A Brief Bee Hive Moment: Hal Laycoe’s Big Night With The Rocket

 From 1934 to 1967, if you mailed in a Bee Hive Corn Syrup coupon, they would send you a free photo of most any player you requested. They were divided into three groups over the years, and this photo of Hal Laycoe comes from Group 2, which covered the years between 1944 to 1964.  Bee Hive photos were fun to collect and because everyone asked for the Rocket or Beliveau or Horton  or Armstrong etc, the lesser players like the Habs’ Tod Campeau and Vern Kaiser and others are extremely rare and valuable.

Hal Laycoe had been a friend of Rocket Richard’s when both played for Montreal, but after Laycoe was traded to Boston, he and the Rocket took centre stage one night in what led to a big-time piece of hockey history.

It happened like this. Laycoe had highsticked Richard one night in Boston, but play continued with no penalty called. This upset the Rocket very much. He skated up to Laycoe, smashed him in the face and upper body with his stick, and was soon subdued by the officials. But this didn’t stop Richard. He kept breaking away from the linesmen to get at this former friend, Laycoe, and he even broke his stick over the Bruin player’s back.

Linesman Cliff Thompson got hold of Richard again, but the Rocket broke loose and punched Thompson twice, which wasn’t the greatest idea. It simply wasn’t a good situation all round.

All of this led to Richard’s suspension of the remaining games in the season, plus the entire playoffs, and you know the rest of the story.

Of course it was the 1955 Richard Riot on St. Patrick’s Night In Montreal.




4 thoughts on “A Brief Bee Hive Moment: Hal Laycoe’s Big Night With The Rocket”

  1. Dennis Kane,

    This is Jim, as you know, the `constructor’ of der Habinator. Unfortunately, my pc was once again `blitzed’ so I was unable to comment sooner on the outpouring of irrationality and mendacity that was directed at dH while he was in his death throes. Yes, dH is long gone, in fact, I had intended to shelve him and replace him with another `persona’ when, alas, Tom made his appearance. Sigh, there was my Bob – quiet, tempered in opinion and expression, an intense fan but laid-back and measured in speech, someone who put the emphasis on balancing the inherent irrational nature of being a `fan’ with a civilizing patina of rationality, in effect, Bob was the anti-dH – done in by Tom before he got to post his first entry! Thus dH’s cyber existence was dragged out while I was working on another persona, Joe Hab, who was to be taciturn yet willing to speak `his mind’ in short pithy observations, concerned with the practical aspects of his team, pragamatic in outlook but wanting to be fair in his judgements. I was also playing around with the idea of Bud. Yup, a Leaf fan or, as dH would say, a Mangeur de Twinkies.

    So, given dH’s demise, let me set a few things staight re der Habinator.

    NO, dH did not feel `blocked’ from the site simply because he no longer `was’ and frankly, I was tired of him. He had reached the limits of his usefulness to me. Yes, I constructed dH for a purpose which was to explore our irrational natures in terms of `fandom’ of which dH was meant to be an extreme expression. I am also interested in `bullies’ the myths and realities that dictate how we interact. I have been putzing away at a theory that the real bullies, the most vicious and ugliest ones are the ones that go unseen until it is either to late – cf almost any historical epoch – or they have a gang in which to take refuge. These people are expert at posing as `victims’ of the mythic Big Bad Bully who only has substance if he/she is doing the dirty work of the anonymous puppeteers. So, on the surface it would appear the der Habinator was a Big Bad Bully, eh? Oh yes, he was loud, strident, utterly uncompromising re his beloved Habs – I always thought of him as having the CH tatooed on his ass – but he was most certainly NOT vicious as even a cursory review of his comments clearly shows. Indeed, dH was very much the target of a vicious and unwarranted attack on your part and others. Ahhh yes, can you deal with the truth? Hmmm, will you post this? In any case, here’s some food for thought.

    First, I suggest interested bloggers review all the entries from, say, the 22nd of June until the 30th. I will post some extracts here and comment on them but the above mentioned entries adequately represent dH and show how badly his posts were distorted both in fact and in spirit.

