An idea occured to me some time ago, and I have decided to finally go ahead and do it. I have noticed in all of my research that I often find the most interesting pieces of information about old-time hockey not in the game reports, but in the "commentary" sections of the sports pages, which are generally written by the editor of the sports section. So I decided to go do some digging, gather the names of the relevant writers, and search for everything that Google archives would give me that they had written about hockey. This is an ongoing project and anyone who wants to help me is more than welcome.
Dink Carroll is my first subject. I threw a bunch of different forms of key word queries into Google News until I was satisfied that I had exhausted what they had on his hockey writing. A few articles I deemed uninteresting, but for the most part, I found some interesting nugget in nearly every hockey column of his that I uncovered. So here they are.
Last edited by Sturminator: 04-03-2012 at 01:52 PM.
The New York Rangers, who have become the tradingest team in the NHL in recent years, taking over from the Detroit Red Wings in that respect, pulled another one yesterday.
This one involved seven players and was made with the Chicago Black Hawks. The Rangers gave up Camille Henry, Don Johns, Billy Taylor and an unnamed player for Doug Robinson, John Brenneman and Wayne Hillman. The big name in the deal is Camille Henry, but we'll get back to him in a moment.
It was February of last year that the Rangers swapped Andy Bathgate and Don McKenney to Toronto for Dick Duff, Bob Nevin, Rod Seiling, Arnie Brown and Bill Collins. This deal virtually guaranteed the Toronto team the Stanley Cup and Jean Beliveau, among others, protested against such exchanges being allowed so late in the season.
If you look at it now, the Rangers appear to have gotten the better of that trade. Nevin, Seiling and Brown are regulars with the Rangers and so is Bill Hicke, who went to the Blues a month or so ago in a deal that brought Dick Duff to the Canadiens...
The Rangers admitted they were taking the long view, building for the future, and they did help themselves from that standpoint. Seiling and Brown are promising young players and Nevin, until he was hurt, was their most valuable player this season. Indeed, until he was forced out of action, the Rangers were among the first four in the league standings...
Camille Henry is tied for second with Norm Ullman in goals scored so far this season with 21, and only Bobby Hull has scored more. He has scored most of them on the power play, though he is a member of the highly-productive French Line along with Phil Goyette and Rod Gilbert.
- didn't know Nevin was considered so valuable to the Rangers right after coming over in that trade.
- didn't know about the French Line of Henry - Goyette - Gilbert. Those were pretty good even-strength linemates for The Eel, but he really doesn't seem to have been all that great an even-strength player. One of the strangest specialists in hockey history.
It could be that the two game suspension Phil Esposito drew for shoving an official helped him. He picked up enough points over the weekend to run his point total to 101, a new league record, which is money in the bank for him because nobody keeps a guy who sets records off the First All-Star team. He had aching feet when he drew the suspension and the rest must have done him good.
"My feet only hurt when I'm standing still," cracked Esposito, who is not without humor.
"Conditions didn't demand much of him in Chicago where he was always under the shadow of Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, a couple of great players. They were years ahead of him and were established team leaders...
Bobby Hull was aware of Esposito's potential and was openly critical of the trade that took him from Chicago to Boston. Esposito had pivoted the line that Hull played on and, when he was no longer there, Hull missed him. It's doubtful if even Milt Schmidt expected that trade to work out as well as it has.
- didn't know that Hull had openly criticized the Esposito trade at the time. Bobby often made life tough for his coaches and GMs.
- it's easy to forget that Milt Schmidt had a second career as a great GM, and was the principal architect of the 70's Bruins. I believe he acquired Cheevers and Green in trades, as well, and I know he traded for Vadnais. I know we don't draft GMs here, but Schmidt was a legitimately great one.
It took the Canadiens just 14 seconds to wrap up the Stanley Cup on Saturday night, the recorded time after the opening faceoff that Jean Beliveau scored the first goal of the deciding game of the series against the Chicago Black Hawks. They scored three more after that before the first period was over, but they didn't need them. Beliveau's was enough because the Hawks were held scoreless be the fast-skating and close-checking Canadiens, who were definitely the better team in this series...
