Archie Hooper and Harry Westwick by D.A.L. MacDonald
Two more profiles from the "Turning Back Hockey's Pages" series by D.A.L. MacDonald featuring pre NHA hockey stars. Insight into hockey on the South Shore of Montreal - St. Lambert in the late 19th century.
Another "Turning Back Hockey's Pages" profile by D.A.L.MacDonald. Jack Brannen was a support player in the pre NHA era. Known as a speedskater. Accompanying picture shows the skates from the era. Better suited for speedskating.
Wow, interesting aside there about Archie Hooper alright, quite the story really... Westwick on the other hand, started out as a Goalie playing with the Ottawa Seconds but was soon converted to Rover. Quite the Lacrosse player as well according to his profile pages.
St. Patrick's Day featured a tribute to the great Frank McGee, pre NHA superstar. Best "Turning Back Hockey's Pages" by D.A.L.MacDonald. Excellent historical treatment, comments from Frank McGee's contemporaries and interesting comparisons to recognizable NHL stars of the 1930s. Must read.
March 15,1934 Albert "Dubbie" Kerr by D.A.L. MacDonald
This "Turning Back Hockey's Pages" profile by D.A.L. MacDonald features Albert "Dubbie" Kerr. another early great. Interesting introduction that provides some insight into early 20th century hockey scouting.
Another "Turning Back Hockey's Pages" profile by D.A.L. MacDonald. This one features Harry Trihey. Especially interesting since it traces the roots of Montreal Catholic High School hockey to its roots at St Mary's on Bleury. Well into the 1950s, Montreal Catholic high schools, public and private, produced excellent hockey teams and players. Scroll to page 13 in the link:
Rather interesting eh, that in such a short span so many seminal & great players should collectively come from St.Marys like that... It was actually Harry Trihey who was the first to encourage Defenceman to carry the puck and the first to use the three forwards as a line, leaving the Rover to roam which was his natural position on the ice. In a Stanley Cup game against Quebec in 1899 while with the Shamrocks, Trihey (he was also the team Captain) scored 10G's in a 13-4 victory.
Same befell other stars - Harvey, Geoffrion, Moore, Plante. Others previously - Olmstead. Changed somewhat under Pollock - Beliveau, H.Richard, Cournoyer but under Frank Selke Sr. few made it to the end of their careers with the Canadiens. Point could be made that Lemaire and Dryden beat Grundman at the game by retiring.
Not even Selke would have dared to trade Maurice Richard or, had he stayed around a decade longer, Jean Beliveau. It was generally regarded as simply unthinkable that either of them would ever play for another club, and, in any event, neither of them would even have considered doing so.
Some of those players Selke got rid of left their hearts in Montreal. As a Canadiens fan, I hated those trades because those players still had a lot to give and were still worthy of donning the Canadiens sweater, as they demonstrated when playing for their new clubs.
There's a clip from the early 1960s somewhere on the Internet that features Frank Selke talking about Richard. He claims Richard retired too early, that he was capable of playing for another five years. It was not then generally known that Selke had, in effect, forced Richard to retire, practically shoving him out the door. And so Selke is somewhat disingenuous on the clip. As I recall, Selke did make reference to Richard's battle against his weight problem in his last couple of years, the effort it would have required for Richard to get down to a weight at which he could have excelled in play and avoided injury. and the fact that Richard would not have settled for less than playing excellent hockey. But he left the distinct impression that retirement was Richard's choice and against the club's wishes, when the precise opposite was the case.
One reason Selke's statement went unquestioned was that the Canadiens had put Richard on their protected list in the summer, preventing other clubs from picking him up. It was assumed that the Canadiens could hardly have wanted him to retire because they had used one of the limited number of protected player spots on him. But the main reason the claim was accepted as a matter of course was that Richard himself, typically, said nothing; he was always reticent and particularly reluctant to say anything against the club.
According to the Red Fisher column, Fisher was sitting outside the office when Richard, having been called in by Selke right after the morning on-ice practice, was meeting with Selke. Fisher said Richard was grim-faced when he entered the office and 30 minutes later stormed out fuming. "They want me to retire," Richard "snapped" as he stomped off, according to Fisher. Later that day a press conference was held at which Richard announced his retirement, claiming it was to make way for younger players. Richard had scored four goals against Jacques Plante in a practice scrimmage that very morning.
That old skinflint Selke no doubt got pleasure out of saving the team some 20 thousand dollars in salary with Richard gone (assuming he paid the minimum to the player he was able to add to the team's roster due to Richard's absence). It was karma coming back to kick him in the behind when, without Richard to lead them, the Canadiens went out to the Black Hawks in six games in the Stanley Cup semifinals their first season following Richard's retirement--although they had again won the regular season title, finishing 17 points ahead of the third-place Hawks, with Geoffrion becoming the second player, after Richard, to score 50 goals in a season and Beliveau finishing second in the points scoring race--thus ending their streaks of five straight Stanley Cup victories and 10 straight seasons in the Stanley Cup finals. The Canadiens never again won the Stanley Cup under Selke, who presided over four straight semifinal eliminations after Richard left and then retired. All eight Stanley Cups the Canadiens won under Selke came with Richard in the lineup.
The Canadiens protected Maurice Richard because they knew they could not sneak him thru the draft.
They moved Ab McDonald to a contender offering more than draft value. By accounts Andre Pronovost was not protected and snuck thru.
