Tag Archives: Toronto Star

Stars Of The World’s Fastest Game

Maybe if newspapers started doing this again, they might sell more papers.

Peter Hab mentioned the other day about old Star Weekly hockey pictures the newspaper would publish back in the 1960s, great photos usually shot by renown hockey photographer Harold Barkley.

The first four photos below are Star Weekly examples.

The Star, and all the other papers under the same publishing umbrella, weren’t the only ones who showed hockey players. At the same time, the Toronto Telegram, the Montreal Star, and other related papers published different style pictures, like Henri Richard you see below. These pictures were an inch or two longer than the Star’s and always extremely beautiful.

Heck, they were all extremely beautiful.

They weren’t the first either.

Long before these papers were doing it, a five-year period from 1927-28 to 1931-32 saw La Presse in Montreal publish a run of 71 NHL player pictures, mostly of Habs and Maroons, with a sprinkling of Leafs, Bruins etc thrown in. They’re at the bottom.













The Great Allan Stanley

Allan Stanley died on Oct.18 and although I’m late in mentioning it, at least I am now.

He was a class act who played 21 seasons in the bigs, from 1948, when he broke in with the Rangers, until 1969 when he called it a day after a season in Philadelphia.

Solid as a rock from start to finish. And rightfully inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981.

Mr. Stanley also suited up with Chicago and Boston, but it was his ten seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs that he is mostly known, where he helped win four Stanley Cups, including the Leafs’ last in 1967 when he and a handful of elderly teammates took out the Habs in six games.

Stanley was 41 at the time.

I saw this fellow play many times, both live and on TV, and although my memory has faded somewhat, I still recall that he was a steady and reliable defenceman, a big fellow who would get the puck up smartly to crafty forwards like Dave Keon, Bob Pulford, and Frank Mahovlich, and who would take no nonsense in his own end.

As much as I can say I despised the Leafs as a whole, I admired greatly the individual Leaf players from then. And that most certainly included Allan Stanley.

Below is a picture I  got when I was a kid, after I’d written to the Toronto Star or Telegram asking if I could have one. It’s Maurice Richard in 1960 scoring his final goal, his 626th, and along with Tim Horton, Henri Richard, Dickie Moore and Gerry Ehman is a grimacing Allan Stanley (with the “A” on his sweater), watching as the puck eludes Johnny Bower.

Mr. Stanley was 87 when he passed away. A good long life.


Allan Stanley


Dad, What The…?

My father was a Habs fan as far back as I can remember, but from reading his journal he once wrote about his childhood, it turns out he was a Leafs fan when he was a kid. He changed later on, and I wish he was alive so I could ask him about it.

All I know is, he used to complain about all things Leafs, including Foster and Bill Hewitt and of course Punch Imlach and Conn Smythe, and he’d go on about the sports section of the paper which was all Leafs, all the time, which, except for him, is understandable considering it was a Toronto paper.

But thankfully somewhere along the way, he became a Habs fan. If I had grown up a Leafs fan, I might have had to shoot myself.

Here’s a section of his journal:

“The Toronto Star used to come up on the train the day after it was published and as a rule, we could usually come up with the three cents it cost. We didn’t have a radio but I became a Toronto Maple Leafs fan through reading the sports pages of this paper. Almost every day of the hockey season, the sports section would carry a drawing of a player and these I would cut and paste in a scrapbook.

It was around 1932 when one of the Leaf players, Ace Bailey, was injured in a game against the Boston Bruins. While he was in hospital, I wrote him a letter and in due time received an answer from his wife along with an autographed picture of him. I dare say, I must have been the proudest kid in Trout Creek and I like to think I was the envy of all the other boys in town.”



That Crazy Old Picture

I can remember my parents talking about it when I was a kid. The day one of the Toronto newspapers put the Rocket in a Leafs sweater, just for fun.

Maybe it was around that time in 1953 when Leafs owner Conn Smythe was telling people that he’d be willing to part with $100,000 for the Rocket. Maurice was 32 at that time, but as Toronto writer Jim Coleman said in a Hockey Pictorial piece, “Give me Maurice Richard and I’ll fill every rink in North America. Give me an entire team of Gordie Howes and I’ll have the greatest hockey team in history – but how would they do at the box office?”

Torontonians got their hopes up, but Maurice Richard wasn’t going anywhere.

Some Things Never Change. Letters To The Editor Sixty-Eight Years Ago.


Some things never change, I suppose. Especially when it comes to hockey and the Toronto Maple Leafs.


And now that I’m on a bit of a roll with neat old ads and stuff from old newspapers, I think you’ll find this very interesting. Because even though these Letters to the Editor of the Toronto Star date back to 1940, they very well could be today.


Hope you enjoy.




To the Sports Editor:

“Well, here we are at the end of another sports year. Living as I do in Hogtown (Toronto), I glance back through the months to count the renowned trophies that are now being displayed in Hogtown. But I seem to have lost track of some of them.


Can you help me out? Where is the Grey Cup, the Stanley Cup, the Allan Cup, and the Memorial Cup?

Where, oh where, can they be?”


“PS. – By the way, may I take this opportunity of lodging a protest over the foolish and most confusing custom of referring to hockey seasons in terms of two years, such as 1934-35, 1935-36, 1936-37 etc.

The hockey leagues have already opened their 1940 seasons. True, they beat the gun, but what difference? The 1939 championships were won last spring – in 1939. Why anyone wants to confuse us by tacking 1939 onto the front of the 1940 season is more than I can see.”






“Being a constant reader of The Star I would like to express my objection to the remarks of President John Kilpatrick in Lester Patrick’s plan to cut down whistle blowing.

I have attended hockey and baseball games for over 20 years and have always made it my business to ask as many real fans of both games as possible what type of game they prefer.. Evidently Mr. Kilpatrick is an American so we will take his national game of baseball to start with.  Nine out of ten ball fans would prefer a ball game ending in a 6-5 score to one finishing in a 1-0 score.


As for hockey, I would say the percentage increases. If you would make a survey of hockey fans here in Toronto, or anywhere else in the NHL, you will find it 12 to 1 in favour of a more open game, meaning bigger scores and lesser whistle blowing. After all, it’s the fans who keep the NHL in existence and it seems it is high time they were taken into consideration. Even if it is only to the extent of finding out if they want less whistle blowing and a more open game with more scoring. After all, you must remember the sports writer’s opinions and the fans who pay are often of oppoite views.

I don’t say go back to the old seven man hockey, but before the blue line was brought into effect there was some wonderful hockey played. Not all whistle blowing. Did you ever hear of a fan leaving a game that finished in a scoreless tie that felt he got his money’s worth?