It was remarkad earlier that the Canadiens were definitely the better team in this series. Home ice prevailed, admittedly, but the Canadiens played well enough in Chicago to win two of three games played there. The Hawks never looked like winners in any of the four games played here, and they were shut out in the last three.
New Honor For Beliveau
Jean Beliveau won the Conn Smythe Trophy, and he certainly deserved it. He scored, set up plays, checked persistently and set the pace for his teammates. It was no accident that his linemates, Dick Duff and Bobby Rousseau, also enjoyed a good series.
The Hawks relied too much on Bobby Hull and it proved to be too big a job for Hull, brilliant player though he is. But it must be remarked that Claude Provost was outstanding in covering the Hawks' star. Neither Bruce MacGregor nor Paul Henderson, who tried to do the same job for the Detroit Red Wings in their semifinal series with the Hawks, was able to stop Hull. Provost could do it because he has the speed, the strength and the stamina to stay with him, lift his stick and get a big enough piece of him to slow him down a bit. Henri Richard is another who could skate with Hull for short stretches.
J.C. Tremblay came into his own in the playoffs. He is a master of picking the puck off an opposing player's stick and getting it out of his own end. Coach Toe Blake had his team up for the playoffs and he did some remarkable hunching with his goalkeepers. Both Gump Worsley and Charlie Hodge played well, which indicates that he had them in there at the right time. But the coach can't win. Now he can open his summer home at Mississquoi Bay and find it's been broken into again. It happens every spring.
- didn't know the home team won every game of this series.
- good lord, did the Hawks roll over and die in Game 7.
- nice laurels for Beliveau, Provost and Tremblay, and for Blake and the goalies, as well.
Last edited by Sturminator: 04-04-2012 at 04:10 AM.
Manager-Coach Punch Imlach of the Toronto Maple Leafs received a quick down payment from his trade with the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday when the Leafs won a 7-2 decision over the Philadelphia Flyers.
That's more goals that the Leafs have scored at times in a half-dozen games this season and he admitted making the trade to increase the team's firepower. What's more, all three players acquired in the trade - Norm Ullman, Floyd Smith and Paul Henderson - scored, and the line showed the way for the rest of the Leafs...Norm Ullman was awarded the first star and he really earned it. From the ovation he received, it seemed that the fans had already forgotten all about Frank Mahovlich.
Ullman has been a fine two-way hockey player for a long time - he's probably the best forechecker in the league, though he always seems to be able to find his way into the slot when the puck comes out - and you wonder why the Red Wings were ready to part with him. Maybe Imlach answered that question when he explained why he was ready to include Mahovlich in the trade.
"To get something good," he said, "you have to give up something good."
But Ullman implied in a television interview that there was a little more to it than that, though he didn't spell it out. He certainly didn't look unhappy at finding himself in a Toronto uniform.
The trade recalls another that Imlach made on February 22, 1964, in which he shipped Dick Duff, Bobby Nevin, Arnie Brown, Rod Seiling and Earl Collins to the New York Rangers and got Andy Bathgate and Don McKenney in return...
Ron Andrews, publicity director of the NHL, was talking about it yesterday. "Imlach has pointed out that it was a good trade for the Leafs because it helped them win the Stanley Cup that year and the Rangers haven't won anything since," he said, "but the trade kind of boomeranged on him in the 1965 playoffs when they lost to the Canadiens in the final series. The Canadiens won the series on power play goals and there isn't any doubt that the Leafs missed Bobby Nevin as a penalty killer."
- more confirmation of Ullman's excellent two-way game and terrific forechecking.
- interesting that Ullman may have had some stress with the Red Wings organization before the trade. Another guy who didn't get along with Jack Adams?
- Leafs fans indirectly hate on Mahovlich even after he's gone.
- more confirmation that Nevin was an outstanding penalty killer.
