Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Here's the latest addition to my Hockey Den and to my quest to collect a program for every year of Maple Leaf Garden's existence. This one is from opening night of the 1942/43 season between the New York Rangers and the defending Stanley Cup champs Maple Leafs. The cover features a great photo of Pete Langelle scoring the winning goal in Game 7 of the 1942 Cup Finals. 
The Maple Leafs would win this home-opener by a score of 7-2. I found a Canadian Press write up on the game; 
"In surprisingly simple fashion, Toronto Maple Leafs conquered New York Rangers, 7-2, Saturday in their opening National Hockey League game before 11,777 fans to pick up the thread where they left off in the Stanley Cup finals last season. 
President Frank Calder of the National Hockey League presented Leafs the Stanley Cup pennat they won last season in a brief pre-game ceremony. The first puck was faced by Pte. Alex Chisholm of the Toronto Scottish Regiment, who won the Military Medal at Dieppe."

Gaye Stewart potted two goals and an assist and Hank Goldup recorded a goal and two helpers. Lorne Carr, Bucko McDonald, Shep Mayer, Bud Poile and Billy Taylor all chipped in two points.
Being at the height of World War II, the program is filled with wartime ads and articles, one is below. The game was also the debut of Rangers goaltender Steve "The-puck-goes-inski" Buzinski who would play only eight more games with the Rangers posting a career goals against average of 5.92.

Toronto would finish 3rd in the NHL in 42/43 and lost in the semi-finals to Detroit in six games. New York stumble to a mere 11 wins and 30 points in the fifty game season.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Here's the latest Maple Leaf Gardens program added to the collection. It fills the gap I had between 1959/60 and 1976/77. Now I need only three seasons between 1946/47 and 76/77, getting there.

This one's from opening night, October 23, 1965 with Chicago as the visitor. Lineup page is below.

Leaf captain George Armstrong  traveled the world the previous summer as a goodwill ambassador. It appears he was often pictured in his native head-dress, being "The Chief" and all.
Armstrong got as far as the middle-east, touring on a camel trek as well as visiting over-seas troops.

Here's a couple cool advertisements, one featuring Johnny Bower's "sticky" glove hand.

This is a shot I have never seen before, comedy superstar Bob Hope picture in Maple Leaf wear. Hope was in town for a multi-night engagement at the Canadian National Exhibition at the time of the photo. Below is a a shot of Bobby Hull posing with heavyweight boxing champ Ernie Terrell.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Latest addition is from the 1958/59 season, a game that took place February 25 against the Montreal Canadiens. Going into this game Toronto sat in last place of the six team NHL with 48 points in 57 games and yet on this night they beat the first place (by 15 points over second spot) Montreal Caandiens 3-2.

Montreal held a 2-0 lead after one period on goals from Phil Goyette and Jean Beliveau but Toronto scored three in an eight minute span of the second and gel;d on for the win. Goals from Frank Mahovlich, Bert Olmstead (pictured on this game's program cover) and Gerry Ehman. Leaf goalie Ed Chadwick turned aside 26 of 28 shots for the win while Jacques Plante allowed three goals on 31 shots.

Including this game, Toronto would finish the season on a 8-4-1 run to grab the fourth and final playoff spot by one point over the New York Rangers. Toronto took the first round over Boston in seven games before losing the Cup finbal in five to the same Canadiens.

Here's a neat story inside the program about how the Leafs pioneered the advanced statistic craze of today. I wrote about it further here:

 Great ad for Beehive Corn Syrup featuring Leaf Ron Stewart.

Another nice article, this one about the newly installed Wurlitzer organ at Maple Leaf Gardens. Note the large portrait of the queen which would be replace by seating in later years.