50 Years Ago in Hockey – Catching Up

With a particularly virulent strain of the flu bug taking up residence for the past few days in our home base at Port Colborne, Ontario, our daily time-travel exercises have been somewhat curtailed.  Today we’ll catch up on what took place around the hockey world between January 15 – 19, 1965.

NHL linesman suspended

The headline that was grabbing attention this week was the news that National Hockey League linesman George Hayes, a veteran of 19 NHL seasons, has been suspended.  It was the reason for the suspension that raised eyebrows around the league.

Linesman George Hayes has been suspended by the NHL for refusing an eye test.
Linesman George Hayes has been suspended by the NHL for refusing an eye test.

The Toronto Globe and Mail reported that Hayes, 44, failed to show for a Thursday  4 p.m.  appointment the league had scheduled for him with a Montreal ophthalmologist and was subsequently suspended.   He was allowed to work the Toronto – Montreal game that evening because no substitute official was available on such short notice.

Hayes: Slap at officials’ integrity

Hayes reportedly was insulted with the eye examination requirement.  He said his refusal to take the test was “a matter of principle”.  He also said that “If taking the test is the only way to get back, I guess I’m through.”

“It’s a rotten slap at an official’s integrity to make him take an eye test.  The first I heard of these tests was three years ago and I then told them how I felt.  I haven’t changed my opinion.”

Campbell: I have to be able to defend officials

NHL president Clarence Campbell explained his take on the situation:

“I’ve been in this business for 18 years.  From time to time I’ve insisted on certain requirements.  About three years ago I ordered eye tests.  I have to be certain of all grounds so I can defend my officials against any type of charge.

“Everyone else took them except Hayes.  I made several appointments with a Montreal doctor to coincide with games he was working in Montreal.  He always contrived to find them inconvenient.  This went on for three years.  Finally, two weeks ago, I told him I had made his final appointment.  Wednesday in Toronto I notified him to remind him it was Thursday.  At 1:30 Thursday I called again and he said he had no intention of keeping it.

“He was told Friday he will not work for the time being.  I don’t care if he never calls.”

Hayes hasn’t been fired – yet

Campbell said that Hayes has not been fired, but he also added, “You can rest assured we won’t wait till end of the season to terminate his contract if he doesn’t do something about it.”

Clarence Campbell won't hesitate to terminate Hayes' contract.
Clarence Campbell won’t hesitate to terminate Hayes’ contract.

Hayes has been suspended once before by the league – in 1961.  That was for taking day coaches for travel to games,  rather than overnight sleepers.  The league felt that traveling the day of a game did not afford enough rest for the official.

The NHL employs four regular and four part-time linesmen.  The regulars are Hayes, Neil Armstrong, Matt Pavlich and John D’Amico.  They work between 90 and 100 games per season.  Their base salary is $5,000 – $6,000 for an 80-game season, with extra games compensated  on a per-game basis.

Weekend of January 16 – 17

Six games were played over the weekend.  Saturday night, Detroit topped Toronto 4-2,  the Rangers doubled Chicago 6-3, while Montreal edged Boston 3-2.

The following evening, the Maple Leafs rebounded to down Boston 3-1, New York completed a weekend sweep with a 4-2  win over the Red Wings, and Montreal won their second in a row, 4-2 over the Black Hawks.

Bower, Horton hot for Leafs

Toronto’s best player on the weekend was Johnny Bower, who tended goal for both of the Leafs’ contests.  He played well despite the loss at home to Detroit, and continued his fine work in the Sunday night win at Boston.  Tim Horton had two goals for the Leafs against the Bruins.

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Jim Pappin: Leafs turned down Boston’s offer of Ab McDonald for young forward.

Reports indicate the Leafs and Bruins discussed a deal in which Toronto would acquire left wing Ab McDonald.  Toronto apparently refused to part with forward Jim Pappin in a deal proposed by the Bruins, and no exchange of that nature will take place.

Henry snipes for Rangers

Camille Henry scored four goals in the Rangers’ two victories, including three against the Red Wings on Sunday.  Marcel Paille was in goal for the Rangers against the Wings, while Jacques Plante handled the netminding duties in the Blueshirts’ 6-3 win Saturday in Chicago.

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Camille Henry fired four goals on the weekend.

Bobby Hull scored his 36th for the Hawks in that game.

Worsley, Rochefort spark Habs

The Canadiens called up goalie Gump Worsley and winger Leon Rochefort from Quebec of the American Hockey League for their two weekend games and both players contributed significantly.  Worsley backstopped both Montreal victories.  He was brilliant against the Bruins at the Forum on Saturday and followed up with a solid performance against the Black Hawks the following evening.

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Gump Worsley – a triumphant return to Canadiens.

Rochefort was spotted here and there by coach Toe Blake on Saturday, but was used regularly against Chicago and scored what proved to be the game-winner with less than five minutes to play.

OHA weekend action

Some fine individual performances highlighted the OHA Junior A Series action this weekend.  Bill Goldsworthy fired three goals to lead the Niagara Falls Flyers over Kitchener Rangers 9-6 in Kitchener.  Ted Snell and Rosaire Paiement had two each for the Flyers as well.  Billy Hway and Bob Jones score a pair apiece for the Rangers.

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Bill Goldsworthy scored three goals in his hometown of Kitchener

Hamilton and St. Catharines battled to a 4-4 tie.  Hamilton goalie Jean-Guy Ruest was the star of the show, robbing the Black Hawks several times in the final five minutes of the third period to preserve the tie for the Red Wings.

Saturday the Oshawa Generals edged the Peterborough Petes 4-3.  Bobby Orr and Bill Little each scored their 24th goals of the season for Oshawa.

The other OHA game yesterday saw Toronto over Oshawa 6-4.

January 19

The National Hockey League announced the results of the mid-season voting for its individual awards today.  Chicago Black Hawk superstar Bobby Hull, not unexpectedly, is the leading candidate for both the Hart and Lady Byng Trophies.

Bobby Hull is the runaway leader in Hart Trophy voting.
Bobby Hull is the runaway leader in Hart Trophy voting.

Hart Trophy is awarded to the Most Valuable Player in the league, and Hull dominated the polling.  He collected 88 of a possible 90 points, with Detroit Red Wings centre Norm Ullman a distant second.

The Lady Byng voting saw Hull end up with 50 points, 22 ahead of second-place Camille Henry of New York.

Jacques Laperriere of Montreal led the voting for the Norris Trophy, for top defenceman.  Pierre Pilote of Chicago was second.

Roger Crozier of the Detroit Red Wings led the voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy for rookie of the year.  Toronto’s Ron Ellis was second.

Jr. Habs to skate Mexican

A 16-year-old Mexican hockey player is going to work out with the Montreal Junior Canadiens.

Chaco Roberts, who is the leading scorer in the Mexican Inter-Collegiate Hockey League, will spend a month in Montreal and work out with the Junior Habs under the guidance of coach Scotty Bowman.  It is doubtful that the youngster will get in to a game with the juniors, but he hopes to develop his skills and take elements of his training back to Mexico.

Larry Pleau, left, and coach Scotty Bowman welcome Mexican Chaco Roberts
Larry Pleau, left, and coach Scotty Bowman welcome Mexican Chaco Roberts

Bowman will travel to Mexico next year to assist in the development of a Mexican hockey program.