July 12, 2012 in Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Gordie Howe, Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Wayne Gretzky Tags: Bobby Orr, Don Simmons, George Armstrong, Gordie Howe, Gump Worsley, Rocket Richard, Ron Stewart, Terry Sawchuk, Toronto Star Weekly, Wayne Gretzky
Back when the earth was flat and dinosaurs roamed about in foul moods, the Toronto Star Weekly (and other sister newspapers around the country) would once a week feature lovely full size photos of NHL stars which I would cut out and put into a second scrapbook, the first being my treasured Montreal Canadiens scrapbook. I looked forward to see who would be next in the long line of photos, and it was always interesting to check out the big-league equipment these guys wore.
Here’s five of them;
Gump Worsley, before he was a Hab, was a Ranger.
Terry Sawchuk, who many believe was the greatest goaltender of his day, (some even say the the best ever), would eventually pass away after a wrestling match with teammate Ron Stewart out on the front lawn.
Don Simmons was one goalie in particular that the Rocket seemed to have his way with, and there are several pictures of Richard bulging the twine behind a snakebitten Simmons. He owned a sporting goods store in southern Ontario for years after he’d retired from the game.
Gordie Howe. I once had breakfast with Hall of Fame goalie Glenn Hall, and I asked him who was the greatest of them all. He didn’t even have to think about it. He’d played against Bobby Orr, admitted the Rocket was the most dangerous from the blueline in, and had watched Wayne Gretzky closely from his farm near Edmonton, but his answer was Howe.
George Armstrong, Leafs captain and a guy I always thought was a really mediocre skater, but he made up for it with leadership and smarts. I never liked him much because he was a Leaf and sometimes he’d score against the Habs. He was also very stingy about signing autographs, which was rare for players back then.