Tag Archives: Maurice Richard

I Hate The NHL All-Star Game

Like the title says, I hate the NHL All-Star game. I hate the nonchalant approach, the smiles and friendliness among those who normally dislike each other and three days from now will be trying to send their new-found buddies through the glass face-first. I hate the football scores. I hate the smug looks on the players as they play pond hockey. I hate the announcers going overboard in explaining how great everyone is. I hate the fancy little skating and shooting contests. So I don’t watch it. It’s my right.

I also hate the way it has broken up the great momentum Montreal has had leading up to this.

Remember the 1970 baseball All-Star game when Pete Rose bowled over catcher Ray Fosse at home plate?  Rose was playing to win. It was part of his soul. The Rocket, Ted Lindsay, John Ferguson Sr. and Doug Harvey had similar spirits, and this is what I like. Not this kissy-face shit we see now. 

Years ago, the all-star team played the previous year’s Stanley Cup champs. Everyone had something to prove. The champs wanted everyone to see they were still champs. The all-stars wanted another go-round at the champs. It was serious hockey. Players thumped and walloped. Goalies stood on their heads. Fans got a real treat, and their money’s worth.

Now, there’s so many players, the league doesn’t want to have just 20 all-stars. And teams don’t want anyone to get hurt. So we get to see a love-in now instead. If I want to see a love-in, I’ll rent Pamela and Tommy’s honeymoon video.

What It Takes To Be A Good Montreal Canadiens Fan

A GOOD MONTREAL FAN:

Won’t have another favourite team also.

Will have a real dislike for Toronto and Boston, and probably Ottawa.

Won’t stop rooting for them if you live in, or close to, another NHL city.

Will feel lousy anytime the team loses.

Is proud to say you’re a Habs fan in any circle of people.

Will never admit that Howe was better than Richard.

Really, really wishes they’d win the Cup soon.

Will say that Harvey comes right after Orr for greatest defenceman, even if you’ve never even saw a film clip of him.

Really misses the Forum.

Really misses Claude Mouton.

Really misses Danny Gallivan and Rene Lecavalier.

Never bets against them in sport select-type lotteries.

Won’t sing that wretched song when the game is close.

The Rocket, the Montreal Canadiens, and Rich Man, Poor Man

This year, Montreal’s Andrei Markov will earn 5.7 million dollars patroling the blueline. Teammate Roman Hamrlik will be close, at 5.5 million. Captain Saku Koivu stands at 4.7 million.

In 1940, Montreal’s Ken Reardon was paid $4000 for the season. Junior Langlois in 1959 made $7500. Jean Beliveau, who the Canadiens practically got down on their hands and knees to sign in 1953, was paid an unheard of $25,000, but that was what he’d been making with the senior Quebec Aces and the Habs had to at least match it.  And Rocket Richard was paid $5000 for his first season, in 1942-43, and earned a total of $350, 000 over 18 star-studded seasons with the Habs, ending in 1960.

This year, Francis Lemieux, a centreman who has yet to crack the Habs lineup, earns $461, 667. That’s $111, 667 more than the Rocket made in his lifetime.

More of the Insanely Fascinating “Fascinating Facts!”

Fascinating fact #1. Bep Guidolin played his first NHL game in 1942 with Boston. He’s the youngest player ever to play in the league, at 16 years old.

Fascinating fact #2. Floyd Curry attended his first Montreal Canadiens training camp in 1940 at just 15. He didn’t make the team but it’s still quite a feat.

Fascinating Fact #3.  Bobby Orr played for the Oshawa Generals, a farm team of the Boston Bruins, when he was just 14.

Fascinating fact #4.  Hall Of Fame goalie Johnny Bower didn’t play his first NHL game until he was 30 when he was called up from the minors to the NY Rangers. He played one season, then three more in the minors. After that he was traded to Toronto when he was 34 years old. Amazingly enough, and this is why this thing is called “Fascinating Facts”, Bower played goal all those years with poor eyesight and rheumatoid arthritis.

Fascinating fact #5  Claire Alexander, who played defence for the Leafs in the mid 1970’s, came into the league when he was 29. Before that, he was a milkman in Orillia, Ontario. (my hometown).

Fascinating Fact #6  In the early 1960’s, when I was about 12, my parish priest, Monsignor Lee, was somehow connected to the Toronto Maple Leafs. I think it had to do with St. Michael’s College. One day, he took my buddy Ron Clarke and I to Peterborough to see an exhibition game between the Leafs and Chicago. The afternoon before the game, we had dinner at the hotel with the Leafs’ brass. The players were in an adjoining room. So Ron and I had dinner with the Monsignor, King Clancy, and Jim Gregory, who has just been recently inducted into the builder’s catagory of the Hockey Hall of Fame. 

Fascinating Fact #7   In the 1950’s, New York tough guy Lou Fontinato (who later was traded to Montreal), got into a real scrap with Rocket Richard. Fontinato got Richard’s sweater off and proceeded to rip it to shreds with his skates. A few weeks later, Fontinato received a bill from the Canadiens for $38.50.