Clarence Campbell, president of the National Hockey League, at long last yesterday announced the results of his investigation into a reported player-gambler hookup in his own league. He found that two players were involved.
Billy Taylor, lately of the New York Rangers, has been expelled for life while Don Gallinger, of the Boston Bruins, has been suspended indefinitely. Taylor is 29, Gallinger 22.
This is the first time since the National Hockey League was formed in 1917 that a player has drawn life expulsion for betting activities. Big Babe Pratt was in the wrong a couple of years ago when it was discovered that he had been betting on hockey games and had made a practice of associating with professional gamblers. But Babe had been betting on his own team and was so contrite at the time that Red Dutton, then the league head, let him up after he'd been suspended for a couple of weeks.
- wow...what an idiot Pratt must have been. There is another Dink Carroll article which I'm not going to post in this thread (because there's not really any valuable information in it) where he jokes about the fact that the Leafs were so bad that season (must have been 1945-46) that Pratt could only have lost money by betting on himself. We already had an image of Pratt as perhaps not the most gifted player in terms of hockey sense, but risking expulsion from the league only to lose money is really hurr...durr territory.
Last edited by Sturminator: 04-06-2012 at 12:25 PM.
there is , you can use it to change the odds by showing how confidant you are etc... and then make someone else bet against you for a larger amount of your own money with better odds and slack your performance.
of course this is just an example and it's a bit on the conspiracy side , but it happened in sports.
It's also gives an impression of possible fraud if the athlete or team in question lose.
there is , you can use it to change the odds by showing how confidant you are etc... and then make someone else bet against you for a larger amount of your own money with better odds and slack your performance.
of course this is just an example and it's a bit on the conspiracy side , but I'm sure it happened in sports.
But that's betting against your own team (if via proxy), which is obviously wrong.
Which brings us back to the series again. If there has ever been any better goaltending exhibited in a Stanley Cup final than that offered by Bill Durnan and Frankie Brimsek, no one can recall it. These two are high on the list of all-time great netminders. They are largely responsible for the low scores and the tenseness of the games.
- there's some other information in there about the Cup finals series, but nothing else of any great interest.
- more information on Brimsek's postseason record, which seems to have been very strong.
- Durnan at his peak seems to have been comparable to Brimsek, so we shouldn't underrate Durnan, though he was obviously not as dominant as Brimsek for as long.
There is still some distance to go, but the Canadiens are halfway home. What's more, they are going to be a more rested team than their opponents going into the Stanley Cup final, which may provide them with the edge they need to win the cup.
They were a better team than the Toronto Maple Leafs in the semifinal series which they could have closed out in four straight if all the breaks had gone their way. But perhaps that would have put them at a disadvantage because they would have been forced to wait around for more than a week before the final series started, a protracted delay which isn't good for any team.
Of course, there is another way of looking at it. If the series hadn't gone to six games, they wouldn't have lost Jacques Laperriere, which leaves coach Toe Blake with a problem. Only last Saturday, Toronto's King Clancy was talking about Laperriere.
"I think the defense lost that last game for the Canadiens in Toronto," he said. "They're pretty slow. Laperriere is the fastest of the lot, though I don't think he was as good in the second half of the season as he was in the first."
The coach now has a few days in which to find a solution to the problem. He can give Jean-Guy Talbot, a guy who can move, a regular turn on defence, but for the last couple of months he has been using Talbot as a penalty-killer and occasionally at left wing. If he didn't think Talbot was more effective in those roles than as a regular defenseman, he wouldn't have given him those assignments.
- interesting about the rest of the Habs defense being slow at the time, and about Talbot's role. I don't know how often Talbot played the wing, but his goals definitely did spike a bit in 1964-65.
In 1946, sports gambling was heavily tied to the mafia, yes. That is no longer the case.
Right. All major professional and college sports in North America in the first half of the 20th century had problems with players taking money from professional gamblers to affect the outcome of games. Hockey had fewer problems than the major American sports, but they were certainly aware of the problems that could arise when players associated with gamblers and bookies. That's the context in which Pratt's gambling was viewed.