Fact remains that within one season, the Canadiens moved three depth players from the 1960 SC Championship team - Andre Pronovost to Boston, Bob Turner and Albert Langlois, post 1961 to Chicago and New York.
Also in 1934 Leo Dandurand traded Howie Morenz and about 12 years earlier had traded Newsy Lalonde. Likewise Frank Selke Sr while part of Leaf management saw Charlie Conacher, Busher Jackson and King Clancy traded.
March 10, 1934 Frank "Pud" Glass by D.A.L. MacDonald
A "Turning Back Hockey's Pages" profile of one of the support players from the early 20th century, Frank "Pud" Glass. D.A.L. MacDonald reveals interesting details about the amateur / professional composition of teams and that salaries of the 1907 Wanderers were revealed:
Riley Hern profile from the "Turning Back Hockey's Pages" series by D.A.L. MacDonald. Traces Hern's nomadic path from Stratford to Houghton to Kenora, finally Montreal with the Wanderers. Considered the best goalie of his era, perhaps challenged by Paddy Moran:
Yes, thanks, Killion, I've seen this before, but I guess I missed the part where Richard says "When Mr. Selke asked me to retire ...." I referred to the meaningless front office job and Richard's alienation from the club in my first comment on this thread. The mention of Richard's age puts this clip as coming from 1975 or 1976. It was another decade before Richard made his peace with the club, around 1985, when the Canadiens introduced at the Forum the members of the club's all-time all-star team as one of the many public relations gimmicks employed to detract from the team's lack of success on the ice.
The distance Richard felt from the club and his mention in the clip that no one remembered him play make his emotional reaction to that ovation he got when the Forum closed in 1996 all the more understandable. No one who saw him play had forgotten him, and those who never saw him play, the vast majority, had learned who he was.
But it remains a sad truth that the Rocket is more remembered and honored during the Canadiens' bad years--when the club needs to resurrect him to remind the fans of its glory years and its greatness. When the team was winning Stanley Cups, as in the 1970s, the club could not have cared less and he was ignored.
I've always appreciated Red Fisher's columns, but imagine a sports journalist sitting on the revelation that the Rocket was actually forced out the door, which would have caused an uproar among the club's French-speaking supporters and quite possibly many of its English-speaking supporters. I suppose it's the old story of sports reporters "embedding" with the team and keeping things close to the vest if revealing them might threaten their access to the club. The truth undermined the mythology the Canadiens spun around the club and the Rocket.
I suppose it's the old story of sports reporters "embedding" with the team and keeping things close to the vest if revealing them might threaten their access to the club. The truth undermined the mythology the Canadiens spun around the club and the Rocket.
Yes that was very much prevalent and the norm from the late 20's through the 60's (reporters "embedded"). Beholden to the 06 Clubs to varying degree's, looking the other way, never reporting anything really that might reflect badly on an individual or the team itself, ownership & management included. Hard for the younger generations to perhaps understand or appreciate, but reporters were in most cases under-paid by the papers, relying on largesse from the clubs including travel (train), accommodations (discounted or free) etc. "Gifts" at Christmas time & so on.... many today complain about TSN, CBC or whomever as never covering stories properly that reflect badly on the NHL or franchises as they dont want to jeopardize their rights in broadcasting games, only getting on subjects like Phoenix or whatever when everyone else has.
The saga of Alan Eagleson another example. For years players screaming loudly to reporters at the Globe & Mail & Toronto Star in Toronto about all kinds of malfeasance, they completely ignoring them, only reluctantly covering the unwinding story after the FBI & Justice Department filed charges in MA, Russ Conway, a reporter in a Podunk town down there busting things wide open with his investigative journalism. Yet in the city of Toronto where the crimes mostly occurred? Radio silence. Nada. The Globe thereafter over-compensated, went all Pit Bull on the NHL & NHLPA, so now when you read it objectivity not exactly honest, always negative, painting a blacker picture than is necessary let alone accurate in regards to any number of stories.
Wirtz in Chicago, Ballard in Toronto & ya, the Habs through the 70's (80's as well in Chicago & Toronto) never really gave much back to the guys who built their franchises. Indeed, Ballard spent near on 30yrs trying to destroy every last vestige of the Smythe era & didnt care who he crushed in the process. All about Pal Hal. Toronto of course are experts at re-packaging & re-selling the past since pretty much the 90's. When your lousy today & the future looks bleak, always our glorious history to wrap in the colors. Eddie Shack, Bower, The Chief all wheeled out in convertible Mustangs for a wheel around the ice pre-game. Rather than actually "retire" anyones number, just "honor" them. Well, for this old Warhorse that doesnt cut it. They cant even get that right. Wirtz, another horror story. Alienates everyone. Couldnt give a frigg one way or the other about it either. Just nuts....
February 27, 1934 Ernie "Moose" Johnson by a D.A.L. MacDonald
Another "Turning Back Hockey's Pages" profile, Ernie "Moose" Johnson.
D.A.L. MacDonald discusses hockey longevity from the early era, Johnson ability with a long stick and his impact on hockey rules. Seems old Moose had a knack for throwing his stick.
February 22, 1934 Clint Benedict by D.A.L. MacDonald
One of the better profiles in the "Turning Back Hockey's Pages" series features Clint Benedict. D.A.L. MacDonald touches on Clint Benedict's teams - great Senators of the early twenties, his rivalry with Georges Vezina and the Canadiens, his career ending injury plus goes into detail about his style. Must read for the goaltending fraternity: