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How Do You Rank the 1973 Montreal Canadiens?

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10-18-2013, 01:56 AM
  #26
Peter9
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No, not to my knowledge LBD, no issues of ethnic racism from the public nor within the ranks of players. Canada was (still is) back then a major melting pot, particularly post war with massive immigration from Eastern Europe, Italy etc. For sure there was some xenophobia on the street, in the workplace, but I dont recall anything like that ever being directed at Mahovlich. As for Imlach, I really dont know. Possible but I doubt it. I think he just rode Frank because Frank was/is beyond a Gentleman, respectful & polite, would essentially just sit there & take the abuse in stoney silence as would everyone else whatever his last name be it Brewer or Walton or you name it.... and it was 1960/61 that he topped out at 48 Goals with actually (my mistake) 14 (not 11) games left before hitting a wall. Played on a line with Red Kelly & Bob Nevin. Could well be Imlach started messing with him then as if he'd broken Richards record he'd have been asking for more money & old Punch along with Smythe & Ballard were as cheap as they came. So instead of celebrating a wonderful season for Frank, the fans actually got on his case for failing to hit 50 while very likely behind the scenes Imlach was riding him on the pine & verbally. Very strange isnt it? The Leafs played a Defensive System, Traps. Highly creative play was discouraged, ridiculed by Imlach and his boring style won Cups. As a result, the fans loved him.
I agree there was no overt ethnic racism at the time but, Killion, you have to admit there were prominent people connected to the sport who still couldn't pronounce or spell Mahovlich's name when he retired. They just didn't care enough to get it right, and I think that was a bit revealing.


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10-18-2013, 05:28 AM
  #27
Canadiens1958
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Jacques Demers

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Originally Posted by Peter9 View Post
I agree there was no overt ethnic racism at the time but, Killion, you have to admit there were prominent people connected to the sport who still couldn't pronounce or spell Mahovlich's name when he retired. They just didn't care enough to get it right, and I think that was a bit revealing.
Actually literacy in hockey is a long standing issue - see Jacques Demers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Demers

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10-18-2013, 11:30 AM
  #28
Killion
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I agree there was no overt ethnic racism at the time but, Killion, you have to admit there were prominent people connected to the sport who still couldn't pronounce or spell Mahovlich's name when he retired. They just didn't care enough to get it right, and I think that was a bit revealing.
Yes quite true. Some knowingly mangling the names (like Imlach) in that sort of WASP'ish arrogance born of the British caste system which was beyond hypocritical as they themselves came from poverty, be it the Irish via the Potato Famines or whatever. A sort of "assumed" superiority quite prominent in Toronto throughout the late 19th through mid 20th centuries. Many many people anglicized their names in both Canada & the US in order to precisely avoid that sort of thing, that they were somehow second class citizens as new immigrants with their surnames a dead giveaway, while at the same time making it easier to both pronounce & write in an english speaking environment.

So yes, it certainly did exist and Imlach born & raised in Toronto pre WW2 quite possibly a xenophobe. Knew exactly what he was doing with his juvenile ribbing of Frank Mahovlich in deliberately messing with the mans surname. Ive seen it in Toronto, everywhere really including the UK. Brits looking down their noses when asking some Irishman for the correct spelling and or pronounciation of their names... "is that O'Reilly as in ey or ie"? type dealeo. Poor guy cant even read or write. Answering with "whatever suits you Governor", the Public School Boy then gleefully establishing himself as a Superior Being of culture & class. So oh yes, definitely existed, exists. But like I said, never heard or read anything untoward in that regard with Mahovlich, Mikita, none of them really. If Imlach was so inclined, its a wonder he survived at all in Quebec City, as the french as well generally a target of that sort of bigotry. Extended to religious ends as well, Catholic vs Protestant, how names were spelled, points of origin from the old country etc...

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