Tag Archives: Bee Hive group 2

Bee Hive Doc Couture

Miraculously, I’ve found three of the remaining four Habs Bee Hives from group 2 (1944-64) that I’ve been searching for to complete the set of 73. (There are a few variations of players with dark or light backgrounds, and white or dark script, but I’ve decided not to worry about those).

The three extremely tough-to-find Bee Hives suddenly made an appearance on eBay not long ago, and away I went.

Today, meet Gerry “Doc” Couture.

Doc Couture played six seasons in Detroit, where he also posed for a Bee Hive, before being traded to Montreal for the 1951-52 campaign, and with the Canadiens, this Saskatoon native managed just ten games (one assist, four penalty minutes) before suffering a laceration that ended his year. Doc was then shipped to Chicago (for cash), where he spent two seasons before calling it a day. Doc also became a Chicago Bee Hive.

But he was a Hab and a Bee Hive. Immortality.

Doc Couture

 

 

Another Excellent Bee Hive

Recently I had yet another birthday and my wife Luci suggested I go on the internet and buy something for myself, which I thought was a great idea. So I found a George Robertson Bee Hive and bought the sucker. She also took me out to a pub, where I found several beer and bought those too.

George’s Bee Hive is exceptionally rare, mainly because he spent only 31 games with the Canadiens over two seasons, and after that it was off to a long and winding road through the minors. He played one game as a Hab during the 1947-48 season with no points, then managed two goals and five assists in 30 games the following year. So kids didn’t really want his Beehive all that much. They were mostly leaning toward the Rocket and Beliveau and the other stars for their Bee Hive fix. I know I was.

I have a game-used Billy Reay hockey stick from 1948, signed by the team, and I was looking at it the other day and noticed that George Robertson’s signature is included, which I thought was kinda neat. I’d forgotten about that.

George’s numbers can be seen here – George Robertson. And I don’t care if a guy played one game with the Habs or a thousand. He still wore the sweater of the Montreal Canadiens, which to me is as good as it gets.

A Package Came The Other Day

Danno, whose name is mentioned often on this site because he’s a regular reader, commenter, and advisor, and who often sends me great and interesting links and videos, asked me once about what Bee Hives I happened to be missing. I have more than 70 of the 77 Montreal Canadien Beehives from the Group 2, 1944-64 series, and I mentioned the few I’m missing, which included John Hanna.

Hanna is a rare Bee Hive because he was a journeyman, a guy who played just six games with the Canadiens in 1963-64, although he managed another 177 with New York Rangers beginning in  the late fifties, and later on, 15 games with Philadelphia when expansion arrived on the scene in the late sixties. All in all, he wasn’t that interesting to kids like me who clamoured for the Rocket or Harvey or Beliveau.

Very few John Hanna Beehives became circulated, as was the fate of a handful of other non-stars. It’s sad in a way.

The other day a parcel came to my house, from Dan and his lovely lady Gail in Ottawa, and it was a Habs notebook, a Tim Hortons gift certificate……….. and yes, a John Hanna Bee Hive.

I had no words then and I have none now. I met Danno and Gail in Ottawa last spring and they were as expected – friendly and smart and great fun, with good vibrations hovering about them. And now this, which was unexpected, and when I opened the package, I was shocked.

What a thing they did. Thanks again, Dan and Gail.

And John Hanna’s contribution as a Montreal Canadien? Six games – no goals, no assists, no penalties. But he’s got a beauty of a Beehive.

Roger Leger Was All Choked Up

Another little ditty from my Bee Hive collection as we wait for the Habs to destroy Chicago on Tuesday.

Roger Leger was not only in the running to replace Dick Irvin as coach of the Canadiens, a job Toe Blake was eventually given, but also managed to get his bridgework stuck in his throat one night against Detroit in 1948 which caused the team to lose the game.

The Canadiens were winning by one goal late in the game and as the puck came back to Leger on the blueline from a faceoff, Ted Lindsay rammed his elbow into Leger’s mouth, forcing the guy’s bridgework down his throat. Leger left the puck sitting there as he choked and panicked and skated for the bench and a Detroit player grabbed the puck and tied the score. Soon after, the Wings popped the winner.

However, in Leger’s defence, I would’ve done the same thing. The hell with the puck.

Don’t Forget The Corn Syrup, Mom

This is my Bee Hive collection from the 1944-64 series (Group 2).

Beehives were part of my youth and I would nag my mom to buy lots of Bee Hive corn syrup so I could remove the labels at the top and send them to the St. Lawrence Starch Company and get my free pictures.

The photos measure 5.5 x8 inches and some are extremely difficult to find. Over the years, more than a thousand different player photos were produced from three different groups –  Group one – 1934-43; Group two- 1944-64; and Group three -1964-67.

I’ve concentrated on Group two because it’s what I remember with great fondness from my childhood. And of course my collection is all Montreal Canadiens. There’s no way in the world I’d have an enemy Beehive in my house.

It Was Good To Have Murph Chamberlain On Your Side

Erwin “Murph” Chamberlain showed up at my door the other day.

No, not the real Murph Chamberlain, he’s been dead since 1986, but the Bee Hive, from those lovely 5×8 photos of years gone by, and one of the few I needed to complete a 70-odd set from the 1944-64 Group 2 series.

This was a guy, like Sprague Cleghorn a couple of decades before him, who would have straightened out the Sean Avery’s of the league in one or two quick and easy lessons.

