Showing posts from January, 2015

Howie Harvey, Doug's Goaltender Brother

I am currently reading Bruce McDougall's excellent book, "The Last Hockey Game". It is a fantastic account of the behind-the-scene doings of the players and events of the Stanley Cup Final clinching game of May 2, 1967. Yes, the last time the Maple Leafs won the Cup when they topped the Canadiens four games to two in the final. The book is not just for Leafs and Habs fans, it's a terrific snapshot of how the NHL used to be in the  final days before expansion full of seldom heard stories and anecdotes.
One of the quick stories is about how hockey players were able to play through pains and injuries, it centres around a  little known goalie, Howie Harvey;
"(Red) Kelly remembered  a kid named Howie Harvey, who went to St. Michael's College, the Catholic high school in Toronto where Kelly and several teammates had played junior hockey. Harvey was a goalie, good enough to earn a tryout one fall with the Leafs. At the tryout, Harvey watched a deflected puck hot Le…

Lester Patrick's All Time All-Stars, circa 1927

I found this terrific article from the Ottawa Citizen, dated February 15, 1927. The cartoon above was included with the article. It's written by Hall of Famer and then, current coach/ general manager of the New York Rangers. In it, Patrick selects his all-time all-star team from players who had retired by that point in hockey history, it's a veritable who's-who of turn-of-the-century hockey.
Patrick writes;
"Very frequently, I am asked by some red-hot fan to name the greatest player the game has ever known. My long experience in the game has taught me to be careful in naming my man, for nine chances out of ten I have not named the man the fan expected me to name, and then I have an argument on my hands."
"It is not my intention to attempt to  pick an all-star team from the ranks of present-day players, but I will attempt to to pick an all-time all-star aggregation from the ranks of players who have now passed out of competition."
"Here are my selecti…

Is This The Worst Maple Leafs Squad Ever?

On December 16, 2014 Toronto beat the Ducks of Anaheim 6-2. Their record of 19-9-3 was good for 6th in the Eastern Conference, 3 points out of first place. Toronto was 7 points up on 9th place. Then, the World Junior Championships moved into the Air Canada Centre and the Maple Leafs played 13 of their next 17 games on the road. To say it has not gone well is an understatement. Toronto has gone 3-14 to the All-Star break and plummeted out of the playoff picture.
Five goals scored during the current six game losing streak has raised the question on many fronts; "Is this the worst Leaf team in recent history?" Since Toronto won the Stanley Cup in 1967, the worst Leaf edition before this year would have to be the edition from exactly 30 years ago in 1984/85. This memorable squad  which is ingrained in my childhood memory finished with 48 points and a record of 20-52-8, good for last overall in the NHL. The current Leafs have gained only one less point than the 84/85 team did al…

Seattle Seahawks, Hockey's Version

As the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks prepare for a chance to repeat their Super Bowl title, let’s have a look at the original Seattle Seahawks…hockey’s version.
From 1933 to 1941 Seattle boasted a minor professional hockey team with that very name. Initially members of the North West Hockey League along with Vancouver, Portland, Edmonton and Calgary, they were subsequently a member of the fledgling Pacific Coast Hockey League. The Seahawks would regularly play before hometown crowds in excess of 4,000 and captured the NWHL title in 1935/36. Over the tenure of their existence many past and future NHLers would wear the Seahawks sweater.  The original coach and general manager of the Seattle Seahawks was none other than Hockey Hall of Famer, Frank Foyston.
The owner of the Seahawks was Phil Lycette who was a somewhat strange character. At different points in his ownership he was either trying to sell the team or purchasing entire other teams in the circuit. In the spring of …

Mystery Hockey Photo, Vancouver Lions 1930

Looking through the Vancouver City Archives I found this great photo titled simply, Vancouver Lions 1930. The Lions were members of the Pacific Coast Hockey League from 1928 to 1931, playing out of the Denman Arena in Vancouver. They won the league championship all three seasons before the league disbanded in 1931. Interestingly, this year's squad was coached by Guy Patrick, the lesser-known brother of Hall of Famers Frank and Lester Patrick. Guy never played the game in any discernible manner, but was the arena manager for the family's Denman Street facility. In addition to coaching and managing various versions of the Vancouver Lions he had coached the female Vancouver Amazons in 1922 and would eventually marry one of the players, Kathleen Carson.  Using the database of the Society of International Hockey Research I was able to identify each player in the team photo which includes many future NHLers.

Back Row, Left to Right;

Lorne Carr was 19 years old and the Lions were his …

1958 Leaf Caricatures by Jack Reppen

This full page Christmas greeting was in a Toronto Maple Leafs program in December, 1958 that I picked up recently. As an animation artist by trade, I always enjoy when I see hockey and art colliding. This one was from the pen of Canadian artist Jack Reppen. The close-ups of the individual caricatures are below. 

Great stuff from Reppen, a few strokes of the pen beautifully captured each individual's character, especially the Conn Smythe and Punch Imlach drawings. Reppen was a freelance cartoonist with the Toronto Star from 1952 until his untimely death from cancer in 1964. For the last five years of his life Reppen had dedicated himself to contemporary painting and exhibited regularly. Below are two more portraits from the same 1958 Leafs program of two of hockey's greats.

Hockey Tips by Dave Keon

Here's one of my favourite new additions to The Hockey Den, a very cool booklet from the early 1970's featuring Dave Keon. It's loaded with great artwork depicting Keon instructing how to play as an all around Centreman. I'm not sure who issued the book, but judging by the sideburns on him in the photo on the back page, it's 1970 or 1971.