Tag Archives: Bob Pulford

Habs Beaten By Blues

The Canadiens were in St. Louis Tuesday night where the boys blew a two-goal lead (Paul Byron and Tomas Plekanec), and lost 3-2 in overtime.

But that’s all I can say about this. I’m waiting for my enthusiasm to return. It’s been gone for several games now.

But I would like you to know that I’ve lost 8 pounds by walking a lot and I now look like a friggin Adonis.

And if that isn’t interesting enough, there’s this: The decision to separate opposing players in the penalty box came after October 30, 1963 when Montreal’s Terry Harper and Toronto’s Bob Pulford fought on the ice and then continued their disagreement in the box after they’d been sitting side by side.

And if ALL THAT isn’t enough, Rocket Richard once said in a questionnaire that the one man he wanted to meet in person was actor John Wayne.

Roadrunner In Action

Photo from my scrapbook of a peach-fuzzed rookie Yvan Cournoyer during the 1964-65 campaign, with Dickie Moore (as a Leaf), Jean Beliveau, Jean Guy Talbot, Bob Pulford, Ted Harris, Ron Stewart, and Charlie Hodge.

And below, although I never scrambled for a foul ball or flying puck, I did manage (very quietly) to get a Cournoyer goal puck through a trade, a goal he scored on Oct. 26, 1972, only a month after the ’72 Summit Series in which Roadrunner played a major role.

Yvan would retire at 35 after 15 seasons, all with the Habs, and 10 Stanley Cups.

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Yvan

“Cournoyer has it on that wing. Here’s a shot! Henderson makes a wild stab at it and falls. Here’s another shot. Right in front. They score! Henderson has scored for Canada!”

Roadrunner '72

And then there was that time he played on a line with Gaston.

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Crests And CYO

Don, now living in Houston, Texas, grew up in Orillia at the same time as me, and after reading my post about the sloppy way players sign their autographs nowadays, he emailed his CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) hockey crests he’s kept all these years, signed by Bob Pulford, Ron Stewart, and, Gerry Cheevers, to show examples of how players didn’t scribble as much back then.

CYO was a fun league, run in the beginning by big Father Sullivan, who would sometimes curse and have his face go beet red when he was pissed off, which he would often be. It almost seemed like he shouldn’t have entered the priesthood in the first place. He was a forceful dude, and might have made a lousy factory foreman. Or an effective bouncer at Chez Paree.

I still haven’t forgiven him for coming to our class one day and informing all of us that we were now altar boys. We weren’t given a choice. And I became such a lousy altar boy. Never knew when to ring the bell. Sometimes I’d stumble on the altar steps. And I once caught my altar boy garments on fire while lighting candles and the priest on duty had to put me out with a coat.

Thanks to Don for sending these along. Brings back memories.

One of these players, Ron Stewart, was the guy who got into a wrestling match on the front lawn with Terry Sawchuk, with Sawchuk dying soon afterward.

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Gauthier Moves To Windy City

Pierre Gauthier has been hired by the Chicago Blackhawks as director of player personnel, and all I can say mostly say about this is simply repeat what someone commented on the CBC story pertaining to the news. He or she wrote that “I’m not a Chicago fan, but they don’t deserve THIS.”

It’s not a big deal for Chicago to have a silent, grouchy, bland type in their organization. Bob Pulford, who was a coach and executive with the team for 30 years, was very much that. Chicago fans are used to it.

Now they have party animal Pierre, who is not only a wild and crazy guy, but who also possesses a fine eye for talent. Like Tomas Kaberle and Rene Bourque, two superstar impact players he brought to Montreal to fix things, and who basically got them for a song. (Bourque – $3 million plus,  Kaberle – $4 million plus. Per season).

Sorry, Hawks fans.

 

Not Really That Interesting, This Paper

I was going through a trunk today and I found this which I had forgotten about completely.  It’s an original 1979 inter-office memorandum from Hawks GM Bob Pulford to all his scouts, and contains a list of players from each team who were underage, weren’t drafted, but have been signed.

I realize it isn’t the most interesting thing in the world but this is what happens when it’s Saturday morning, all’s quiet on the Habs front, and I have to take a bunch of old flooring to the dump and then start putting down a new floor.

There is one player of note, though. Dino Ciccarelli. If you’re interested.

Ron And Dennis’ Excellent Adventure

The other day the phone rang and it was my old friend Ron Clarke, and although he lives in the Kitchener/Waterloo area, he was in Vancouver visiting his 34 year old daughter who has terminal lung cancer.

Ron and I go back further than any other of my other friends as we were childhood buddies and schoolmates and we played road hockey and  held on to bumpers of cars and got free rides as the unsuspecting drivers made their way through snowy streets. He and I traded hockey cards, smoked our first cigarettes together, went through minor hockey, and he started hanging around with a girl in grade seven and ended up marrying her after they dated for about ten years.

Ron and I went our separate ways because he was a straight-laced guy who wanted no part of what was happening with the counter-culture in the 1960’s, and I was the opposite. But we always remained friends over the years anyway.

After talking to Ron, I remembered a time when we were 12 year old altar boys and one of the priests was not only the big shot priest, the Monsignor, but he also somehow had a connection to the Toronto Maple Leafs. It might have something to do with St. Michael’s College in Toronto but I’m not sure. 

Monsignor Lee asked Ron and I one day if we’d like to go to Peterborough for the day and visit the Leafs in training camp, and off we went. Turns out Monsignor Lee had more than just a slight connection with the Leafs. It was almost like he was part of them.

In the afternoon, we had dinner with the team, for gawd’s sakes, although the players, Keon, Horton, Mahovlich, Baun, Pulford and the rest were on the other side of the room. Ron and I sat at a table with King Clancy and Jim Gregory, and the two of them, with the Monsignor, told old stories about when they did this and when they did that, and although I don’t recall any of the conversations, I can still picture  Clancy being really funny and Jim Gregory doing most of the talking.

Later on, we had primo seats at the Peterborough arena to see the Leafs and Chicago Black Hawks play an exhibition game and we went down to the boards and got Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita’s autographs.

Then, back to Orillia we went, an hour away.

Back to the present. I spoke briefly on the phone with Ron’s daughter, Jocelyne, and I told her she was going to beat her lung cancer. She said that’s not what any of her doctor’s have told her.

Addendum:

Ron and I also went to Barrie at about the same age as when we went to Peterborough, and he and I helped the AHL Buffalo Bisons trainer and stood behind the bench as stick boys for an exhibition game between the Bisons and Rochester Americans. Don Cherry played for Rochester but it didn’t matter at that time, (I only know because I still have the lineup sheet), and the only players who made an impact on me where Gilles Marotte, Billy Dea, and Fred Stanfield.

I also remember Ron and I coming home from playing hockey at the arena in Orillia and noticed the Habs-Leafs on TV in someone’s living room. So we sat outside the window and watched the game without the people knowing.

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