Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Remembering When Canadiens Turned 100

Things are startinf to get back to normal after all of the excitement marking the 100th anniversaty of the Montreal Canadiens.

Over the past year we have done features, podcasts and more about the team and just what it represenst to so many people. That can be found by kicking aorund

Here we present a summary of those marking the occasion (courtesy of the Montreal Gazette and The New York Times):

The excellent Dave Stubbs called this video to our attention:

There's more, cortesy of Mr. Stubbs, at: especially this look form Dick Irvin:


"...If you didn’t see the Canadiens’ 100th-anniversary celebration on Friday night, you missed something special. It started with their former legendary equipment manager Eddie Palchack dumping a couple of buckets of pucks on the ice…

…and many of the greatest in Habs history skating out for a short pregame warm-up. Even Ken Dryden, who hadn’t put on goalie pads since his last game in 1979, when Montreal beat the Rangers for the Stanley Cup, took shots. The hourlong ceremony, with words from Serge Savard, Patrick Roy, Guy Lafleur, Gordie Howe and Jean Beliveau, is worth seeing and it is on CBC’s Web site (video). Plus, there are some great interviews from former Canadiens on Habs Inside/Out (the Dryden interviews on CBC and Habs Inside/Out are especially illuminating, of course).

In a night full of surprises, the Habs retired the numbers of their oldest alumni, Emile “Butch” Bouchard, a defenseman and captain in the post-World War II era and his teammate, another former captain, Elmer Lach, the center of the famous Punch Line with Rocket Richard and Toe Blake:

When he retired in 1954, Lach was the leading scorer in N.H.L. history, and that should have been reason enough for the Habs to celebrate his career long ago. Even the team that leads the world in ceremonies somehow missed that one until now.

While critics may have felt the Canadiens overdid the whole anniversary thing for the last 15 months, there’s no denying that every ceremony was exceptionally well planned and executed and this one ranks with the closing of the Forum in 1996 as the best. And it inspired the home team to play one of their better games of the season.

Life as a Free Agent Hockey Fan

In this age of free agenct athletes it was bound to happen. A free agent fan.

For a long time Peter Bojarinov was a suffering Toronto Maple Leafs. But he had had enough. It was time to move on to find “a better arrangement – one that would work better for team and fan alike”.

So Peter Bojarinov declared himself a “free agent” fan. During this period after separation from the Leafs, he researched he felt would be the best fit for him.

In the Journey into Hockey we speak with writer, blogger and now Atlanta Thrasher fan about his journey into and out of free agent fan, and what he discovered along the way.

You can hear the podcast at:

Journeys into Hockey: When the (RI) Reds Ruled the Roost

The Providence Reds, later called the Rhode Island Reds, played in the Canadian-American Hockey League (CAHL) 1926–36 and the American Hockey League (AHL) from 1936–76. They won the Calder Cup in 1938, 1940, 1949, and 1956. The team was renamed Rhode Island Reds in 1976. The Reds played at the Rhode Island Auditorium, located on North Main Street in Providence, Rhode Island, from 1926 through 1972. The name came from the rooster known as the Rhode Island Red.

Though the Reds have not played hockey for a fgood longtime, they still endure. There is an active Rhode Island Reds Heritahe Society and recently there has been a release of a DVD chronicling teh Reds story “When the Reds Ruled the Roost”.

The half-hour program, includes rare and lost film and photos from every decade starting in the 1920s and many colorful stories from Reds greats, hockey Hall of Famers including Milt Schmidt, Johnny Bower and Ed Giacomin, owners, general managers and coaches.

In this Journey into Hockey we speak with DVD producer and former Providence sportcaster Joe Rocco, as well as Buster Clegg, former RI Reds General Manager and PR man and former Red Bobby Leduc.

I hope you feel, as I did, how the Reds were so much more than just a hockey team. They, in fact, were a vital part of the community.


