Tag Archives: Original Six

When They Were Young

My almost complete (missing four) 1954-55 Parkhurst set. And yes, it’s not a mint set and that’s fine. I like them just the way they are.

Detroit won the Stanley Cup this season, defeating Montreal four games to three in the finals. But the Canadiens were without Maurice Richard, who was on the sidelines serving a suspension which had triggered the infamous Richard Riot on March 17, 1955.

The next season, Montreal would begin their run of five straight Stanley Cups.

001

002

003

004

005

006

009

010

016

012

018

014

015

Enjoy The Original Six In Splendid Quality

I don’t know how often this has ever been in circulation, but it’s one of most greatest ten minutes of hockey clips you’ll ever see.

It’s from 1967, the quality is sensational, like it was filmed today, and we see Jean Beliveau, as smooth as smooth can be, Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe, Jacques Laperriere, Terry Harper, Ralph Backstrom, Terry Sawchuk, and just about everybody else from that time, all from the old Montreal Forum with the pillars in the background.

It’s called Blades and Brass, is set to music of a Mexican brass band, and comes from the National Film Board of Canada. So just sit back and enjoy the Original Six at the old Montreal Forum, in perfect quality.

 

Good Old Hockey Coins

I enjoyed a few extra beer last night celebrating the beginning of my four days off, and presently I’m enjoying a big headache. So this is a repeat performance until I begin to feel human again. However, this might be the first time you’ve read this, in which case, it’s brand new!

This is a set of Shirriff/Salada hockey coins from 1961-62. I’ve had these since I was eleven years old. They came in Jello and potato chips, and I pressured my mom to buy handfuls of Jello instead of just one or two. So we had a kitchen cupboard with lots of open boxes of Jello in it. I also ate more potato chips than any one human should possibly eat.

At school we would play closest to the wall, just like hockey cards, and I was devastated if my hoard of coins had dwindled. But on the other hand, if I went back to class after recess with dozens more than I had started out with, then all was right with the world. I think it was kind of like having sex before I really knew what sex was.

You could send away to the company for the shields, which I did, but after putting them in their holes and trying to hang them on the wall, most would fall out because they didn’t fit well. So I added small amounts of glue to the backs. When you see these coins in their shields on eBay, which you don’t see very often, most have been glued like mine.

These plastic hockey coins began the year before, in 1960-61 and I had a bunch of them years ago, but not anymore. They also came out as metal coins in 1962-63, and I still have the full set of these. And there were no shields available for these other years.

The coins made a comeback in 1967, but I don’t think they became all the rage like they were in the earlier years. These later coins have become quite rare and valuable because, I suppose, there just weren’t that many.

Baseball and football also had their own coins, as did old cars and airplanes. But it’s the hockey coins that I cherished the most.

They should bring back hockey coins for the modern generation. Maybe they’d get kids away from computer games for awhile.

Waking Up To A Wonderful Email

This very special email arrived this morning;

“Your recent interview with Terry Harper was excellent. You are an exceptional writer. It was such a pleasure to read his comments and his thoughts on his fellow players of his era. He always was a down-to-earth, good guy. It is very nostalgic to revisit the 6 team era with memories being shared by the former players of that time. In the early to mid 1960′s I was a student at McGIll and saw many of the Leaf’s-Canadiens games as I was friends with Jim Roberts and many of the Leafs. I was the late Carl Brewer’s life partner.”

Susan Foster

I was really touched by this and so I wrote her back and asked if I could put this on my site. She replied;

Hi Dennis:

Yes, you certainly may publish my note to you.

You have excellent taste being such a ‘Habs’ fan all these years!  There hasn’t been a finer franchise in the history of the league and they certainly treat their former players with respect and dignity as well. I hope you never change elegance.

Best regards,

Susan

And about her life partner, Carl Brewer? He was a steady defenceman for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the days of the Original Six, with a solid career beginning in 1957 and lasting until 1980. He locked horns with coach Punch Imlach many times during the 1960′s simply because he wasn’t a slave to any master. He was his own man, and stood up for himself and others often during these days when players had almost no say whatsoever with management. Brewer also spent time in Detroit and St. Louis, was a member of the Canadian National team for a year, and even became player-coach of the Finnish National team. He was eventually inducted into the Finnish Hall of Fame, although he was Canadian through and through.

Carl Brewer was also one of hockey’s most intelligent hockey players. He was a learned man, scholarly like Ken Dryden, and when he was interviewed between periods on Hockey Night In Canada, you’d think you were listening to a university professor, not a hockey player. He was so well-spoken, so insightful, so original.

Brewer also spearheaded the fight against his former agent Alan Eagleson, which resulted in jail time for the disgraced agent who had defrauded millions of dollars from his clients like Brewer and Bobby Orr. Many players from that era can thank Carl Brewer for fighting the good fight for them.

A short biography of this great man can be seen here.

0122

Gumper Liked Solid Ground

0037

I thought this little story about Gump Worsley from the book ‘Honoured Canadiens, Hockey Hall of Fame’ was cool enough to borrow.

Gump Worsley came to hate flying honestly. Back in 1949 when he was playing with the New York Rovers, the plane he was on ran into serious difficulties when one of the wings caught fire and they had to make an emergency landing. Ever after, he hated flying, but in the days of the Original Six and the minor pro leagues, trains were the usual method of travel, so he was safe for much of his career. Later, when he was with the Canadiens, another plane hit a large air pocket and the pilot had to turn off the engines for several seconds. The plane dropped swiftly and Worsley was in agony even though the plane continued its course safely.

On November 26, 1968, he arrived in Chicago after another horrible incident in the air, took a train back to Montreal, and retired. Two weeks later, he was back playing, but early the next year he left the Canadiens for good, sick of plane travel which, in the post-expansion years after 1967, was standard. He later played for Minnesota, but his fear of flying never abated. Ironically, one of his sons became a pilot in the Canadian Air Force.

Bring Back Hockey Coins

 This is a set of Sherriff/Salada hockey coins from 1961-62. I’ve had these since I was eleven years old. They came in Jello and potato chips, and I pressured my mom to buy handfuls of Jello instead of just one or two. So we had a kitchen cupboard with lots of open boxes of Jello in it. I also ate more potato chips than any one human should possibly eat.

 At school we would play closest to the wall, just like hockey cards, and I was devastated if my hoard of coins had dwindled. But on the other hand, if I went back to class after recess with dozens more than I had started out with, then all was right with the world. I think it was kind of like having sex before I really knew what sex was.

 You could send away to the company for the shields, which I did, but after putting them in their holes and trying to hang them on the wall, most would fall out because they didn’t fit well. So I added small amounts of glue to the backs. When you see these coins in their shields on ebay, which you don’t see very often, most have been glued like mine.

 These plastic hockey coins began the year before, in 1960-61 and I had a bunch of them years ago, but not anymore. They also came out as metal coins in 1962-63, and I still have the full set of these.  And there were no shields available for these other years.

 The coins made a comeback in 1967, but I don’t think they became all the rage like they were in the earlier years. These later coins have become quite rare and valuable because, I suppose, there just weren’t that many.

 Baseball and football also had their own coins, as did old cars and airplanes. But it’s the hockey coins that I cherished the most. 

 They should bring back hockey coins for the modern generation. Maybe they’d get kids away from computer games for awhile.