Tag Archives: Sugar Jim Henry

Letters On My Shelf

Many of these letters were written to me, while some I collected along the way. If you find these boring, please don’t tell me.

Beginning with –

Red Fisher (1965) (after I complained to him that Stan Mikita swore at me when I asked him for his autograph at a Hawks-Leafs exhibition game in Peterborough during the Leafs training camp).

Red

Phyllis King (1951) – Clarence Campbell’s secretary and future wife.

Phyllis

Here’s Clarence and Phyllis on their romantic date at the Forum, which helped spark the 1955 St. Patrick’s Day Richard Riot.

coverofTHN

Legendary sports editor Elmer Ferguson (1929). The Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award is presented to outstanding hockey journalists and includes the likes of Jacques Beauchamp, Red Burnett, Trent Frayne, Red Fisher, Andy O’Brien, Michael Farber, Roy MacGregor and others.

Elmer

Sam Pollock (1964). By far my favourite letter.

Claude Mouton (1985)

Irving Grundman (1983)

Almost three months to the day after General Manager Grundman wrote this letter, he was fired by the Canadiens and Serge Savard would take his place.

Forum secretary Manon Bruneau (1984)

Letter from Sam Pollock to Habs prospect Michel Lagace (1962). This is the kind of letter I would have liked to receive.

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Looking for tickets at Maple Leaf Gardens (1965 & 1966)

Two replies from Claude Mouton (1983) about my request for a stick. He gave me a Bob Gainey stick, signed by the entire team, which I picked up at the Forum after driving from Ottawa after graveyard shift.

Jean Beliveau (1984)

I decided I needed an 8X10 glossy of the Rocket shaking hands with Sugar Jim Henry, so I went right to the top. I wrote a letter to La Presse and it ended up on the desk of editor-in chief Gerard Pelletier (1964)

Pelletier would later serve in the Pierre Trudeau government, and was eventually awarded the Order of Canada.

Frank Selke Jr. (1961)

The Rocket Photo Lives On

Shown often on Facebook, other websites, and on TV before and during game one of the Habs-Bruins series was the iconic photo  of Rocket Richard and Sugar Jim Henry shaking hands after one of the greatest playoff goals ever scored.

It even hangs on the wall of the TD Garden in Boston.

I have some slight connections regarding that famous photo that was taken by La Presse photographer Roger St. Jean, but first, a brief look back at the story behind it.

It was the second period of the seventh game of the 1952 Cup semi-finals between Montreal and Boston, on April 8th at the Forum, when the Rocket collided with rugged Bruins d-man Leo Labine, followed by a headfirst plunge into Bill Quackenbush’s knee.

Richard lay motionless on the ice, folks in the building thought his neck may have been broken, and blood flowed from his forehead.

Richard was taken to the infirmary in the Forum where he was applied stitches and probably smelling salts. Slowly he came around, and in the third period he got up from the table against the doctors’ wishes and made his way back to the bench.

On the bench, Elmer Lach told him the score was tied 1-1 with four minutes to go, Rocket told coach Dick Irvin that he was okay, and Irvin sent him out.

Rocket then proceeded to take the puck in his own end, ducked by the first forechecker, eluded the two other Bruins’ forwards, held off Quackenbush with his left arm as he swooped in, fooled the other defenceman Bob Armstrong, and came in on Sugar Jim Henry, who himself had suffered a broken nose and two black eyes earlier in the game.

Henry dove, Rocket pulled the puck aside and blasted it home, which won the series for the Canadiens.

It was just after, when players were shaking hands, that the photo was taken.

Back in the dressing room, Rocket sat unsmiling and quiet, and suddenly broke down. The doctor put a needle in his arm, and it was two hours before he was in shape to get up and finally leave.

Rocket had scored that series-winning goal while being semi-conscious.

I decided, when I was 13, that I needed an 8 x 10 glossy of the Rocket and Sugar Jim Henry so I went right to the top. I wrote a letter to La Presse and it ended up on the desk of editor-in chief Gerard Pelletier.

And who is Gerard Pelletier, you might ask? Well, aside from being editor at the Montreal French-language daily, and according to Wikipedia, he, his buddy Pierre Trudeau, and Jean Marchand were recruited by Prime Minister Lester Pearson to help derail the rising Quebec separatist movement.

