50 Years Ago in Hockey – Rangers Deal Henry to Hawks

The Chicago Black Hawks solidified their run towards their first NHL regular season championship yesterday by acquiring sniper Camille Henry from the New York Rangers in a seven-player trade.  In on-ice action, Toronto clipped the Canadiens 5-2 while Boston downed Detroit 3-1 in a game marred by a near-riot in Boston.

Seven-player trade

The Black Hawks acquired Henry from the Rangers in a seven-player transaction.  In addition to Henry, Chicago also gets defenceman Don Johns, who is with Baltimore of the American Hockey League, and forward Billy Taylor, who plays for St. Paul of the Central Professional Hockey League.

Doug Robinson, key to seven-player trade for Rangers.
Doug Robinson, key to seven-player trade for Rangers.

Going to the Rangers will be young forwards Doug Robinson and John Brenneman, and defenceman Wayne Hillman.  Robinson is with the Black Hawks, while Hillman and Brenneman are playing for St. Louis of the CPHL.

The Hawks will also receive a player to be named later from the Rangers.

Henry could be the ‘final piece’ for Chicago

Most observers feel that the acquisition of Henry by Chicago could be the piece that will enable the Hawks to claim their first NHL championship.

Montreal coach Toe Blake said, “I think I can see their thinking.  With Bobby Hull and Pierre Pilote shooting the puck from the point, and Henry there to tip it in, they’re really going to have a dangerous power play.

“I thought they had a pretty good power play before, but Henry should make it even that much better.  It may be just what they needed. Henry can’t do a lot of other things too well, but he pays off by putting the puck in the net.”

Deal discussed for several weeks

Chicago coach Billy Reay said that the deal had been in the works for the past several weeks but other names had been discussed.  Reay says he will use Henry on the power play.  The slightly built left winger had scored 21 goals for the Rangers this season.  That total is tied for second-best in the NHL with Norm Ullman.

Don Johns, left and Wayne Hillman: minor league defencemen switching teams.
Don Johns, left and Wayne Hillman: minor league defencemen switching teams.

Francis has been said to be working on rebuilding the Rangers with young players and this deal confirms that.

“We’re building a young hockey club and these three players will give us not only youth but also depth, the lack of which has hurt us all season long.”

Francis: We hated to let Cammy go

“We hated to let Cammy go.  He’s one of the great players in the league and he has been a great asset to the Rangers organization for the past 11 years.

“We picked up size, youth and depth.  Robinson is one of the biggest men in the league at six feet – three, 190 pounds.”

Robinson has scored only two goals in 40 games this season, but is still considered a top prospect.

In a related move, the Rangers sent Swedish forward Ulf Sterner and defenceman Bob Plager to Baltimore of the AHL to make room for the three players picked up from Chicago.

Leafs top Habs

Punch Imlach’s unique starting lineup paid off last night in Toronto’s 5-2 win in Montreal.  Imlach threw out a starting lineup of five defenceman, and the strategy paid off as Tim Horton scored for the Leafs only 10 seconds into the game.

Tim Horton, scored after only 10 seconds.
Tim Horton, scored after only 10 seconds.

Starting for Toronto were Bob Baun and Carl Brewer on defence, with Allan Stanley at centre, Kent Douglas on the left side, with Horton at right wing, where he has played on a semi-regular basis for the past month or so.

Toe Blake upset

The move startled not only the 15,485 fans on hand, but also the Montreal starting five.  Coach Toe Blake was not impressed.

Blake called Imlach “the only clown in the league”, and admonished his players for making the Leaf coach “look like a hero.”

“If Imlach wants to be crazy, I should be crazy too.  I should have put five defencemen against them.

“They just froze out there,” Blake complained, “particularly that first-team all-star defenceman of ours (referring to Jacques Laperriere).”

Jacques Laperriere : criticized by coach Toe Blake.
Jacques Laperriere : criticized by coach Toe Blake.

Imlach chortled over his starting unit. “That was just to set the pace and it worked.  They did the job I wanted.”

Although the move gave the Leafs the (very) early lead, that advantage was short-lived.  The five blueliners were still on the ice at the one-minute mark when Claude Larose deflected a Terry Harper point shot past Leaf netminder Terry Sawchuk to even things up.

Other Toronto goal-getters were Andy Bathgate, George Armstrong, Dave Keon and Red Kelly.  Larose had both Montreal markers.

