Category Archives: Montreal Maroons

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

Toe’s Crown Brand Photo

Toe Blake may have been a legendary coach of the Canadiens, but before that he was a player of course, from 1935 until 1948. Toe was even a teammate of Howie Morenz during the 1936 season.

This is one of my Crown Brand photos, (I only have a couple), which were issued between 1935 and 1940. Their size, at 7×8.5, makes them a bit bigger than Beehives, and these photos are nice. Maybe I’ll find a trunk full of them at a garage sale.

Toe wore number 18 in his first season, 1935-36, then went to #16 for the 1936-37 season, and wore number 6 after that until he retired. He was also a very fine player, racking up 235 goals and 297 assists for 527 points in 577 games. Toe also played 8 games for the Montreal Maroons in the 1934-35 season before joining the Canadiens.

I met Toe once, when I was about 9. It was the time, which I’ve mentioned before, when my dad corralled him outside the dressing room in Toronto and asked him if he would take my book into the room and get Doug Harvey to sign it, which Toe did. It never fails to amaze me that the great coach would make this gesture, and that my dad even had the balls to ask him, and it’s one of my favourite stories.

Selke Pays The Program Writers

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.

Old-Time Hockey – And I Mean Old

1929 was the time of Howie Morenz, Eddie Shore, Ace Bailey, Aurele Joliat, Dit Clapper, Lester Patrick, and so many greats of the game.

It was a ten-team league at this time – Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, the Montreal Maroons, and the NY Americans in the Canadian Division, and Boston, the Rangers, the Detroit Cougars, Chicago, and the Pittsburgh Pirates in the American Division.

This minute and a half home video from 1929 features Chicago and Toronto, and is a fascinating little look at the good old hockey game from so long ago. (And back then, it was the Chicago Black Hawks, not the Chicago Blackhawks. The name was altered in the 1980’s.)

And the ice cleaners at the end of the clip are something to behold.

The Old Man And The CH

My wife works at an old folks home and one day she noticed that an 80 year old fellow named Yvan had Habs coasters on his table in his room.  So she asked him if he was a Montreal Canadien fan and he said yes indeed, he’s been one all his life. The two of them chatted about the team that day, had great talks as the boys wove their way through the playoffs, and continue to do so now whenever they see each other.

Yvan says he can’t wait for the season to begin. 

This is a man who would have been a young boy when Morenz and Joliat were dazzling all concerned, the Montreal Maroons were alive and well, and young Maurice Richard was thinking about shaving.

From then to now, he’s never stopped loving his Habs.

And the other day, in a touching gesture, he tracked down my wife and gave her this lovely face cloth.

A Little Maroons Story While We Wait For Free Agent Stuff

That other Montreal hockey team, the Maroons, which folded in 1938, was as colourful a team as any, and it really is a shame they’re no longer with us. But in the 1930’s, the city of Montreal could only support one team, and so the Maroons bowed out.

They had some good stories, though, while they were in business.

Maroon defenceman Dunc Munro was given the largest three-year contract ever offered a player at that time, and in his contract, Munro demanded that he have the rights to print and distribute all the programs for Forum events. He told Frank Selke later that he netted fifty thousand dollars profit on the programs per season. Imagine $50,000 in the 1930’s?

The Canadiens and Maroons had such an intense rivalry that after one night when the Maroons beat the Canadiens, one of the team directors was so happy he gave Maroons’ star Hooley Smith a fully-equipped farm in Quebec.

Maroons players were big on playing the stock market, and they did really well with the help of fans who gave them tips. The stock market became so important to the players that at one practice, only two showed up because the rest were downtown counting their riches from a rising market.

Maroons players lived high and mighty with their new wealth until one day in 1929, the stock market crashed and everyone lost their shirts. But it turned out to be a good thing because after the shock had subsided, they settled down and became a fine and dangerous team after they began concentrating on sticks, not stocks.