The National Hockey League trade and AHL call-up deadline passed at midnight last night with no significant trades made by any NHL team. There were a few players recalled from and sent to the AHL, but overall, it was very quiet.
Meanwhile, on the ice, the New York Rangers completed a sweep of their home-and-home series with Toronto with a 6-2 pasting of the Leafs at Madison Square Garden. Detroit easily handled Montreal to the tune of 5-1, while Boston shocked Chicago 5-4.
Leafs demote Harris
The only news other than two weekend losses for the Maple Leafs was the demotion of centre Billy Harris to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. Replacing Harris on the Toronto roster will be veteran forward Don McKenney. Harris is unsure whether he will report to the AHL club.
“There are a lot of things to be taken into consideration. I want to talk it over with my wife and then I want to see Imlach. I’ll decide one way or the other late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
“When King Clancy told me Punch wanted to talk to me after last night’s game, I thought it would be the news that I had been traded to Boston or New York. I would have preferred that to going to Rochester.”
When asked what he thought of Harris’ comments, Imlach would only say, “I don’t know what Harris will do. But I know McKenney will join the Leafs immediately and play against Canadiens in Montreal on Thursday.”
Imlach: “would sooner have jumped out the window”
“I would sooner have jumped out the window than have farmed out Harris, but I had no other choice. We need a left winger and McKenney is the best one available. I tried to make a trade before reaching this decision but no team would deal with us.
“I still have an ace up my sleeve in Brit Selby if McKenney fails to pan out. He got two goals in his three-game trial with us and looked like he belonged in the NHL. I don’t want to take him away from Marlboro juniors but I may have no other alternative. And I can still bring in players from Tulsa or Victoria for another week.
“I might have sent Pete Stemkowski out but it would have required waivers and we’d have lost him. Harris was protected and did not have to be waived out of the league.”
Bruins back out of Bucyk deal
As for trades, no one made a move but sources in Boston say that Imlach had a solid offer from the Bruins in which the Leafs would have acquired veteran winger John Bucyk. The Bruins apparently asked for Eddie Shack and Jim Pappin and two young players (possibly Rochester’s Gerry Cheevers and Andre Champagne of Tulsa). Imlach agreed to the deal but the Bruins backed off at the last minute.
Plante out, Morissette up
In another deadline move, the Rangers promoted 20-year-old goalkeeper Jean-Guy Morissette from Baltimore of the AHL. Jacques Plante, who injured his knee in an off-ice accident on the weekend was sent to Baltimore by the Rangers. They also returned forward Marc Dufour to St. Paul of the Central Professional Hockey League.
Rangers general manager Emile Francis said that Plante will not be able to play for 10 days, so the move to Baltimore was made to give him a place to get back in shape once he is ready to resume competition. Francis says that the knee has bothered the veteran goalie all season, and he will have surgery after the season is over.
Cournoyer back with Habs
Montreal brought up rookie Yvan Cournoyer from Quebec of the AHL. General manager Sam Pollock wasn’t sure just how the rookie right-winger will be used, or if he will be in the lineup against Toronto on Thursday. He said that Cournoyer and possibly one other Hab might be sent to Omaha of the Central League. The Canadiens may promote either or both of Norm Dennis and Garry Peters from that club.
NHL teams have one more week to bring up or send players to CPHL or WHL teams.
Rangers sweep Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs dropped to fourth place in the NHL standings as a result of their second loss in a row to the New York Rangers last night. The Rangers encountered little resistance from the Leafs and took advantage of a rusty Johnny Bower to post a 6-2 home-ice win.
The Rangers blitzed the Leafs in the first period last night, striking for three goals in the first 2:16 of the game. Jean Ratelle, Vic Hadfield and Bill Hicke were the marksmen, and the issue was never in doubt after that.
Doug Robinson, Don Marshall and Lou Angotti also counted for the Rangers, who received great goaltending for the second night in a row from Marcel Paille. Paille made 40 saves, including 17 in the third period.
Andy Bathgate and Frank Mahovlich were the Toronto goal-getters.
Ullman stars for Wings
Norm Ullman was the big star last night for Detroit in the Red Wings’ lop-sided win over Montreal. Ullman provided the bulk of the Detroit offence, scoring three times, after setting up three goals the previous evening. He now has 27 goals on the season. Parker MacDonald had the other two Detroit tallies. Claude Provost replied for Canadiens.
The game was marked by a couple of third-period fights. Montreal’s John Ferguson got the best of former Hab Al Langlois in a brief but spirited encounter. Rookie Montreal defenseman Noel Picard tangled with Gordie Howe and managed to get Howe’s sweater over his head. But once Howe broke free and smacked the rookie with a couple of quick right hands, he kept his distance for the rest of the game.
Bucyk nets winner
Johnny Bucyk, very nearly traded to Toronto on the weekend, scored his second of the game with less than five minutes to play to give the Boston Bruins their win at Chicago. It was his 19th goal of the season.
The Bruins came from behind twice in this one before a rabid crowd of 18,500 at the Chicago Stadium. Wayne Rivers, Murray Oliver and Eddie Westfall had the other Boston goals. Chicago scorers were Eric Nesterenko, Stan Mikita, Pierre Pilote and Chico Maki.
The win may have been costly for the Bruins. Defenceman Tom Johnson sustained a nasty leg injury in a collision with Maki near the Boston goal early in the second period. He did not return and indications are that the injury is serious and he may miss significant time.
Oldtimers, Nats tie 2-2
Canada’s National Hockey Team, preparing to represent the country at the World Championships in Tampere, Finland this month, were held to a surprising 2-2 tie by a team comprised of NHL retirees last night at Maple Leaf Gardens.
The Nationals had to fight back from a 2-0 deficit to earn the draw. Danny Lewicki and Jack McIntyre had given the Oldtimers their two-goal lead.
Third-period scores by Reg Abbott and Roger Bourbonnais drew the Nationals even. The younger Nationals took over the game in the latter half of the final frame, but some good work by Oldtimers’ netminder Long John Henderson kept the score even.
Ken Broderick played well in goal for the Nationals, especially in the early stages of the match.
Retired police detective, involved in hockey at all levels for over 50 years. Member of Society for International Hockey Research and presently a video analyst for the leader in advanced hockey analytics (we work exclusively for 2 NHL clubs, and provide advice on an ad hoc basis to many other clients). Currently the Assistant General Manager for the Pelham Pirates of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. Previously owned the Faceoff computer hockey simulation and also provided all player ratings for the EA Sports series of NHL computer games from the late 90’s into the mid 2000’s.