“Et Le But!” I Suppose J. Arthur Dupont Shouted

Long before there was a Pierre Houde to call Habs games, and before Danny Gallivan and Rene Lecavalier and Dick Irvin and Doug Smith and the others who sat up high and described the action below, a man named J. Arthur Dupont was the voice of the Montreal Canadiens in the early days of hockey on radio, when Foster Hewitt was doing the same from his gondola at Maple Leaf Gardens.

The Canadiens only had French play-by-play in the 1930′s and early 40′s, and it was J. Arthur Dupont doing the job.

Dupont founded Montreal’s radio station CJAD in 1945, with the call letters coming from Dupont’s initials, and CJAD carries on Monsieur Dupont’s legacy as the present-day English language broadcaster for the Montreal Canadiens.

Dupont, by different accounts, was a tremendously respected man and there’s lots of gaps I wish I could fill in but I have only limited information. But I know that while Dupont was at the helm of his beloved CJAD, Jack Kent Cooke in Toronto, who owned the mega station CKEY, tried to swallow up CJAD but Dupont withstood the formidable Cooke and his moves and kept his radio station safe and sound

(CKEY in Toronto and I go back a long way. It and CHUM AM were the two radio stations I listened to faithfully as a boy with my transistor radio I had won as a paper boy. I learned all about young love and making out and all that thanks to the music from CKEY and CHUM AM.

Jack Kent Cooke became the first owner of the Los Angeles Kings when the team was accepted into the NHL’s first expansion in 1966. Cooke had an affinity with pro sports teams and also owned the LA Lakers and Washington Redskins among other conglomerates.

But this isn’t about Jack Kent Cooke, it’s about J. Arthur Dupont.

Arthur was a broadcaster right down to his toes.  And he fully understood that radio just wasn’t a machine to grind out music; it was a machine that had a place in the community, had to earn a place in the community, had to have the respect of that community, and had to take it seriously.  And in that context, CJAD grew up to become what it is today.” Bill Roberts, former morning man at CJAD.

5 thoughts on ““Et Le But!” I Suppose J. Arthur Dupont Shouted”

  1. I really enjoy these snippets, Dennis, also some of those darker sadder stories. On one level sports are just about the last game but what takes them above shallow entertainment is the way they are woven into our history and culture that gives them a meaning way beyond what can seem an illogical and rather daft pursuit.

    I was lucky enough to watch Saturday’s game live. I know hockey’s really an evening game and I wouldn’t change that just for TV or a worldwide audience (I hate the way they mess with the football schedules over here), but just once in a while it’s good to watch a live game without matchsticks keeping the eyelids open or knowing the score the next day.

    Really enjoyed the game. Perhaps not everyone’s “cup of tea” but I thought it was a fascinating tactical battle. It was interesting to see some level of control return late in the 2nd when it looked like the game could get away from them. Martin seemed to make some adjustments, though I couldn’t tell exactly what until I read the post game stuff, and they worked.

    The line that’s gone from PHD to PED looked good and Plekanec just seemed to thrive on the physical challenge. Bob Cole, with his propensity to always report an incident in favour of the opposition, stated that a Shark had checked Plekanec on the boards and “holds him in there” as TP pushed the puck ahead, absorbed the hit rolled out and skated up the ice, with the hapless Shark wedged into the boards and dragged along in his wake.

    Could Martin be cleverly killing two birds with one stone? He probably wouldn’t have benched PK for more than one game but with the gruelling schedule upcoming, is there any harm in letting Subban rest (as well as ponder), while Webber and Picard get some consecutive games and build up a head of steam, because up ahead he knows he’s going to have to rest some of the others and rotate his defence? As a player in his rookie year and despite his great start to his career, isn’t hit wise to control the number of games PK plays? Just trying to be generous to the coach….

  2. Dennis and BB I have found time and time again that Jacques Martin makes decisions which at first seem ridiculous but have turned out to be really smart moves.

    The scenario which Blue Bayou describes is the one I am hoping is the explanation for PK’s healthy scratches.

    It would be fantastic to have Webber as the seventh D being used to rest the battle-weary old guys (Gill, Hammer, Spacek) or to occasionally give Gorges, Picard or PK a break

    Another interesting option might be to try to play PK as a forward. It’s not such a crazy idea as it sounds. Face it, the guy has a desire to move the puck up and get on the action. So why not give it a try. Martin tried it as an experiment with Webber, with mixed results. Who knows how it might go with PK?

    With Webber as an extra D-man possibilities open up that did not exist a couple of weeks ago.

    It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds.

  3. Danno, I sure didn’t see that one coming – Subban as a forward. I need to think about this for a bit. You’re absolutely right that he loves to move the puck, I’m just trying picture him in his big sweeping moves up front. It’s a concept that never occurred to me and I need to let it sink in a bit.
    They say Montreal’s defence is too old, but it’s just three that are a bit and I’m not so sure that’s any different than any other team – a mix of old and young. The older guys are like gold in my book, as long as they can keep up. You guys are right, a rest for some of them from time to time is very valuable. Weber could be really instrumental on the power play and having him as a 7th D would be great as you say, Danno.
    I’m still reeling about PK as a forward. I always thought Marc-Andre Bergeron could have done this effectively, but PK? Maybe. All I know is, he’s got to get back in the lineup. (One other thing – has PK not been the same since the Mike Richards/Cherry bomb? We need him to be a brash, cocky, smart and freewheeling young stud, but could it be possible he’s decided to change a little? I really hope not.)

  4. Dennis, I know it’s a crazy idea but you never know. As they say, it’s so crazy it just might work. And I hope PK stays just the way he is — Bold and beautiful. That said, I really doubt he’s going to tone it down one bit just to please the likes of Don Chesterfield.

  5. that’s just what j. author dumont would do…………………………….. another great little known hab story.

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