After a much-needed vacation in Florida, we’ll try to catch up with the news of the past couple of weeks.. Among the notable events were the naming of a new captain by the Rangers, a former referee making claims of game-manipulation by the league and Bobby Hull being knocked out of the Black Hawks’ lineup, thanks to a Bobby Baun body check.
Nevin new Ranger Captain
After trading captain Camille Henry last week, the New York Rangers wasted little time in naming Bob Nevin as their new on-ice leader. Nevin, 26, was acquired less than a year ago from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the trade that sent Andy Bathgate and Don McKenney to Toronto.
Nevin has moved smoothly into a leadership role with New York, and has been their best and most consistent player this season. He has a steady role on the power play, and kills penalties as well. He becomes the third captain of the Rangers in two years, succeeding Henry, who took over for Bathgate when he was dealt last February.
Powers claims games ‘manipulated’
Former NHL referee Eddie Powers, who was turned down in his request for a special meeting with the Board of Governors, held a special press conference on February 13 “for the good of hockey.” Powers billed the press conference as a “tell-all” affair.
Powers, who successfully sued Montreal coach Toe Blake for defamation of character, says he has tangible evidence that attempts were made to manipulate the way games were officiated.
“I also advised the Governors that there was further evidence of manipulation of the outcome of games, evidence of prejudice against some league teams on the part of those responsible for the officials of the league, evidence of intimidation of the referees, evidence of attempts to undermine the authority of the referees in the public eye, evidence of the failure of the president of the National Hockey League and the referee-in-chief of the league to back up referees when necessary in connection with disputes with owners, managers and players, and evidence of unfairness in respect of contracts forced upon the National Hockey League officials.”
Powers was joined by former NHL officials Dalton MacArthur, George Hayes and Jack Melenbacher. They cited instructions given to MacArthur by NHL referee-in-chief Carl Voss to call only “good” penalties on the Rangers in a game against the Bruins in 1962. MacArthur said that because of Voss’ instructions, he felt he influenced the outcome of the game in the Rangers’ favour (New York won the game).
The NHL governors dismissed the allegations as “unfounded… the product of a malicious distortion of a routine caution.”
Baun bodycheck sidelines Golden Jet
Bobby Hull of the Chicago Black Hawks, the NHL’s leading goal-getter, was knocked out of action in a February 6 game against Toronto when he was bodychecked by Toronto’s hard-rock defenceman Bobby Baun. Hull suffered a torn knee ligament in the back of his knee and the leg was immediately put in a cast, but only for 24 hours.
Hull was unhappy with the hit and said that Baun “kneed” him. Chicago team physician Dr. Myron Tremaine expected the high-scoring left winger to miss at least a week’s worth of action.
Wild brawl highlights Toronto-Montreal clash
The game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, February 11 featured one of the wildest brawls this season in the NHL. At the 5:54 mark of the second period, the game was delayed for over 18 minutes as players from both benches spilled onto the ice to participate in the fisticuffs.
The incident started when Toronto’s Frank Mahovlich was hooked by the Habs’ John Ferguson. The Big M responded by boarding Ferguson and the donnybrook was on. Three separate fights broke out, along with numerous other players pairing off in a bizarre looking dance. Mahovlich was in the middle of most of the action. He battled Ted Harris and Terry Harper of Canadiens several times, while Ferguson squared off with Kent Douglas and three times with rookie Peter Stemkowski. Stemkowski engaged Ferguson by removing his sweater, whereupon Douglas picked up the garment and threw it into the stands (it was promptly thrown back onto the ice).
NHL president Clarence Campbell levied $925 in fines to the two teams for their transgressions. Canadiens rookie Jimmy Roberts was hardest hit, as he loses $125 for being deemed “primarily responsible” for the brawl.
It was established that Roberts was the first player from either team to leave the bench to join the disturbance. Campbell said, “Roberts’ action was clearly not intended for any peaceful purpose because he abandoned his stick and gloves.”
