Friday, October 31, 2014

1942 NHL Army Relief Classic

It's amazing, the things you stumble across while scrolling through old newspapers on Google News (what, you don't scroll through old newspapers on Google News?).

It was the night of February 6, 1942. A collection of National Hockey League Old-Timers played an exhibition in Boston against the Bruins of the day to raise funds for the Army Relief Fund. Check out the terrific "V for Victory" jerseys the old boys wore. The rosters are below:

The defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins would finish third in the NHL that season and understandably did not go full out effort in the 30 minute affair. They boasted Vezina Trophy winner Frankie Brimsek as well as the "Kraut Line" of Schmidt, Bauer and Dumart. They also had Dit Clapper (who didn't play in this game), Flash Hollett, Roy Conacher and Bill Cowley (who would only coach the Bruins this night).

31 year-old Bruin of the day, Harvey "Busher" Jackson suited up with the the Old-Timers in order to play with fellow "Kid Line" members Joe Primeau and Charlie Conacher. Primeau was only 36 at the time but had been retired for six years, Conacher was only 32 but had hung up the blades the previous season.

 Ex-Bruin legends Eddie Shore and Tiny Thompson had been retired only a few years as well, although Shore would play five games with his Springfield AHL club this season. Ex-Ranger great Frank Boucher was re-united with Bill and Bun Cook, and perhaps enjoyed skating again so much that he would come out of retirement a few years later. In 1943/44 at age 42, Boucher would score 14 points in 15 games for the war-depleted Rangers.

The game itself drew 14,622 fans to Boston Garden and raised over $14,000 for the United States Army Relief Fund, the largest single gift in it's history.

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