Tag Archives: Charlie Hodge

More Lovely Habs Wives

Photos from my old scrapbook, which I still open from time time.

Bernie ‘Boom Boom’ Geoffrion with his wife Marlene and kids. That little gaffer is Danny, who went on to play for the Habs in the late ’70s, early ’80s. Marlene is the daughter of Howie Morenz, so she’s a hockey gal through and through. She looks beautiful, especially in that white blouse.

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Big Jean Beliveau doing the dishes with wife Elise. Elise said she had to do most of the driving when they were dating because Jean was a lousy driver.

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Jacques Plante, with wife Jacqueline and boys Michel and Richard, singing and forgetting about flying pucks that hurt when they hit the face. Plante also liked to knit, and made his own socks and toques.

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Dickie Moore and his lovely wife playing with their little baby. Such a fine looking couple. One of Moore’s daughters, and it could be the one in this photo, eventually dated one of Doug Harvey’s son. (I never heard how that worked out).

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Bert Olmstead showing his beautiful family his scrapbook. Scrapbooks were all the rage back then, and probably very cool when the scrapbook was about yourself. Years ago I looked up Olmstead in the Calgary phone book, phoned him and asked him if he’d mind talking about the old days with the Habs. He hung up on me.

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This is Maurice Richard, of course, just sitting around with his wife Lucille and the family. The kids are Maurice Jr., Hugette, Normand, Andre, and Suzanne. In the top photo, the Rocket shows his Rocket scrapbook to Normand and Andre. Most kids don’t have dads with a personal scrapbook. However, my dad was probably a much better sign painter than the Rocket.

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Henri Richard and his lovely wife Lise, being happy and healthy at home in Montreal. We would see Lise often over the years in camera shots at games with the Pocket, and she always looked great, that’s for sure.

Henri was just a little kid when his older brother was becoming a star with the Canadiens.

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One of the most important players on the Habs in the early 1960s, and a third and fourth line grinder at that – Dave Balon and his beautiful wife of whose name I don’t know. I wish I did.

Sadly, Balon passed away in 2007 from MS, and of course it was way too early because he was only 68.

Balon was one of those guys who was never a star, but was a hard worker, a checker, and he shone in playoff situations, scoring key goals, and was put out often in key situations against the other teams’ stars. For every Jean Beliveau, a team needs a Dave Balon. He wore number 20, and as far as I’m concerned, he’s never gotten enough credit for what he did for the Montreal Canadiens.

Look how happy they look, especially his wife.

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Ralph Backstrom and his wife Frances and kids.

After Backstrom’s playing days were over, he ended up coaching the University of Denver team, founded a roller hockey league in the late ’90s, and in 2003, the Colorado Eagles of the Central Hockey League.

Backstrom was always one of my favourite players. I even got a brush cut like his once. The guy personified the Montreal Canadien teams he played on – speedy, classy, and a beautiful skater. Like me except for most of that.

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Canadiens goaltender Charlie Hodge and lovely wife Sheila. Charlie had the unfortunate luck of being on the same team as Jacques Plante, so he was often a backup goalie with the Habs early on. But he would win the Vezina outright in 1963-64 and shared the Vezina with Gump Worsley in ’65-66. He eventually went to Oakland when expansion came into being in 1967, as each team had to surrender a goalie for the new upstarts (the original six teams were allowed to protect only 11 skaters and one goalie).

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John Ferguson with wife Jean and daughter in this really nice family photo. As much as Fergie was a bruiser on the ice, he was known as a gentle pushover at home.

Fergie and family would go back to Nanaimo BC in the off-season where he played professional lacrosse, and he also had a long-time love affair with harness racing.

 

The Sunday Book

Happy Father’s Day to fathers. Hope your kids phone you today. Or at least email you. Anything really.

Also hope you don’t mind if I make this my Sunday post. More pages from my old scrapbook. I’m in Port Hope at the moment.

The huge face of the Rocket you see 5 pictures down is from an old Vitalis advertising sign in the barbershop window in Orillia which the barber gave to me. It’s made of thick cardboard and because of its thickness, it was the beginning of the pages starting to come apart.

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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Binder Bunch

Before I do the binder bunch, I want to mention that Darth and his terrific lady Lydie came to visit last night. Our first visitors in Montreal, and we were so happy to have them.

I was also proud to show them my old Canadiens scrapbook, something I’ve been doing with friends since I was seven years old.

Darth, as you might know, checks in here with his comments and fab artwork. Great people, these two, and it was a pleasure.

