Tag Archives: Wally Stanowski

Well I Woke Up Sunday Morning

It’s Sunday morning and although the grass needs cutting, I can’t get out there and do it because a little baby is sleeping. What a fantastic excuse!

Nathan Beaulieu has signed a two-year contact with the Habs, at a million per. Great to  have this done, it doesn’t break the bank, and it should inspire the young fellow to be all he can be and ink a whopper in a few years.

It seems like only yesterday that we debated the idea of who would win a full-time job first, Beaulieu or Jarred Tinordi, but Beaulieu came through with his skating, puckhandling and poise, while Tinordi lagged behind because of his tentativeness with the puck. But we can’t give up on the big fellow, mainly because he’s a big fellow.

And regarding Beaulieu and his dad’s assault charge in 2013, it came to light only recently that the two had heard someone at a party saying Kane’s blog sucked and they naturally took matters into their own hands. “Nobody says that and gets away with it,” said papa Jacques Beaulieu.

The Leafs have signed former Leaf Wally Stanowski to a one-year deal. Stanowski, 96, says he’s anxious to suit up as it’s been awhile, and if someone can help him onto the ice and then off again, he feels he should be at least as mobile as Dion Phaneuf, and probably a better fighter.

Below, Wally at a recent press conference. “With Montreal inking Beaulieu, we felt this signing was necessary to keep pace,” said Leafs president Brendan Shanahan. “All we ask is that he quits smoking.”


Other tidits: The Chicago Blackhawks have taken a 3-2 series over Tampa Bay, the Arizona Coyotes are in building lease trouble, and NBC’s Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus says playoff beards should go.

It’s hard to know which is the most important of the three. Probably the Cup Final, although as a Habs fan, any playoff passion has been squeezed out like that last drop from a bottle of Four Aces. And then, of course, the Coyotes situation, which everyone should be used to by now, and which could possibly end with Quebec getting their well-deserved team.

But the beard thing is definitely important too.

“I just don’t like the beards,” said Lazarus. “You can’t see their faces. Although, for that very reason, it was good when Brad Marchand grew one.”

For me, I don’t know what to think. The Rocket and Beliveau never grew playoff beards. What about that?

Below, Lazarus at his recent press conference, explaining the beard problem.


My New Jacket – And A Roy Faubert Tale

A couple of folks asked to see me in my new jacket that once belonged to Habs scout Roy Faubert, so here it is. They didn’t tell me when I bought the camera that it makes people look old and homely.

The jacket almost fits. If I get the sleeves shortened an inch or two, I’ll wear it on special occasions.

Also, Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette did some digging and came up with a story about Roy Faubert in the Orillia Packet and Times from 2005, which you can see under the picture.

Roy died in 2007.


The Packet & Times (Orillia)
Tue Aug 2 2005

Fan relives glory days with hero: Former Maple Leaf Wally Stanowski pays visit to Orillia resident

The Whirling Dervish cracks open a can of beer, stuffs some tobacco into his pipe and is more than ready to spin a few yarns.

At 86, Toronto Maple Leaf legend Wally Stanowski has made the trip from  Etobicoke to Orillia for a visit with one of his biggest fans, Roy Faubert, 82.

“He could skate. Oh my God, could he skate,” said Faubert, an eyewitness to how the former star defenceman earned his nickname.

On Sunday, the Winnipeg native relived the glory days with Faubert at the Leacock Care Centre, a treat made possible through the retirement home’s own Make a Wish program.

“He said he idolized him,” said Debbie Allen, life enrichment co-ordinator at the centre.

In his day, Stanowski was a skilled skater who entertained fans with breathtaking on-ice acrobatics and stellar plays. He helped the Leafs win four Stanley Cups between 1942 and 1948.

Faubert, a retired National Grocers manager and a Royal Canadian Air Force veteran, moved to the retirement home a couple of years ago.

“Basically, I had a couple of major falls and they put me out of business.” Now in a wheelchair, he’s undergoing therapy, but it’s “slow and tedious,” he said.

Faubert — a former hockey player and coach who even scouted for the Montreal Canadiens — was talking about Stanowski with a member of the staff about two weeks ago. So, the staff set their newly drafted make-a-wish program into motion to have Faubert meet Stanowski, Allen said.

