Tag Archives: Terry Sawchuk

Up For Grabs

The new catalogue is out, and our Winter 2014 auction at Classic Auctions goes online Tuesday, January 27.

Below is a small sampling of the nearly 1400 pieces up for bids, including game-worn jerseys from Butch Bouchard, Bert Olmstead, Henri Richard, Terry Sawchuk, Vladislav Tretiak, the Hanson brothers, and Sidney Crosby.

This is the kind of stuff I handle and write about every day.

Classic 1

Classic 2

classic 3

classic 11

classic 13

Classic 18

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Classic 20

Classic 19

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classic 8

classic 9

Classic 21

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Classic 22

Classic 23

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Training Camp

Training camp for the boys. The Brossard barn will be buzzing.

I sure hope the Habs are in better shape than the guys in the article. But somehow I think they work out a bit more now than those guys did.

I’m also thinking we shouldn’t make jokes about those particular Leafs because that was the year they won the Stanley Cup.

THEIR LAST STANLEY CUP!!!!!!!

training camp

Crests And CYO

Don, now living in Houston, Texas, grew up in Orillia at the same time as me, and after reading my post about the sloppy way players sign their autographs nowadays, he emailed his CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) hockey crests he’s kept all these years, signed by Bob Pulford, Ron Stewart, and, Gerry Cheevers, to show examples of how players didn’t scribble as much back then.

CYO was a fun league, run in the beginning by big Father Sullivan, who would sometimes curse and have his face go beet red when he was pissed off, which he would often be. It almost seemed like he shouldn’t have entered the priesthood in the first place. He was a forceful dude, and might have made a lousy factory foreman. Or an effective bouncer at Chez Paree.

I still haven’t forgiven him for coming to our class one day and informing all of us that we were now altar boys. We weren’t given a choice. And I became such a lousy altar boy. Never knew when to ring the bell. Sometimes I’d stumble on the altar steps. And I once caught my altar boy garments on fire while lighting candles and the priest on duty had to put me out with a coat.

Thanks to Don for sending these along. Brings back memories.

One of these players, Ron Stewart, was the guy who got into a wrestling match on the front lawn with Terry Sawchuk, with Sawchuk dying soon afterward.

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Provost, And Three Unrelated Photos

Four photos that have nothing to do with each other. But anyway.

Below all these words, Claude Provost, Terry Sawchuk, and Allan Stanley chase after the puck. After that, a ’67 Ford Fairlane ad from an old Life magazine, then a wrestling poster I took off a telephone pole in Orillia, and finally, an Aqueduct poster I borrowed from a New York subway car.

But first, before you’re dazzled by the photos, a little about Claude Provost.

Claude Provost was an unheralded fellow with the Habs during the late ’50s and throughout the 1960s, but who wouldn’t be unheralded, playing on a team that included the Rocket, Beliveau, Geoffrion, Plante, Harvey, Moore, Pocket Rocket et al? But he was a key guy, a right winger who shadowed the league’s top left wingers, particularly Bobby Hull, who must have had nightmares about this fine player whom I’m hesitant to call a grinder. After all, during the 1964-65 season, Provost scored 27 goals and in the playoffs that year became known near and far for the number he did on the Golden Jet, limiting the flashy balding blond to just one goal and two assists en route to the Habs 13th Cup win.

Hull must have thought that when he went to bed at night, he’d wake up with Provost between him and his wife.

Claude Provost died of a heart attack when he was only 51, which is quite disturbing. He was way too young.

And this – from Dick Irvin’s great book The Habs, a little story by Dr. Doug Kinnear, the Canadiens physician back then:

“I was covering the first game of my hockey career and Claude Provost got cut by a high stick. They signalled to me from the bench so I went to the clinic and saw that he had a deep laceration on his forehead. The cut was about two inches long. It was my job to do the stitching and the first thing I did was ask for the freezing. Bill Head was the therapist in those days and he shook his head to give me the signal that hockey players do not require cuts to be frozen. I swallowed hard, took the needle and the sutures, and proceeded to sew up the laceration. Then I said, “Claude, you’d better go next door, lie down and rest for a while.” He said, “Thanks Doc,” jumped off the table, headed back to the bench, and was on the ice for his next shift. That was a revelation to me.”

And now, the other three photos that have nothing to do with each other or Claude Provost..

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.

Two Best Hockey Photos From Back Then

I don’t know if it’s still done, but for years, four or so literary judges would get together and decide on the best American sports stories and photographs of the year. Prizes would be awarded first place, second, third and so on, and writers would be the best of the best, like Red Smith at the New York Herald Tribune, Dick Young of the New York Daily News, and Gay Talese from Esquire, to name three of dozens involved.

These, in the minds of the judges, are the two top hockey photos of 1964.

The first was taken by Ray Scotty Morris of the San Francisco Examiner of a bunch of San Francisco Seals of the old Western Hockey League spraying snow on a lovely lady named Vicki Ross. I didn’t think it was all that gentlemanly, but it was a prize winner. And what’s the guy on the left looking at?

The second was from Paul McGuire of the Boston Globe, with a shot of the Red Wings in front of the net trying to block Boston’s Murray Oliver from getting a shot on Terry Sawchuk. Looks like there’s a good chance that Bill Gadsby, kneeling, could be getting a puck in the face in about one second.

