, was fast and tough and had a congenital desire to fight with Gordie Howe of Detroit and Tony Leswick of the Rangers.
Originally Posted by Gordie: Hockey Legend
one trophy he'd never win was the Calder; for the rookie of the year would be the Maple leafs hustling Howie Meeker, with 27 goals… In one game, little Howie Meeker made the error of mixing it up with the big Howe. As described by the Toronto Star, "Howie swung once and buried his head in Howe's midriff. Gord promptly hit him three on the top of the noggin, raising a set of goose eggs."
Originally Posted by Lord Stanley's Cup
in game two of the finals Howie Meeker dropped the gloves and bravely fought old elbows… And lost badly.
Originally Posted by Maple Leaf Legends
Hap Day, who had scouted Meeker is a Junior, suggested that conn Smythe signed the feisty right winger… He displayed a bit of a temper… Speedy and tough, although not very big… Meeker's numbers were never as good again, but he was a very efficient up-and-down winger for the leafs for the next eight seasons. His line with Kennedy and Lynn was one of the best two-way lines in the league.
The year after his great rookie season, Meeker went in to negotiate a new contract with smite. He thought his demand for a $1500 raise was very reasonable, but learned that Smythe was tracking his progress when the boss informed him that his plus minus numbers were not very good. Meeker was not even aware the statistic existed and smite had to explain how it was reached… Smythe said that the game films showed that Chicago's Roy Conacher in particular had gotten the better of him during the 1947-48 season. Meeker still got $1000 out of Smythe, but he asked to see the film so he could improve his game. He learned to check Conacher from viewing the tapes and ended up +5 by the time the 1948-49 season was over.
Meeker actually welcomed fights with Lindsay - but not because Lindsay was a box of cherries...
Originally Posted by Stop It There, Back It up!
Oddly enough, the two wings I tangled with on an almost daily basis were Howe and Lindsay. Despite their being tough, mean players, I had no personal grudge with them, or at least not until after several battles. There were other wings I wanted to have a go at but somehow wound up with the big two– Lucky me. It seemed I would always start swinging with Lindsay and then partway through Howe would step in and take over... Terrible Ted played left-wing and I played right so we were nose to nose most of the night. He was not big but he was mean, tough, and strong so sooner or later one of us bad tempered little battlers would start something with the other. Ted more often than not pummeled me on an equal basis and hardly needed any help from Gordie. But all of a sudden I looked up and there was the big fella. With Gordie I'd swing but he connected. Like I've said before, Gordie and I seldom actually fought. Gordie fought – I just took the ****-kickings. As insane as it may sound, I was relieved whenever I started to scrap with Ted and Gordie didn't step in and pound me into submission. Better Ted than dead.
Originally Posted by Golly Gee, It's Me!
Howie demonstrated more than just a scoring knack. He let the entire league know his diminutive size would not impede him or his feisty style of play. Indeed, he tossed his 160 pound frame around with reckless abandon, took on all challengers, and by year end had amassed 79 penalty minutes, 10th most in the league. How we dropped his gloves a number of times that first year, sometimes standing up to a challenge, other times just being an obnoxious, pugnacious pest. The latter behavior embroiled him in one of his while the scraps that season. Former Maple leaf Billy Taylor, a player Howie actually admired, was the target of his bad attitude that night.
"Billy was a hell of a nice guy, didn't fight a lot. I guess I was on him most of the night and he finally gave me a whack with the stick. I popped it back, he punched me with his glove, and away we went. It just escalated from there. Next thing we were really flailing away on the ice. They split us up and sent us to the penalty box. Taylor was just yapping at me and I was steaming mad. Next thing I know I feel this hard thump on my shoulder – he'd reached over the timekeeper and gate and punched me. Luckily I'd moved and he nailed my shoulder. If he'd hit me with that punch he'd taken my head off. Well, I wasn't taking that nonsense and I went after him. Next thing you know the bench is flooded with players, linesmen, ushers, a couple of fans, and finally about a dozen cops. It was wild, just simply wild. Poor Billy, I don't know what I did to make and so pissed off…"
Last edited by seventieslord: 11-05-2010 at 10:41 PM.