My New Jacket – And A Roy Faubert Tale

A couple of folks asked to see me in my new jacket that once belonged to Habs scout Roy Faubert, so here it is. They didn’t tell me when I bought the camera that it makes people look old and homely.

The jacket almost fits. If I get the sleeves shortened an inch or two, I’ll wear it on special occasions.

Also, Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette did some digging and came up with a story about Roy Faubert in the Orillia Packet and Times from 2005, which you can see under the picture.

Roy died in 2007.

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The Packet & Times (Orillia)
Tue Aug 2 2005

Fan relives glory days with hero: Former Maple Leaf Wally Stanowski pays visit to Orillia resident

The Whirling Dervish cracks open a can of beer, stuffs some tobacco into his pipe and is more than ready to spin a few yarns.

At 86, Toronto Maple Leaf legend Wally Stanowski has made the trip from  Etobicoke to Orillia for a visit with one of his biggest fans, Roy Faubert, 82.

“He could skate. Oh my God, could he skate,” said Faubert, an eyewitness to how the former star defenceman earned his nickname.

On Sunday, the Winnipeg native relived the glory days with Faubert at the Leacock Care Centre, a treat made possible through the retirement home’s own Make a Wish program.

“He said he idolized him,” said Debbie Allen, life enrichment co-ordinator at the centre.

In his day, Stanowski was a skilled skater who entertained fans with breathtaking on-ice acrobatics and stellar plays. He helped the Leafs win four Stanley Cups between 1942 and 1948.

Faubert, a retired National Grocers manager and a Royal Canadian Air Force veteran, moved to the retirement home a couple of years ago.

“Basically, I had a couple of major falls and they put me out of business.” Now in a wheelchair, he’s undergoing therapy, but it’s “slow and tedious,” he said.

Faubert — a former hockey player and coach who even scouted for the Montreal Canadiens — was talking about Stanowski with a member of the staff about two weeks ago. So, the staff set their newly drafted make-a-wish program into motion to have Faubert meet Stanowski, Allen said.

Moments before his big meeting, Faubert was brimming with youthful anticipation. When the former hockey great made his entrance, Faubert smiled widely and reached from his wheelchair to shake the hand of his hero.

“They spelled my name wrong out front,” barked Stanowski in an abrupt yet charming icebreaker met with sheepish laughter from staff. Two minutes pass and the two, like old friends, are already lost in tales of another era, amid the clicks of digital cameras.

A little later, Stanowski’s son Skip, 60, suggests everyone step onto the patio for a beer. “Yeah, let’s have a beer. It’s time,” the old defenceman replies. It’s 10:15 a.m.

The Whirling Dervish hops up and helps wheel his octogenarian fan outside for that beer and more memories. “I keep thinking of the old days and your forward line,” said Faubert, listing some of Stanowski’s contemporaries. These days, most of them have passed on.

Stanowski’s colourful narrative takes Faubert back to a raw epoch when players had to take on second jobs to survive and even resist the bribes of conniving bookies. “No strike, no agents, no pension,” he said.

Stanowski played in the National Hockey League with the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers before hanging up his skates with the Cincinnati Mohawks of the American Hockey League in 195 A morning of magical hockey nostalgia brings back sweet memories for Faubert.

Toward the end of the pair’s trip down memory lane, Allen brings out a black-and-white portrait of Stanowski as a young man in his Maple Leaf uniform. Stanowski autographs it.

“Wonderful. Just fabulous,” said Faubert. “I enjoy his memories and all that stuff.” Still, at the end of the exciting morning, Faubert admits he is tired.

But it couldn’t have been for a better reason.

17 thoughts on “My New Jacket – And A Roy Faubert Tale”

  1. Hey Dennis, Nice digs buddy, what a treasure to come upon and I’m sure you will show it the respect it deserves. I don’t know about the old and homely thing though, I’ll bet that you looked a lot worse the morning after we had beer together in Powell River a few years ago. Enjoy your new coat ..

  2. It looks awesome! I can not think of anyone who’d look better in it! Can we take a picture together with you wearing that sharp jacket in late May during the Stanley Cup parade?

  3. You look dashing in that jacket Dennis. The player’s wives won’t be able to resist you at all with that on. Everyone’s crazy about a sharp dressed man don’t forget. You can also wear it when you send in your CV to be the new head coach of the Habs because it looks like we may need a new one!

  4. Dennis, with that handsome jacket you look like something off the cover of GQ magazine. It’s a classic alright.

  5. That’s just awesome, Dennis! Just awesome. The jacket suits you to a T :) Loved the Packet story. I don’t explicitly remember reading that article, but on that Tuesday I would’ve come home from work, had dinner, then settled down with my tea and the Packet, and I would have read that story.

    Some things are meant to be, and you & that jacket is one of them

  6. Wow, the jacket might not be a perfect fit, but man oh man does it look like it belongs on you! I’m happy for your happiness.

    And thanks for the story on Faubert. As a personal support worker for senior, I can truly appreciate every sensation Roy felt that day.

  7. Congratulations on your bid, Dennis – the jacket looks just fine on you and I’m sure that ‘upstairs’ Roy is pleased that you inherited it from him. All in all, a great tale, one made even more meaningful by the article from the Packet and Times. Thank you for sharing your experiences and keep the wonderful stories coming!

  8. Hi Dennis. I am Roy Faubert’s daughter. What a wonderful story!!! I remember, as a young teenager, how proud my Dad was of that jacket. He so loved hockey and especially his Montreal Habs. He coached several teams and mentored many young players. He was something else. Your story absolutely made my day and I hope you get many more years of pleasure out of such a treasure. Thanks again.

  9. Rosemary, thank you so much. Just wonderful to hear from you. Roy was so nice to me when I was young and it meant a lot.

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