Still Not Sure About The Little Tin Goalie

You can see in my previous post One Player’s Claim To Fame that forwards and defencemen for old Eagle table hockey games from the 1950’s featured the face of Habs journeyman Dick Gamble.

But was there a real player whose face was copied for the little tin goalie?

Here’s the goalie, and thanks to this eBay site for the use of the photo.

I dunno. I went through almost 70 Beehive photos from the 1940’s and 50’s, and thought about it and tried to visualize who it might be, if it’s actually anyone at all.

I have my thoughts on who it is, and I have a picture to compare it to, but I’m not confident at all that it’s the same person.

I’m hoping you might have an idea.





21 thoughts on “Still Not Sure About The Little Tin Goalie”

  1. I think it may be George Hainsworth or Vezina. At least for the pose. I remember looking up hockey images a few months ago and seeing one like this by one of those guys.

    As for the face, it doesn’t seem to look like anyone that I’ve seen in old photos. Possibly it’s based on an actor from the time? It may also be a mix of different people.

  2. Derry, I put Durnan’s picture side by side last night and I really don’t think it’s him. Although there are some similarities, like the shape of his head.

  3. Danno, just like I did with Durnan, I put McNeil’s photo side by side and didn’t think it was him. Tony Curtis, maybe. Of all my Beehives, there’s one who looks a bit more than the rest and he’s not a goalie. But again, it’s not exactly either. I can’t get your link here at work so it’ll have to wait until I get home to see.

  4. Danno, that photo does look quite a bit like it, so it could be. Other photos of Durnan don’t at all, though. But that one is pretty darn close to be sure.

  5. Madhi19, it’s not Plante. Plante had that look that was only him. This guy has a rounder head and different hair. We’re going to get to the bottom of thiis, I’m sure. Unless it isn’t anybody in particular. But I believe they used someone real for the model like they did with Gamble.

  6. Dennis why would somebody in the 50s make an Habs table hockey game with anybody else in goal but Plante? Sure it does not look much like him but that artistic license for you. Unless it not from that era or it just not made to look like anybody I still stick with the logical choice it Plante but not Plante. lolll Unless off course you already know who it is.

  7. Madhi19, Don’t forget, Bill Durnan played in the late 1940’s and just into the 1950’s, and Gerry McNeil played in the early 50’s. It’s just not Plante’s face and head. But don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate you giving it a shot and I hope you come back. PS. I don’t know at all who it is but it has the some features of both Durnan and McNeil and the pose, like Darth says, goes back to an earlier time. But there’s another player who shows some similarities and he’s a defenceman. And of course, it might not be anyone in particular at all.

  8. Good news!

    It looks like there is a free preview of NHL Centre Ice in some areas & it also looks like they will carry the Habs vs Sens tonight.

    In my area, Ottawa, it should be on channel # 456

  9. Hey Dennis, I was just comparing this tin guy’s stance and his two matching gloves to that of Durnan’s.I don’t think he looks like Bily but his gloves tell a different story.

  10. Dennis, I think Derry has solved the puzzle. If you look at the last picture of Bill Durnan in the link (in comment #8) you have a good view of his gloves and they do look very much like the matching gloves on the little tin goalie.

    Columbo would be proud of you Derry!

  11. Just stumbled on this thread. I am a collector/restorer of the old Eagle games and have tried to figure out who the players may be modelled after. The first games appeared in 1954 with the Habs against an ‘all star’ team, which later became the Leafs a year or two later. I mention this because Plante was not yet the Habs main guy and the Habs goalie doesn’t look like Plante. I don’t see much resemblance to Gerry McNeil or Bill Durnan, who were obvious choices given the time frame. Same with the pre-WW2 guys. Not many pictures but Vezina, Hainsworth, etc. had distinctive looks.

    My guess is Paul Bibeault, who played for Montreal in the early ’40’s. I can’t find the perfect picture for proof, but the hairline and eyebrows match.

    To throw this out there: I believe the Leaf skater is none other than Bill Barilko, who is smiling in most pictures I’ve seen and had the lighter hair combed back. The Leaf goalie is a mystery to me. I would be interested in anybody’s guess.

  12. Hi. Yes, the smiling figure could be Barilko but it’s difficult to know for sure. It’s a good guess anyway. As far as the Leaf goalie goes, it’s a mystery to me too but maybe it’s a loose rendition of Turk Broda.

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