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.

 

Hall Of Fame Scores Some Photos

Classic Auctions has donated photographs from renowned Original Six photographer Alain Brouillard to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Beautiful shots of the Rocket, Bobby Hull, Terry Sawchuk and others are included.

The link, sent over by Christopher (thanks Chris) can be seen here – Hall’s Summer Treat.

Reasonably Lousy Night In Montreal

The good part can be summed up quickly; Carey Price was once again steady throughout, and Brian Gionta finally scored.

That’s mostly it.

The Canadiens showed only spurts here and there in losing 3-2 to the visiting Senators, and often, especially in the second period, were fairly pathetic when it came to mounting any kind of sustained offence. It’s all very discouraging.

There were times though, when the Canadiens did have chances, but of course Ottawa’s Brian Elliott played a great game and once again the Habs make an opposing goalie look way too good. These enemy goalies are going to get swelled heads after these Montreal games where they all look like Terry Sawchuk.

A very depressing night indeed, although Benoit Pouliot seems to have raised his level of play considerably which is not only good but also quite surprising, and Brian Gionta, as mentioned, bulged the twine.

But then there’s Scott Gomez, who carries the puck often, but it never seems to be enough. Junior and college players can take the puck up the ice and lose it too. Not a big deal there. There’s more to being a good player than just being a great rusher. You have to be able to finish as well.

In many ways I admire Gomez. He’s a beautiful skater with a good shot, and is also an effective penalty killer, but he needs to do much more than what he’s doing. Although he’s not the only one who’s underachieving and I suppose it’s unfair to single just him out.

Okay, maybe it’s not unfair. He deserves it.

Andrei Markov isn’t playing like Andrei Markov and I hope this isn’t a case of an injured player coming back too soon. It’s probably just rust. It’d better be just rust. But he’s definitely not up to scratch just yet and it’s unnerving to see a great defenceman being only ordinary.

And wouldn’t you know it? Like run-of-the-mill goalies who play like Hall of Famers when they go up against the Habs, there’s Alex Kovalev, who plays to a ratio of about five mediocre games to one good game, of course decides to have one of his good games against his old team, scoring two goals and getting several other great chances along the way.

I even thought I saw him checking once or twice.

This is a game no Habs fan should be happy about. The boys couldn’t finish, they gave Ottawa far too many dangerous chances, they were non-threatening for most of the second period, and a bunch of players are still stuck in neutral, which frankly, I’m getting quite sick of and I’m sure you are too.

And they’ve now lost three of their last four games.

The only silver lining is the Carey Price story, which Hollywood should jump on right away.

Random Notes:

Shot on goal – 31-23 Ottawa

Vancouver, a good team picking up serious steam, comes to town on Tuesday.

Me And Methuselah

I became 60 years old today. I know, it’s ridiculous. It’s way too old.

If this keeps up, I’ll catch Methuselah, who apparently lived until he was 969.

When I was born, on Oct. 4th, 1950, the Rocket had only played eight seasons with the Canadiens. He’d go on for another ten years after that. Dick Irvin was coaching the Habs when my mom gave birth to me, Gerry McNeil was the goaltender having replaced Bill Durnan, and it was three long years before Jean Beliveau put the sweater on.

I was born five years before the Richard Riot and nine years before Jacques Plante decided to wear a mask for the first time. I’ve been alive for 18 of the 24 Stanley Cups Montreal has won.

I’m really freaking old. But I’ve been told a few times that I have the passion of someone half my age.

World War ll had ended only five years before my birth. Hockey telecasts wouldn’t start until I was a two-year old, in 1952. I’m the same age as Tom Petty and Jay Leno, a year older than Guy Lafleur, and three years older than Bob Gainey.

But I want to confess something. I’m glad I’m this age and wouldn’t trade it for anything younger. I mean this. I grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s, in great and exciting times, and among other things, watching the Original Six teams get it on. The first expansion didn’t happen until I was 17, and so my youth was seeing what many of you only read about. 

I ate dinner with the Leafs (I know, the Leafs) at their training camp in Peterborough when I was 13. I saw the Rocket play live, as well as Jacques Plante and Doug Harvey and the rest. At one game in Toronto, my dad corralled Toe Blake and had him go into the dressing and get Doug Harvey’s autograph for me.

I saw Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Bobby Orr, Tim Horton, Stan Mikita, Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Esposito, Terry Sawchuk, Dickie Moore and all those old greats play, either live or on TV, and I was a 21 year bartender working in Sudbury when the 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series was held.  And while in my 30’s I spent an evening drinking beer with an old man named Aurele Joliat.

When I was 13, the Beatles came to America for the first time and played the Ed Sullivan Show. And in the summer of 1966 when I was 15, I saw the Beatles live in Toronto.

I was a teenager when all that classic rock you know the words to was fresh and new. I went to the Atlantic City Pop Festival held two weeks before Woodstock and saw a very similiar lineup as in Woodstock, and I was a 22 year old in the crowd at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum in 1973 enjoying Led Zeppelin.

You’re doing your own thing now, seeing your own players you’ll tell your grandkids about, and singing along to your own music. I say savour everything, because believe me, from the bottom of my heart, you’ll be 60 before you know it.

But don’t despair. Getting older isn’t a bad thing at all. You’ll just have to trust me on this.