Tag Archives: Allan Stanley

It Happened Like This

It was May when Brandon Prust called Senators coach Paul MacLean a “bug-eyed fat walrus”, not long before the Canadiens bowed out to the Sens in five games.

What does that mean? Nothing. I’m just babbling. And I like the quote.

In June, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, the Canadiens grabbed lanky forward Michael McCarron along with Jacob de la Rose, goaltender Zachary Fucale, and Artturi Lehkonen in the 2013 Entry Draft, Brendan Gallagher was edged out by Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau for Calder Trophy/rookie of the year honours, and P.K captured the Norris Trophy and rightly so.

And Luci and I hopped in the car and moved to Montreal.

July saw big George Parrros and little Daniel Briere signed by the Habs, I started my new job, Chris Chelios, Brendan Shanahan, Scott Niedermayer, Geraldine Heaney, and Fred Shero were announced as new Hall of Famers, and P.K. and Carey Price were officially invited to Canada’s National Team orientation camp which would ultimately become a ball hockey game.

In August, Douglas Murray was signed by the Canadiens, I bought Dylan’s Blond on Blond CD, my brother came to visit me, and hoodlum Whitey Bulger, whose ex-girlfriend’s daughter was once married to Knuckles Nilan, somehow ended up with a 1986 Stanley Cup ring. (Whitey’s about to get sentenced to life).

September saw rookie camp get underway at Brossard, a guy robbed a bank in Orillia wearing a Habs hat, the Canadiens pre-season exhibition games kicked off, Danno sent me a hockey card I didn’t have, and Michael Bournival and Jarred Tinordi got the news they were staying with the big club. (Tinordi’s down in Hamilton at the moment).

October began with a loss to the Loafs during which George Parros conked his head in a fight and was gone for a month, Ryan White shaved his long blond locks, Daniel Briere suffered a concussion, Max got hurt, Leaf great Allan Stanley passed away, the Red Sox won the World Series, Alexei Emelin signed for four more years, and the Hockey Inside Out Summit kicked off at Hurley’s on Crescent St.

In November, Parros came back with his mustache missing, I bought a sports jacket, Toronto’s mayor made a whack of headlines, a Michel Therrien/PK Subban soap opera picked up steam, Gaston’s still an asshole, and the Canadiens have lost all four games they’ve played this month.

 

 

The Great Allan Stanley

Allan Stanley died on Oct.18 and although I’m late in mentioning it, at least I am now.

He was a class act who played 21 seasons in the bigs, from 1948, when he broke in with the Rangers, until 1969 when he called it a day after a season in Philadelphia.

Solid as a rock from start to finish. And rightfully inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981.

Mr. Stanley also suited up with Chicago and Boston, but it was his ten seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs that he is mostly known, where he helped win four Stanley Cups, including the Leafs’ last in 1967 when he and a handful of elderly teammates took out the Habs in six games.

Stanley was 41 at the time.

I saw this fellow play many times, both live and on TV, and although my memory has faded somewhat, I still recall that he was a steady and reliable defenceman, a big fellow who would get the puck up smartly to crafty forwards like Dave Keon, Bob Pulford, and Frank Mahovlich, and who would take no nonsense in his own end.

As much as I can say I despised the Leafs as a whole, I admired greatly the individual Leaf players from then. And that most certainly included Allan Stanley.

Below is a picture I  got when I was a kid, after I’d written to the Toronto Star or Telegram asking if I could have one. It’s Maurice Richard in 1960 scoring his final goal, his 626th, and along with Tim Horton, Henri Richard, Dickie Moore and Gerry Ehman is a grimacing Allan Stanley (with the “A” on his sweater), watching as the puck eludes Johnny Bower.

Mr. Stanley was 87 when he passed away. A good long life.

RIP.

Allan Stanley

Al001

Training Camp

Training camp for the boys. The Brossard barn will be buzzing.

I sure hope the Habs are in better shape than the guys in the article. But somehow I think they work out a bit more now than those guys did.

I’m also thinking we shouldn’t make jokes about those particular Leafs because that was the year they won the Stanley Cup.