Later on, Pelletier would become a cabinet minister in the Trudeau government, and would eventually take the role of ambassador to France, and then ambassador to the United Nations. He was also awarded the Order of Canada.

So as you can see, he was quite a big shot.

I think it was mighty nice of him to write to me, considering his paper had been on strike. And yes, he did pass my letter on to the sports department, because at some point, my 8 x 10 glossy showed up at my house.

Indirectly related to the goal –

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One of my 75 Group two, 1944-64 Montreal Canadiens Bee Hives, Paul Masnick, who played a part, sort of, in that picture.

Paul Masnick was a journeyman centre who was with the Canadiens from 1950 to 1954 before going to Chicago and then Toronto.

In total, he played 161 games with Montreal. And it was because of him, indirectly, that there is the famous photograph.

In game six of the 1952 semi finals, it was Masnick who scored the winner on Sugar Jim Henry off a Doug Harvey rebound. This led to game seven, when the Rocket, coming back on the ice after being bloodied and knocked unconscious, scored the big goal which eliminated Boston and got Montreal into the finals against Detroit.

And it was after this Boston series that Masnick helped win, that the famous photo was taken.

henry

And today –

Have a look at that huge framed picture behind Rocket and a couple of fellows at his appliances shop, the one of Rocket and Sugar Jim Henry.

Rock

That very picture, which measures 34″ x 44″, now hangs on a wall in my office!

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I Can’t Take It

I’m losing track. Sinking like a stone.

Briere, Ribeiro, Alfredsson, Sequin, Lecavalier, Schneider, Peverly, Emery, Regin, Ference, Komisarek, Horton, Radio City Rocketts, partridges in a pear tree, and on and on and on.

It’s all too much for me. I can’t relate. Players moving around, dollars being tossed like confetti. More and more I see hockey going nuts.

It’s Friday and I need to get away from this madness.

I just want to mention one thing before I go. I have an office at my new job, and in my office there’s a gigantic framed picture more than three feet wide and three feet high of the famous photo of the Rocket shaking hands with Sugar Jim Henry, which used to hang in Rocket’s electronics store.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the wheeling and dealing going on now around the league, but anyway………just keep any weapons like knives away from me at this time.

swisschamp-kane

And It’s Rocket, In On Buzinski

buzinski

A few years back I tried to get in touch with someone from the Buzinski family. I tried Saskatoon and Swift Current. I tried Calgary, where Steve Buzinski’s son Peter was supposed to live. But I had no luck anywhere. It’s too bad. I would’ve liked to have learned more about the man.

Stevbe Buzinski was a goalie for the New York Rangers on the night of November 8, 1942, when Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard scored his first-ever goal in the NHL.

Of course, being scored on by the Rocket was nothing to be ashamed of. Richard scored on dozens of the poor, padded chaps. This Ranger rookie just happened to be the first, that’s all.

Rocket was 21 years old and wore number 15 at the time for the Habs. He had yet to change to number nine, and he was still a few broken bones away from becoming the icon he would become.

Buzinski had been called up from the minors to replace the Rangers’ goalies Chuck Raynor and Sugar Jim Henry, who were both enlisted to fight in the war overseas. Buzinski’s career was only nine games, letting in 55 goals, and he had a not-too-good average of more than six goals a game.

The Rangers soon released Buzinski, and the youngster returned to Swift Current and worked for the federal government until his retirement.

I would have liked to have known what Buzinski thought about his Rocket connection. Was he proud of the fact? How was the goal scored? Did the Rocket scoop the puck up for a souvenir? And why did Buzinski not play in the minors after being released by the Rangers?

But I couldn’t find any of his family, so I have no idea.

You Need A Picture, You Go To The Top

I decided, when I was 13, that I needed an 8×10 glossy of the Rocket shaking hands with Sugar Jim Henry, so I went right to the top. I wrote a letter to La Presse and it ended up on the desk of editor-in chief Gerard Pelletier.

