Monday, January 10, 2011

Old-Time Hockey

The discussion still carries on regarding Team Canada's stunning loss to Russia at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo, New York. Since Arteimi Panarin scored the game-winning goal, there is little doubt that every junior player in Canada is waiting for another crack at Team Russia.

1965

Hank Goldup
 In January 1965, there was another group of players who would have given everything to face a Russian team. Although they may have been past their peak years, this team had experience in every aspect of the game. So what if they were an "Old-Timers" team composed mostly of retired NHL players. Their leader was former Leaf and Ranger Hank Goldup.

There were usually 20 players in their line-up when they ventured out to play an opponent. Proceeds from the game went to charity or a minor hockey program. Occasionally, they would assist a a former NHL compatriot who was down on his luck.

"Once we take on a game, we get there. We can't disappoint people who have made arrangements. We don't stand for nonsense from any players. And we get none" said Goldup.

 The Old-Timers team played 30 to 35 games a season and raised approximately $150,000. How is this for a partial line-up. GOAL - John Henderson (Bos) DEFENCE - Bob Goldham (Tor/Chi/Det), Ivan Irvin (Mtl/NYR), Wally Stanowski (Tor/NYR), Murray Henderson (Bos), Rags Ragalin (Det/Chi) FORWARDS - John McCormack (Tor/Mtl/Chi), Gus Bodnar (Tor/Chi/Bos), Sid Smith (Tor), Cal Gardner (NYR/Tor/Chi/Bos), Brian Cullen (Tor/NYR), Barry Cullen (Tor/Det), Harry Watson (Brooklyn Americans/Det/Tor/Chi), Ron Hurst (Tor), Gus Mortson (Listed as a forward, but played defence for Tor/Chi/Det).

Concerning playing a Russian team, Goldup had complete confidence his club could hold their own.

"The way we control the puck and know what to do with it, and the fact we don't try to knock anybody around. We fit perfectly (in) the international idea of hockey play the Russians prefer. I feel that with the addition of a couple of players, we could handle any Russian team any where. I can tell you that the Old-Timers would love to try it" said Goldup.

The opportunity for NHL players to get their "crack" at a Russian team would come in September 1972.

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