Category Archives: Montreal Maroons

The Writers Get Paid

From my collection, this original accounts payable sheet is from Frank J. Selke, signed at the bottom, to various writers who had contributed stories to the Maple Leafs Gardens program in 1938.

Frank Selke, before he became the iconic GM of the Montreal Canadiens from 1946 to 1964, was an assistant and right-hand man to Conn Smythe in Toronto, from 1929 until ’46, when he moved to Montreal.

The names on this sheet are extraordinary, and when you see a payment of $40 for example, according to the Consumer Price Index, $40 in 1938 is equivalent to $642.23 today. And $25 equals $457.42.

Here they are:

Bobby Hewitson, an NHL referee from 1920 to 1934, was the very first curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame, and was sports editor of the now-defunct Toronto Telegram, a newspaper I delivered when I was 11 or 12. I had the final edition copy for years until my ex-wife threw it out.

Bill Grimes, legendary Boston sportswriter.

Elmer Ferguson, legendary sportswriter for the Montreal Herald and Montreal Star, which spanned 39 years. Elmer was also a radio commentator for the Montreal Maroons (1933-38) and the Canadiens (1938-67). He remains one of the greatest hockey writers of all time.

Tommy Munns, assistant sports editor of the Globe and Mail.

Victor O. Jones, sportswriter for the Boston Globe.

Ted Reeves, a true legend. Played on two Grey Cup Argos teams, and became a beloved sports writer with the Toronto Telegram and Toronto Sun. There’s even an arena named after him in Toronto. He used to write these rambling sports poems, one of which I have in an old program, and his nickname was “The Moaner.”

Fred Jackson, succeed Lou Marsh as sports editor of the Toronto Star.

Hal Straight, sports editor of the Toronto Sun, a man who taught Pierre Berton the ins-and-outs of the newpaper business.

Marc McNeil, sportswriter for the Montreal Gazette.

Bill Roche, sportswriter in Sarnia and Toronto, and hockey author.

Jim Hurley, sportswriter for the New York Daily Mirror.

Harry Scott, sports editor of the Calgary Albertan, who played two seasons for the Montreal Canadiens (1913-14, 1914-15), with Georges Vezina and Newsy Lalonde as teammates.

Please note: I couldn’t find any information about Boaxil O’Meara and John Buss. If anyone can fill me in I would appreciate it very much.

While Waiting

Just a great game the other night in Boston, and of course we need more of the same from the boys on Saturday afternoon when the Lightning come to town.

Meanwhile, cleaning more stuff off my desktop.

A snapshot of Jacques Plante and his wife in the late 1970s; a vintage sweater box I noticed on a shelf at work, a neat cartoon, and a Forum program that the cartoon was in, from a Montreal Maroons/Leafs game.

Hope you don’t mind. You’re at a slightly unconventional site.

And anyway, I could go on and on about how this year’s squad can never take a night off, how they have to skate and drive hard to the net and have the puck more than the other team and give 140% like I do at work.

But I won’t, because it’s Friday. Which means it’s beer time at St. Hubert’s Chicken.

Plante

box

cartoon

Forum cover

On A Winter’s Night

It’s -22 in Montreal now, with the Weather Network adding that it feels like -30 with the wind chill.

And a big snowstorm is supposed to come in later today.

I’d like to thank Mother Nature, the weather gods, and my guardian angel for making this on a Saturday when I don’t have to drive to work. Or do anything except watch the Canadiens smarten up and play better in Long Island than they have for the past week or two.

And who knows, the boys might be snowed in if it gets bad here.

If you have a good four-wheel drive, would you mind running down and bringing some players back after the game? I guess we’ll need quite a few four-wheel drives. And it might be quite a drive.

Like this.

Back in 1929, the Boston Bruins team pulled out of the train station bound for Montreal with Eddie Shore running down the platform after getting stuck in a traffic. He missed the train but still thought he could make it anyway.

A rich friend loaned Shore his chauffeur and limo and they began heading north to Montreal at 11 pm in a huge snowstorm. The chauffeur was so nervous driving that he wouldn’t go faster than a couple of miles an hour. Shore eventually had enough and took the wheel. At one point the windshield wipers froze up and he had to remove some glass so he could see. They wore out two sets of tire chains and Shore had to walk a mile for help when he put the car in the ditch and had to rent a team of horses to pull it out.

Closer to Montreal Shore told the chauffeur to take the wheel and Shore had a quick nap. They finally made it to Montreal at 5 pm the following afternoon, met with Bruins GM Art Ross, and although Shore almost collapsed at one point, he insisted he play and Ross relented.

That night, almost 24 hours after heading out from Boston in  a snowstorm, Shore scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 Bruins win over the Maroons.

Stars Of The World’s Fastest Game

Maybe if newspapers started doing this again, they might sell more papers.

Peter Hab mentioned the other day about old Star Weekly hockey pictures the newspaper would publish back in the 1960s, great photos usually shot by renown hockey photographer Harold Barkley.

The first four photos below are Star Weekly examples.