The Ice Rink That Changed Boston Hockey (NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Published: December 29, 2009

On Matthews Arena, which opened in 1910 and was known until 1982 as the Boston Arena, is the oldest indoor hockey arena still in use.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Cultural History of Maurice Richard

As any hockey fan knows, Maurice Richard was the highest-scoring NHL player of his era, the first to achieve the feat of fifty goals in fifty games. In his eighteen years with the Montreal Canadiens, Richard’s determination, intensity, and will to win drew fans and admirers. But Richard was revered as much for what he represented off the ice.

“The Rocket” (before Rod Laver and Roger Clemens) inspired poems, novels. short stories, biographies, songs, movies, plays, kids’ books and comic strips. His face adorned clothing, toys, household goods, hockey equipment, and ads from cars to soups. Streets, parks, and public squares bore his name, and boasted his statute. With an influence that extended beyond his playing years, he became a symbol in Quebec and a hero across Canada (and beyond).

We speak with cultural historian Benoit Melancon whose book, The Rocket: A Cultural History of Maurice Richard (Greystone Books, 2009) exhaustively and uniquely chronicles the Maurice Richard – the man and the myth.

Of the book NPR’s “Only A Game” said, “…“open-minded folks will be intrigued by Malencon’s exploration of the ways in which people attribute all sorts of cultural significance to the accomplishments and personalities of champions like Richard”.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mike Myers on Hockey Night In Canada (1986)(via You Tube)

Check this out:

"Mike Myers and Peter Puck trumpet the late Danny Gallivan in this rare piece of video. Also features Dana Andersen, Mark Wilson & (...I know that face...). HNIC Interviewer: Brian McFarlane.."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Passing: Bill Chadwick, Iconic NHL Ref & Broadcaster

From The Associated Press thru The New York Times:

CUTCHOGUE, N.Y. (AP) -- Bill ''The Big Whistle'' Chadwick, the first U.S.-born official in NHL history who was later a popular broadcaster for the New York Rangers, died Saturday (October 24). He was 94.

For 16 seasons, from 1939 to 1955, and despite being blind in one eye, Chadwick was one of the best officials the NHL. He invented and perfected the system of hand signals to signify penalties, and the system is now used throughout the world.

In 1965, at the urging of Emile Francis, the Rangers' longtime general manager and coach, Chadwick embarked on a 14-year broadcasting career (where he became known as "The Big Whistle"), working first on radio with play by play man Marv Albert, and most notably, on television with Jim Gordon for nine seasons.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rangers-Bruins as it once was

Think rivalries in hockey these days and thoughts come to mind of Canadiens-Leafs, Oilers-Flames, Islanders-Rangers, Rangers-Devils, and perhaps Blues-Blackhawks or Flyers-Penguins. Any others ?

How about Bruins-Rangers ? Probably not. But in its time it was the real deal.

We speak with Jay Moran about the book he has written, The Rangers, The Bruins, and The end of an Era – Tribute to A Great Rivalry (Author House, 2009).

Hard to believe this rivalry is now 30 years removed. We speak about the likes of Orr, Esposito, Ratelle, Gilbert, and even some of the lesser recalled names like John McKenzie, Phil Goyette and Donnie Marshall.

BTW, the book is worth a look just for the pictures alone, even though there is much, much more.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Passing: Fred Cusick, Voice of the Bruins

The Boston Bruins have named their TV broadcast booth at the Garden in honour of the late play-by-play announcer Fred Cusick, who passed away last month. He was 90. Cusick, described by Red Fisher as one of the best in the business, was the broadcast voice of Bruins games for 44 years.


You can listen to a "Journesy into Hockey" interview with Fred Cusick (taped last Fall) @

Friday, September 18, 2009

Voices of the Game: Doc Emrick

It can easily be argued that Mike “Doc” Emrick is hockey’s preeminent play-by-play announcer.

Lead play-by-play announcer for the New Jersey Devils, as well as the lead announcer for NHL national telecasts on both NBC and Versus, Emrick is recipient of many honors – foremost among them Among the many awards he has received is the NHL’s Lester Patrick Award in 2004 and the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008.