During the past couple of weeks, we have listened to a (???) of talk about great centres and their style of play. Dick Irvin declares that only two in recent years had the capacity to "make" wings. "One was Bill Cowley, and the other was Elmer Lach," said Dick. "Cowley was the better playmaker, but he wasn't as good a hockey player as Elmer because he was weak defensively."
"Tell Irvin," said Bill, his lip curling slightly, "that there is no neccessity to backcheck when you have the puck all the time."
But Cowley wasn't the greatest playmaker Dick had ever seen. He reserved that distinction for Duke Keats.
"Keats was a slow skater," Dick said, "but he was a wonderful stickhandler and so big and powerful that you couldn't get at the puck. He'd hold it until his wings were in position and then put it on the stick of one of them."
Carroll says that he is not in position to argue with Irvin about Keats, because he had never seen him or "Frank Nighbor, Newsy Lalonde, Joe Malone" or other "greats of the past." But he had seen Frank Boucher, Neil Collville, Joe Primeau, Marty Barry, Hooley Smith, and Cooney Weiland, all of whom "could set up plays."
Milt Schmidt, Syl Apps, Teeder Kennedy, Sid Abel, and even Howie Morenz are not classified in the trade as great playmakers, though acknowledged as great hockey players.
"They belong to the 'driving' type of player, Dick Irvin said. "Fellows like Schmidt, Kennedy, and Abel go into the corners and get the puck out to their wings." Apps used to hit the defense at top speed and Drillion would come behind and pick up his garbage. Apps used to get sore when I told him that Drillion profited from his mistakes.
Howie Morenz wasn't a good playmaker, said Elmer Ferguson. "Aurel Joliat was the playmaker on that line and the greatest playmaking left-winger of all time. Just like Bobby Bauer at right wing was the playmaker for the Kraut Line."
Link was originally posted by nik jr during the 2011 lineup advice thread
Notice the importance of puck possession in "playmaking" in the description of Duke Keats and the contrast to "driver" type players. I think a classic "playmaker" was like a point guard in basketball - he was the guy who stickhandled the puck down the ice and made the first pass in the offensive zone. This makes sense because before 1944, the forward pass was prohibited between zones, which meant that a player needed to skate the puck into the offensive zone before he could pass - no dump and chase. This would explain why someone like Bobby Bauer with relatively low assist totals would be considered a "playmaker," but someone like Sid Abel, who has excellent assist totals would not be considered one. Feeding a teammate off the cycle would not be considered "playmaking."
Milt Schmidt has better assist totals than Bauer, and Howie Morenz has better assist totals than Joliat. In the modern sense, the centers would be considered "playmakers" based on what they did in the offensive zone, but I think that before the Red Line, skating and stickhandling the puck into the offensive zone was considered part of playmaking - possibly the biggest part.
Interesting that Hooley Smith was considered a classic playmaker, and not a driver.
In 1955, Johnny (Jack) Crawford said Maurice Richard was the best player he ever saw.
Originally Posted by Jack Crawford
At least he's the greatest scorer I ever saw. He can do more things better inside the blue line than anybody else. You never know what kind of move he's going to make and his shots are always on the net.
"A guy" asked Crawford about Jean Beliveau, who some thought was the best player in the league and had a chance at being the best player of all time. Crawford said to wait 5 years before comparing him to all-time greats.
"Someone" said that Maurice Richard was one of the most exciting athletes ever, right up there with Jack Dempsey, Babe Ruth, Red Grange and Ty Cobb. "Just reeking with color." Crawford responded:
Originally Posted by Jack Crawford
Oh he's got it all right. Beliveau has color too, but not in the same way. You know who was something like the Rocket? Milt Schmidt.
Those three fellows on the Kraut Line were all different in temperament. Woody Dumart would parade up and down his wing all night. He had a placid temperament and it was hard to get him annoyed. Bobby Bauer was a very smart hockey player at right wing. He used to work out plays for the line, and he was the playmaker too. He paid strict attention to his knitting and he hardly ever got a penalty. Why he won the Lady Byng Trophy too.