The Star, and all the other papers under the same publishing umbrella, weren’t the only ones who showed hockey players. At the same time, the Toronto Telegram, the Montreal Star, and other related papers published different style pictures, like Henri Richard you see below. These pictures were an inch or two longer than the Star’s and always extremely beautiful.

Heck, they were all extremely beautiful.

They weren’t the first either.

Long before these papers were doing it, a five-year period from 1927-28 to 1931-32 saw La Presse in Montreal publish a run of 71 NHL player pictures, mostly of Habs and Maroons, with a sprinkling of Leafs, Bruins etc thrown in. They’re at the bottom.

four

nine

seven

011

five

HM

GV

AJ

GH

PL

 

 

The Morenz Memorial Program

Howie Morenz passed away on March 8, 1937, and that fall, on November 2, the NHL All-Stars featuring Eddie Shore, Charlie Conacher, Busher Jackson and the gang played a Montreal Canadiens/Maroons combination with Aurele Joliat, Johnny Gagnon, Toe Blake and Jimmy Ward and the rest to raise money for the Morenz family.

Howie Morenz Jr., who was about 10, skated in the pre-game warmup and took shots on both goalies.

This is the program from that night.

morenz

009

Life In The Fast Lane

As we wait for Friday night’s game in Columbus, I thought I’d tell you about one of the biggest chokes (and greatest comebacks) of all time, which happened to be in the final minute of a game.

If the Habs ever let this happen, I’m switching to cricket.

Learned from an old Forum program, it went like this, l

It was 1932 and the Montreal Maroons, desperately fighting for a playoff spot, were trailing 3-1 to the New York Rangers at the Forum with a minute left.

Fans were heading for the exits as the last minute of play began, when suddenly, a Ranger took a tripping penalty. Then with the Maroons on the power play, Bun Cook of the Rangers went to the box and the Maroons found themselves with a two-man advantage.

At that point, Maroons coach Sprague Cleghorn put five forwards on the ice, and at 19:12 of the third period, it became just a 3-2 lead for New York when Maroons forward Dave Trottier banged home a Jimmy Ward pass.

Don’t forget, players back then didn’t come out of the penalty box when a goal was scored. That rule was changed only when the powerhouse Canadiens of the late -1950s kept scoring and the league decided it wasn’t fair.

Anyway, the puck was faced off, Hooley Smith quickly got the puck over to Trottier, who quickly gave it back to Smith, and suddenly the game was tied.

It was 19:20 of the third.

Fans hurried back to their seats, the two Rangers in the penalty box must have felt pretty bad, and when the puck was once again dropped at centre ice, the Rangers took control but suddenly lost it. Trottier grabbed it, hurried down the left side, sent a feathery pass over to Jimmy Ward who worked it to Babe Siebert, who drilled it home to give the Maroons the lead and the win.

The time – 19:36.

In 24 seconds of the final minute, the Maroons scored three times, giving them a playoff spot and setting a record for fastest three goals scored by one team. The record didn’t last though. Boston scored three in 20 seconds in 1971.

And about another record, Bill Mosienko’s “three goals in twenty-one seconds”.

It’s hard to imagine, someone scoring three goals in twenty-one seconds, but Chicago’s Mosienko did it, with the Rangers again on the receiving end, and if you’d like to know how he did it, here’s how he described it to Red Fisher back in 1961. (Mosienko died in 1994).

“It was early in the third period and the play was deep in our own end when Gus Bodnar carried it out, skating fast, and flipped to me at centre ice. I cut low around the outside of the Rangers defense, steamed toward the net and let go fast. Lorne Anderson, the Rangers goalie, dived at me, but the puck was low to the left-hand corner and he missed it.”

The time was 6.09.

“The puck was faced off, and Bodnar got the draw to  me. Again I broke around the Rangers defence, was partially blocked, but managed to get away a sizzler, waist high, which eluded Anderson.The puck was past him before he was really set.”

The time: 6:20

“Referee Georges Gravel faced the puck, and again Bodnar relayed the puck to me. This time, I cut directly between the Rangers defence, wiggled my way clear and skippd in on Anderson to fire a 15-footer into the top right-hand corner This made it three in a row.”

The time: 6:30.

 

 

Game Day – Canes In Town

Like so many other teams, and there’s about six of them, the Carolina Hurricanes are hovering around the eighth and final playoff spot. So they’re going to want to win the game tonight at the Bell Centre.

Of course, wanting, and actually doing, are two different things.

Carolina has won just one game in their past seven, although the win happened on Saturday against the Jets, which means they’re on a one-game winning streak. This team is missing two goalies, Cam Ward and Dan Ellis, due to injuries, so we might expect coach Kirk Muller to possibly don the pads the way Lester Patrick, coach and general manager of the N.Y. Rangers, did in 1928 against the Montreal Maroons at the Forum.

Montreal also has injuries. Rene Bourque and Raphael Diaz have concussions, and Henri Richard and Dickie Moore have arthritis.

Random Notes:

And how did the 44-year old Lester Patrick do against the Maroons? He allowed one goal in regulation time and his team won 2-1 in overtime. This was game two of the Stanley Cup Finals and the Rangers would go on to win it all in the five-game series.

