It’s hard for me to stay away from Dick Irvin’s great book, “The Habs – An Oral History of the Montreal Canadiens, 1940-1980.” I’m reading it for the third time now, and between these times I’ve poked and prodded through it since it was first published in 1991, just for brief minutes of enjoyment here and there.
Dick came up with a fabulous idea. Forget about the blood, sweat and tears of writing an entire book himself, just get those who were there to tell their stories themselves.
Because who can tell it better than the players?
Eddie Mazur is a fine example. The player tells us a neat little story, but first, Irvin intoduces us to Mazur and brings up a completely fascinating little tidbit about the player. Irvin begins by telling us of Mazur’s accomplishments, then hits us with the big one in the last sentence.
“Mazur was in the Canadiens lineup for the Stanley Cup-winning game three straight years, beginning in 1951. In 1953 he started the play leading to Elmer Lach’s winning goal in overtime. In those three years Mazur appeared in fourteen playoff games, had four goals and two assists, posed happily in a Canadiens’ Stanley Cup team picture, and played in the 1953 All-Star game. Yet up to then, Eddie Mazur had never played in a regular season game in the NHL.”
“When I was in junior high school I was the sports editor of our school paper. I was a Canadiens fan and I wrote once how great it would be to play on a line with Elmer Lach and Maurice Richard. And four or five years later, I did. And I was on the ice with the two of them when we scored a Stanley Cup-winning goal. Imagine that. Incredible.”