Milt was the fireball of the line. He was a wonderful skater, a great bodychecker, and a fine all-round player. But he had a temper. Nobody ever gave him the works and got away with it. When a game exploded, Milt was right in the middle of it.
Lots of praise for Milt from his former teammate Crawford, and yet another reference to Bauer basically being the brains and playmaker of the line. Yet, Bauer was just not credited with that many assists. I really do suspect that "playmaker" at the time was like a point guard in basketball or a powerplay quarterback today, rather than the guy who made the final pass for a goal.
Later in the article, Crawford said that Frank Brimsek "for his first two or three years in the league" was the best goalie he ever saw. This would include Durnan, Broda, and basically all of Sawchuk's prime. But it could have just been Crawford pumping his old teammate.
Dick Irvin was also quoted extensively on Syl Apps:
Originally Posted by Dick Irvin
Apps was a great broker, field runner. He could carry the puck, but he wasn't a great scorer. Gordie Drillion led the league in scoring twice just by cashing in on Apps mistakes once he hit the defense. The fellow who could get the big goal on me for the Leafs was Charlie Conacher.
Great description of Apps' ability to go end to end with the puck and not necessarily know what to do with it, and Drillion as basically the ultimate garbageman. I have seen it said elsewhere that the only reason that Hap Day tolerated Drillion's lack of, basically anything without the puck, was because of his chemistry with Apps.
The article then goes on about Apps' lack of creativity:
Syl once confessed that he found it difficult to vary his tactics aroundthe goal mouth, the thing that Rocket Richard does so superbly.
The article then quotes a reporter who interviewed Apps and found that when the Leafs visit New York, Apps always went to the same hotel, had breakfast, went to his room, went for a walk (always the same walk), sat around the lobby, ate, then rested until game time. The reporter said, "New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world and he didn't seem to have any curiosity about it."
I believe this is the last of the Carroll columns nik jr originally posted during ATD2011 to get posted here.
Background (this is not the actual Dink Carroll column, but appears next to it on the same page
Apparently, the Detroit Red Wings of the early 50s had a "problem" with too much profanity on the ice that fans could hear from the stands.
President Clarence Campbell of the National Hockey League said yesterday that obscene language by players is a poor advertisement for hockey and he is taking that general approach when dealing specifically with the Detroit Red Wings.
Campbell said there have been "lots of spectator protests" but no specific complaints against any club other than Detroit.
After apparently receiving complaints from fans, Campbell himself heard profanity from the stands, left his seat, and went behind the bench to talk to Red Wings coach Jimmy Skinner. Skinner told Campbell to mind his own business. Detroit boss Jack Adams was incensed. He denied that Detroit used more profanity than and told the media that the Board of Governors should censure Colin Campbell for interfering with Detroit's coach while the game was in progress.
(note - Colin Campbell sure made lots of friends around the league in 1955. This was only a few months before he was the center figure in the Richard Riots in Montreal).
The Dink Carroll column
The column talks about Tony Leswick in the context of Campbell's crackdown on profanity. Dink Carroll refers to a piece in MacLean's magazine that just came out called "The Biggest Pest in Hockey," about Leswick, who Carroll calls "one of the biggest offenders in his choice of vocal epithets."
Leswick is five-foot-five and weights only 155 pounds, but don't let that fool you. He has a neck like the late Bull Montana and seems to be made of India rubber. The biggest guys in the league take a reef at him and all he does is bounce. He doesn't appear to have much regard for his life, as he is constantly needling opposition players and inviting them to attack him.
"I've been cut by some of the best players no longer in hockey," he boasts. "They're all washed up - I'm still around."