Mind-blowing side note:

Lester Patrick, along with his brother Frank, lived for a while in the Slocan Valley, near Nelson B.C., where they played hockey and helped out at their dad’s sawmill. My daughter lives in the Slocan Valley, and I knew you’d be amazed by this incredible coincidence. And not only that, I once worked in a sawmill which was only about 700 miles from the Slocan Valley. Truly eerie stuff.

Lester

Triple Crown Brand

Although I have almost 70 Group 2 (1944-64) Habs Beehives, I only have three Crown Brand photos, but three’s better than none, I think.

The Howie Morenz Crown Brand is a mighty desirable one to have, although Toe Blake and Pit Lepine are no slouches either.  I’ve shown Lepine and Blake before, but this is the first time I’ve shown Morenz.

Crown Brand photos were produced by the Canada Starch Co. between 1935 and 1940, and they’re a hot item on the collectables market. I really don’t have a lot of information about them to pass on. Not only are there photos of Canadiens players but also the Montreal Maroons, Chicago Black Hawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the 1936 Canadian Olympic team, and I’m assuming the Rangers, Wings, Bruins, and New York Americans are also represented.

I don’t know exactly. Maybe if someone does, they could help me out here..

Length Matters

I haven’t exactly been a faithful watcher of the playoffs so far, but I’ve decided to record the Caps-Rangers seventh game tonight and watch it at midnight when I get home from work. I think it should be interesting, and as a bonus, I’d like to see some serious overtime.

For years, except when the Habs are playing, I’ve hoped for a record breaking 7 periods or more of overtime hockey. The longest game ever was on March 24th, 1936, when Detroit’s Mud Bruneteau scored in the sixth overtime period, 116.50 minutes of extra play, to give his Wings a 1-0 win in game one against the Montreal Maroons, and I want to see something like that. That game ended at 2:25 a.m, and what a beauty it must have been.

That’s what I want to happen. A game that goes until about four in the morning. Most people are asleep in the stands. The players are skating in slow motion. The TV announcer dozes off. All that. Just to make things different. To see history being made.

There’s been some classics over the years. Like these, from SportsIllustrated.com

The longest playoff games in NHL history
Date Result Round OT GWG
3-24-36 Detroit 1, Mtl. Maroons 0 semifinal 116:30 Mud Bruneteau
4-3-33 Toronto 1, Boston 0 semifinal 104:46 Ken Doraty
5-4-00 Philly 2, Pitt. 1 conf. semis 92:01 Keith Primeau
4-24-96 Pitt. 3, Wash. 2 conf. quarters 79:15 Petr Nedved
3-23-43 Toronto 3, Detroit 2 semifinal 70:18 Jack McLean
3-28-30 Mtl. Cdns 2, N.Y.R. 1 semifinal 68:52 Gus Rivers
4-18-87 N.Y.I. 3, Wash. 2 first round 68:47 Pat LaFontaine
4-27-94 Buffalo 1, N.J. 0 first round 65:43 Dave Hannan
3-27-51 Mtl. Cdns 3, Detroit 2 semifinal 61:09 Maurice Richard
3-27-38 N.Y.A. 3, N.Y.R. 2 quarterfinal 60:40 Lorne Carr
3-26-32 N.Y.R. 4, Mtl. Cdns 3 semifinal 59:32 Fred Cook
3-21-39 Boston 2, N.Y.R. 1 semifinal 59:25 Mel Hill
4-17-99 Dallas 3, Edm. 2 first round 57:34 Joe Nieuwendyk
5-15-90 Edmonton 3, Boston 2 final 55:13 Petr Klima
6-19-99 Dallas 2, Buffalo 1 final 54:51 Brett Hull
4-9-31 Chicago 3, Mtl. Cdns. 2 final 53:50 Cy Wentworth
3-26-61 Chicago 2, Mtl. Cdns. 1 semifinal 52:12 Murray Balfour
4-1-37 Detroit 2, Mtl. Cdns. 1 semifinal 51:49 Hec Kilrea
3-26-30 Chicago 2, Mtl. Cdns. 2 quarterfinal 51:43 Howie Morenz
4-23-96 Chicago 2, Calgary 1 first round 50:02 Joe Murphy
4-2-39 Boston 2, N.Y.R. 1 semifinal 48:00 Mel Hill
4-24-97 Mtl. Cdns. 4, N.J. 3 first round 47:37 Patrice Brisebois
6-8-00 Dallas 1, N.J. 0 final 46:21 Mike Modano
3-20-30 Boston 2, Mtl. Maroons 1 semifinal 45:35 Harry Oliver
3-22-49 Detroit 2, Mtl. Cdns. 1 semifinal 44:52 Max McNab
6-10-96 Colorado 1, Florida 0 final 44:31 Uwe Krupp
3-27-60 Toronto 5, Detroit 4 semifinal 43:00 Frank Mahovlich
3-29-51 Mtl. Cdns. 1, Detroit 0 semifinal 42:20 Maurice Richard
5-4-97 Detroit 3, Anaheim 2 quarterfinal 41:31 Slava Kozlov
4-29-71 N.Y.R. 3, Chicago 2 semifinal 41:29 Pete Stemkowski