Chamberlain was one of hockey’s larger-than-life characters – a tough as nails, hard-drinking, hard-partying, loud fellow who led teammates astray on a regular basis but was a leader in many ways, on and off the ice. We hear the stories, like the time a rookie at training camp was poised to make the club and shove a veteran aside until “Hardrock”, as they called Chamberlain, took the bull by the horns and beat the daylights out of the poor guy, thus ending the newcomer’s chances of taking one of Murph’s buddies’ jobs. Or in New York where Chuck Raynor once said with great fondness how Chamberlain babysat him in the big city.

He wasn’t a giant of a man at 5’11, 165lbs, but was as rugged as they came, much like Ted Lindsay was in Detroit and Chicago. But then again, 5’11 was quite a serious height in those days. Regardless, it’s common knowledge that this was one tough mother, or as I like to call him – “The Sprague Cleghorn of the 1940’s.”

Here’s some Murph Chamberlain stats: Murph stats. And I might need to remortgage my house for those last few Bee Hives I need.

Frank King And California Girls

Brief warning – Habs story in second half of page if you’re looking for Habs story only.

We drove 11 hours yesterday, from Bellingham, Washington to Redding, California where I sit now in the early morning typing in the dark before we get ready to bomb down to San Francisco which is three hours away. The all-day drive yesterday was simply a journey of passing trucks, listening to some blues and Dylan CDs, and going until my bum got sore.

Being an old truck driver helps. I like to drive marathon miles, although I look like I’ve come off a three-day acid trip when the car is finally parked. Last year I drove almost 15 hours from Las Vegas to near the Washington border, only stopping for gas and chocolate bars.

Not once have I ever to tried to mislead you by saying I’m normal.

Redding’s a lovely place with a fine sports bar named Bleachers which just so happens to be across the street from our hotel, so we hurried over after checking in and the place was packed with northern Californians getting together to watch the Saints-Vikings football game. I had a couple of large-sized Stella Artois’ and watched carefully as the California guys combined the fine art of football-watching and girl-picking-upping.

Clint Eastwood lives part-time in Redding, and Merle Haggard also calls it home.

I should also mention that at the front desk of our hotel, I said to the two lovely young ladies that they were a couple of the famous California Girls the Beach Boys sang about and they said they’d never thought about that before and as I was signing in one of them played the song on her computer and we all laughed and off I went to the sound of “I wish they all could be California Girlllllls.”

But I certainly haven’t forgotten that this is a Habs blog and the reason you read it, so without anymore road trip delays, I present – this.

The newest addition to my almost 70 different Habs Bee Hives (1945-1964) is the one and only Frank King.

Frank played ten games in the NHL, all with Montreal during the 1950-51 season, and scored one goal.

This is a tough Bee Hive to find and Danno gave me the heads-up on this one on eBay which I bid on and won.  Thanks, Danno, I owe you several Stella Artois’. Maybe we can drink them together in Redding. Maybe Clint and Merle will join us!

It’s Doing Pretty Good…..At Least It Themes Like It

No, the numbers aren’t up there with the big boys, but still, I’ve managed 1580 posts in 875 days and garnered nearly 350,000 hits and 10,500 comments while doing so.

It’s been a recipe of old and new of mostly Habness madness, plus various little stories involving my somewhat nutty and unusual past and somewhat nutty and unusual friends. I get out the blender and throw in chopped and diced pieces of my collection which has been a lifetime in the making, add various 1972 Summit Series ditties, and for good measure I sometimes yell and scream at the Habs for not making me happy at certain times of the year.

Of course, when the boys are having a good day and grab two big points, I find myself saying very nice things and forgetting all about those times when I was yelling and screaming.

Finally, in trying to make a more delicious blog meal, I add a sprinkling of themes – the old scrapbook, the coin collection, Brief Bee Hive moments, various contests and quizzes, and that bastard Gaston.

In the end, out comes some sort of concoction that some people like and others can do without. But I remind myself that not everyone was fussy about Julia Child’s recipes either.

Now, onward we go, and today the quiz raises it’s odd-shaped head.

Can you identify where the postcard is from, and what team this is from the signatures?

John McCormack Is A Bit Scuffed Up

Not exactly a household name, nonetheless, John McCormack played 164 regular season games for the Montreal Canadiens and got himself a Stanley Cup with the bleu, blanc et rouge. He also managed to get his own Bee Hive photo, which I just found recently.

Yes it’s a little scuffed up and has two tiny staple holes in it, but it’s quite rare as are all Bee Hives that feature players most have never heard of. Kids everywhere were sending in their Bee Hive labels for their free pictures of the Rocket and Beliveau and other stars around the league, but no one wanted the non-stars like McCormack, thus making these Bee Hives much more rare and valuable than the stars.

Of the 77 Group 2 Beehive Habs pics, (1944-64), I have 68 of them, only missing Tod Campeau, Murph Chamberlain, Gerry Couture, Ed Dorohoy, John Hanna, Vern Kaiser, Frank King, Ross Lowe, and George Robertson. I expect it to take me a few years but I’ll find them. Maybe.

Continuing Down The Old Scrapbook Trail

More of the old scrapbook, including Habs playing baseball, Maurice Richard appearing on Front Page Challenge, Beehives, Backstrom, Blake, and players with their kids.

Bill Hicke, between the two Bee Hives, walks down the corridor of the old Forum, a place where I stood once and watched the trainers wheel carts of equipment out of.

Just a lot of stuff that would keep me, and often my friends too, entertained for hours when I should have been outside getting fresh air instead.

The photos can be enlarged by double-clicking on them. I only just recently found this out. And part one of the scrapbook can be found right here.