Tag Archives: Guyle Fielder

Guyle Was At Home In The Minors

Last year I was in contact with a fellow named Gyle Konotopetz, who at one time was a terrific and ultra-creative sports columnist with the Calgary Herald before moving to the states, and now, I think, is up in Victoria. Gyle had done a piece in the Herald about Danny Gallivan, and when I wrote about Danny later on, I mentioned Gyle’s article. Lo and behold, Gyle emailed me just to say hi, which was really nice, and which also blew me away considering how talented the guy is and how I had admired him when I lived in Calgary.

Gyle told me he was working on a book about a legendary minor-league player named Guyle Fielder, whom everyone thought should have been a star in the NHL, but for some reason, stayed in the minors. Why would someone shun the limelight? Why would someone not want to play in the NHL and be a huge star? I wondered for years, as many, I’m sure, have.

So who better to ask than Gyle Konotopetz.

“Detroit didn’t want to release Fielder but he asked for his release anyway. In his six games on Howe’s line, the line didn’t have a single point. They both needed the puck to be effective and didn’t click together. Fielder thought he’d have been better off on another line. The year he was there, he was being touted as a rookie of the year candidate (he’s had 122 points in the Western League the previous year).

“He was an all-round athlete, scratch golfer, and pool shark. In Seattle, he had a better salary, he made a lot of money playing pool, and he was able to golf the year round. A couple of years after going back to Seattle, Punch Imlach flew to Seattle to offer him a contract with the Leafs and he wouldn’t take it because he was enjoying his lifestyle in Seattle. A lot of Western Leaguers in those days refused contracts from the NHL.

“Fielder should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Some players would go on his line and double or triple their goal scoring. He lives down in Mesa. Guyle’s uncle, Al Fielder, was president of the Western Hockey League and although Guyle hasn’t said so, I think his uncle used his influence to keep him in the WHL where he was a big draw everywhere.”

Guyle says his book is stalled at the moment, but if he ever gets it finished, be sure to check it out. This guy is a superstar journalist, and Guyle Fielder is a fascinating subject for sure.

And if you want to know more about Guyle Fielder while we wait for Gyle’s book, a couple of nice pieces can be found here at Greatest Hockey Legends and also Sportspress Northwest.

Blabbering On Until The Puck Drops

There’s not much to be said about the upcoming game six in Montreal. Hell, there’s not even much the Canadiens coaches can say. The players know what needs to be done. They know they have to do all the right things if they’re going to take this to a game seven. They know they have to play the game of their lives, not make any blunders, and don’t do anything to make us mad at them.

All we can do is wait. It’s like sitting in the muddy trenches, waiting for the enemy to appear so we can ruin their day.

So while we wait, I thought I’d just blabber on. And today I’m blabbering about Seattle.

Seattle presently has a team in the Western Hockey League – the Thunderbirds, and of course, back in 1917 when you were just a tot, the Seattle Metropolitans won the Stanley Cup. And between the Thunderbirds and the Metropolitans have been many amateur and minor-pro teams, including the legendary Totems which featured Guyle Fielder, maybe the best player to never play in the NHL. (except for 15 games).

It almost seems like a good hockey town, this birthplace of Jimi Hendrix. And it’s only a couple of hours south of the Canadian border, so it should be a real good hockey town. You’d also think it would make a terrific and natural rival for the Vancouver Canucks if it had an NHL franchise.

But I was reading the Seattle Times last week and the sports page consisted of this:

Page 1 – Mariners news, Seahawks minicamp report, and a column about Oregon college basketball.

Page 2 – Fishing report, and a continuation of the stories from page 1.

Page 3 – NFL news

Page 4 – Baseball boxscores

Page 5 – High school baseball boxscores

Page 6 – Mini report from the Associated Press wires about the NHL, just above Public Notices.

So the question is – if an almost-border city with an area population of 4 million, which has a WHL junior team and once won the cherished Stanley Cup, shows no interest in the NHL playoffs, then why would Gary Bettman think hockey would take off in Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and other such places?

I’d also like to switch gears and wish Bret Michaels a complete recovery. The charismatic rock star, who is such a big part of this year’s Celebrity Apprentice, suffered a brain hemorrhage last Friday in China and is in critical condition.