Now, more from the binders on a hot summer day, which includes – Charlie Hodge, Lloyd Gilmour, Harry Neale and Steve Armitage, old Forum passes, Pete Mahovlich, Rangers, Reggie Jackson, Sam Pollock, Sparky Anderson, and old Forum ticket stubs and envelope.

Charlie

Lloyd

Neale

Passes

Pete

Rangers

Reggie

Sam

Sparky

stubs

 

A Letter For Michel Lagace

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Michel Lagace would report to the Quebec Aces training camp in 1962, as requested by Sam Pollock, and would suit up for five games, collecting one assist along the way.

Previously he had played seven playoff games for the Montreal Royals in ’59-’60 and managed 27 games with the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens, both of the Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL).

That would be it for his pro hockey career.

Making it to the American Hockey League has always required serious talent, and even though it was only for five games, I say congratulations to Mr. Lagace for getting a lot further in hockey than most of us.

I would have loved getting a letter like this. I’d show all my friends, report to camp, work harder than everybody else, and eventually get called up to the Habs in a year or two. Then I play right wing with Jean Beliveau at centre and John Ferguson at left wing. I’d be on the cover of Hockey Pictorial, make the all-star team, make more money than my dad, and eventually end up in the Hall of Fame.

But first I needed one of those letters. Like Michel Lagace got.

 

 

More From Kouli

Kouli in Vancouver always has such great photos for sale on his site at Kouli the Greek and I very much appreciate him letting me show some of his stuff, which I do from time to time.

Below, Mr. Beliveau; the 1912 edition of the Habs; Charlie Hodge; Pete and Frank Mahovlich with Pocket Rocket; a scene from the 1970’s movie Million Dollar Hockey Puck; Rocket; Toe Blake; a great ad; Ken Dryden; and a very young Rocket. Hope you enjoy.

 

Rebounding From L’Affaire Carl Wetzel

Recently, out of the blue, most of the right side of my site disappeared. This included the picture of me as a kid, the twitter link, CBC links, quote of the day, map, the whole enchilada. There was no reason for it to happen. I’ve tried to be good. I’m kind to animals and I love babies. But it happened anyway.

So I phoned HostGator in Texas and the technicians there worked on it and finally got everything restored, but only up to that particular Sunday, which meant my posts from the few days after that were gone forever. And which also means my little story about Carl Wetzel, a guy who was the backup goalie for Charlie Hodge on a night I was at the Forum, vanished into thin air and is now probably twirling and swirling in cyberspace.

But I’m not taking this sitting down. In that particular story, I included a photo of the lineup from the program that night that showed Wetzel’s name, and then I went on to talk about how many minor league cities he had played in over his career (about 15).

Now I’m coming back with a vengeance, and not only am I including the lineup page again, but I’m showing the whole trip, which includes the program signed by Jim Roberts that evening after the game when I walked down to ice level to see the big CH’s at centre ice, plus the lineup page again, along with my ticket stub and photos I took of the Forum and Toe Blake’s Tavern.

Take that, computer gremlin bastards.

 

Carry On Wayward Scrapbook

This edition of the scrapbook shows players’ kids, fights, action shots, and a veritable cornucopia of many things Habs.

The Old Scrapbook Choo Choo Train Chugs Along

A few things to mention as we continue down the old scrapbook trail. Included in this post is an old letter I’d written asking if a crest I saw on one of the Rocket’s sports jackets was available to the public but Frank Selke Jr. wrote back and said it wasn’t.

The huge face of the Rocket you see is from an old Vitalis sign that was in the barbershop window in Orillia that the barber gave to me. It’s made of thick cardboard and because of its thickness, it was the beginning of the pages starting to come apart.

Also in this edition is a picture of Jacques Plante and it appears to be autographed, which I didn’t know about until now. I researched this picture and could only find the same thing minus the signature. I suppose it’s possible that when the Canadiens sent me these pictures, they included the signed Plante, which I never noticed.

As The Scrapbook Turns – Part Three

Part three of the old scrapbook deals with newspaper clippings about the Rocket, plus Bernie Geoffrion and wife Marlene, and all the usual suspects – Toe Blake, Charlie Hodge, Pocket Rocket, Jean Beliveau, Tom Johnson, Habs in baseball uniforms, Rocket and son Normand, (who I’ve been eternally envious of), the Rocket meeting the Queen, him in a convertible in Czechoslovakia, and all the other little things that you can enlarge by double-clicking on the photos.

Parts 1 and 2 can be found by either scrolling down or going over to “Categories” on the right side and finding “The Old Scrapbook.”