Monday, October 31, 2016

1970s NHL Media Guides

I recently picked up a bunch of 1970s NHL media guides at the flea market, lots of great covers. The first one is the second year of the Washington Capitals showing goaltender #30, John Adams which is a strange choice seeing as he played only eight games for the inaugural Caps. He went 0-7 and posted a 6.90 GAA.
The next two are Bruins guides showing many of the team's all-time greats. The 76/77 guide shows some wacky charicatures of Don Cherry, Jean Ratelle and Brad Park.
The 76/77 New York Islanders guide combines some blurry, fast-paced action as  well as a dejected looking Denis Potvin.
The Sabres 74/75 guide pictures Rick Martin sporting some simply fantastic 70s sideburns.
72/73 North Stars guide looks like a version of the Odd Couple featuring Cesar Maniago and Gump Worsley. Bill Goldsworthy is the cover boy of the 74/75 media guide.
Speaking of wacky charicatures, the 76/77 Los Angeles Kings guide shows Butch Goring being hoisted upon the shoulders of Dave Hutchison and what appears to be a strange looking, facially contorted teammate. 
The last one shows Goring once again attempting to check the great Bobby Orr.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dan Daoust; The Last Maple Leafs Rookie Hat Trick

Four goals in a debut for Auston Matthews. What else can be said about a feat that was the very first of it's kind in National Hockey League history, nothing. However, one of the more interesting things about his four goal game, is the fact it was the first hat trick by a Maple Leafs rookie in well over thirty years. The last Leaf rookie to score three in a game, Dan Daoust in 1983.
February 16, 1983, Toronto beat the visiting St.Louis Blues by a score of 6-3 behind the 24 saves of Rick St. Croix. The Leafs went into the game with a 14-30-10 record, the Blues not much better at 19-29-11. Daoust notched his first at 17:47  of the first beating Mike Liut to make it 2-0 Toronto. The assists went to John Anderson and Gaston Gingras. He made it 3-0 with an unassisted goal at 11:14 of the second. Two and a half minutes later he assisted on Rick Vaive's 38th goal of the year to make it 4-1 Toronto. 
After the Blues made it 5-3, Daoust completed his hatty 6:35 into the third period on assists from Anderson and Jim Benning. The four points for Daoust gave him 30 points in his previous 21 games played.
The win was the first of six straight for Toronto and they went 14-10-2 to finish the season. Daoust finished his rookie campaign with 51 points in 48 games and a spot on the All-Rookie team. Still, Toronto was ousted in the first round of the playoffs by Minnesota by three games to one. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pro Hockey Season Kicks Off, 100 Years Ago

As the NHL prepares to commence it's 100th anniversary season, it is interesting to look at the hockey world of 100 years ago. Not 1917, which was the first the year of the NHL but the National Hockey Association of exactly 100 years ago and the fall of 1916.
The NHA signalled the beginning of its final campaign with a pre-season All-Star game of sorts that took place on December 17, 1916 in Toronto. Yes the season began a fair bit later 100 years ago. The game pitted the newly formed powerhouse 228th Battalion hockey team formed of military players in the Toronto area and an All-Star team consisting mainly of the other Toronto NHA entry, the Blueshirts, reinforced by eastern players Newsy Lalonde, Didier Pitre and Jack Marks.
As described the following day in the Toronto World, the match was no contest but still entertaining;
"Wonderful Speed Displayed By Soldiers' Hockey Team
Saturday night's pro. hockey season opener deserved a bigger attendance than was in evidence. Despite the fact that the 228th Battalion snowed the All-Stars under to the tune of 10 to 3, it was a real lively contest, with an abundance of thrills.
All good things that have been printed about the soldiers' ability to play hockey haven't been enough. Saturday night they looked to be the greatest aggregation of puck-chasers that ever stepped on the arena. And that doesn't exclude the champion Toronto's of several seasons ago or any of the coast teams who have played here. They have barrels of speed, team play, all are classy stick-handlers and weight is their middle the end of the game, when you would have expected to see the overworked regulars show signs of tiring, it looked as if they could have left Oatman, Arbour and a goalkeeper on the ice and still played rings around the All-Stars."

The review of the All-Stars was less than complimentary, especially toward the Eastern imports;
"Generally speaking, it looked as if there would have been more stars on the ice if they had stayed in the wet district. Newsy never worked himself too hard and Pitre didn't seem particular what got by him. When Marks got the puck he made the soldiers hustle, but he didn't seem too anxious to get it."
The soldiers however received glowing reviews;
"(Eddie) Oatman and (Amos) Arbour were the pick of the soldiers. The way those two boys went down made the fans gasp. Each scored three goals. Oatman gets back with his man faster than (Alf) Skinner does, and that's saying a lot. Arbour is a scrappy little player with barrels of speed. He stickhandled his way thru every kind of defence Saturday night. (Art) Duncan was good also. And (Howie) Lockhart in goal should have been drawing money for net minding long ago. He stopped everything he had a chance on and some on which everybody thought he had no chance. (Claude) Wilson was only fair."
To be fair, Claude Wilson, the goalkeeper for the Stars was only a practice goalie for the Blueshirts had not played pro hockey for two years, and even then he was only a fill-in for Toronto's Hap Holmes. And even then, he played a mere sixteen minutes of scoreless tending over two games. 
In the 1916/17 season, the Blueshirts would go on to play .500 hockey until the team folded on February 11, 1917. This was precipitated when the 228th Battalion was summoned overseas to military duty on February 10 and the remaining four teams voted to suspend the Blueshirts operations and continue play with four Eastern teams (Ottawa, Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Quebec). The Blueshirts players were dispersed among these clubs by drawing of names. Such was the business of hockey 100 years ago, a year before the NHL was formed.
228th Battalion Team

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