Tag Archives: George Armstrong

Jeff Molloy

Like Brandy Saturley from a few pages back, Jeff Molloy paints Canadiana, and I think from both we see exquisite beauty, with each having their own distinctly unique styles. Below are examples from Jeff, and you can see much more on his website Jeff Molloy. For Brandy, just scroll back a few days.

The Rocket, Bobby Orr, and Gentleman Jean

Metis Warrior (Louis Riel)

Louis Riel – Two Minutes for Interference, Five Minutes for Fighting, and Death For Unsportsmanlike Conduct

The Chief (George Armstrong)

The John (John A. MacDonald)

 

Johnny Mac (John A. MacDonald)

Coast To Coast

Vanishing Buffalo

Gathering Storm

Player Pics

Back when the earth was flat and dinosaurs roamed about in foul moods, the Toronto Star Weekly (and other sister newspapers around the country) would once a week feature lovely full size photos of NHL stars which I would cut out and put into a second scrapbook, the first being my treasured Montreal Canadiens scrapbook. I looked forward to see who would be next in the long line of photos, and it was always interesting to check out the big-league equipment these guys wore.

Here’s five of them;

Gump Worsley, before he was a Hab, was a Ranger.

Terry Sawchuk, who many believe was the greatest goaltender of his day, (some even say the the best ever), would eventually pass away after a wrestling match with teammate Ron Stewart out on the front lawn.

Don Simmons was one goalie in particular that the Rocket seemed to have his way with, and there are several pictures of Richard bulging the twine behind a snakebitten Simmons. He owned a sporting goods store in southern Ontario for years after he’d retired from the game.

Gordie Howe. I once had breakfast with Hall of Fame goalie Glenn Hall, and I asked him who was the greatest of them all. He didn’t even have to think about it. He’d played against Bobby Orr, admitted the Rocket was the most dangerous from the blueline in, and had watched Wayne Gretzky closely from his farm near Edmonton, but his answer was Howe.

George Armstrong, Leafs captain and a guy I always thought was a really mediocre skater, but he made up for it with leadership and smarts. I never liked him much because he was a Leaf and sometimes he’d score against the Habs. He was also very stingy about signing autographs, which was rare for players back then.

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


 

A Brief Bee Hive Moment: Hal Laycoe’s Big Night With The Rocket

 From 1934 to 1967, if you mailed in a Bee Hive Corn Syrup coupon, they would send you a free photo of most any player you requested. They were divided into three groups over the years, and this photo of Hal Laycoe comes from Group 2, which covered the years between 1944 to 1964.  Bee Hive photos were fun to collect and because everyone asked for the Rocket or Beliveau or Horton  or Armstrong etc, the lesser players like the Habs’ Tod Campeau and Vern Kaiser and others are extremely rare and valuable.

Hal Laycoe had been a friend of Rocket Richard’s when both played for Montreal, but after Laycoe was traded to Boston, he and the Rocket took centre stage one night in what led to a big-time piece of hockey history.

It happened like this. Laycoe had highsticked Richard one night in Boston, but play continued with no penalty called. This upset the Rocket very much. He skated up to Laycoe, smashed him in the face and upper body with his stick, and was soon subdued by the officials. But this didn’t stop Richard. He kept breaking away from the linesmen to get at this former friend, Laycoe, and he even broke his stick over the Bruin player’s back.

Linesman Cliff Thompson got hold of Richard again, but the Rocket broke loose and punched Thompson twice, which wasn’t the greatest idea. It simply wasn’t a good situation all round.

All of this led to Richard’s suspension of the remaining games in the season, plus the entire playoffs, and you know the rest of the story.

Of course it was the 1955 Richard Riot on St. Patrick’s Night In Montreal.

 

 

 

It’s Only Been 41 Years Since The Leafs Didn’t Suck

Regardless of the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs have basically stunk every year since 1967, they still manage to somehow play well against the Habs. Who knows why? Maybe Conn Smythe instilled a voodoo hex on Frank Selke Sr. for leaving the Leafs and joining the good guys at the Forum. Maybe Toronto wants so much to be like the Canadiens that they turn in these weird efforts that they can’t muster against anybody else. habs-too.jpg     leafs.jpg

So a Montreal-Toronto tilt is usually a good, interesting tilt, for whatever reason. And there also would have been big interest in a Montreal-Toronto playoff series which could have happened if Toronto didn’t suck quite so badly this year and had sneaked into eighth place by the skin of their teeth.

A series between these two might even have brought back the oldtimers who say they lost interest in hockey after expansion, fights, the price of beer, less attractive rink chaperones, watered-down product, the Broad Street Bullies, Osama Bin Laden, shopping on Sundays,  the ozone layer, and the downhill slide of Shopsy hot dogs.

Yes, it would’ve been a good series. Even though Montreal would’ve kicked their asses all the way up Yonge Street, possibly all the way to Orillia.

The two teams meet again tonight and at this moment,  game time is still hours away. Leaf fans will now be gearing up, selecting their finest Yorkville ensembles, and preparing for when the Habs take the ice and memories come flying back from when the oldtimers still liked hockey and George Armstrong, even though he was the Leaf’s captain, was still learning to skate.