Posts

The Future of the NHL...in 1958

Image
I recently found an interesting article in an April 1958 issue of Hockey Blueline magazine. It is an interview with New York Rangers General Manager, Muzz Patrick in which he predicts what the future of hockey will look like in the distant future of 1978. Firstly, Patrick discusses the potential of expansion by the NHL; "I'd say that Los Angeles and San Francisco are the most likely cities to join the NHL in an eight-team league. They're building an 18,000 seat arena in Los Angeles now. That is the primary consideration. You must have an arena with a minimum of 12,000 seats. But more than that may be necessary to pay travelling expenses to the Coast." The Los Angeles Kings and Oakland Seals would of course join the NHL as part of a six team expansion in 1967, perhaps a little later than Patrick predicted. The Seals would remain only until 1976 and the Bay Area would be without an NHL team until the San Jose Sharks joined the league in 1991. Next, the Rangers GM talks

1984/85 O-Pee-Chee Wax Pack

Image
I finally opened my pack of 1984/85 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards. I picked it up over a year ago for about 30 or 40 bucks, I can't remember. Of course the big cards in this set are the rookie issues of Steve Yzerman, Doug Gilmour, Chris Chelios, Pat LaFontaine and Cam Neely. Also there are no less than TEN Wayne Gretzky cards in this set from League Leaders, All-Star and Record Breaker cards. Let's see what we get. First card, Brian Mullen second year card. After a 24 goal rookie season, Mullen produced his career-best season in 1984/85. Scoring 32 goals and 71 points in 69 games, it was his only season producing at least one point per game. Gilles Meloche, one of the great under-rated goalies of the 1970's and 80's. In 1984/85 he was in his last season with Minnesota. He helped lead the North Stars to the 1981 Stanley Cup Finals, eventually losing to the Islanders. Meloche would be traded after the 84/85 season to Edmonton for Paul Houck (?). Before suiting up for the Oiler

Maple Leafs Magazine Project #13

Image
Here are the latest additions to the Maple Leafs Magazine Project. I'm trying to collect as many as magazines with Maple Leafs covers as possible. These three are from the mid-1950's, starting with an April 1958 issue of Hockey Blueline featuring a rookie Frank Mahovlich on the cover. There's a cool article inside with an interview of Rangers GM, Muzz Patrick. In it, Patrick makes predictions of what the NHL will look like twenty years in the future, the far-away date of 1978. There were some neat ideas, one being a curved blue line which would allow wingers to get closer to the net without going offside.  Another fine rookie is featured later, #16 of Chicago, Bobby Hull. This is followed by an article about what makes the Montreal Canadiens so good. Next up is the February, 1955 issue of Hockey Blueline with a cover shot of Leaf defender Jim Thomson. 1955 was the first year of the Blueline magazine, this is the 5th edition that season. This issue features a photo spread of

1987/88 O-Pee-Chee Wax Pack

Image
Time to open a 1987/88 O-Pee-Chee hockey wax pack. I picked this up a few months ago and have had it displayed on a shelf in my den next to the 1984/85 OPC wax pack. I'll open that one soon. In this set, the big card is the Luc Robitaille rookie card. Other nice cards are rookies of Adam Oates, Ron Hextall, Mike Vernon, Vincent Damphousse and Rick Tocchet. There are many more rookies in this set, just not many more desirable ones. First card in the pack is future Hall of Fame, Dino Ciccarelli. Unfortunately, it's attached to the piece of gum and it is not going to pried off any time soon. Next card is a rookie! A rookie Michael Thelvan, with his last name spelled wrong. He played two more years with the Bruins and represented Sweden in the 1987 Canada Cup. Yay, another rookie! Another Bruin rookie! It's Greg Johnston. He would play parts of two more seasons with Boston, then have a few stints with Toronto before going to Germany to play for ten years. Well, at least I got a

Herb Cain, Forgotten by the Hall of Fame

Image
Recently, upon announcement that the 2019 Hall of Fame class would have to wait an extra year for their induction ceremony, Chairman of the Selection Committee Lanny McDonald was quoted; "Whether you wait three or four years or more, it really doesn't matter. If you're a Hall of Fame, you're going to go in at one point." He's referring to the class of 2019 being bumped a year, but one can also take his statement as referring to some long-retired players from hockey's past that may finally receive their due.  Herb Cain is one of these forgotten players and he should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Cain is a deserving player who has been passed over or simply missed by the Hall of Fame selection committees through the years. Herb Cain played 13 NHL in the 1930s and 1940s and totalled 206 goals and 400 points over 571 games. He helped his teams win two Stanley Cups and was named a 2nd team All-Star in 1943/44 when he topped the NHL with 82 points to set a sing

All-Time World Juniors Team

Image
Recently on Vancouver sports radio, I heard TSN analyst/scout Craig Button mention that TSN would soon be selecting their all-time World Junior Tournament Team. This would obviously be in conjunction with the upcoming World Juniors tournament, which at this point is the most highly anticipated event on the hockey calendar what with no NHL action at the moment. I figured I'd jump in and select my own all-time World Junior Tournament squad. I started at the official recognition by the IIHF in 1977 until present day. This will be an especially difficult task seeing as no player ever plays more than two, possibly three different years in the Under-20 tournament. I've tried to select the squad by looking at as much multi-year dominance as well as team success. Here's what I came up with. Many, many familiar and obvious names on the All-time team. A few lesser-lights and near unknowns sprinkled in. The fact is, these were the players who performed the best at the World Juniors ov