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Showing posts from June, 2014

Mike Modano in The Hall, Why Not Mark Recchi Too?

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So, Mike Modano has been elected to hockey's Hall of Fame. I guessss he's a Hall of Famer. It's just that when I think Hockey Hall of Famer, Modano doesn't really jump out at me. Then again, neither do Clark Gillies, Bernie Federko, Dick Duff and many more. The hockey Hall is relatively easy to gain election (tell that to Eric Lindros), and because of that I don't really have a problem with Modano. I just would have put Mark Recchi in before him.  
Recchi and Modano were both rookies in 1989/90 even though Recchi had played 15 games the previous season and they finished 5th and 2nd respectively in Calder Trophy voting (behind old-man Makarov). They both retired 21 years later. Modano was integral in the winning of his one Stanley Cup in 1999 and Recchi was a large part of winning three Cups. In Recchi's first Cup he finished second in scoring with 34 points behind only Mario Lemieux. Modano also was second in scoring during his Cup year as well as the followin…

Les Binkley; 14-year old Allan Cup Rookie

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Les Binkley was a fine goaltender of the first expansion era of the NHL. After having played 12 quality seasons in the high minor leagues with teams from Baltimore and Charlotte to Cleveland and San Diego, he finally got his shot at the NHL thanks to the 1967 expansion to twelve teams. Drafted by Pittsburgh at the age of 31, Binkley played almost 200 games over five seasons with the Penguins before jumping to the WHA in 1972. He wound down his career at the age of 39 after four years with the Ottawa/Toronto franchise.

Amazingly, Binkley got his start in high-level hockey way back in 1951 at the age of 14. As a member of his hometown Junior B Owen Sound Mintos, he was asked to join the senior Owen Sound Mercurys on their quest for the Alan Cup. He travelled and practiced with the team that included two ex-NHLers (Jack Ingoldsby and Pat McReavy) as well as former AHL scoring leader Tom Burlington.

In Stan and Shirley Fischler's 1971 book "Up From The Minor League of Hockey&quo…

1954 NHL Oldtimers Game

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In front of 10,000 spectators at Montreal's Forum, the NHL Oldtimers' Associations of Ontario and Quebec put an an entertaining display of hockey expertise. The date was Wednesday, January 6, 1954 and when all was said and done the Quebec masters beat the Ontario elders 11-9. This was the first meeting of the ex-NHL stars and was organized by Ontario's Lorne Duguid and Albert 'Battleship' Leduc of the Quebec Association. The proceeds of the match went to helping handicapped children.
The array of former stars was truly mind-boggling, pictured above is the elderly version of Toronto's famed Kid Line (left to right, Charlie Conacher, Joe Primeau and Busher Jackson. Other Ontario stars included Dit Clapper, Nels Stewart, Billy Taylor, Cy Wentworth and goaltender Roy Worters. Charlie Conacher, who was joined in the match by brothers Bert, Roy and 52-year old member of parliament Lionel. Charlie and Roy notched two goals each while ex-Bruin Bill Cowley counted six …

1964 Maple Leafs Calendar, Stanley Cup Victory

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Here's some great pics from the 1964 Toronto Maple Leafs calendar. They show the Leafs celebrating 1963 Stanley Cup victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Toronto beat Detroit by four games to one, winning the last game by 3-1. They had finished first overall in the NHL that season with 82 points in 70 games, this marks the last time in franchise history that the Leafs would pull of this double feat.

The image below shows NHL President Clarence Campbell presenting the jubilant Leafs with the Cup. The inset shot pictures Frank Mahovlich enjoying a celebratory beverage. The bottom picture has Gardens Vice President (and future crumudgeon) Harold Ballard toasting the win with Toronto Mayor Donald Summerville. On the right we see Punch Imlach topping up the Cup with another round of victory drink.