Worsley not sharp

The game was the first in which Canadiens goalie Gump Worsley has looked less than stellar since he took over from Charlie Hodge nine games ago.  While the Leafs were definitely the better team on the night, out shooting Montreal 34-25, two of their goals were of the soft variety.  This has led to speculation that Hodge may get the next starting assignment for the Habs.

Veteran hockey reporter Red Burnett of the Toronto Star said that the turning point of the game was in the first period with Toronto leading 2-1.  Defenceman Carl Brewer caught Montreal winger John Ferguson with a bone-jarring body check, and after that point, Montreal seemed to have no interest in hard work.

Carl Brewer: his body-check turned the tide.

Brewer also caught Habs’ Dave Balon with an equally tough check in the second period that rendered him ineffective for the rest of the night.

Bruins edge Wings after stick-duel

The Bruins scored a pair of third-period goals to get by the Red Wings, but the major news coming out of that match was the stick-swinging duel between Detroit’s Bill Gadsby and Boston’s Reggie Fleming that led to a near-riot at Boston Garden.

The set-to between Gadsby and Fleming occurred less than two minutes into the final frame in what had been, up to that point, a nondescript matchup that had the Boston crowd of over 7,200 in a surly mood.

Gadsby: Fleming shot the puck at me

Gadsby said later that the fight began when Fleming shot the puck at him.  “I think he was trying to hit Howe, but he hit me instead.”

Bill Gadsby, left and Reg Fleming engaged in a wild stick-swinging duel.
Bill Gadsby, left and Reg Fleming engaged in a wild stick-swinging duel.

The two began swinging their sticks at each other like pole-axes with a definite intent to inflict serious bodily harm upon each other.  Fortunately, neither player was injured, but the scene itself was so disturbing, referee Art Skov felt compelled to assess each player a match penalty, banishing them from the game.  These are the first match penalties assessed in the NHL this season.

Fans at rail-side, and in the aisle way that leads to the visitors dressing room began to involve themselves in cat-calling with the Red Wings players, and this led to trouble later on.

Kennedy’s short-handed goal the killer

After the hockey version of a sword-fight, the Bruins scored a quick two goals to take the 3-1 lead on tallies by Leo Boivin and Forbes Kennedy.  Kennedy’s score came while Boston was killing a penalty at the 8:26 mark.  Some over-exuberant Boston fans attempted to lean over the glass and take swings at Detroit’s Gary Bergman and Ron Murphy.  The two Red Wings responded by swinging their sticks at the offending patrons.

One Boston fan was ejected by police, although he received a round of applause as he left the arena.

Detroit trainer Lefty Wilson
Detroit trainer Lefty Wilson

Several minutes later, a scuffle ensued in the walk-way near the Detroit bench involving a number of Wings’ players and fans.   The brawl apparently began when a Boston fan poured beer on Detroit trainer Lefty Wilson.  Police again identified the main offender, who was summarily dismissed from the proceedings, again to the cheers of his fellow ticket-holders.

Howe cuts Awrey

With just over three minutes left in the game, Gordie Howe received a five-minute major for slicing the scalp of Boston defenceman Don Awrey after Awrey had interfered with him.  Awrey, a rookie, was given an interference penalty.

The ice in the vicinity of the Detroit bench was littered with all sorts of debris, aimed at the Red Wings’ players.  Things looked like they might get out of control until the police and ushers took  decisive action which seemed to defuse the situation, by removing more fans from the rink.

Awrey was the other Boston scorer, while Norm Ullman replied for the Red Wings.


  • Boston announced last night that forward Murray Balfour, now playing in the American Hockey League, has been admitted to a Hershey hospital with a lesion on the left lung.  Balfour, 29, will undergo a series of tests while in hospital.
Murray Balfour is in hospital in Hershey for tests for a lesion on his left lung.
Murray Balfour is in hospital in Hershey for tests for a lesion on his left lung.
  • Andre Lacroix, leading scorer in the OHA Junior A Series, scored four goals and two assists for Peterborough Petes as they bombed Montreal Junior Canadiens 8-4 last night
  • Former NHL referee Eddie Powers has invited NHL governors to meet with a group of former officials in Toronto.  Powers gave no indication what the discussion would involve.
  • Imlach said that the Leafs were offered Camille Henry by the Rangers in a two or three for one deal.  He felt the price was too high, and he did offer the opinion that the Hawks got the better of their deal with the Rangers.




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