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1938/39 Maple Leafs Program

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Usually I will share my latest vintage program over at Maple Leafs Programme Project but this one is just too good. From the 1938/39 season, this program is from a game between the Leafs and the visiting New York Rangers. The Rangers ended up winning the match by a score of 3-2 as Dave Kerr out-duelled Leafs Turk Broda. The player pictured on the cover is not stated, but he bears a resemblance to Bob Davidson. Pretty cool listing by W.A. Hewitt of hockey's stars from 1900-1939.
Above is a full page advertisement featuring a great interior photo of Maple Leaf Gardens. I cropped and enlarged it below.
Another ad shows game action between the Rangers and Leafs. A few of the players are identifiable. The middle Leaf is Syl Apps, and #11 has to be Busher Jackson. The Ranger goalie is Dave Kerr who played every game for the Rangers in the previous two seasons.
Next is an advertisement from Quaker Oats for some terrific Leafs memorabilia.
Below is an ad for Golden Crest Dairy depicting …

Connor McDavid's Hot Start

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Connor McDavid is living in the 1980's. Well, at least his scoring exploits are living in the 1980's. After scoring a ridiculous 17 points in the Oilers first seven games of the season, he is producing at levels not seen in decades. He is only the third player in 30 years to collect at least 17 points in his first 7 games of the season. The other two, Wayne and Mario. Those two made a habit of storming out of the gates, Gretzky did this on 8 different occasions, while Lemieux did it 4 times. Perhaps most amazing is the fact Lemieux started the 2002/03 campaign with 16 points in his first 7 games...at age 37.

Of course, the old tale of  league-wide scoring rates rears it's head while comparing different eras. Below are the hottest starts in modern NHL history with each season's league goal scoring rate included.

PLAYER YEAR  G-A-Pts       NHL  G/GP avg
McDavid 19/20     5-12-17              6.23

Lemieux  86/87    10-9-19                7.34
Lemieux  88/89    13-13-26   …

1939 Toronto Maple Leafs Program

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Here is the latest addition to my Maple Leaf Programme Project, the quest to collect a game program from every season in the history of Maple Leaf Gardens. I believe this is the 42nd of 50 seasons between 1930/31 and 1979/80 that I have a program from Maple Leaf Gardens. A few of them are from wrestling or ice-capades events at the Gardens and one is a Junior game. These all count for my purposes.  This latest acquisition is from April 1939, an Allan Cup Finals game between the Montreal Royals and the Toronto Goodyears. The Royals would eventually win the Allan Cup by three games to two. The Goodyears were led by future NHLers Don Metz, Peanuts O'Flaherty, Hank Goldup and 22 year-old future Leafs Coach/GM, George "Punch" Imlach. The Royals boasted two future big-leaguers in Buddy O'Connor and Gerry Heffernan. The cover of the program has a wonderful painting of a Leaf skater, not identified inside the program.  Looking through the photo database of the Leafs of that…

Guy Carbonneau, Unexpected Hall-of Famer

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After years of absolute zero buzz around his Hall of Fame candidacy, Guy Carbonneau was surprisingly voted in as an Honoured Member. Personally, I don't agree with the selection of "Carbo" to the Hall, in my mind, there are probably forty other players I'd put in ahead of him. His supporters point to the fact that Carbonneau won three Selke Awards, three Cups and was the top defensive forward of his era. I'm not sure that's enough for enshrinement. To be blunt, if Guy Carbonneau is a Hall of Famer, then Buffalo Sabre Craig Ramsay is a Hall of Famer. Let's look at the numbers.
The stats do indeed back up the fact that Carbonneau was the top defensive forward of his time. Looking at HockeyReference.com, Carbonneau was the player with the most Defensive Point Shares over his time in the NHL. From 1982/83 through 1999/00 he was credited with 23.4 DPS, ahead of five legit Hall of Fame members; Gilmour, Gretzky, Francis, Andreychuk and Yzerman. Carbo was almo…

1970 Blue Line Hockey Board Game

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In addition to the 1957 NHL board game I picked up at the flea market last weekend, I grabbed this beauty. It's a 1970 game from 3M Sports called Blue Line Hockey.  The back of the box replicates the cool front imagery, the inside of the box displays the many aspects of hockey that are not necessarily conveyed in this game. The game itself seems to have not evolved much from the 1957 issue I posted last week. If anything, the quality of the game has DE-volved, as the 1957 game had some fantastic graphics on the game pieces.  The game pieces in 1970's Blue Line Hockey shown below are, I suppose more durable than the 1957 cardboard punch-outs, but they are not even close to as appealing a design. Again, we see the eye-boggling giant checkerboard hockey rink. Truly a sight for sore eyes.
The one thing they did nail is the nicely embossed texture to the back of the game board itself.
The rules are on the inside of the game box. If you feel like trying to delve into them, go ahead…

Played for Both Bruins & Blues, All-Time Team

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Here's a fun thing I like to do every once in a while, assemble a squad of players who played for two distinct franchises. I did it for Leafs/Wings when they played in the Winter Classic a few years back. Also, I'm working on a squad of guys who played for both the Canucks and Leafs that includes such names as Vaive, Benning, Butcher and Kurtenbach. What follows is the all-time team of players who at some point in their careers, suited up for both of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finalists Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues.
The fact that goaltender Hannu Toivonen is pictured at the top may seem a strange selection, but he is  the only retired player to play his entire career ONLY for Boston and St. Louis. Currently playing, David Backes has done the same, playing for only St.Louis and Boston. Toivonen came up with the Bruins in 2005/06 playing behind Tim Thomas and Andrew Raycroft, during the summer of 2007 he was dealt to the Blues for Carl Soderberg. He would back-up Manny Legace f…

1957 Copp Clark NHL Board Game, Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens

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Check out this gem that I picked up at the flea market this past weekend. It was prominently displayed by my regular dealer who has a permanent set-up at the Vancouver Flea Market. It's one of those items that the second I saw it, I knew I would be walking away with it. I've never seen it before, but what a beauty. This board game was issued in 1957 by Copp Clark Publishing Company of Canada as a fully licensed game from the NHL. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens and their logos are wonderfully displayed on the game box lid. The company, Copp Clark can trace it's roots back to 1841 and still exists today solely as a book publisher. Perhaps their most well-known board game was Rummoli, which they created in 1940.
The back of the game board has more great graphics as well as a textured "gator skin" finish. Manufacturers sure put a lot of quality and care into their products in the 1950's. Upon opening the three-panelled game board, the players are…

1978 World Junior Championship, Canada vs Sweden

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The other night, after the late NHL playoff game finished I instinctively changed the channel to TSN/ESPN Classic just to see what was on. Any thoughts of a regular bedtime for me were instantly ruined. Airing on the retro sports channel was a 1978 World Junior Hockey Championship game between Canada and Sweden originally played January 1, 1978. This game, at the Montreal Forum featured a 16-year old Wayne Gretzky (among many other future NHL stars). Boxscore of the game is below.
This game amounted to a semi-final match to determine who would play the winner of the Soviets and Czechs (Soviets won handily). All Canada needed was a tie against the Swedes and they would move onto the Championship game. Alas, Sweden bested Canada 6-5 on the strength of four power play markers. Canada had to make do with the Bronze medal while Gretzky was named Top Forward and topped the tourney with 17 points in 6 games, 7 more than his next teammate Wayne Babych.
Obviously, I was compelled to capture s…