50 Years Ago Today – News and Notes From Around the NHL

Catching up on news and notes from around the training camps this week as opening night draws near:

Last night Montreal defeated the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League by a 5-1 score, a total that was flattering to the Habs.  The game played before 3500 fans at the Hull arena, was a dull, listless affair. 

The star of the game was Barons netminder Les Binkley, who was forced to handle 48 shots by the Canadiens.  Charlie Hodge in the Montreal goal was tested only 13 times. 

Les Binkley – Cleveland goalie faced nearly 50 shots last night

Five players shared in the Montreal scoring, with Jacques Laperriere, Billy Hicke, Gilles Tremblay, Yvan Cournoyer and Bobby Rousseau each counting once.  Cecil Hoekstra netted the lone Cleveland goal.  Hicke has not had a strong camp so the goal was a welcome event for him.  He is one of the players on the proverbial bubble, and is in real danger of being sent out, thanks to the performances of several very talented youngsters.

Red Wings trounce Rangers

In Windsor, Ontario the Detroit Red Wings had their way with the New York Rangers, whipping the Blueshirts 6-0. Just over 2500 fans enjoyed Detroit’s domination of the Rangers.   Six different Wings marched in the scoring parade to back up a 22-save performance by rookie Roger Crozier.  Crozier continues to impress as time goes on and looks to be completely capable of handling the Red Wings goaltending duties. 

In thirteen exhibition matches, the Wings have tasted defeat only twice.  The Rangers, on the other hand, are having a rough time of it, with just three wins in nine games.  Detroit marksmen in this one were Alex Delvecchio, Bobby Dillabough, Norm Ullman, Larry Jeffrey, Bruce MacGregor and Albert Langlois.  Langlois was traded to Detroit by the Rangers last February after a very lacklustre performance in New York. The former Montreal rearguard seemed to be rejuvenated down the stretch and into the playoffs for the Wings and is hoping to pick up where he left off at the end of last season.

bob dillabough 63-64 parkie
Bob Dillabough

Young Gilles Villemure, another rookie attempting to win an NHL starting goaltending job, had a tough time between the pipes for New York.  He faced 39 Detroit drives and received little support from his mates. 

WHL Buckaroos upset Maple Leafs

Out west in Portland Oregon the WHL Buckaroos upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. Portland  jumped out to an early 3-0 lead but had to withstand late pressure by the Maple Leafs in order to claim the narrow victory.  Buckaroo goalie Rick Charron, the third of three Portland netminders, faced 27 shots in the third period as the Leafs stormed the home side’s goal.   Don Head and Dave Kelley made 15 and 12 saves respectively for the Buckaroos over the first two frames. 

Don Head – former Bruins goalie will be with Portland this season.

Larry Leach, Art Jones and Ron Hergott scored the Bucks’ goals.  Frank Mahovlich and Jim Pappin replied for Toronto.  Terry Sawchuk and Johnny Bower split the goaltending duties for the Leafs.

In player news, Dickie Moore, the former NHL leading scorer and all-star drafted by Toronto from Montreal this past summer,  still is unsure of his future in the NHL.  Moore said that he will not play unless his knees feel 100%.  “My knees are improving, but I haven’t really scrimmaged yet.” 

Henri Richard of the Canadiens has what is described as a severe groin injury and won’t appear in this weekend’s NHL All-star game in Toronto.  The Pocket Rocket was injured in an exhibition game against the Providence Reds Tuesday night.  

The Canadiens did make a roster move yesterday, sending left winger Gordon (Red) Berenson to the Quebec Aces of the AHL. Berenson spent the entire 63-64 season with Montreal, mostly in an extra forward role, scoring seven goals and adding nine assists.

Wharram back on the ice

Chicago Black Hawk right winger Kenny Wharram returned to the ice today after suffering a slight skull fracture on September 22.  Chicago general manager Tommy Ivan commented that while Wharram was in pretty good physical condition, the club will not take any chances with last season’s first all-star right wing.  Coach Billy Reay added that Wharram wouldn’t see game action for at least two or three weeks. 

Toronto centre Red Kelly has been appointed to represent the Canadian government at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.  He will be in Japan from October 10 to 24, a situation that rankles Leaf coach-GM Punch Imlach.  But in his usual manner, Imlach stressed that he isn’t worried about Kelly’s absence.

“When you work, you get paid.  When you don’t work, you don’t get paid.  It’s that simple,” was Imlach’s quote on Kelly’s situation.  This led to speculation that the red head will retire from hockey to play in the political arena full time.

For his part, the likeable Kelly said that he has arranged to skate at several Japanese rinks and feels he will be ready to go once he gets back on native soil. When pressed for reaction, Imlach admitted that Kelly, who has not yet signed his 64-65 contract, is very much in Toronto’s plans.

Will Red Kelly sign on the dotted line and bring the smile back to Imlach’s face?

The Leafs have called up defence man Larry Hillman from Rochester to replace the ailing Allan Stanley.  Stanley has a sore knee so Imlach is keeping him out of the all-star game. Hillman had lost the fifth defense spot on the Leafs blue line to Kent Douglas in a spirited training camp battle.  

The New York Rangers said that they will make an official announcement today on the status of goaltender Jacques Plante.  Unconfirmed speculation has Plante being assigned to Baltimore of the AHL, but a club spokesman would not comment on that report.  General manager Muzz Patrick, obviously weary of being constantly pressed for details on Plante’s New York future,  confirmed he would have a statement later today.

The Red Wings have announced that two players may miss their opener, just six days from now.   Both forward Larry Jeffrey and  defenceman Bill Gadsby were injured in the Wings’ final exhibition tilt against the Rangers.  Gadsby, 36,  suffered a back injury and remains in traction at a Detroit hospital.  Jeffrey banged up his left knee and was seen in a walking cast leaving the Olympia. 

The loss of Gadsby for any significant period of time would be a severe blow to the Red Wings’ title hopes.  He provides the veteran savvy and stability that will be required in front of the Wings’ young goaltending, and has been a great mentor to Doug Barkley.  Barkley’s development as an NHL defenceman has been directly attributed to Gadsby’s tutoring, and many feel Bill will make a fine coach once his playing days come to an end.