And who is Gerard Pelletier, you ask? Well, aside from being editor at the Montreal French-language daily, and according to Wikipedia, he, his buddy Pierre Trudeau, and Jean Marchand were recruited by Prime Minister Lester Pearson to help derail the rising Quebec separatist movement. Later on, Pelletier would become a cabinet minister in the Trudeau government, and would eventually take the role of ambassador to France, and then ambassador to the United Nations. He was also awarded the Order of Canada.

So as you can see, he was quite a big shot.

I think it was mighty nice of him to write to me, considering his paper was on strike at the time. And yes, he did pass my letter on to the sports department, because at some point, my 8×10 glossy showed up at my house.

 

 

 

Sugar Jim On A Better Day

You’ve all seen the famous photo of the Rocket and Sugar Jim Henry shaking hands after Rocket’s big goal that eliminated the Bruins in the 1951-52 semi-finals, and both are battered and bruised warriors. But did you ever see what Sugar Jim looked like on a much better day?

I found this nice picture of Sugar Jim from the 1950-51 season, a year before the big goal, in a pile of old magazines I have. He’s actually talking to a young fan in the photo but I had to crop the little guy out of it to make Sugar Jim’s face bigger so you could see it.

Rocket Jim

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A Classic Photo To Join Another Classic Photo

Boston’s Sugar Jim Henry didn’t just shake hands with the Rocket and have camera flashes go off. He had a moment with Gerry McNeil too, as Montreal beat the Bruins four games to three in the 1952 semi-finals. Both photos come from the same series.

 07Maurice Richard

27-GM&JH

Photo from “Gerry McNeil: Goaltender Under Pressure” by David McNeil

Without Paul Masnick, There’s No Famous Photo.

002 I’ve added another Habs’ Group Two (1944-64)  Bee Hive photo, Paul Masnick, to my collection. All I’ve got to do now is find George Robertson, Frank King, Vern Kaiser and a few others, but it’s tough. The players who skated in the shadows of stars, the non-stars, are the rare and expensive ones when it comes to Bee Hives.

And who is Paul Masnick, you ask? He was a journeyman centre who played in Montreal from 1950 to 1954 before going to Chicago and then Toronto. I can tell you the number on his Habs sweater was 11 from ’51 to ’53, and 8 during the 1953-54 season and I can also tell you he totalled 13 goals and 31 assists during his stint with the Canadiens which didn’t exactly set the league on fire.

In total, he played 161 games with Montreal. And it was because of him, indirectly, that there is a famous photograph.

In game six of the 1952 semi finals, it was Masnick who scored the winner on Sugar Jim Henry off a Doug Harvey rebound. This led to game seven, when the Rocket, coming back on the ice after being bloodied and knocked unconscious, scored the big goal which eliminated Boston and got Montreal into the finals against Detroit.

And it was after this Boston series that Masnick helped win, that the famous photo was taken of Richard and Sugar Jim Henry shaking hands.

henry

Steve Buzinski and The Rocket

I tried to get in touch with someone from the Buzinski family. I tried Saskatoon and Swift Current. I tried Calgary, where Steve Buzinski’s son Peter was supposed to live. But I had no luck anywhere. It’s too bad. I would’ve liked to have learned more about the man.

Buzinski was a goalie for the New York Rangers on the night of November 8, 1942, when Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard scored his first-ever goal in the NHL.

Of course, being scored on by the Rocket was nothing to be ashamed of. Richard scored on dozens of the poor, padded chaps. This Ranger rookie just happened to be the first, that’s all.

Rocket was 21 years old and wore number 15 at the time for the Habs. He had yet to change to number nine, and he was still a few broken bones away from becoming the icon he became.

Buzinski had been called up from the minors to replace the Rangers’ goalies Chuck Raynor and Sugar Jim Henry, who were both enlisted to fight in the war overseas. Buzinski’s career was only nine games, letting in 55 goals, and he had a not-too-good average of more than six goals a game.

The Rangers soon released Buzinski, and the youngster returned to Swift Current and worked for the federal government until his retirement.

I would have liked to have known what Buzinski thought about his Rocket connection. Was he proud of the fact? How was the goal scored? Did the Rocket scoop the puck up for a souvenir? And why did Buzinski not play in the minors after being released by the Rangers?

But I couldn’t find any of his family, so I have no idea.