    Two important general points here:

    1)dH always responded in kind to the tone and content of the`other’s’ comments.

    i) for example, the `what-a-joke’ defender of the Canucks got his `what-a-joke’ attitude back … hardly `vicious’, and strictly hockey talk;

    ii)for example, Tom’s reasoned points were addressed accordingly, that is reasonably and respectfully, by dH – hardly the response of someone who tees off on anybody who simply disagrees with him, eh;

    iii) for example, the posts of Aug 26 show that dH bent over backwards to try and clarify his response to the `George’ piece demonstrating his desire to not offend in a personal way (more on this below);

    iv)your forays into the `absurd’ were welcomed and gleefully participated in by dH .. hardly what such a `vicious’ bully would engage in, eh?

    v)Gently spinning Sandy’s comments re Sundin qualifies as a `vicious personal attack’? UH?

    2)der Habinator did not indulge in mean or petty attacks on others’ personal decisions. Just review his comments re Goldie & Kurt, Mats Sundin, Gordie Howe, et al. Hmm, seems to me `others’ did not share dH”s respect for respect, as it were, eh?

    Now, let’s examine a few specifics, starting with dH’s so-called `vicious’ attack on George. An abstract of some of dH’s posts should suffice to set the record straight re what dH actually said as opposed to what Dennis Kane chose to believe.

    June 26th, 2008 at 10:50 am

    So, no, DK, I wasn’t `attacking’ George. On the contrary, I was celebrating him and if ever, by some miracle, I should get to PR I would be most pleased if he were to permit me to buy him a beer on the condition, of course, that he hold forth on what he `remembers’ from the `old days – both good & bad’ because to me whatever he has to say, warts and all, will likely be a helluva lot more honest, more true, more human/humane, more relevant than much of the superficial reflexive pc bs that is currently being passed off as Canadian culture.

    Okay, now that that `vicious’ attack has been shown for what it is, how’s about this one from the same post?

    That said, I must admit that I do, with unabashed glee, pummel la P and that quintessential canucklehead Lawrence – hehe, even in absentia. Why? Primarily because they aren’t Habs fans and as such richly deserve the verbal beat-downs they get not only from me but from all self-respecting Habbers such as Mike who, granted, is somewhat less militant than me but who, if you noticed, jumped to the defence of Gaston (I followed his lead) – a living? exemplar of Habdom -in the face of your scurrilous assault on his virtue … who’s the bad guy, here? I mean, did you diss Gaston just to score points with the waitress? Hehe, if so, I hope that `she doesn’t read your comments’.

    UH? There he goes again, big bad dH being being over-the-top absurd. Sense of humour is personal (did everybody enjoy your Gaston riffs?) and it’s perfectly understandable that somebody should not `get’ another’s attempts at humour but deliberately distorting it, misrepresenting not only what was said and even more importantly the humourous intent is a helluva a lot more `vicious’ than what can fairly be construed by others to be merely a bad joke. Certainly, Dani had no trouble with dH’s oh-so-vicious attacks on her. Yeah, dH was in part informed by the attitude common to pre-80s players that the opponent, even in the off-season, was `the enemy’. This attitude is no longer as deeply ingrained in pro-sports in general and in hockey we could see it wilting soon after the welcome demise of the Broadstreet Bullies. So, whenever a hockey issue came up dH certainly was predictably intractable when pulling for the Habs against fans of other clubs. LOL. Captain Canucklehead and la P! (sounds like a wrestling tag team, eh?) And all those poor Leaf fans being labelled as Mangeurs de Twinkies – horrors! What vicious personal attacks! And on the entire Leaf nation to boot! In league maybe with the shafting of Kurt & Goldie? Gordie? Hmmm ….

