Saturday, May 31, 2014

1937/38 Springfield Indians Program

This is one of the oldest hockey programs I have in my collection, from the 1937/38 season of the Springfield Indians. They were part of the International American Hockey League, predecessor of the American Hockey League which began operation in 1936. This game on February 19, 1938 was against the Syracuse Stars, minor league affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Lineup pages are pictured below.
The goaltenders in the game were Springfield's Benny Grant vs. Phil Stein of Syracuse. Grant had played previously in the NHL with Toronto and the New York Americans and in 1943/44 would play 20 games for the Leafs once again. Stein would play only one game in the NHL for Toronto in 1939/40.

Pete Langelle of Syracuse would go on to play three full seasons with the Leafs, Murray Armstrong would play five years with the Americans and the Red Wings. Jack Markle of Syracuse would lead the league in scoring with 54 points, his third time leading the circuit in four seasons. However, his NHL career consisted of a mere 8 games with Toronto in 1935/36. 
I found the boxscore for the game (below). The game was tied 3-3 after 60 minutes and each team scored a goal in the overtime period for a 4-4 final. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Edmonton Oil Kings, Memorial Cup Champs...1963

In honour of the Edmonton Oil Kings capturing the 2014 Memorial Cup, here's a look at the Oil Kings Cup winning squad of 1963. The team photo is from a Toronto Maple Leafs calendar I own and pictures two of hockey's all-time great leaders and characters as well as many future NHLers. The lineup is shown below.

Top row, fourth from right is Glen Sather and middle row, second from right is Pat Quinn. Other future NHL players are Ron Anderson, Butch Paul, Bob Falkenberg, Bert Marshall, Dave Rochefort and future Canadian Olympian Roger Bourbonnais. 

Edmonton had gone 22-11-1 in the regular season and on the way to the Cup beat Calgary Buffaloes, Trail Smoke Eaters, Estevan Bruins and Brandon Wheat Kings. They then beat Niagara Falls Flyers four games to two in the Memorial Cup final. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

1959 Bill Dobbyn Benefit NHL All-Star Game

Bill Dobbyn was a 23-year old, highly regarded defense prospect for the New York Rangers in 1958/59. The bruising 6 ft, 190 lb rear-guard was coming off a terrific season with Vancouver Canucks of the Western League where he had 10 goals, 30 points and finished third in PIM's with 164. His 8 points in 11 playoff games helped the Canucks to the WHL Championship as well.

Dobbyn was the last cut of the Rangers before the 1958 season and was sent to Buffalo in the American Hockey League. By Christmas that year he was in the middle of another fine campaign with 10 points in 30 games, then tragedy struck. On December 27, 1958 in a game against Hershey, Dobbyn was struck in the left eye by the stick of Hershey captain Ellard "Obie" O'Brien. Dobbyn suffered a loss of the eye, and just like that, his NHL dream was over. Dobbyn himself took it all in stride saying,"Sure, I lost an eye, but I figure I'm pretty lucky anyway, I've got lots to be thankful for and everybody's been wonderful."

Detroit Red Wings general manager Jack Adams heard about Dobbyn's accident and proposed bringing his Wings to Buffalo to play a benefit game. Soon after, all the other NHL teams agreed to contribute players and the game became a mid-season All-Star affair. On February 17, 1959 the NHLers met at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium to play the Bisons, all proceeds going to Bill Dobbyn.

The NHL players in the match were as follows;
Toronto, Brian Cullen, Bert Olmstead, Ron Stewart.
Montreal, Don Marshall, Ian Cushenan, Albert Langlois.
New York, Andy Bathgate, Bill Gadsby, Red Sullivan, Lou Fontinato, Gump Worsley.
Chicago, Bobby Hull, Ed Litzenberger, Ted Lindsay, Pierre Pilote, Glenn Hall.
Boston, Don McKenney, Fern Flaman, Johnny Bucyk.
Detroit, Warren Godfrey, Forbes Kennedy.

