I found this Bee Hive ad in an old program, which I printed and placed on top of my collection of 70 or so of my beloved Habs Group 2 (1944-64) Bee Hives.
Not a lot to say about Vern Kaiser, who is number three of the trio of Bee Hives I picked up recently. (I only need Tod Campeau to complete things now – 73 in all).
Kaiser played 50 games with Montreal during the 1950-51 season, plus two games in the playoffs, and that was it. He managed seven goals and added five assists during this time, which is decent numbers I suppose, but all in all, Vern Kaiser was mostly a minor leaguer throughout his career. He’s definitely a sensational Bee Hive to get hold of though.
More about Mr. Kaiser can be found here
This is number two of the three Bee Hives I found on eBay recently, with only one left to go to complete the 73-player Group 2 set. The first of the trio, that I posted last week, was Doc Couture. And now today – Ross Lowe.
Ross Lowe was a defenceman who came over to the Habs from Boston in a 1951 trade which sent Hal Laycoe to Beantown. Laycoe would later become synonymous with the infamous Richard Riot in 1955 when he belted the Rocket over the head with his stick, which led to Richard punching linesman Cliff Thompson and getting the boot for the final three games of the season, plus all of the playoffs.
But that’s getting off the subject.
Lowe would play two playoff games with the Habs in the spring of ’51, and then 31 regular season games during the 1951-52 season when he would tally one goal and five assists.
After three years in the minors following his brief Montreal stint, Lowe would be offered a tryout with the New York Rangers, but it wasn’t to be. He drowned in Lake Haliburton, which is north-east of Orillia, in the summer of ’55 while vacationing with his family.
Recently I had yet another birthday and my wife Luci suggested I go on the internet and buy something for myself, which I thought was a great idea. So I found a George Robertson Bee Hive and bought the sucker. She also took me out to a pub, where I found several beer and bought those too.
George’s Bee Hive is exceptionally rare, mainly because he spent only 31 games with the Canadiens over two seasons, and after that it was off to a long and winding road through the minors. He played one game as a Hab during the 1947-48 season with no points, then managed two goals and five assists in 30 games the following year. So kids didn’t really want his Beehive all that much. They were mostly leaning toward the Rocket and Beliveau and the other stars for their Bee Hive fix. I know I was.
I have a game-used Billy Reay hockey stick from 1948, signed by the team, and I was looking at it the other day and noticed that George Robertson’s signature is included, which I thought was kinda neat. I’d forgotten about that.
George’s numbers can be seen here – George Robertson. And I don’t care if a guy played one game with the Habs or a thousand. He still wore the sweater of the Montreal Canadiens, which to me is as good as it gets.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m very proud of my Habs Bee Hive Group 2 (1944-64) collection. I have more than 70 of these old photos that we would we would collect when we were kids by sending in Bee Hive syrup labels, and last year Danno got wind of the handful of old Habs I didn’t have from this set. Soon after, the mailman showed up with a package from Danno and Gail, and inside was a John Hanna Bee Hive, one I’d been chasing, and one that is tough to find.
I’m beyond blown away to tell you that just yesterday the mailman showed up again with another package from Danno and Gail, a package that contained a great birthday card, and yet another Bee Hive I didn’t have – Ed Dorohoy, who played 16 games for the Canadiens during the 1948-49 season, and then became a career minor leaguer. His Bee Hive is also a rare beauty.
A really nice piece about Dorohoy can be seen here at Tom Hawthorn’s Blog.
Frankly I don’t know what to say. Danno and Gail are such kind people, and I’m just floored. To these two special folk, thanks so much. Wow!
Danno, whose name is mentioned often on this site because he’s a regular reader, commenter, and advisor, and who often sends me great and interesting links and videos, asked me once about what Bee Hives I happened to be missing. I have more than 70 of the 77 Montreal Canadien Beehives from the Group 2, 1944-64 series, and I mentioned the few I’m missing, which included John Hanna.
Hanna is a rare Bee Hive because he was a journeyman, a guy who played just six games with the Canadiens in 1963-64, although he managed another 177 with New York Rangers beginning in the late fifties, and later on, 15 games with Philadelphia when expansion arrived on the scene in the late sixties. All in all, he wasn’t that interesting to kids like me who clamoured for the Rocket or Harvey or Beliveau.
Very few John Hanna Beehives became circulated, as was the fate of a handful of other non-stars. It’s sad in a way.
The other day a parcel came to my house, from Dan and his lovely lady Gail in Ottawa, and it was a Habs notebook, a Tim Hortons gift certificate……….. and yes, a John Hanna Bee Hive.
I had no words then and I have none now. I met Danno and Gail in Ottawa last spring and they were as expected – friendly and smart and great fun, with good vibrations hovering about them. And now this, which was unexpected, and when I opened the package, I was shocked.
What a thing they did. Thanks again, Dan and Gail.
And John Hanna’s contribution as a Montreal Canadien? Six games - no goals, no assists, no penalties. But he’s got a beauty of a Beehive.
Derry has probably solved the question of who the little tin goalie is because of the identical gloves on each hand. Bill Durnan was ambidextrous and would at times switch hands.
I had compared Durnan’s photos to the tin man yesterday and decided it wasn’t him. But I was going by the face, not the gloves. The gloves were the key. I had actually decided, from my Bee Hives, that the tin man’s face resembled Emile Bouchard’s more than anyone in my Been Hive collection. Especially the hair.
Way to go, Derry. You %$#&*^.
Now I suppose I have to buy him a beer when he shows up in Powell River next year.
This is the Beehive that made me think it wasn’t Durnan.
And this is the Beehive that made me decide that maybe it was Butch. Although it might have been even closer if he wasn’t smiling.
You can see in my previous post One Player’s Claim To Fame that forwards and defencemen for old Eagle table hockey games from the 1950′s featured the face of Habs journeyman Dick Gamble.
But was there a real player whose face was copied for the little tin goalie?
Here’s the goalie, and thanks to this eBay site for the use of the photo.
I dunno. I went through almost 70 Beehive photos from the 1940′s and 50′s, and thought about it and tried to visualize who it might be, if it’s actually anyone at all.
I have my thoughts on who it is, and I have a picture to compare it to, but I’m not confident at all that it’s the same person.
I’m hoping you might have an idea.
Another little ditty from my Bee Hive collection as we wait for the Habs to destroy Chicago on Tuesday.
Roger Leger was not only in the running to replace Dick Irvin as coach of the Canadiens, a job Toe Blake was eventually given, but also managed to get his bridgework stuck in his throat one night against Detroit in 1948 which caused the team to lose the game.
The Canadiens were winning by one goal late in the game and as the puck came back to Leger on the blueline from a faceoff, Ted Lindsay rammed his elbow into Leger’s mouth, forcing the guy’s bridgework down his throat. Leger left the puck sitting there as he choked and panicked and skated for the bench and a Detroit player grabbed the puck and tied the score. Soon after, the Wings popped the winner.
However, in Leger’s defence, I would’ve done the same thing. The hell with the puck.