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.