Tag Archives: Floyd Curry

What Players Had To Do

I pulled cards from my 1954-55 set to show you examples of what players back then did for summer jobs, which you can see on the last line of each player description. This was long before a players association, when the game was much different, and there was no such thing as a wealthy player. The owners made millions, the players worked summer jobs, and if these stars-on-ice somehow incurred the wrath of Conn Smythe and other owners or general managers, they could be buried in the minors or cast adrift, rarely or never to be heard from again.

 

 

 

Nice Old Set

The title sounds like I’m talking about Sophia Loren.

I have the majority of the 1954-55 Parkhurst set in various conditions ranging from good to excellent, which is a ways down from near mint and mint, but still pretty darn good. The 100 cards were from the Original Six teams, plus some action shots.

This is a nice set to have, considering kids back then didn’t really collect cards, but instead threw them against buildings, playing closest to the wall. They (we) also put them in bicycle spokes and created a nice sound as the wheels turned and cards got destroyed.

Below are the complete Habs, which include, in order, Gerry McNeil, Dickie Moore, Jean Beliveau, Eddie Mazur, Bert Olmstead, Butch Bouchard, Maurice Richard, Boom Boom Geofrrion, John McCormack, Tom Johnson, Calum Mackay, Ken Mosdell, Paul Masnick, Doug Harvey, and Floyd Curry.

The Old Program Sits On A Shelf

The old program sits on a shelf in my spare room (a room I’ll show you very soon), and it’s quite a program if I do say so myself.

It’s from the 1941-42 season in the Quebec Senior Hockey League featuring a game between the Montreal Senior Canadiens and the Montreal Royals, and what’s especially unique is seeing Maurice Richard in the lineup for the Senior Canadiens, a year before he joined the Habs.

You may have heard that when the Rocket joined the Habs he was wearing number 15, but when his first child Huguette was born, weighing in at nine pounds, Rocket asked if he could change to number nine in honour of his baby girl.

But the number nine must have already had a soft spot in his heart, because as you can see, he was wearing it when he was playing senior hockey.

Also playing on this particular night for the Montreal Royals was Bill Durnan, who of course became a legendary goalie for the Canadiens shortly after, from 1943 to 1950, and Glen Harmon, number 12 for the senior Canadiens, who joined the Habs the following season and played for them from 1942-51.

Good Move By Gomez

Scott Gomez will wear number 11 this coming season for reasons explained here, and regardless of why, I agree that number 11 is better than 91 as there aren’t a lot of low numbers left on the Habs, only numbers 6 and 8 now as the rest are immortalized in the rafters, and number 11 is a fine number. It’s also been popular over the years as 69 different players have called it their own.

I’ve also spent several quality minutes googling the number 11 and here’s an example of what I’ve found;

Number Eleven possesses the qualities of intuition, patience, honesty, sensitivity, and spirituality, and is idealistic. Others turn to people who are ‘Eleven’ for teaching and inspiration, and are usually uplifted by the experience.

I’m thinking “intuition” means Gomez will be unreal in going to where the puck will be going, like Gretzky used to do. “Patience” of course means he won’t panic with the puck when a scoring opportunity presents itself. “Honesty” means we’re going to get an honest effort from Gomez each and every night. “Sensitivity” I’m having a hard time with. We don’t want sensitivity. We want Gomez to play with an edge and shove the odd stick down someone’s throat when it’s deemed necessary.  “Spirituality” I guess means that if Gomez is a spirtitual type, the odds should be in his favour when playing non-spiritual types, like Sean Avery. Finally, “idealistic” probably means Gomez gets what it means to be a Montreal Canadien and will teach all those around him that they’re Montreal Canadiens and the rest aren’t.

Here’s some former number 11’s, at least at some point in their career with the Montreal Canadiens, without naming all 69.

Saku Koivu, of course.
Joe Malone, whom Frank Selke said was the handsomest player to ever play. Of course, Mr. Selke wasn’t around to see Scott Hartnell.
Dunc Munro, the guy who made 50 grand a year when he was with the Maroons, by owning all the program rights.
Tony Demers, who ended up in St. Vincent de Paul Penitentiary on a manslaughter conviction.
Floyd Curry, who first came to Habs camp when he was only 15.
 

Who WAS That Masked Man?

dryden

In May of 1971, the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup in Chicago, beating the Hawks 3-2 in a tough seven games. And they did it with the most improbable guy in nets – Ken Dryden.

Dryden wasn’t a cup-winning goaltender, he was a McGill law student who also played for the minor-league Montreal Voyageurs. At least up until late winter of that year, that is. But like a Disney movie, he’s called up for the last six games of the season, and at the start of the playoffs, replaces Rogie Vachon, then goes on to help Montreal beat the Boston Bruins, Minnesota North Stars and Chicago, providing thrills and spills and blocking shots that shouldn’t be blocked.

It’s the stuff of fairy tales and dreams. It almost makes no sense. But that was the beginning of Dryden’s Hall of Fame career, and fairy tales and dreams or not, he must have been awfully good to do what he did as a raw rookie with only six games behind him.

And to make things even more magical, this raw rookie even won the Conn Smythe trophy that spring for most valuable player in the playoffs and took home $1500 and a car for being the hero. Forget Disney, I think we’re going to need Steven Spielberg to do this one justice.

This feat was so long ago, so far removed from the politician/public speaker and the man who does what he wants, when he wants; that he even spoke for half an hour after the game to reporters, missing much of the celebration in the dressing room. Finally, the shy goalie asked, “Sir. Would you mind if we went to the dressing room? I’d like to join the other fellows.”

He also admitted that fate had lent a hand. Hawks’ players Eric Nesterenko and Jim Pappin had both hit posts, and Bobby Hull rang one off the crossbar in that seventh game. And about his team in front of him? “There’s no mystique about the Canadiens team,” he said. “The players never believe they are beaten. And as a result, seldom are defeated.”

And who believed in Dryden in the beginning, when he was a law student and the goalie for the Voyageurs? That would be Floyd Curry, who coached Dryden with the Voyageurs and in March recommended him to Habs GM Sam Pollock. “I told Sam, “Take Dryden and you’ll win the Stanley Cup,’ ” said Curry. “He’s the greatest. And don’t forget, this was his first year of pro. He played very little last year with Canada’s national team. He’ll be as good as Bill Durnam and that’s the highest praise I can give a goalie.” 

I can’t find anywhere if Curry held a second job as fortune teller.

And the final word went to Chicago’s Bobby Hull, who said after the game, “Hockey in May is a drag when you’re a loser.”

A Rocket Program Before He Became The Rocket

      

 This is a program from the Quebec Senior Hockey League, featuring a young Maurice Richard playing for the senior Canadiens, farm team to the big club. The program is dated January 25th, 1942.

Maurice (he wasn’t called the Rocket yet) had signed with the senior club the year before, for the 1940-41 season as a 19 year old, and in his two seasons there, played only 22 games because of an assortment of injuries including ankle and wrist fractures. (Because of numerous injuries in the early days, Richard was turned down trying to enlist in the Canadian army.)

 Nine months after this game-night program, Rocket signed his first contract with the Habs, on Oct. 29, 1942, and 16 games later, broke his other ankle.

 Also listed in this program is future star and captain of the Habs, goaltender Bill Durnan, with the Montreal Royals. Other players sprinkled throughout include future Habs Floyd Curry and Glen Harmon, and Jim McFadden, who later on played for Detroit and Chicago.