THEIR LAST STANLEY CUP!!!!!!!

training camp

Provost, And Three Unrelated Photos

Four photos that have nothing to do with each other. But anyway.

Below all these words, Claude Provost, Terry Sawchuk, and Allan Stanley chase after the puck. After that, a ’67 Ford Fairlane ad from an old Life magazine, then a wrestling poster I took off a telephone pole in Orillia, and finally, an Aqueduct poster I borrowed from a New York subway car.

But first, before you’re dazzled by the photos, a little about Claude Provost.

Claude Provost was an unheralded fellow with the Habs during the late ’50s and throughout the 1960s, but who wouldn’t be unheralded, playing on a team that included the Rocket, Beliveau, Geoffrion, Plante, Harvey, Moore, Pocket Rocket et al? But he was a key guy, a right winger who shadowed the league’s top left wingers, particularly Bobby Hull, who must have had nightmares about this fine player whom I’m hesitant to call a grinder. After all, during the 1964-65 season, Provost scored 27 goals and in the playoffs that year became known near and far for the number he did on the Golden Jet, limiting the flashy balding blond to just one goal and two assists en route to the Habs 13th Cup win.

Hull must have thought that when he went to bed at night, he’d wake up with Provost between him and his wife.

Claude Provost died of a heart attack when he was only 51, which is quite disturbing. He was way too young.

And this – from Dick Irvin’s great book The Habs, a little story by Dr. Doug Kinnear, the Canadiens physician back then:

“I was covering the first game of my hockey career and Claude Provost got cut by a high stick. They signalled to me from the bench so I went to the clinic and saw that he had a deep laceration on his forehead. The cut was about two inches long. It was my job to do the stitching and the first thing I did was ask for the freezing. Bill Head was the therapist in those days and he shook his head to give me the signal that hockey players do not require cuts to be frozen. I swallowed hard, took the needle and the sutures, and proceeded to sew up the laceration. Then I said, “Claude, you’d better go next door, lie down and rest for a while.” He said, “Thanks Doc,” jumped off the table, headed back to the bench, and was on the ice for his next shift. That was a revelation to me.”

And now, the other three photos that have nothing to do with each other or Claude Provost..

Habs Fix The Fog

Many of you may recall Fred “The Fog” Shero, who coached the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1970’s, a team known as the Broad Street Bullies, a team full of thugs and madmen like Dave Schultz, and a band of rogues captained by stickman Bobby Clarke. It was also a team the Montreal Canadiens finally put out of its misery by playing real hockey and taking the Cup away from these villains which begat a four-year Cup run in Montreal.

Montreal showed everyone, especially Shero, that real hockey, not goonery, was the way to go.

Little facts that you may or may not find helpful:

Shero also liked to put quotes on the dressing room blackboard, like “Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must first set yourself on fire.”

And, “Win today and we walk together forever.”

His NHL career was less than spectacular:  145 games, six goals, 14 assists, 137 penalty minutes.

Shero’s son is Ray Shero, General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Anyway, all this is beside the point. I just wanted you to see what Shero looked like when he was a player. That’s him on the left during the 1948-49 season, with Lynn Patrick in the middle and Allan Stanley on the right.

The Leafs Haven’t Won Since Pamela Anderson Was A Virgin

Leaf fans line up on Toronto's Yonge St. for the big 1967 Stanley Cup parade
Leaf fans line up on Toronto's Yonge St. for the big 1967 Stanley Cup parade

The Toronto Maple Leafs, who play the Habs on Tuesday, haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967.

We all feel terrible about this. It’s a really long time ago, 42 years. And 42 years means – if you were born in 1967, you’re old enough to be a grandparent. You were born long before home computers and digital cameras. Electric typewriters were state-of-the-art technology. The Beatles still liked each other. Brand new cars that year are now antique classics. I was a rotten teenaged bastard at this time.

Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Pamela Anderson were born in 1967. Expo 67 opened in Montreal. Not one player now playing in the NHL was born yet. And because there were no computers, it meant there were no blogs to remind everyone that the Leafs haven’t won in 42 years.

