Thursday, December 13, 2018

Maple Leafs Magazine Project #1

Over the last few years I have been posting all the Maple Leaf game programs I own, dating back to 1930. I keep them over at what I call the Maple Leafs Programme Project. The long term goal is to try to collect at least one Leafs program from every year played in Maple Leaf Gardens. I believe I have 35 of the 50 seasons covered from 1930 (Mutual Street Arena) to 1979. We're getting there. 
Now, I've decided to do the same for all the magazines in my collection that feature Maple Leafs covers (most are either Leafs or early Gretzky). The first one above, is a terrific looking cover of Liberty magazine from December 16, 1933. Liberty was a general interest magazine along the lines of The Saturday Evening Post and was published until 1950. Even though this issue depicts Leafs and New York Rangers on the front, there is no corresponding article inside. So, all we get to enjoy is the terrific cover.
This beauty here is from March 1948, Sportfolio magazine picturing Turk Broda on the cover with an in depth article in side. This was a smaller, almost pocket-sized magazine published in Canada that was chock-full of sports articles and photos.
Amongst the article's tidbits are the fact Broda's entire equipment setup costs $200, he won the Leafs team golf championship and plays Handball during the season to keep his reflexes sharp. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Victoria Cougars 1952

Here's another great old hockey photo, this one found in the online Victoria, BC Archives. It's simply titled "Victoria Cougars players with boy in trench coat, 1952". Looking at the Society for International Hockey Research player photo database, it's fairly easy to determine the three players in the photo. From Left to Right; Bernie Strongman, Eddie Mazur, James Fodey.
Winnipeg native, Bernie Strongman played for Victoria from 1949 through 1953 when he retired. He had helped the Cougars win the Lester Patrick Cup as champions of the Pacific Coast Hockey League. According to the Society for International Hockey Research database, Strongman is alive to this day, having turned 99 years old in June.
Eddie Mazur played two full seasons with Victoria before being called up by the Montreal Canadiens for the 1951 Stanley Cup playoffs. After potting 43 goals for the Cougars, Mazur got into two matches for the Habs that spring, the year they lost to Bill Barilko's Maple Leafs. After helping Montreal win the 1953 Stanley Cup (scoring 4 points in 7 playoff games), Mazur would play a full season with the Canadiens in 1953/54, tallying 21 points over 67 games.
On the right we have goaltender Jerry Fodey, and his very presence helps nail down the date of this photo. Although the file of the photo says 1952, Jerry Fodey played but one season for Victoria, 1949/50. Strongman and Mazur both played that season as well, so the photo must be form the 49/50 campaign. That year the Cougars finished sixth and a distant last place in the PCHL's North Division, Fodey playing all but one of the 70 games while posting a somewhat respectable 4.29 GAA.
The Victoria Cougars name, which had originated in 1922 with the Patrick brothers in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association and transferred to the Detroit Cougars in 1926 (and eventually the Red Wings) would last in the Western League until 1961. The name was re-incarnated in the BCJHL in 1967, the major junior WCHL/WHL in 1971 and finally the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League Junior B circuit from 2002 to present.

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