We speak with Doc Emrick who and what has informed and influenced his career, his thoughts about hcokey these days and the upcoming season which includes an Olympic Hockey competition.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Remembering Reggie Fleming

Reg Fleming passed away on July 11, 2009.

He was a professionally hockey player whose career spanned from the Montreal Canadiens through the Kenosha Flyers and Hammond Cardinals in 1978. In between, he was best known for his years with the Chicago Black Hawks (where he won a Stanley Cup), New York Rangers and Boston Bruins.

His reputation was as an aggressive and combative player, who played defense and forward. He also was known as a great teammate. He left his mark where ever he played.

Reg Fleming continues to leave his mark even after his passing. Fleming had been in declining health for a few years. A series of heart attacks and a stroke left him partly paralyzed and confined to rehabilitation facilities near Chicago. His oldest son, Chris, frequently made videos of his father in these last years and uploaded them on YouTube.

In this conversation, we speak with Chris Fleming and with John Halligan, longtime Public Relations Director of the New York Rangers who knew Reggie Fleming during his years in New York.

It’s a talk about hockey, but about a lot more too.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Hockey Viewing, circa 1963 (via

Hockey Viewing, circa 1963 (via

With a big thanks to Dave Stubbs who does so much outstanding work at - a site from the Montreal Gazette:

"Thanks to Kevin van Steendelaar for the work to upload this on his site. Three nice National Film Board videos worth your time, and then some...."

"...And do NOT miss Un jeu si simple, another wonderful NFB documentary, this one in French by Gilles Groulx in 1964. It's a remarkable piece, and the footage of the day is breathtaking. Thanks to Inside/Out reader Patrick for directing us to it...."

"....It's truly worth the half hour to watch it...."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Passing: Teeder Kennedy (Globe and Mail)

From The Globe and Mail:

David Shoalts
Port Colborne, Ont. — Globe and Mail Update
Last updated on Friday, Aug. 14, 2009

When Ted (Teeder) Kennedy was the best player for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the years following the Second World War, sports heroes were portrayed as unassuming gods, quiet and reserved off the ice but merciless competitors once the puck was dropped.

The sporting legend was fictional as often as not but, his contemporaries say, not in Mr. Kennedy’s case.

He was the embodiment of an era when hockey players were expected to give all they had to the team without concern for the size of their paycheque or endorsement opportunities.

The quintessential Leaf died yesterday morning in a nursing home in his hometown of Port Colborne, Ont., of congestive heart failure. He was 83.

“He was the Leafs,” said Bob Haggert, who was hired by Mr. Day as an assistant trainer in 1954 and watched Mr. Kennedy closely in his last two seasons with the Leafs. “He was Conn Smythe, he was Hap Day, he was that era all rolled into one.


LEAFS TV (via You Tube):


Friday, July 31, 2009

Leafs fans petition for return of old-school logo (Toronto Star)

From The Toronto Star:

By Adrian Morrow
July 29, 2009

The idea for the petition was hatched on an Internet hockey message board, where many of the users felt the same way as Clayton. Another young user on the board set the petition up on its own website ( and created a Facebook page.

So far, the petition has gathered more than 300 signatures.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Emile Francis

A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Emile “the Cat” Francis enjoyed a close association with hockey that lasted over four decades. Communities across North America benefited from his talents as a player, coach, general manager and administrator.

We best remember him as GM and Coach of those great NY Ranger teams of the late 1960’s and early 70’s that came so close to winning a Stanley Cup. Unfortuately, standing in the way of Ratelle, Gilbert, Nevin, and Park were the likes of Orr, Esposito, Beliveau, Richard, Dryden, Lafleur and Clarke.

We speak with Emile Francis about hockey then and now.


Harry Howell

In this Journey in to Hockey, we speak with Harry Howell, longtime star for the New York Rangers.

