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.