Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Archived Maple Leafs Photos

Dec 2, 1967


I found these old photos in a Toronto archive website, some great forty-plus year old action shots. The first one is of the first year Oakland Seals visiting Maple Leaf Gardens. Toronto won this game 3-0, out-shooting  Oakland 49 to 38. Leaf Jim Pappin and Seals goalie Charlie Hodge are shown trying to track the flight of the puck. Ron Ellis potted his 10th and 11th of the season, Mike Walton had his 14th, Tim Horton collected two assists and Johnny Bower notched the win.

April 18, 1967
This one is the sixth and final game of the semi-finals from the previous season. Toronto beat Chicago 3-1 to advance to the Cup Finals, out-shooting the Hawks 37-35. Leaf defenders Larry Hillman (2) and Marcel Pronovost (3) are watching Terry Sawchuk kick out a shot as Lou Angotti looks to pounce. Brian Conacher and Pete Stemkowski beat Glenn Hall for goals while Pat Stapleton scored for the Hawks.

April 29, 1967
Ron Ellis (8) gobbles up the lose puck as Terry Sawchuk looks on and Larry Hillman guards the crease. Toronto took a three games to two Stanley Cup Final lead over Montreal on goals from Pappin, Conacher, Pronovost and Keon. Sawchuk turned aside 37 of 38 shots for the victory.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Keon Hat-trick Eliminates Habs, 50 years ago today


Some cool photos from the Montreal Gazette newspaper after the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Canadiens in game seven of the 1964 Stanley Cup semi-finals. Above is Dave Keon scoring the winning goal with 15 seconds left in the third period to complete his hat-trick.





Thursday, April 3, 2014

1949 Montreal Gazette Hockey Cartoons, Part 3


Another batch of John Collins' hockey cartoons about the 1949/50 NHL season from the Montreal Gazette.










Wednesday, April 2, 2014

1949 Montreal Gazette Hockey Cartoons, Part 2


Here's a few more fantastic hockey themed cartoons from the pen of John Collins. They appeared in the Montreal Gazette in November and December of 1949.






Tuesday, April 1, 2014

1949 Montreal Gazette Hockey Cartoons


In my time spent on google newspaper archives, I have come across some terrific sports themed cartoons in the old Montreal Gazette paper. These fantastic pieces of artwork were done by John Collins. Collins was one of Canada's greatest cartoonists and from 1941 to 1973 was the official cartoonist of The Gazette. As well as sports themed subjects he tackled all matter of national and international political events. During the hockey season, he did a hockey themed editorial cartoon every second day or so. 

These ones are from the first few months of the 1949/50 NHL season and commonly depict the angle from a Montreal Canadiens view and their quest to supplant Toronto as the top team in the league.






Friday, March 28, 2014

The Gruesome Injury of Bob Dawes


April 21, 1951 was the last game ever played by Toronto Maple Leaf defenseman 'Bashin' Bill Barilko. As most hockey fans know, he would score the Stanley Cup winning goal in overtime against the Canadiens and within a few months was lose his life in a plane crash in Northern Ontario. Barilko wasn't the only player to play his last game ever National Hockey League game on this day. For Montreal Centre Bob Dawes, his NHL career was ended by a gruesome leg injury pictured above.

I found the image in google news archives and had to find out more about the poor guy pictured. According to The Montreal Gazette, "Dawes came out of a tangle with Ted Kennedy near the boards with his leg broken in four places". Each player was carried off on a stretcher, but Kennedy "wasn't seriously injured and returned almost immediately". Dawes was not so lucky.

Just the previous year, Dawes was a member of the Leafs and in 1949 he played all nine playoff games as Toronto won it's third straight Stanley Cup. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette summed up his valuable contributions as follows, "Bobby Dawes acted as relief centre on all three Leaf lines and turned in a bruising defensive effort. He rattled his checks with body-thumps and slowed them down to lighten the load for Cal Gardner, Ted Kennedy and Max Bentley, the Leafs' regular pivotmen." Two seasons later, in the game he broke his leg, he was playing in his first playoff game of the season. The Montreal squad was injury decimated and Dawes was making his playoff debut after he played 15 regular season matches.

Unfortunately for Dawes, this was not his first brush with serious injury. Beginning in the 1947/48 season, Dawes played on Toronto's main farm team, the Pittsburgh Hornets and was a member of a promising "kid line" along with Sid Smith and Fleming Mackell. Midway through this season, Dawes year almost came to an end. On January 23, 1948 the Post-Gazette reported, "The Hornets returned home this morning fearing they had lost Centre Bob Dawes for the season. Dawes was injured in a mid-ice collision and the diagnosis at the game was a fractured leg. However, Dawes was brought home and x-rays today revealed no fracture...only a sprained and bruised knee." He ended up missing only two games.

The next year, a heel injury kept Dawes out for 15 games, yet he still managed 51 points in 55 games before joining Toronto for their Cup run. After his awful leg fracture in the '51 Final, Dawes would be out of hockey for almost two full years before returning for good. In 51/52 he got into 5 games with Montreal Royals and a pair with Buffalo Bisons. He would end up sitting out the entire 1952/53 season still recovering from his injury.

Dawes eventually returned for good in 53/54 and played ten more full seasons of professional hockey in places such as Sudbury, New Westminster, Johnstown and Saskatoon. He retired for good at age 42 in 1966/67 after playing senior hockey with Saskatoon Quakers.

Barilko hoisted aloft by Cal Gardner and Bill Juzda

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Dark Day for Teeder

Ted Kennedy pictured April 13, 1968

In looking up some information on Leafs great Ted Kennedy, I came across a Canadian Press newspaper story about an incident I had never heard of that happened in November 1949. It seems there was very little written about what happened, and even a google search now turns up only the American Senator of the same name and his famous car accident. The story is as follows, with quotations taken directly from the Canadian Press story.

According to Ontario Provincial Police it was snowing and visibility was only 50 feet. Toronto Maple Leaf captain Ted "Teeder" Kennedy was driving west along Eglinton Avenue from his home in Whitby, Ontario to Maple Leaf Gardens for a Saturday night game. Along with him was his wife who stated later that the driving conditions at the time were "wretched with snow coming from all directions".

It was Saturday, November 19, 1949 and Kennedy was the 24-year old captain of the three-time Stanley Cup defending Leafs. He was on his way to the rink for a home game against the visiting Red Wings when tragedy struck.

Kennedy, travelling at less than 20 miles per hour "swung out from behind a truck" and saw two boys walking along the highway less than 20 feet away. The captain slammed on the breaks but "slid right into them". The two boys, 10-year old Robert Armstrong and 13-year old Harold Shepherd were both wards of the Children's Society of Ontario. Kennedy took the boys to the hospital  in his car but the Armstrong boy was dead on arrival, Shepherd suffered two broken legs and would spend almost five months in the hospital.
Neither Kennedy or his wife were injured, although he would miss the game that evening.

The investigating officer, Provincial Constable E. Hardy said no charges would be laid but an inquest would be held. Kennedy would return to the Leaf lineup four days later, scoring a goal against the Canadiens. The Children's Aid Society, on behalf of Harold Shepherd ended up suing Kennedy and over a year after the accident damages were awarded. A jury decided upon damages of $3,088.25 of which Kennedy was required to pay half as Shepherd was found 50 percent responsible.

Kennedy would end up missing another dozen games in the 1949/50 season due to knee injury incurred on a "solid check from Leo Reise". Kennedy would finish second in Hart Trophy voting that year and was selected as a Second Team All-Star. Although they failed to win their fourth consecutive Stanley Cup, they would regain it in 1950/51.

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