50 Years Ago in Hockey – Rangers Spring Hallowe’en Surprise

In a development that has caught the hockey world by surprise, Muzz Patrick has resigned his position as vice-president and general manager of the New York Rangers and Rovers to accept a position as vice-president of Madison Square Garden Centre.   The new MSG Centre is presently under construction and is slated for completion in 1967.

Patrick has been a member of the Rangers’ organization since 1934.  He has been a player, coach and manager, and will stay on as a director of the team, and the New York Rovers of the Eastern Hockey League.  He has held the GM’s post since 1955.

Francis new GM

Emile Francis, 38, who has been the Rangers’ assistant general manager since 1962 will take over Patrick’s general managing duties for both the NHL and EHL clubs.  He is a native of North Battleford, Saskatchewan and played 22 games for the Rangers as a goaltender in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Emile Francis, former Ranger goalie, takes over as GM

In player news, the Rangers have recalled defenceman Mike McMahon from the Baltimore Clippers of the AHL.  He takes the place of defenceman Arnie Brown, who will be attending the funeral of his father at Apsley, Ontario. Brown will miss Sunday’s game against Montreal but should be back in time for Tuesday’s match in Chicago against the Black Hawks.

Former refs accuse league of  ‘going easy’ on bottom dwellers

In other NHL news, a story by Stan Fischler in the current issue of SPORT Magazine has former NHL referees saying they were told to “go easy” on bottom dwelling teams by NHL referee-in-chief Carl Voss and NHL president Clarence Campbell.

NHL prexy Campbell, with Voss, referee Frank Udvari

Former NHL official Dalton MacArthur summed up the complaints by himself and other former referees Red Storey and Eddie Powers: “I want to go on record that I know of no player, coach or manager who would have anything to do with any attempts to fix or adjust the outcome of a game.  However, the NHL referee-in-chief and his immediate supervisor have tried to influence the assessment of penalties at various times.”

Macarthur: only call ‘good’ penalties on Rangers

In the article, Fischler says that MacArthur stated he was instructed by Voss to call only the most obvious penalties against the New York Rangers in an important March, 1961 game in Boston.  Voss was quoted as saying, “Any penalties you call against New York tonight must be ‘good’ penalties.”

Fischler goes on to say that “The novelty of having the Rangers beat out Detroit for the fourth playoff spot would have helped hockey at the box office and league officials didn’t want to see this jeopardized in a defeat by Boston.”

Melenbacher: go easy on the bottom teams

Another former NHL arbiter, Jack Melenbacher, believes he was fired from the job after one owner didn’t like decisions he made against his club. “Any time you got a bottom team playing against a top team, you were told to go easy on the bottom team because close games mean better box-offices.”

According to Melenbacher, “Referee-in-chief Voss told me not to call any penalties in the last 10 minutes of a game unless they were blatantly obvious.”

Red Story and Eddie Powers made similar allegations in the Fischler article.   Fischler summed the article up this way:

“If referees are not permitted to work independently of the league owners, and according to the standards in the rule book, major league hockey will not survive.”

Indians, Bears win in AHL

In the American Hockey League last night, the Springfield Indians eked out a 5-4 win over the Providence Reds while the Hershey Bears scored a come-from-behind 4-2 win over the Rochester Americans.

The game in Providence was a wild one, with the Reds nearly completing a comeback from a 5-2 third period deficit, only to fall one goal short.  With less than seven minutes to play, Providence’s rugged defenceman Larry McNabb touched off a brawl that saw him tagged with minor, major and game misconduct penalties after engaging in separate  fights with Springfield’s Gerry Foley and Gary Young.

Gerry Foley, three-goal scorer for the Indians

Foley was the scoring hero of the game for the Indian, firing three goals.  Serge Boudreault led Providence with a pair of markers.

At Rochester, Wayne Rivers  led the way for the Bears against the Americans with two goals.  The Amerks had grabbed a 2-0 lead on the strength of tallies by Dick Gamble and Gerry Ehman.  Roger DeJordy, with the game-winner, and Myron Stankiewicz had the other Hershey scores.

A ‘helicopter’ line?

Buffalo Bisons coach Phil Watson was discussing his lines with Charlie Bailey of the Buffalo Courier-Express and told Bailey he had a ‘helicopter’ line.  Confused, Bailey inquired further.

Watson replied, ” A helicopter line?  That’s the line of Hank Ciesla, Art Stratton and Len Lunde.  They’re all centres – the line’s got no wings!”

Flyers continue to soar in OHA

In OHA Junior A games, the Niagara Falls Flyers came from behind to edge the Montreal Junior Canadiens 4-3 while the Toronto Marlboros staved off a late comeback by the Kitchener Rangers to hang on for a 7-5 win.

The first-place Flyers were stymied by Junior Canadiens goalie Rocky Farr for two periods before the roof eventually caved in.  Farr stopped 22 Niagara Falls shots over the first 40 minutes, but the Flyers exploded for four goals in the final frame to claim the win.  Don Marcotte scored twice for the Falls, with Andre Lajeunesse and Brian Bradley adding singles.  Carol Vadnais with two, and Norm Ferguson scored for Montreal.

Don Marcotte scored two for Niagara Falls

At Kitchener, Paul Laurent continued his hot scoring, firing four goals for the Marlboros against the Rangers.  Neil Clarke, Wayne Mosdell and Jack Chipchase were the other Marlie marksmen.  Sandy Fitzpatrick and John Beechey had two apiece for the home side.  Bob Jones netted the other.



1 thought on “50 Years Ago in Hockey – Rangers Spring Hallowe’en Surprise”

  1. I remember Jack Chipchase playing for the Marlies. I don’t believe that he ever made it to the NHL, but I think he still has one of the best hockey player names ever!

    The mention of Carol Vadnais with the junior Habs was a reminder of his recent passing. Again, though, I’m really enjoying these “real time” reports from fifty years ago

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