Moments before his big meeting, Faubert was brimming with youthful anticipation. When the former hockey great made his entrance, Faubert smiled widely and reached from his wheelchair to shake the hand of his hero.

“They spelled my name wrong out front,” barked Stanowski in an abrupt yet charming icebreaker met with sheepish laughter from staff. Two minutes pass and the two, like old friends, are already lost in tales of another era, amid the clicks of digital cameras.

A little later, Stanowski’s son Skip, 60, suggests everyone step onto the patio for a beer. “Yeah, let’s have a beer. It’s time,” the old defenceman replies. It’s 10:15 a.m.

The Whirling Dervish hops up and helps wheel his octogenarian fan outside for that beer and more memories. “I keep thinking of the old days and your forward line,” said Faubert, listing some of Stanowski’s contemporaries. These days, most of them have passed on.

Stanowski’s colourful narrative takes Faubert back to a raw epoch when players had to take on second jobs to survive and even resist the bribes of conniving bookies. “No strike, no agents, no pension,” he said.

Stanowski played in the National Hockey League with the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers before hanging up his skates with the Cincinnati Mohawks of the American Hockey League in 195 A morning of magical hockey nostalgia brings back sweet memories for Faubert.

Toward the end of the pair’s trip down memory lane, Allen brings out a black-and-white portrait of Stanowski as a young man in his Maple Leaf uniform. Stanowski autographs it.

“Wonderful. Just fabulous,” said Faubert. “I enjoy his memories and all that stuff.” Still, at the end of the exciting morning, Faubert admits he is tired.

But it couldn’t have been for a better reason.

Lunching With Greats!

Susan Foster is such a lovely lady and I can see why Leaf great Carl Brewer fell head-over-heels for her, with the two of them becoming long-time life partners.

But Susan and Carl were not just a loving couple. They also fought the good fight for all NHL players, and in the end were the force that brought down Alan Eagleson and his cronies who were putting into their pockets millions of dollars which rightfully belonged to the players.

Her man Carl, who spoke like a professor and was an excellent defenceman, is gone now, but Susan remains close to the retired players from the era of the Original Six teams and continues to strive to help NHL widows who might not be getting their fair share.

(If anyone knows the whereabouts of Rhonda Lapointe, widow of  deceased NHLer Rick Lapointe, please contact me so I can pass it along to Susan).

Susan invited my wife Luciena and I to a luncheon in Toronto where about 60 ageing gentlemen, who once upon a time were stars in the golden age of hockey, the 1930’s to 1960’s, gathered to swap stories and tell tall tales, and to eat and laugh and catch up on old times. It was like a warm family reunion.

Pete Conacher, from the famous Conacher family and who had played in New York, Chicago, and Toronto, sat with us, treated us with kindness, and was such a gentleman. Ivan Irwin, who wore number four in Montreal before Jean Beliveau, joined us and told great stories from his day.
Wally Stanowski now 92 years old and a Leaf and Ranger legend, was a friendly old fellow, and said he doesn’t watch much hockey anymore. Wally is the last surviving member of the 1945 Stanley Cup-winning Toronto Maple Leafs.

Ron Hurst, taking the mike, told bawdy jokes, and the cleanest I can get is the one he related about how a hunter had brought back a monkey and when asked if he wanted to mount it, replied that he’d rather just shake its hand.

Ivan Irwin recalled how he was the sixth defenceman in Montreal and told Frank Selke that it would probably be best if he was traded somewhere where he would play regularly. Selke promptly shipped Irwin to the minors in Victoria, which was the last thing the big defenceman expected. The next season he was dealt to New York. I mentioned that he probably only made about $4000 a year back then, and he said, “try half that.”

In the photos below, the wonderful Susan Foster poses with Ivan Irwin. Also, a look at the room full of long-retired greats, along with 92 year old Wally Stanowski in the red shirt, and Pete Conacher and Ivan Irwin with Luci.


Things Were Slightly Cheaper In The 1940’s

This is an ad from a 1940’s newspaper I found years ago. As you can see, prices were somewhat less than they are today. 

Imagine, the Rocket, Elmer Lach, Toe Blake, Teeder Kennedy, Howie Meeker, Turk Broda – all the boys, for 75 cents.