Ya, Pride of Yorkton Saskatchewan. Top ranked Junior over 4yrs with the Moose Jaw Canucks, leading the team to the Memorial Cup but coming up short. Played all 3 forward positions, "utility". Smallish at 5'8" and 155lbs.... started out with Chicago & was then traded to Detroit after 3 seasons I think it was, winning 2 Stanley Cups with the Wings, then returned to Chicago in 55, traded back to Detroit around 56/57, finishing his career in the minors after breaking his leg badly. Went on to Coach for sometime.
I remember Metro Prystai well from watching him play on Hockey Night in Canada (and Newfoundland) beginning in 1953. He was past his peak scoring years by the time I saw him; the Red Wings used him largely in a checking role. It was obvious that he had the skills to be much more than a defensive player. He was small and very well built but also very fast; he played like a little bundle of dynamite.
A very nice memorial recap of his career appears on the apparently new website/blog named Benched: A Final Farewell to Canada's Athletes.
^^^ Man I miss that SF. All the players, all teams wearing tan leather gloves, tube skates, wooden sticks, no helmets.
Man oh man, me too. I read a story on The Classical website this morning about how much aesthetics matter in sport, to all sports fans as a matter of course but particularly when it comes to attracting new fans. (The linked article focuses on soccer, but its points are more general and it does have some takes on the aesthetics in other sports and is well worth a read by fans of all sports.)
Anyway, that got me to thinking how much less attractive in appearance the NHL game is today than it was in the 1950s and 1960s. Watching a film or tape of a game from those decades, one is immediately struck by how beautifully clean and clear the visual aspect is, how uncluttered it is, how much easier the game is to follow.
It's not just the huge bulk of the modern day players, partly stemming from changes in equipment. Nor is it just their helmets and visors, hiding their head and facial appearance. All of these are aesthetically displeasing but are also justified as necessary for player safety. Rather, it's mostly those advertisements on the boards circling the entire rink and the markings covering huge portions of the ice surface, disfiguring the entire neutral zone and encroaching some 20 feet beyond both blue lines. As well as constituting singularly annoying eyesores that severely impair the aesthetics of the game, these advertisements and other markings make the puck much more difficult to follow for everyone and particularly for newcomers to the game.
If the NHL administrators and club owners had a clue about how important aesthetics are to sports fans and how crucial they are to attracting new fans to the sport, they might be willing to give up this source of revenue. Not that I think they will be willing, mind you. With a little creative thinking, alternative places to advertise that are far less intrusive may be found within the arena, certainly not as prominent, but nearly everything of value carries a cost, and it's worth paying this cost to preserve the beauty of the game. The markings advertising the NHL itself and the name of the arena are entirely unnecessary, and they, too, may be placed elsewhere in the arena.
The most important rule in sport, at least from an aesthetic point of view, ought to be Thou shalt not deface the playing surface, but keep it pure and clean. Not even association football, equalled by none in its unbridled greed, has disfigured its much larger field of play with commercial messages.
(Note that while the boards in ice hockey are part of the arena of play since the puck stays in play when it hits the boards or travels along them, the superficially similar advertising hoardings or boards that the big association football teams erect around the field of play are not part of it, although they may distract those who readily lose their concentration.)
The linked article reproduced a lovely quotation from the late David Foster Wallace:
“Beauty is not the goal of competitive sports, but high-level sports are a prime venue for the expression of human beauty.”
Anything that unnecessarily detracts from that beauty is bad for sport.