Quite an impressive array of stars. Two of the top three scorers in the league were present, Bathgate was leading scorer with 65 points in 55 games and Litzenberger was only one behind. On top of that, Sullivan, Bucyk, McKenney, Lindsay and Hull were all in the top fifteen point producers to that point in the season.
The All-Stars expectedly beat the Bisons fairly easily by a score of 6-2 in front of 9,368 fans. $25,000 was raised for Dobbyn who stated afterwards," I shall be grateful to them. Words simply cannot express my gratitude or that of my parents."

The goals in the game were scored by Ted Lindsay (2), Bert Olmstead (also had 2 assists), Bathgate, Cullen and Langlois. Bill Dineen notched both goals for Buffalo.

Although prohibited from playing in North American professional leagues, Dobbyn would continue his career in Europe. The very next season he joined Streatham of the British Hockey League and two years later he played in Italy. He eventually returned to North America to play with Waterloo of the semi-pro USHL from which he would finally retire after the 1967/68 season.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

1958/59 Hockey Blueline Magazines

I grabbed this at a flea market a few weeks ago, it's a ring-bound collection of original hockey magazines covering the 1958/59 hockey season. I believe it was for media issue and is actually eight bound together magazines. The covers feature fantastic artwork from Tex Coulter who was a renowned portraitist of the day. Check out the covers from October 1958 through May 1959. I will be delving into some of the articles within these mags in the near future.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

1949 Leafs Program

The latest addition to The Den, Maple Leaf Gardens game program from Saturday, Nov. 16, 1949. The lineup page is below, check out the Hall of Famers who played in this one. In front of 14,406 spectators at the Gardens, Toronto blanked the Habs 1-0 in a defensive struggle. Leaf defender Gus Mortson is pictured on the cover. 25 year-old Mortson would be selected a First Team All-Star this year.

The only goal of the game was scored by Sid Smith five minutes into the game with helpers from his line mates Fleming Mackell and Ted Kennedy. Turk Broda turned aside 25 shots for his third shutout of the season while Bill Durnan stopped 25 of 26. The win put the Leafs into second place, a point up on Montreal with a 7-4-3 record, three back of Detroit.

Sid Smith ended up with 22 goals this season and his 45 points would lead the Leafs in scoring. Montreal wound up in second place by season's end while Toronto dropped to third. Detroit won the league race by 11 points and topped the Leafs in the semi-finals four games to three.

Cool ad for Barilko Brothers store.

Some pics of the Leafs celebrating their Cup victory the previous season.
Another add for Beehive Corn Syrup Hockey Picture Rings.
A Turk Broda ring is shown below, no I do not own that one.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Toronto Toros 1975/76 Media Guide

Here's a great looking media guide I picked up recently of the 1975/76 Toronto Toros of the World Hockey Association. Featured on the cover are #7 Jim Dorey and #12 "Shotgun" Tom Simpson. The Toros were entering their third season in Toronto and were coming off an impressive 88 point, second place finish in the WHA's Canadian Division. This 1975/76 campaign would not be as successful for the team or Simpson himself. They would plummet to fifth in the Division with 52 points and Simpson would score well less than half the number of goals he had the prior year. In fact, by the next season the squad would be relocated to Birmingham, Alabama.

Simpson went from fifth in league scoring with 52 goals to 20 in 1975/76. He played one more year in the WHA before drifting to the low minor leagues then playing two seasons in the Netherlands. He would retire by age 30. 
Frank Mahovlich made a triumphant return to Toronto ice with seasons of 38 and 34 goals before following the franchise to Alabama. Below he is pictured helping out in front of his goaltender Jim Shaw.

Another of the former Maple Leaf stars on the Toros was Paul Henderson shown here shooting on Winnipeg's Joe Daley. Henderson tallied 30 goals in 74/75 then 26 in the dismal 75/76 season before also joining Mahovlich in Birmingham.
The true star of the Toros these two seasons was Big Vlad Nedomansky. Having starred on the international stage with Czechoslovakia since 1964, Vlad scored 41 then 56 goals for Toronto and eventually jumped to the NHL with Detroit, scoring 38 and 35 goals in the late 1970's.
One more pic of the ultimate "flash in the pan" Tom Simpson playing the Houston Aeros.

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