Thursday, April 23, 2015

1966 Coca-Cola Booklet, Dave Keon

A few months back I posted my Johnny Bower version of this cool promo from Coca-Cola, I recently picked up the Dave Keon issue. Who better to teach kids "How To Play Forward (Defensive)". 

A young Keon with Father Bauer of St. Mikes
Keon taking the puck from, it looks like  Frank Mahovlich

Pure hatred for the Habs

Keon with his little pal, Red Kelly

Keon and the Prime Minister

Thursday, April 16, 2015

1961/62 Maple Leafs Shirriff Coins

One of the newset additions to the Den is this wonderful item. A 1961/62 Maple Leafs coin set with the display shield. These were issued by Salada Foods in Shirriff potato chips and Salada tea, jelly, pie-filling, and pudding. 1961/62 is the only year the shields were available by order. 

These shields are made of a flimsy plastic and are usually chipped along the edges like mine, if they survived at all. Check out the entire 20 coin set featuring everyone from Mahovlich and Keon to Larry Keenan and Johnny MacMillan.

Below is an ad for the original coins and shields.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cyclone Taylor 1956; Not Enough Individuality In Hockey

Cyclone Taylor, out for a skate at the PNE Forum in 1948

"There aren't enough individual stars in hockey today simply because the young lads aren't being given a chance to develop their own style." 
This was hockey legend, Fred "Cyclone" Taylor in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen from December 1956. He continued, "There used to be Howie Morenz, Syl Apps, along with many others, to catch the eye of the public. Now Jean Beliveau is a standout despite today's method of training an athlete. But there isn't much chance of finding another Apps or Morenz because the hockey people are too busy with their system of mass-hockey. They don't appear to want individuality."
Cyclone may have had a good point, that season (1956/57) was somewhat lacking in real star power after a select few. This was the last good season for Maurice Richard before retiring in three years, and other than Beliveau, Howe, Lindsay and Bathgate the league was fairly non-descript. Others finishing in the top twelve in scoring that year were Ed Litzenberger, Don McKenney, Johnny Wilson and Real Chevrefils. 
Taylor continued his analysis, commenting on youth practices held at Vancouver's Kerrisdale Arena,"They have 40 to 60 youngsters on the ice at the same time. They get very little hockey because they're crowded into one end of the rink." Taylor also blames the advent of television as one of the problems as well,"Folks have taken to the habit of taking things easy in their living-rooms. It'll wear off though, and when that time comes hockey should have something to offer the public, not just the mass gang-stlye game in evidence these days."
Taylor, who was 71 years old at the time even admitted that he may come across as a crabby old man, "Of course, anything I say would sound like sour grapes. They'd just shrug me off as an old-timer who refuses to admit hockey players today can match the stars of another era." Fear not Fred, your complaints and points are astute today as they were 60 years ago.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mystery Maple Leafs Photo; Jan. 21, 1959

Harris, Olmstead, Chadwick, Duff
Here's another of the photos of Maple Leafs behind the scenes found in the City of Toronto Archives. This one is actually dated January 21, 1958 which really helps in naming the unidentified players, although this one was fairly easy to figure out.

On the left is a 23 year-old Billy Harris who was in the midst of his best NHL season. He would finish second on the team in scoring with 22 goals and 52 points. The next one over is the easily recognizable Bert Olmstead. He was claimed from Montreal prior to the 58/59 campaign in the Intra-League draft and had a nice year with 41 points, fourth on the Leafs.

Second from right, wearing the goalie pads is Ed Chadwick who had played every game the previous two seasons but was in the midst of being challenged by Johnny Bower at this point. Chadwick played 31 games in 58/59 posting a 2.97 GAA, but would play only 8 additional NHL games in his career. On the right is Leaf point leader in 58/59, Dick Duff who scored a career high 29 goals and 53 points.

The Leafs on January 21, 1959 were in their second month under the control of new coach Punch Imlach. They finished with 65 points in 70 games, fourth in the NHL, sneaking into the playoffs on the last day of the season. They eventually lost in the Cup final to Montreal four games to one. On the day of this photo however they had reason to smile, having just beat the Habs 3-1. The reason these four were photographed together becomes clear when we learn that Chadwick turned aside 32 of 33 shots and Harris, Olmstead and Duff were the goal scorers.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Maple Leafs Four, Mystery Photo

Above is another great photo found in the City of Toronto Archives showing four Maple Leafs at what appears to be Varsity Arena in Toronto. No names or dates were attached to the photo, that's where the Society for International Hockey Research database comes in handy. 

