Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Unidentified Maple Leafs Photo #6

Time to have a look at another fantastic and unique hockey photo from Vintage Sports Images here in North Vancouver. It shows the Leafs playing the New York Rangers in what appears to be the 1940s or 50s. The Leafs wore this jersey/sock combo every year from 1938 to 1958 (for three years in the mid-40s they had red lettering on the crest but we can't see that in the photo anyway).
First, let's figure out who Toronto's #9 is in the photo. Charlie Conacher of course wore the number from 1929 to 1938, this is not him in the photo. In 1938/39, Pep Kelly took over the number in his fourth season as a Leaf after Conacher was traded to Detroit. Kelly wore #9 for two seasons before being sold to Chicago in 1940. Next to wear the number was Lex Chisholm for 26 games in 1940/41. Lorne Carr was acquired to start the 1941/42 campaign and would wear #9 for 5 seasons when Ted Kennedy took over the number. All four players were right-handed shots like the player in the photo. The fact that the player is viewed from a back 3/4 angle makes it tougher to identify, but with the higher hairline, it really can only be Kelly or Kennedy. I'm leaning towards the latter.
Teeder Kennedy
Pep Kelly
Now let's look at the Maple Leaf being checked against the boards whose number is not visible. Scrolling through the Society for International Hockey Research visual database from that era, I feel it can only be one of two players; Buzz Boll or Ray Timgren. Compare their headshots to the player in the photo below.
Buzz Boll

Ray Timgren

Ray Timgren
Boll was a Leaf from 1933 to 1939 which gives him a one year window for this photo based on the uniform (he did play with Pep Kelly in 1938/39). Timgren was a Leaf from 1948/49 to 52/53, all seasons that Ted Kennedy was a Leaf, and the second photo of him does look the most like the guy in the photo. If push came to shove, I have to go with Timgren and Kennedy in this photo from that four year period. 
Now for the New York Ranger. Ex-Leaf Wally Stanowski wore #4 for the Rangers from 48/49 through 50/51 and Hy Buller from 51/52 through 53/54. Both were left-handed shots (which this #4 is) and stood 5'11". Both guys were defencemen as well which makes sense if they are checking the left-winger Timgren in the corner. Honestly, the only thing that pushes me towards #4 being Buller over Stanowski is his darker hair. Stanowski was slightly more fair-haired. If this is the case, the timeframe of the photo is narrowed down further to either 1951/52 or 52/53 and to recap we have left to right; Ray Timgren, Hy Buller and Ted Kennedy. For a photo this old with minimal information, I'll take it.

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