It’s a long time ago.  A long, long time ago.

Don Cherry had just turned 33 when the Leafs last won. Ron Maclean was 7, Jacques Martin 14, and Leafs coach Ron Wilson was 12.

And Leaf players now? George Armstrong is 79, Dave Keon 69, Frank Mahovlich 71, Bob Pulford 73, Allan Stanley 83, and Johnny Bower is 85.

Cost of Living 1967 (in the US, but similar to Canada)

How Much things cost in 1967
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 2.78%
Yearly Inflation Rate UK 2.7%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 905
Average Cost of new house $14,250.00
Average Income per year $7,300.00
Average Monthly Rent $125.00
Gas per Gallon 33 cents
Average Cost of a new car $2,750.00
Movie Ticket$1.25
Polaroid Camera $50.00
Parker Pen Set $11.95
The Federal Minimum Wage is increased to $1.40 an hour


 

The Beatles And The Habs – A Winning Combination.

 On August 17th, in 1966, the Beatles played an afternoon show in Toronto at Maple Leaf Gardens.

I was there.

I was 15 years old and had a summer job as a highway construction slave labourer, but the boss let me go early and I went down to Toronto from Orillia with a disc jockey my sister worked with at the local radio station. She had got word to me just that morning that he was going and asked if I would like to go with him. I didn’t have a ticket, but believe it or not, the show wasn’t sold out and I got a $5.50 ticket in the very last row of the floor.

It was madness, of course. There were about six bands in the lineup, and the Beatles in the finale played for about 40 minutes with girls screaming and fainting and carrying on.

That fall, hockey season began, and the next spring, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Habs in six games to win their last Stanley Cup.

The Leafs were an old team with guys like Terry Sawchuk, Johnny Bower, Red Kelly, and Allan Stanley, but Montreal wasn’t that young either. Henri Richard was 30, John Ferguson 27, Claude Provost was 32, Dick Duff 30, Ted Harris 30, Jean-Guy Talbot was 34, Jean Beliveau was 35, and the goalies, Gump Worsley and Charlie Hodge, were 37 and 33 respectively.

Of course, Montreal also had the kiddies. Yvon Cournoyer was all of 22. Claude Larose was 23. Jacques Laperriere 24. And Serge Savard and Carol Vadnais were just 20.

John and Ringo were 26, Paul 24, and George 23.

The Habs have continued on over the years in mostly glorious fashion. The Beatles remain in the hearts of millions.

And the Leafs continue to suck.

The Boys Are Playing Large: Like The ’67 Leafs

On Tuesday night, Montreal beat the Islanders 3-1. There’s only one thing to say about this. The Habs are playing really, really well. As we speak, they’re one of the top teams in the east.

Last year at this time, after 45 games, Montreal had 55 points. This year, after the same amount of games, the team has 54 points. BUT! Last year, they won only 4 of their next 16 games. That won’t happen this year. Kovalev’s at the top of his game, so’s Plekanec and Huet, and the Kostitsyn’s are here this year.

The general consensus is that a team like Detroit, or Anaheim and Ottawa, or maybe New Jersey or Pittsburgh, are the ones that have so much going for them, they’re the odds-on favourites to win the Cup. Any of them.

But n 1967, Toronto won the Cup and they weren’t supposed to. They were a team of really old guys like Johnny Bower, Terry Sawchuk, Allan Stanley, Bob Baun, Tim Horton, Red Kelly etc. and they defied the odds, and the general consensus. They were far from the favourites. (Please note: I’m no Leaf fan.)

Without getting carried away here, maybe Montreal can surprise people and go deep into the playoffs. Just like the ’67 Leafs. It’s that power of positive thinking again.

As an aside –

When Toronto won in 1967, they played and beat Montreal in the final, 4 games to two. The kicker is that Montreal had won the past two years before that, and won the next two years after that. So if Toronto hadn’t pulled off that big upset, Montreal would have won five straight Cups, like they did from 1955 to ’60.