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Dave Balon dies

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05-30-2007, 03:09 PM
  #1
alkurtz
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Dave Balon dies

Just saw on the news that Dave Balon has died at age 68. He suffered from MS for many, many years. Balon, a left-winger had two terms with the Rangers. He played 114 games over three seasons (59/60 to 62/63, included all 70 games in 62/63. 11G 13A) before being traded to Montreal in the Gump Worsley/Jacques Plante, Phil Goyette, Donnie Marshall trade), won a few Cups with the Canadians playing on their 3rd and 4th lines, and ended up being drafted by Minnesota in the original expansion draft. He was traded back to the Rangers in June of 68 and was the original winger on the Bulldog line with Walt Tkaczuk and Bill Fairbairn. In 69/70 he had 33 goals and 37 assists and in 70/71 he had 36 goals and 24 assists. He was traded to Vancouver in the fall of 1971 and finished his career in the WHA in 73/74. He fit right in with the Bulldog line with his tenacious play. Small by today's standards (5'11", 180lbs), he was a sold hockey player and an important cog in the early years of the Francis era.
NHL totals: Games 776 Goals 192 Assists 222 Points 414, PIM 607. Playoffs: Games 78 Goals 14 Assists 21 Points 35, PIM 109

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05-30-2007, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alkurtz View Post
Just saw on the news that Dave Balon has died at age 68. He suffered from MS for many, many years. Balon, a left-winger had two terms with the Rangers. He played 114 games over three seasons (59/60 to 62/63, included all 70 games in 62/63. 11G 13A) before being traded to Montreal in the Gump Worsley/Jacques Plante, Phil Goyette, Donnie Marshall trade), won a few Cups with the Canadians playing on their 3rd and 4th lines, and ended up being drafted by Minnesota in the original expansion draft. He was traded back to the Rangers in June of 68 and was the original winger on the Bulldog line with Walt Tkaczuk and Bill Fairbairn. In 69/70 he had 33 goals and 37 assists and in 70/71 he had 36 goals and 24 assists. He was traded to Vancouver in the fall of 1971 and finished his career in the WHA in 73/74. He fit right in with the Bulldog line with his tenacious play. Small by today's standards (5'11", 180lbs), he was a sold hockey player and an important cog in the early years of the Francis era.
NHL totals: Games 776 Goals 192 Assists 222 Points 414, PIM 607. Playoffs: Games 78 Goals 14 Assists 21 Points 35, PIM 109
Thanks, there's some info in there I totally forgot or didn't know.

RIP

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05-30-2007, 03:57 PM
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Used to love watch Balon, Fairbairn and Tkachuk, especially Tkachuk, perhaps the strongest player on his skates I ever saw, certainly on the Rangers. I remember Espo lining up Tkachuk for a blind side hit that saw Espo go flying and Tkachuk seeming surprised that something had hit him. And Espo was no small man.

Balon had one of those funny comb overs. Makes me miss helmetless players a little bit.

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05-30-2007, 04:15 PM
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Looks like Colton Orr in this pick.....


Last edited by Bluenote13: 01-24-2008 at 09:33 AM.
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Old
05-30-2007, 04:41 PM
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alkurtz
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Balon had one of those funny comb overs. Makes me miss helmetless players a little bit.[/QUOTE]

Know what you mean. Though there is no comparison between the players then and now (modern players are bigger, stronger, faster, and downright more skilled), it was fun being a fan in the Original Six helmetless days. Only 5 teams aside from your own, only 18 men on the active roster, in reality not much turn over in players from year to year, maybe a grand total of 120 players in the league....you knew every player in the league (realistically, does anyone know every player in today's game with well over 600 players? This is especially true with teams you rarely see). In the Original Six, a 70 game schedule meant that you played each team 14 times. Without helmets and with so few teams and players, you knew every player in the league by sight. I remember sitting in the upper deck of the old Garden (having bought GO tickets for a unbelievably low price) and remarking that so and so got a haircut since the last time I'd seen them play, or that so and so looks thinner or heavier or whatever. The old rinks were also smaller and upper deck seating was extremely close to the ice. Every game was a "rivalry" game and intense.
Don't get me wrong....nothing beats the skill level and ability of today's players (the Sens or Ducks would have easily swept the best Montreal or Toronto teams of that era), but I feel privledged to have come of age in the last years of the Original Six.

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05-31-2007, 01:28 AM
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Started following the Rangers towards the end of 71-72 so I missed out on the Balon years. Gene Carr had taken over the LW spot on Tkachuk's line--pronounced by some Tay-chuk. The Big Whistle had it in for Carr. Almost every night he'd say of Carr--'He couldn't put the puck in the ocean if he were standing on the end of a pier'. He was kind of that teams version of Marcel Hossa. His numbers never corresponded well to his two linemates. Lots of speed--some flash--lots of blown chances.

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Old
06-01-2007, 02:22 AM
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From Phoenix.

I saw Dave Balon play for the Broadway Blues, during the Andy Bathgate years.Great time. Great era. Good player.

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06-02-2007, 07:45 PM
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bowlegges player who could not be knocked off his skates. Shifty, smallish player whose shot would not break a pane of glass but who scored some real nice garbage goals in front of the net.

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06-02-2007, 09:19 PM
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he had a nice career, hope he lived a good life too.

R.I.P

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