    But, hey, wait! There’s more evidence of der Habinators unconscionable attackes on people. Why, check out this:

    der Habinator Says: August 5th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Dear Canucklehead supreme,

    How, well, trollish of you. Hehe, the more interesting questions that should be posed by DK are:

    1. Is Lawrence real? Or, is he a virtual reality figment of the collective unconscious of canuckleheaddom, a kind of Captain Canuckelhead, as it were.
    2. As a true blue Habber is it at all possible for DK to even imagine that he would ever need Cpt Canucklehead to come to his defense? From a fellow Habber at that!
    3. Is it necessarily the case that all canuckleheads take the bait as easily as their troll-brained Captain? (Not to worry, Captain. I’ll always toss you back – canuckleheads are one of the principle practise fish for the HabsFan catch & release program.)
    p.s. I always take care. Hehe, when was the last time the mouse baffed the cat? Ahh, yes, the Grand Duchy Of Fenwick back in 1959 I believe. So, get DK to go Hollywood and maybe you’ll get to roar, too. Who knows? Maybe Dorothy will lend you her ruby red shoes and you can go live in Oz where you belong.

    Dennis Kane Says: August 5th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    I’m really trying to come to grips with all this. Why der Hab thought I came up with the troll thing when it was obviously posted by Lawrence. Maybe you’re skimming over things too quickly, Habber.
    I also don’t understand why putting a few questions out to people to get some participation is such a bad thing. Why is there so much negativity going on right now?
    Why can’t this thing just be a little more fun for you, der Hab? And are you the reason why Dani and others kind of shy away because they know your going to give them shit?
    Why does this have to be? I’m getting really tired of this

    So, lets’ consider Dennis’ comments.

    First, let’s get this straight: dH deliberately misattributed the `Troll’ comment to you. Why? He was fishing for bullies. Yes, one way gangs of bullies work is they look for a reason, any old one however flimsy will do, in order to posture as `protectors’ against, lol, people who don’t behave the way they think they should – so, hey, they’ll show them!. Yes, dH’s `bait’ worked quite well, eh? Given the utter truly `vicious’ nonsense that came spilling out. What this also illustrates is your failure to block the obviously `vicious’ Troll comment as well as the `crib’ slur – certainly bothe are much nastier than Cpt Canucklehead – as being utterly devoid of any `hockey’ content. Hmmm, let me see, ahhh, yes, gotta protect poor little Lawrence from big bad dH. LOL

    Second: Where did dH even infer that `putting a few questions out’ was `such a bad thing’? Uh, dH in fact did the opposite. How’s about sports metaphor here: dH took that ball and ran with it. Yeah, the only negativity so far is Yours.
    Third: dH WAS having fun, lots of it. The joyless ones were you (d poor put upon Lawrence?). What a sad distortion of facts. Hmm, it seems to me that dH is the one who was `getting tired of this (bs)’.
    And there is even MORE! Consider the following quotes:

    And are you the reason why Dani and others kind of shy away because they know your going to give them shit?

    subdoxastic Says: August 5th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Love the site Mr. Kane; can’t say that I care terribly for the “der hab” and his (usually inane and rarely relevant) crib sheet lit. crit./post mod. thought. It’s kept me from replying to some of your super posts in the past. Perhaps things are changing?

    Ahh, yes, Big Bad der Habinator picking on poor little Dani and what’s this? some boy who’s so afraid of dH in Dennis’ words `giving him shit’ that he only jumps in and opens his mealy-mouth when he feels `safe’ in a gang. UH? Crib sheet? How `vicious’. But, Dennis, where is the oh-so-concerned boy? Ahh, he’ll show up now, won’t he? In any case, dH’s riffs were spontaneous and free-style. And they were easy to do because dH was such a simple persona – reasonable, rational, patient, tolerant of all and sundry except for `enemy’ fans and even then canuckleheads, twinkies, punk/punkettes hardly qualifies as vicious personal attacks. Subdoxastic? LOL How, well, pathetic. Smacks of a contrived bit of cheap coordinated gang banging bs along with yours and Mike Williamson’s sad participation regardless of previous posts … yeah, Mike you as well would be well advised to review your comments.. But no matter, Dani certainly, as she does so well, put things in perspective:

    a) cf her comment re `ratings’

    b) danielleia Says: August 5th, 2008 at 6:16 pm
    People are scared by Devil Hab? hahaha Don’t be.
    1. YES!!!
    2. Yes.
    3. No, I agree with what hab says for #3 about the “no best player.” Shock. Awe. Alert the media. I agreed with him.