A stalwart, stay at home defenceman, in 1967 Howell was the last player in the pre-expansion era to win the Norris Trophy, and famously (and prophetically) said that ‘he was glad he won the trophy then, because Bobby Orr would from then on forward.’

Howell’s playing weight was 195 and he stood 6 foot 1 inches tall. He played seventeen years wearing number 3 for the Rangers then he played another eight years in professional hockey; two with Oakland/California Seals, three with the Los Angeles Kings, and one each with three WHA teams: New York Golden Blades/New Jersey Knights, San Diego Mariners, and Calgary Cowboys.

A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Howell played 1411 NHL games and 170 WHA games, scoring 101 goals and 360 assists for 461 points. He was named a First Team All-Star in 1967, and played in All-Star Games in 1054, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968 and 1970. When he left the NHL, Howell had played more games as a defenceman than anyone else, and remains sixth in all time games played as a defenseman. He also holds the record for most games played in the NHL wearing the same New York Rangers sweater: 1160.

We spoke to Harry over the winter just prior to the time that his #3 jersey, along with Andy Bathgate’s #9 was retired by the Rangers during a special ceremony prior to the February 22, 2009 match versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.

We chatted about his career - especially the years in New York, many of which may have been lean in the “W column, but were nonetheless full of warm recollections.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Canadiens' All-Time Team Ceremony -1983

Yes, it's summer - the off season for hockey.

But I found this remarkable video on You Tube.

As the Montreal Canadiens continue to celebrate their centennial year, we look back to the team's 75th anniversary celebration at the Montreal Forum (Oh, how I miss that building).

Bob Cole and John Davidson provide commentary as these greats are introduced in uniform: Toe Blake (Coach) (with Scotty Bowman as Buffalo coach looking on), Jacques Plante (Goal), Doug Harvey & Larry Robinson (Defense), Dickie Moore (Left Wing), Jean Beliveau (Centre), Maurice Richard (Right Wing)and as an added feature the then 83 year old Aural Joliat.

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:

Friday, June 12, 2009


Anyone that's been in our neck of the woods knows that we could have used a re-branding a long time ago.

Some good content. Multi-media. But to more than afew folks, it was more than a bit confusing.

With this in mind, we have created a new umbrella place to go. It's called

Once there, you can take a journey into Hidden America, Canada, Beer or Hockey (with others to follow).

The content and the feel, hopfully, remain. And, with any look, less confusion.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ron Ellis on Playoff Hockey & The Leafs of '67

Ron Ellis was one of the many stalwarts for the Toronto Maple Leafs teams of the mid-1960’s. He was on the last Leaf Cup winner in 1967.

In this Journey in Hockey, We speak with Ron Ellis about the playoffs, the NHL and the world then and now.


The Calder Cup Tradition

The Calder Cup is the trophy awarded annually to the playoff champion of the American Hockey League. The trophy is sadi to be the world’s second oldest (after the NHL Stanley Cup) continuous professional ice hockey championship, having first been awarded in 1937 following the 1936-37 AHL season, and continuously being awarded every year.

The cup is named after Frank Calder, who was the first president of the NHL.

In this Journey into Hockey we speak with longtime columnist AHL Bill Ballou about the history of the Calder Cup playoffs and some of its great moments over the years. There’s even a prediction for this year (See if it was correct).


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Memorial Cup

The Memorial Cup is awarded each year to Canada’s top junior hockey team. It is a trophy steeped in history and tradition.

Richard Lapp joins us for this “Journey into Hockey” to talk about the history and importance of Canada’s Junior Hockey Championship.

Mr. Lapp is co-author of a book about The Memorial Cup (The Memorial Cup - Canada’s National Junior Hockey Championship, Harbour Publishinh 2004), as well as the best selling Local Heroes: A History of the Western Hockey League.


The Legend & Legacy of Bill Barilko

On April 21, 1951, Bill Barilko scored a seventh game overtime goal against the Montreal Canadiens to give the Toronto Maple Leafs their seventh Stanley Cup.

