This is one of the earliest pictures I’ve seen of Orillia kids on one of the house league teams that my team would play against. Notice how dastardly they look.
From teams such as this were plucked a few players to play on the all-star team and travel around to Huntsville and Midland and Collingwood and Barrie, all the while dreaming of someday making the NHL.
The guy in the middle, with the C on his sweater, is John French, an old teammate of mine when he was a centreman on some of those all-star teams, and I was his smallish-yet-shifty right winger. John would become Montreal Canadiens property when he got older, although he never played for the big club before bolting to the WHA where he enjoyed some fine seasons with the New England Whalers and others.
This is a previous story I’d written about John. And yes, he was a Damn Fine Hockey Player.