The game itself resulted in a convincing 6-2 win for the Maple Leafs in a game that marked the return to action for Montreal goalkeeper Charlie Hodge. Leafs’ Johnny Bower pulled a groin in warm ups and was ably replaced by Terry Sawchuk.
No Valentine love in Buffalo
A Valentine’s day American Hockey League game in Buffalo between the Bisons and the Cleveland Barons turned ugly when the Barons’ Glover brothers (Fred and Howie) waded into the stands and did battle with a number of Bison fans and police. The third period incident delayed the game for over 25 minutes.
Everything was touched off when referee Bruce Hood assessed a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct against Fred Glover, player coach of the Barons. Brother Howie injected himself into the fray and received a 10-minute misconduct for his trouble as well.
As play resumed, the Glovers and team-mate Bill Needham left the penalty box and engaged fans in the area in fisticuffs. To top things off, Buffalo coach Phil Watson, a loose cannon at the best of times, sprinted across the ice brandishing a hockey stick. Watson leapt onto the boards in front of the penalty box. Fortunately, he was restrained by some of his players before he could inflict any damage with the stick.
Buffalo police stepped in to restore order, but not before some wild swings (and misses) were attempted by the Glovers and Needham at some fans and Buffalo general manager Fred Hunt.
Oshawa’s Orr sets record
Sixteen-year-old Bobby Orr, a defenceman with the Oshawa Generals of the OHA Junior A Series, set a record for OHA defenceman in a game against the Toronto Marlboros. Orr scored his 30th goal of the season, eclipsing the record he set last season, on a long slap shot which eluded Toronto goaltender Gerry Desjardins during an Oshawa power play. The capacity home-town crowd of 2,803 gave the youngster a standing ovation and his team mates all came off the bench to mob him in congratulation.
Orr, considered the finest junior hockey prospect in the land and property of the Boston Bruins, cannot move up to the NHL before his 18th birthday, in March of 1966.
Chicago continues to lead the league with 66 points, four points ahead of second-place Montreal. With 60 points, Toronto sits in third, while Detroit is in fourth, two back of the Leafs. A distant fifth and sixth are the Rangers and Bruins, neither with any hope of participating in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
- Two players are running away with the OHA scoring race – Andre Lacroix of Peterborough and Ken Hodge of St. Catharines
- The Boston Bruins have labelled defenceman Ted Green as their only untouchable when it comes to trading
- Niagara Falls owner Hap Emms protested an OHA game over abusive language used by the Kitchener arena manager towards his team
- Detroit sent Ed Joyal and Bob Champoux to their AHL Pittsburgh farm team, while calling up goalie Carl Wetzel
- Montreal has called up defenceman Noel Picard from Omaha of the CPHL, and has sent rookie forward Yvan Cournoyer to Quebec of the AHL
- Boston writers insist that the Maple Leafs are working hard on a trade for the Bruins’ John Bucyk and could acquire him within 10 days
- The Bruins have lost forward Forbes Kennedy for the rest of the season with a broken collarbone
- With Johnny Bower injured, Toronto brought up goalies Gerry Cheevers and Gary Smith to serve as back-ups to Terry Sawchuk
- Rumours out of New York have Bert Olmstead as a likely candidate to replace Red Sullivan as coach of the New York Rangers
- Detroit acquired forward Val Fonteyne on waivers from the Rangers
- Montreal will be without forwards Bobby Rousseau and Dick Duff, both out with injuries
- Chicago’s Stan Mikita, now leading the NHL in scoring, also leads in penalty minutes with 138
- Canadiens’ goalie Gump Worsley has been ordered by coach Toe Blake to go on a diet and drop six to eight pounds
- Detroit goalie Roger Crozier lost two teeth when hit by a puck against Montreal last night. He spit the teeth out, took them to the bench and continued in the game
- The Boston Bruins recalled forward Ab McDonald from the Providence Reds of the AHL and returned forward Jeannot Gilbert to the AHL club
- Forward Garry Unger of the Calgary Buffaloes of the Alberta Junior Hockey League has scored 18 goals and seven assists in his last five games
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.