Four months later, Barilko disappeared while returning from a fishing trip in northern Ontario. The remains of Bill Barilko and his fishing partner were found at the site their plane went down eleven years after they first disappeared.

The hero and the mystery of Bill Barilko have made him a national phenomena. A photograph of him scoring the Cup winning goal is the most requested image at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

We speak with author and hockey historian Kevin Shea about Bill Barilko - about the man and about just what makes him so important to so many all these years later.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Brian McFarlane

Perhaps best known as a commentator on Hockey Night in Canada for 25 years, Brain McFarlane was also a presence on NHL games for the major American networks CBS and NBC.

He has written more than 50 books on hockey. McFarlane is an expert on hockey history and has compiled several volumes of NHL lore titled “It Happened in Hockey,” as well as a 1999 series detailing the colorful history of the “Original Six” NHL teams. His memoirs, published by Stoddart Publishing in 2000, are entitled Brian McFarlane’s World of Hockey.

He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame (media section).

We speak with Brian McFarlane about his career and the changes that he has seen in hockey and hockey broadcasting over the years on both sides of the border.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hockey: A People’s History

Hockey: A People’s History is a CBC Television Documentary that first aired in 2006.
Much like an earlier documentray Canada: A People’s History, the series told the history of the sport of hockey from a personal perspective, giving voice to various individuals, major and minor, as the sport grows and evolves in Canada.

There was an accompanying book by the same name authored by award-winning documentary film-maker Michael McKinley.

We speak with Michael McKinley about Hockey: A People’s History, and about just what hockey has meant and continues to mean to Canada.


Taped in Fall, 2008 - Aired on XM, January, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Gallivan, Lecavalier turned Habs into Canada's team (Montreal Gazette)

From The Montreal Gazette:

February 24, 2009

The players and builders whose photos are part of the Ring of Honour that circles the Bell Centre are a testament to their greatness.

From Vézina to Roy, Morenz, the Richards, Béliveau and onward to the Big Three. Irvin, Blake and Bowman. Selke and Pollock. Forty-four players, 10 builders ... Hall of Famers all.

So what's at least slightly wrong with this picture?When you're talking builders, where are Danny Gallivan and René Lecavalier?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Andy Bathgate

On February 22, 2009 Harry Howell and andy Bathgate were honored at New York’s Madison Square Garden by having their numbers 3 and 9 retired respectively.

Bathgate was an artistic, creative forward who saw the ice like few others of his era. He was the Rangers all-time leader in goals, assists and points at the end of the Original Six era and still holds the team record of scoring goals in 10 consecutive games.

Howell was a disciplined, steady defenseman whose greatness wasn’t fully appreciated until the latter stages of his career, when he became the last Original Six era blueliner to win the James Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best at his position. He remains the Rangers’ all-time games-played leader with 1,160. Given the nature of today’s free agency and salary cap restrictions, that could be the most daunting mark in the entire Rangers record book.

In anticiaption of the night honoring these two former greats, not too long ago we spoke with both Harry Howell and Andy Bathgate.

This podcast is our talk with Andy Bathgate. At

Sunday, March 1, 2009

World Pond Hockey Championships

This unique event is an annual international competition that takes place outdoors, on bodies of frozen water, playing the pond hockey variant of ice hockey. The event takes place in and around Plaster Rock, New Brunwick.

The first championships were held in 2002. The 2007 event was opened by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the first time the Prime Minister attended the event and indeed the first time a prime minister had ever visited Plaster Rock.

We speak with Danny Braun from Plaster Rock about how the event started, what takes place, and just how they manage to pull it off in this community of 1,150.


Black Ice: “The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes: 1895-1925″.

Comprised of the sons and grandsons of runaway American slaves, the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes helped pioneer the sport of ice hockey changing this winter game from the primitive “gentleman’s past-time” of the nineteenth century to the modern fast moving game of today. In an era when many believed blacks could not endure cold, possessed ankles too weak to effectively skate, etc. (”and lacked the intelligence for organized sport”), these men defied the defined myths.

