Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Inside the Maple Leafs Room

Time to identify another old hockey photo from my friends at Vintage Sports Images in North Vancouver. I got this one with no date or info attached, but there are some easily identifiable faces. 
The three in the middle with their jerseys removed are Allan Stanley, Bobby Baun and Tim Horton. 
The Leaf at left reading the game program certainly appears to be Carl Brewer which makes sense, as he was always more cerebral player than most. To the left of him we see a player in the midst of removing his jersey. If we look closely at the skate under the bench below him, there is a number "23" visible (see below) making this very likely the one and only Eddie Shack. You can almost see his nose poking through his jersey.
The last guy at the right side of the scene enjoying a swig of 7-Up is almost surely Larry Hillman. His face nicely matches the photo below. To narrow down the timeframe of this photo, the terrific uniform database informs us that the Maple Leafs added numbers to their sleeves for the 1962/63 season. This makes the the photo from prior to that and most likely from the 1960/61 season using the Larry Hillman factor. Hillman was claimed by the Maple Leafs in the Intra League draft from Boston in the summer of 1960. He played 62 of 70 games with Toronto in 1960/61 and only 5 games the following season, then the Leafs added the numbers to their jersey. This makes it extremely likely that this photo is from the 60/61 season. 
In conclusion, I am fairly confident that from left to right we see; Shack, Brewer, Stanley, Baun, Horton and Hillman. Allan Stanley was selected to the NHL 2nd All-Star team in 60/61, and the Leafs finished in second place with 90 points in 70 games. Alas, Toronto was beaten in the first round of the playoffs by underdog Detroit in five games. The only game they won was the first in double overtime, on a goal from George Armstrong, assisted by Allan Stanley.

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