Terry Harper Doesn’t Know How Much We’re Suffering


I phoned Terry Harper this morning, just to say hello and also to take him up on his invitation from several months ago to call him again after I’d had a nice long chat with him back then. Shooting the breeze with Terry Harper

He said “call me again” and so I did.

He was a tall, stay-at-home defenceman of the Canadiens of the 1960’s, big number 19, when we were proud of the team and weren’t mad at them on an almost nightly basis. His regular defence partners most of the time were either Jacques Laperriere or Ted Harris and all three were towering skyscrapers when the league didn’t have a lot of towering skyscrapers. Terry was one of my favourites growing up, but then again, every player on the team was one of my favourites.

He also had a good brushcut.

Anyway, I wanted to make it a quick call because I don’t like to bother people but Terry is salt-of-the-earth, friendly as friendly can be, so I knew he wouldn’t mind.

He didn’t. In fact, when saying goodbye he told me to call again!

I told him I saw him introduced during the Centennial celebrations at the Bell Centre in December and I mentioned he looked great and hasn’t changed a bit from the old days. He said I must have been wearing some 3-D glasses or glasses that were the wrong prescription. And he said it was a fantastic night, seeing so many old teammates like Bobby Rousseau, Ralph Backstrom and Jean Beliveau, and everyone stayed in the same hotel and it was all done up right for them and their wives.

He said it was also great seeing not just old teammates but so many old friends from Montreal. But he did mention that there was no chance he’d be moving back there anytime soon because it’s just too cold. (He and his wife live in California.)

I did, however, also want to ask him about the struggling Habs now, but because he gets very little news and isn’t much of a computer guy, he isn’t really up to date on the problems we see as tormented Habs fans. So all he could say about the team being in trouble is he wouldn’t want to be Bob Gainey and that the goaltending situation is almost impossible to really know how to handle.

And that was that. A quick chat with Terry Harper. And yes, it could’ve been more in-depth. But it wasn’t which means I’ll never be asked to work for 60 Minutes or The Fifth Estate. But like I say, I didn’t want to bother him.

You can see Terry’s years in the NHL right here.

9 thoughts on “Terry Harper Doesn’t Know How Much We’re Suffering”

  1. That’s pretty cool Dennis, perhaps twenty years from now I’ll be making a “Holonet” call to one of my fav players Craig Ludwig.

  2. How many guys do you know that has the STONES, (late reference)
    to pick up the phone and call a real live Habs player.
    Pretty cool.

  3. Craig Ludwig! One of the strongest guys in the league. And he wore shin pads from when he was in minor hockey. Great big things.

  4. And a great guy too, Marc. Originally from Regina and has those prairie down home roots, I think.

  5. That night, my sister and some friends went out for drinks and snacks at “The Irish Embassy”… she ended up fighting for elbow room at her table, right next to Gainey’s wife. She only recognized Bob, Muller and Carbo, but she mentioned that there were many other people at their table, who she said the guys she was with were so excited about.

    I’m still mad at her for not calling me to tell me this so I can drive 45 minutes to get downtown to buy them a round.

  6. Hey Dennis;Was in Gold Riveer for the weekend(cholestrol check)and saw the game there.The Habs seemed to play a slow brand of hockey in the first period and a half,had a few chances in the second and early third but never really did a whole lot.I know they tied it up late i the third but they wernt in the game really.I hope Cammaleri is okay but the way he went into the boards with that foot looks like a broken bone to me.Hey Gillis I was at the Irish Embassy when i visited Montreal for the Grey Cup.

  7. Derry, Ottawa had it pretty well under control most of the game. At least that’s what I thought. I wasn’t impressed with our guys.They played better than in Florida but that’s not saying a whole lot. It’s not a good time in Habsville.

  8. You are correct in that Dennis,I forgot,Terry Harper was one of my favorite Habs back in those days,I liked the way he stayed home and defended his goal.He never seemed to back away from any tough stuff either,I hope you get the chance to talk to him again soon.I’m thinking now that these guys arent happy with Martin,just a gess mind you but I can’t seem to come up with anything else.I got to play hockey in Gold River last week,was impressed.

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