The easiest to identify is second from right, Leaf defenseman Wally Stanowski, and at the far right centre, Pete Langelle. (both pictured below)
Wally Stanowski
Pete Langelle
Both of them were from Winnipeg and after beginning their NHL careers with Toronto, both would join the Canadian Military in 1942. They skated together in their hometown in the Winnipeg National Defense League with the Winnipeg RCAF Bombers hockey club. They each remained there for three seasons until the end of World War II. Stanowski returned to claim his spot on the Maple Leaf blue line during the 44/45 season while Langelle played out his career in the minor leagues.

To identify the other two players I reached out to hockey researcher/author Paul Patskou. He was able to identify the player on the left as Wilfred 'Bucko' McDonald, another Leaf defender of the time. He was a Leaf until traded to New York Rangers in November 1943 meaning the photo would have to be taken prior to that.
Bucko McDonald
The last player to put a name to is proving fairly difficult. There are a few characteristics of him that may or may not help in figuring it out. Firstly, he's a tall drink of water. Standing directly beside the 5'11" Stanowski, it's easy to say he stood at least 6'2" which was extremely rare for a hockey player in the early 1940's. As well, he is wearing a Leaf jersey that was used in only the 1937/38 NHL season, while the other three have on an early '40s jersey. Strange.

Paul proposed the fellow was George Boothman, a 6'2" defender who essentially replaced Stanowski during the War years. Although his height matches, I don't believe the facial resemblance is a match. Also, the guy in the photo looks fairly young, Boothman would have been in his late-20s then.
George Boothman
I found two other guys that match the size of the player in question, first is 6'2" forward Jack Ingoldsby who was a Leaf for parts of two of the wartime seasons. I think he resembles the player more than Boothman does and he was only in his late teens at the time, which seems to match the age as well.
Jack Ingoldsby
One other possibility could be the 6'1" defensemen Pat Powers who was a Toronto native and played for the St. Michael's Majors before and after the War. I think facially, he is the best match but he would have likely been a bit too young.
Pat Powers

Friday, March 27, 2015

Maple Leafs and The Ice Capades

Mabel giving skating tips to Steve Kraftcheck, Bob Baun, Carl Brewer and unidentified player

 I reached out via twitter to re-knowned hockey history expert and author, Liam Maguire to help identify the player on the right. He sent the photo to his friend and ex-Maple Leaf great Ron Ellis who in turn asked hockey writer/researcher Paul Patskou. The concensus was reached that the guy on the right is Marc Reaume. Patskou added, "The Leafs in the training camp in 1958 took this photo of the defencemen. You will notice that the Leaf sweaters were the same ones used in the 1957-58 season and used in training camp and the Leafs switched to new sweaters with the laces for the first game in 1958-59 season.  That’s why Brewer has the ‘A’."
Very cool. Thanks for the help gentlemen.

Here's some terrific photos of the Toronto Maple Leafs having a visit from the Ice Capades ladies (insert Leaf joke here) in likely the late 1950's. These beauties are from the Toronto City Archives and I've managed to identify pretty much everybody (even the ladies) except the guy on the right of the first image.

I'm fairly certain the player on the left of the first photo is Steve Kraftcheck who only played 8 games for Toronto in 1958/59. This is the same year that Olmstead (below) joined the team, he played with the Leafs through 1961/62. The stranger on the right could be a minor leaguer if these were taken during training camp.
Frances surrounded by Tim Horton, Carl Brewer and Bert Olmstead
Billy Harris teachin Mildred how to face-off
Billy Harris and Dick Duff giving pointers to Mildred and Betsy
Hockey researcher Paul Patskou corrected the identification of Dick Duff as Gary Aldcorn
Aldcorn helping Betsy with her form

Monday, March 23, 2015

Johnny Bower, 1954/55 Vancouver Canucks Photo

Here's a fantastic photo from the Vancouver Public Library archives. The only information attached to it is Canucks vs. Saskatoon and a date of 1960. No players were identified in the image, but most hockey fans, especially ones of the Toronto Maple Leafs should easily identify the goaltender as the one and only Johnny Bower.

Bower played for the Vancouver Canucks of the Western Hockey League during the 1954/55 season, his 10th professional campaign. The previous season he had played every minute of all 70 games for the New York Rangers in the NHL before losing his job to Gump Worsley. In the six team NHL era, there were simply not enough top-end positions for all the talent available. Bower had already been named MVP three years in a row with Cleveland Barons of the AHL. It would be three more years until Bower was back in the big leagues for good when Punch Imlach acquired him to play for his Maple Leafs in 1958.

This season pictured with Vancouver was like most others for Bower, a terrific one. He would lead the WHL with 7 shutouts and a 2.71 GAA and be named 2nd Team All-Star behind only Edmonton Flyer, Glenn Hall. The Saskatoon Quaker player pictured is defence man Howie Milford who played 9 seasons with the Quakers before retiring in 1959.

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