Carroll writes about Leswick's longstanding feud with Maurice Richard. One of Leswick's favorite taunts was suggesting that Jean Beliveau (who at that point was halfway through his first full season in the NHL) would steal all Richard's glory. But the feud had been going on long before Beliveau came around "and the things Leswick has been shouting at the Rocket for the last 10 years couldn't be printed in a magazine like MacLean's." Richard was asked what about Leswick made him so mad and he replied, "suppose we start with his face."
Ted Kennedy was another of Leswick's favorite targets. Leswick would call Kennedy "Captain Syl," basically calling Kennedy a wannabee version of Syl Apps (Kennedy took over Apps' captaincy when Apps retired):
You never saw the day you could carry Apps' skates, Captain Syl, and what's more, Captain Syl, you never will.
The MacLean's article refers to an incident between Leswick and Kennedy to show Leswick's value to the Red Wings dynasty. With 12 seconds left of the first OT of Game 5 of the 1954 Stanley Cup finals, Leswick and Kennedy were battling for the puck in a corner:
"Hey Captain Syl, Leswick snarled, "I got a present for you."
He hauled back his right fist and belted Kennedy right between the eyes. Kennedy dropped his stick and piled into Leswick. Both were put off for fighting. Detroit didn't score in the remaining 12 seconds, but after a minute and one second of the next overtime period, Ted Lindsay fired the winning goal. Ted Kennedy is the "take charge guy" on the Toronto team and it was disorganized without him.
A funny story about how Leswick's mouth got him in trouble in a restaurant in New York when customers took his comments about Fern Flaman (who he was also feuding with) out of context:
Leswick has frequently feuded with Fern Flaman, the Boston Bruins defenseman. It started when he was a member of the New York Rangers, and Bill (Bill Frayne, writer for Maclean's) recalls a night in Madison Square Garden when the Bruins were playing the Rangers. Leswick took quite a thumping from Flaman and he was still steaming when he accompanied Bones Raleigh, another Ranger, for a post game snack in a restaurant near the Garden.
"Next time Boston's here, I'm gonna kill him," growled Leswick. "He's always got his stick up around your neck, digging away. I'll pound his head through the ice."
He was overheard by another patron who didn't understand hockey jargon. But he heard the words "kill him" and "stickup" and "ice," and thought he'd come across a couple of diamond smugglers. He called the police and a couple of them quickly arrived on the scene.
Confronted by a couple of lean and scarred and reasonably dapper hockey players, the cops were loathe to accept explanations. Finally, a call to Frank Boucher, coach of the Rangers, convinced them.
Carroll compares Leswick to the old "jockey's" in baseball who were forced to curb their language so "women and children" in the stands didn't have to hear all the profanity. He calls Leswick one of the few jockeys in hockey. He then mention's Referee Bill Chadwick's famous statement that Leswick "could bring out the worst in a saint."
Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 03-03-2013 at 07:37 AM.
Carroll speculates that the soft ice in Chicago was actually helping Toronto in their first round playoff series, since it was slowing down the faster Black Hawks.
The column contains a description of the way Imlach was handling Sawchuk and Bower.
It was a very physical series and Bobby Hull was in the middle of it:
There was a lot of hitting in this game, more than in any one game in the series between the Rangers and the Canadians, and there were also quite a few penalties. The Leafs were able to kill them much better than their Chicago rivals. A couple of games back, Imlach blasted Bobby Hull for charging his players. He was asked if this wasn't bad psychology since it might rouse Hull to even greater efforts.
"I don't give a damn about Hull," he shouted. "He'll keep on charging my players because he knows they (the referees) will let him get away with it. I'd do the same thing. I'm making noise because I want it noticed."
More praise for Toronto's penalty killing, which was generally excellent and really a hallmark of that team throughout Punch Imlach's time there.
But what I find most interesting is the part about Bobby Hull. I think it's well known that Hull took it upon himself to batter Borje Salming at the 1976 Canada Cup (for some reason this is often put up on the history board as evidence of Hull's defensive play... which is... odd). But here is Hull doing the same thing in the 1967 playoffs. I don't know if he always did it, but it seems like in big games, Bobby Hull was quite the physical player.