Showing posts from March, 2013

1952/53 Parkhurst Album

Here's one of my favourite new additions to the den, an original album that once held Parkhurst cards. 1952/53 was the second year of hockey cards issued by the company, the "folio" is in pretty fine shape for 60 years old. The reverse of the folder is pictured at the bottom and lists all of the cards in the set. These are quite rare as they were meant to take a beating while protecting the precious cards inside. 
I've also shown my card from this set, #44 featuring Maple Leaf great Ted "Teeder" Kennedy.

Nazem Kadri, Top 10 in Scoring

It still amazes me at how Nazem Kadri has blossomed this season. Even as a die-hard Leaf supporter, I'm waiting for the bubble to burst, he can't be THIS good, can he?

Being a Maple Leaf in the top 10 of NHL scoring is one thing, but not as rare as one may think, Kessel did it just last year and Sundin and Gilmour finished top 10 twice each. OK, that's it since the 1970's so maybe it is pretty rare. Now the fact that Kadri is 22 years old while being a top 10 scorer...THAT is a rarity for Toronto.

The last time the Maple Leafs had a player 22 or younger finish in the top 10 of NHL scoring was 66 years ago, in 1946/47 when 21 year-old "Teeder" Ted Kennedy finished in third place.

Darryl Sittler came the closest most 'recently' when he placed 8th in scoring in 1973/74 at age 23, and before that it was The Big 'M' Frank Mahovlich finishing 3rd in 1960/61 at age 23.

Below is the list of all the times Toronto has had a player 22 years-old or young…

1930's Leafs Bruins Photos

The great website recently had a posting of an old photo that had been colourized. The pic below is originally from the Boston Public Library archives. Pictured heading to the ice of The Boston Garden from their change room are Charlie Conacher, Buzz Boll and Hap Day. The Leafs had to run the gauntlet of Boston fans through the arena concourse. It's dated 1937. Of course, this lead me to search the rest of these archives and found some more great shots. This one is dated 1938/39 and pictured the Leafs battling the Bruins. #17 for Boston is Bobby Bauer, #15 is Milt Schmidt. Leaf goalie is Turk Broda and behind their net is Syl Apps. This may be from the Stanley Cup finals of that season. This one's dated 1930/31 and shows Leaf goalie Lorne Chabot and #4 Hap Day behind the net. It appears to be Ace Bailey skating out to cover #7 Cooney Weiland. #5 Dit Clapper is open in front of the cage.

Here's a really nice shot of Syl Apps, King Clancy, Dick …

Sidney Crosby is Darn Good

Over his last 82 games played since early in the 2010/11 season Sidney Crosby has scored 46 goals and 91 assists for 137 points. These three seasons represent Crosby's 23, 24 and 25 year-old seasons. In an interesting comparison, over the same age seasons of their careers, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky scored at only slightly higher rates.

Interestingly while Crosby has to this point played the equivalent of one full season in his age 23, 24, 25 seasons, Lemieux in the same seasons played 158 games or two full seasons. Gretzky, in his age 23, 24, 25 seasons played 234 games or three full seasons. The scoring totals for each in these respective seasons are as follows:

Crosby, Lemieux, Gretzky in their Age 23, 24 & 25 seasons (GP-G-A-Pts)

Crosby         82-46-91-137

Lemieux   158-149-218-367
Avg.             79-75-109-186

Gretzky    234-212-416-628
Avg.             78-71-139-210

Of course the league scoring rates have fluctuated dramatically over the years. In the three years in qu…

Red Kelly Cracks the Whip, Literally

Here's a story I had never heard that I just stumbled upon. On Wednesday November 27, 1974 in New York during a game against the Rangers, Toronto Maple Leaf coach Red Kelly coached the game while carrying a six-foot long bull whip. Yep. A bull whip, look at the Associated Press photo below published the day after. Crazy.
One week earlier, Kelly and his Maple Leafs came under harsh criticism from 70 year-old team president Harold Ballard and this apparently was Kelly's response. On November 19, 1974 Toronto held a record of 5-8-1 and were six points behind Boston and eighteen behind Buffalo in the NHL's Adams Division. The Leafs had lost three of four games and Ballard decided to go on a rant. Most famously, this was the occasion when he said "You could send Inge Hammarstrom into the corner with six eggs in his pocket and he wouldn't break any of them." As well, the curmudgeon said the players should be ashamed to walk the streets and face citizens of Toronto…

1995 to 2013 Lockout Year Leaders; Very Similar Numbers

A search of Google newspaper archives turns up the NHL scoring leaders from the same point in the shortened season as this year, 18 years ago in 1995. It's amazing how much has changed yet still remained the same.

The numbers really are strikingly similar with a Penguin leading the parade both in '95 and now. 14 players had at least 25 points back then compared to 13 this season. The goal leaders are within one with Jagr having 16 goals after 23 games in 1995 and Stamkos 17 at the same point this year. Perhaps most amazing is the fact that Jaromir Jagr and Teemu Selanne are both still active and productive members of the league.

The question is, will someone top 70 points or Peter Bondra's 34 goals this season in the same 48 game schedule?

Vintage NHL Schedules

A few of  my collection of old NHL schedules. I really love the old style artwork, and they look great displayed on one of the Den shelves.