Tag Archives: Dollard St. Laurent

Five Men And A Cardinal

More proof God loves the Habs.

The boys and Cardinal Leger in 1953.

Butch Bouchard, Maurice Richard, Boom Boom Geoffrion, Dollard St. Laurent, and a fellow on the left whom I don’t recognize – meet with Cardinal Leger, who most certainly was in tight with God, which tells me God is a Habs fan.

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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.

 

 

Two Things Completely Unrelated

Recently I told of a fellow who bought 42 game-used sticks which had belonged to all players who had scored at least 500 goals in the NHL – Good Wood , and just after it came out, Danno sent this.

I don’t know. Is this too naughty?

Gaston

Also –

Dollard St. Laurent was a solid defenceman for the Montreal Canadiens for seven seasons, beginning in 1951 and ending in 1958 when he joined the Chicago Black Hawks. (Although he did suit up for three previous Habs games during the 1950/51 season). This photo, which I had in an old hockey scrapbook, was apparently in Hull, Quebec, and whether or not it was a tribute to St. Laurent or simply coincidence, I’ve no idea.

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The Boys Of Summer/Winter

No, this isn’t Mantle, Maris, Ford, Berra and others from the ’61 Yankees. It’s late 1950’s Habs, after winning another of their five straight Cups, getting down to business of going deep, shagging flies, throwing out runners, creating sparkling double plays, and drinking beer afterwards.

Below, Jacques Plante at bat, sizing up the pitcher; Boom Boom Geoffrion pounds his glove; Andre Pronovost, Phil Goyette, and Claude Provost share an inside joke in the dugout; Dollard St. Laurent at bat, hoping for a nice juicy one down the middle; and Marcel Bonin, the Rocket, and catcher Jean-Guy Talbot plan some serious strategy, because with these boys, whether it’s hockey or baseball, winning is everything.

(Gleaned from my scrapbook).

  

 

Who Are These Baseball Players With The Hollywood Good Looks?

         

  Most hockey players have always been big baseball fans. In the old days, they probably loved playing it even more than golf! And because hockey players are usually athletic in many ways, they are usually great ball players too. Doug Harvey, for example, could’ve played some level of pro. Later on, Larry Robinson was a long-ball hitting centerfielder with the highly-ranked Turpin Pontiac fastball team in Ottawa.

In these 1950’s photos gleaned from my old scrapbook,  Marcel Bonin, Maurice Richard, and Jean-Guy Talbot might be discussing what to do with a man on first and third with nobody out. In the other photos, Jacques Plante and Dollard St. Laurent prepare to hit the long ball.

The Canadiens players barnstormed throughout Quebec and eastern Ontario in the summers, playing charity games that were always big hits. And the Rocket, in this photo, was in his second from last season with the Habs and his weight had ballooned to well over 200. In the the prime of his career, his playing weight was 185.

So baseball, which the Rocket loved, was also a way to fight the battle of the bulge. But he never did get back to 185 and in 1960, the Babe Ruth of hockey retired.

 This is my old scrapbook. My dad and I started it in about 1957 and I stopped it in the early to mid 1960’s when my teenage hormones took over and girls and music came into my life. My dad was a sign painter and he painted the cover.

 

 

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The Book, The 1958 Team, The Gift, And Toe Blake Helping Out My Dad

When I was seven or eight years old, my father and mother bought me a book for Christmas called “Let’s Play Hockey” by Lynn Patrick. Normally this wouldn’t be news. Normally it would’ve been just another hockey book.

But my father got the bright idea to send it to the Montreal Canadiens in Montreal, asking if any of the players would sign it so he could give me something special at Christmas.

The book came back signed by the entire 1958-59 team, and I suppose when I opened it, my eyes must’ve bugged out.

They were all there – Toe Blake, Maurice and Henri Richard, Jean Beliveau, Dickie Moore, Bernie Geoffrion, Jacques Plante, Ralph Backstrom, Bert Olmstead, Marcel Bonin, Tom Johnson, Phil Goyette, Claude Provost, Andre Pronovost, Ian Cushenan, Bob Turner, Jean Guy Talbot, Dollard St. Laurent, Ab McDonald, and Don Marshall.

But darn it, Doug Harvey wasn’t. He must’ve been injured or something when the book was passed around.

But that didn’t stop my father. Later that year he took me to Toronto to see the Habs play the Leafs, and he brought the book with us. And sometime before game time, he took the book down to the corridor outside Montreal’s dressing room, and believe it or not, saw Toe Blake standing there, went up to him and asked him if he would take the book into the room and get Harvey’s autograph for him.

Blake did just that, and that’s Harvey’s signature down at the bottom corner of the opposite page of the other players. Imagine.

Those brown marks are from scotch tape. For awhile, after I got it, I taped a plastic sheet over top to protect them. Because even then I realized the magnitude of this book.