    Then, UH?, you come out and spew out this nonsense:

    Dennis Kane Says: August 6th, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Dani, people aren’t scared by der Habinator. They simply don’t need the personal attacks when all they’re trying to do is add their two bits about hockey. No one needs this. This isn’t one of those forums I wrote about where people are at each other’s throats.

    So, Dennis Kane & Co, it’s much easier to posture as self-righteous `defenders’ of the `right’, to `libel by label’ than to face up to the facts, to actually take a hard look at one’s own `bullying’ behaviour, eh? Personal attacks? LOL, dH, along with others mentioned above, was far and away more the target of than perpetrator of `vicious personal attacks’. And please, be sufficiently honest to acknolwedge that you were well aware of dH’s persona and that he had in fact on two occasions expressed his concern that just maybe he was being a bid too aggressive which you assured him was not the case. Hmmmm ….

    But, it’s no big deal. Again, for me, this was an interesting exercise in that this `tempest-in-a-tea-pot’ is very much an expression of our all-too-human `irrational’ nature. Perhaps you have read the foregoing and if so I hope you have the `courage’ to call yourself/selves to task.


  2. Jim aka der Habinator;What’s so sad about my comments,is it because at times I feel you go over the top with your lenghty posts.I stated in an earlier post most times your posts are well thought out and articulate but at times can be construed as disrespectful,funs fun but at times can become nasty! I’ve never felt intimidated by your posts,just wish you would try & keep them shorter before interest is lost.
    Les Canadiens Toujours!!!!!

  3. The only time I wasn’t crazy about your comments was the George thing. And yes, later you said you’d buy him a beer, but that was later.
    Anyway, I never wanted you to go away and not come back, and I was pleasantly surprised to see your comments today.
    And why diss on me? I always let you have your say, I never edited you, and I even asked your advice a few times. And I also admire your knowledge of many things.
    I’m just not crazy about things when they look like it’s getting ugly. Is that wrong?
    I know you like my site and I’m happy about that. There’s lots of blogs out there but you chose mine. It’s a compliment for me.

  4. Dennis,

    Not to worry. No animosity here whatsoever. Of course, as dH’s `creator’ I was obliged to come to his defense especially as the aggravating dood was no longer able to do so for himself. Ha!

    Seriously, I was tired of dH, was happy to off him and was working on other `personas’ to gnaw away at what interests me .. hehe, sorta like a mouse at a hunk of cheese.

    Yes, I do like your site. To me it is `raw’ in the sense that it is unpretentious and direct, that bloggers such as Mike let it out without restraint. Amd, yes, I quite enjoy Dani – the girl is precocious. Ha, I have been playing with the idea of inflicting `Henry’ on her: a gay fashionista who `adores’ hockey and all those `ruffians’ who hit each other with such passion! Henry is also very much a bitch and would delight in `scolding’ her for wearing glitter eye-shadow whether or not she does. Lol, lucky for Dani that he hasn’t come out! But it would be a challenge, perhaps too much to maintain, simply because her site is so different in terms of style and reference, and the generation gap is so very real. Ha! Still, perhaps she would welcome the `drama’ that a Henry would bring.

    And, no, Dennis, I’m not gay and I’m not some kind of schizzy weirdo. I do know that we are complex and that we all harbour aspects of self that are often contradictory even exclusive but I assure you that I am coherent if lacking somewhat in the social graces. Truth is, I find `personas’ such as dH, Henry, Bob, Joe Hab, Mike (hehehe), Dani, DK, Tom, & even Captain Canucklehead, more interesting, more lively than myself. Ha! No, don’t get me wrong. I do like myself but I am boring. I’m sure you will agree that dh was much more colourful than my rather feeble efforts on his behalf.

    Right now, I am working on – LOL – redefining the Universe and concurrently, even though I am I think? an atheist/agnostic, working out yet another argument for the existence of of Prime Mover which means I have less energy to channel into enjoying the give and take of a sports blog. Yes, I do enjoy ideas however `out there’ they may be. And, yes, personas in the cyber world are ideas! Hehe, who knows? Maybe Ralph or Doug or `Devil Henry’ will pop up in which case you will be able to make an educated guess as to who it might be.

    respectfully yours,


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