We speak with George Fosty, one of the co-authors of “Black Ice”.

Aired on Xm Radio - Channel 204 in February, 2009.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

50 Years for the Quebec Pee-Wee Tourney

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Québec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament.

Once again, over 2,300 11- and 12-year-old hockey players will face off in Québec City’s Pepsi Coliseum. It’s the biggest minor hockey tournament in the world, attracting aspiring pros from 16 countries. The 11-day competition draws crowds totalling 200,000 who come to watch future professional hockey players. Players from past years have included the likes of Brad Park, Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne, Gilbert Perrault, Mark Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Sylvain Côté, Eric Lindros and more.

We speak with Patrick Dom from Quebec City about the tourney, its history and just what it has meant to hockey, the community and those who have played in it.


All-Star Game History

To mark the 2009 National Hockey League All-Star Game in Montreal on January 25, we spoke with author Andrew Podnieks about the All-Star Game - what it’s about and how it’s changed over the years.

This segment first aired on XM Radio in January, 2009.


Budd Lynch

Since the 1940’s Budd Lynch has been a fixture around and a good will ambassador for the Detroit Red Wings. If Gordie Howe is “Mr. Hockey”, is it unfair to describe Budd Lynch as “Mr. Red Wing” ?

Budd Lynch was the radio broadcast voice of the Wings from 1949 through 1975. At that time he tried to retire but was persuaded into becoming the team’s public realtions director as well as community relations director. He tried to retire again in the ’80’s but instead ended up the team’s public address anouncers for home games (which he continues today in his 90’s).

A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Michigan Sports Hall fo Fame (among others), Budd Lynch shares with us some of the many big moments of his career (including the Detroit Stanley Cups of the 1950’s and 2000’s as well as being in the Montreal Forum the night of the infamous Rocket Richard riots).

This segment first aired on XM Radio in January, 2009.


The Home of Slap Shot

(This segment aired on XM Radio in January, 2009)

When actor Paul Newman passed away in 2008, hockey fans paused to recall Newman and the 1977 film Slap Shot.

The film is based on a screenplay written by Nancy Dowd, based in part on her brother Ned Dowd’s experiences playing minor league hockey in the United States in the 1970s, during which time violence, especially in the low minors, was the selling point of the game.

At the time, Dowd was living in Los Angeles, when she got a call from her brother Ned, a member of the Johnstown Jets hockey team. Her brother gave her the bad news that the team was for sale. Dowd asked her brother who owned the club, and he told her that he had no idea. Dowd would move to the area and be inspired to write Slap Shot.

In addition to being based on the Johnstown story, much of the movie was also filmed there.
In this Journey into Hockey, we speak with Bill Bredin, GM of the Johnstown Chiefs, about Johnstown, its hockey history and the impact of Slapshot on the community.

It was filmed in Pittsburgh & Johnstown, Pennsylvania (Cambria County War Memorial); and upstate New York (Utica Auditorium and the Onondaga County War Memorial Auditorium in Syracuse).


Stan Mikita

(This segment aired on XM Radio in December, 2008)\

As the hockey world has turned its attention to Chicago for this year’s New Year’s Day outdoor classic, we are joined by former Black Hawks great Stan Mikita.

Mikita is thought by some to be the breatest center of the 1960’s. In 1961 he won the Stanley Cup with the Hawks.

As significantly, In his early years, Mikita was among the most-penalized players in the league, but he then decided to play a cleaner game and went on to win the Lady Bing Memorial Trophy for sportsmanlike conduct twice.

Combining skilled defense and a reputation as one of the game’s best faceoff men with his innovative curved stick, Mikita led the league in scoring four times in the decade, tying Bobby Hull’s single-season scoring mark in 1966-67 with 97 points (a mark broken two years later by former teammate Phil Esposito and currently held by Wayne Gretzky).

He currently serves as an ambassador for the Blackhawks’ organization.