Bobby Hull increases his scoring race lead, and a host of other news and notes from around the hockey world.
Hull Leads Scoring Race By 11
Bobby Hull, whose assault on the record books looks to be heading towards a successful conclusion, now leads the National Hockey League scoring race by 11 points. The Chicago Black Hawks star has 36 goals and 23 assists for 59 points at the half-way point in the season.
With 33 games left on the schedule for him to break the 50-goal mark, Hull needs only 15 goals to make history. Maurice Richard and Bernie Geoffrion, both of the Montreal Canadiens, share the record of 50 goals in a season. Richard established his mark in the 1944-45 season in only 50 games.
Norm Ullman of the Detroit Red Wings sits in second place with 22 goals and 26 assists for 48 points. Hull’s team mate Stan Mikita has moved into third with 44, based on 19 goals and 25 assists. He is two ahead of early-season leader Bobby Rousseau of Montreal.
Charley Hodge and Gump Worsley of the Montreal Canadiens lead the race for the Vezina Trophy with a combined goals-against average of 2.56. Detroit’s tandem of Roger Crozier and Hank Bassen is next at 2.60.
Crozier leads all NHL goaltenders in shutouts with six.
Red Wings Blank Junior Club
The Detroit Red Wings had an easy time against their Ontario Hockey Association Junior A team in Hamilton in their annual exhibition game last night. The parent club skated to an easy 6-0 win over the juniors.
Former Hamilton star Paul Henderson and veteran Ab McDonald each scored two goals for Detroit. Floyd Smith and Alex Delvecchio had the other goals.
Quebec Junior Request Denied
A formal application from the Quebec Aces of the American Hockey League to establish a junior A team in Ontario has been rejected by the Ontario Hockey Association.
A council made up of representatives from the nine junior A teams voted to inform the Aces that they were not interested in the application at this time. They did, however indicate that might seriously consider such an application next season.
Toronto Marlboros general manager Jim Gregory said that the league was flattered by the Quebec application:
“We’re flattered the Aces want into our league. But when we expand, we must consider places like Kingston, Sarnia and Windsor.”
Wren Blair, general manager of the Oshawa Generals said that all the OHA Junior teams are affiliated with National Hockey League teams. He suggested that when the NHL expansion program becomes official, the OHA Junior A league should expand as well. He said that the loop should consider growing to 12 teams, splitting into two divisions.
Blair didn’t think that, even with expansion, they needed a team from Quebec:
“We’ve got enough players to go around in our own league without taking in Quebec City.”
Nats Coach Criticizes NHL Interference
The coach of the Canadian national hockey team has spoken out against an excessive level of interference by the National Hockey League with his club. Coach Jackie McLeod says the situation is becoming “utterly ridiculous.”
McLeod says that the NHL is discouraging his players from getting an education. Sixteen of the Nats players attend the University of Manitoba.
I seriously don’t think some of these (NHL) scouts want these boys to get an education.
McLeod cites the case of forward Fran Huck, who last season was one of the highest scoring junior players in Canada playing in the Saskatchewan Junior A League. Huck apparently turned down a solid offer to turn professional this season, but that hasn’t stopped scouts from approaching the player and continuing their overtures. Huck’s NHL rights are owned by the Montreal Canadiens.
Blazers Trio Fined by CPHL
Four Oklahoma City Blazers players, including player-coach Harry Sinden, were fined a total of $250 by Central Professional Hockey League president Jack Adams.
Sinden was nicked for $100 “using abusive language and conduct detrimental to hockey” for an incident that occurred Saturday during a game in Tulsa between the Blazers and Tulsa Oilers.
Three players were fined $50 for the same reasons. They were Jean-Paul Parise, Bill Goldsworthy and Murray Davison.
AHL Wants Indemnification
The American Hockey League has appointed a committee to develop an indemnification policy for the league for the upcoming expansion of the National Hockey League.
League president Jack Riley says that the committee will meet next Monday and will report back to the rest of the league next month.
The NHL is expected to name at least two new franchises early in February. The league hopes to begin the 1967-68 season with six new teams in a new division. Four American League cities have submitted expansion franchise applications. They include Quebec City Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. The AHL expects at least two of those cities to gain admission to the big league. Consequently, the league will request monetary compensation for invasion of their territory.
Gamble Increases AHL Scoring Lead
Thirty-seven-year-old Dick Gamble has increased his lead atop the American Hockey League scoring race to six points as he continues his quest for his first scoring championship. Gamble, of the Rochester Americans, now has 25 goals and 27 assists for 52 points.
Gamble’s team mate Gerry Ehman has moved into second place. He has 46 points, made up of 21 goals and 25 assists. Three young players take up the next three spots. They are Gordon Labossiere of Quebec, Murray Hall of Pittsburgh and Jim Pappin of Rochester.
The battle for the league’s top goaltender is a dog fight between Pittsburgh’s George Gardner and Gary Smith of the Americans. Gardner has a goals-against average of 2.57, just ahead of Smith’s 2.58.
Marlies Double London
A late rally by the Toronto Marlboros enabled them to take a 6-3 win over the London Nationals in an Ontario Hockey Association Junior A game last night in London. Trailing 3-1 after 40 minutes of play, the Marlies struck for five unanswered goals in the final frame.
Neil Clairmont Len Bazay and Darryl Edestrand had given London their two-goal lead after two periods. Brent Imlach was the Marlie goalgetter.
Marlie scorers in that final frame were Tom Martin, Mike Byers, Imlach, Steve King and Wayne Carleton. Toronto outshot London 23-7 over that final 20 minutes, and beleaguered London netminder Rocky Farr couldn’t be blamed for the loss.
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Bobby Baun is recovering nicely from knee surgery. Baun, who has been sidelined since December 5, underwent an operation for torn knee ligaments. He began skating this week . He has strengthened the knee by swimming and running up and down the stairs at Maple Leaf Gardens.
Baun thinks a return to the ice wars is not far off:
“I hope to be ready to play by February 1. I felt fine after the first workout. I think the swimming has helped me a lot. For a while there I thought they were preparing me for the Olympics.”
Fleming a Success on New Line
Reggie Fleming, the tempestuous forward the New York Rangers acquired last week from the Boston Bruins, is enjoying playing for the Broadway Blueshirts, and they are glad to have him.
Fleming has lost four pounds since joining the Rangers. Emile Francis, New York’s coach and general manager, installed the 5-10 winger in Rod Gilbert’s place right wing on a line with Jean Ratelle and Vic Hadfield. Gilbert is lost for the season with back surgery.
The line clicked immediately, and in two games, each member of the threesome has scored two goals.