It was only the second time an NHL game was cancelled at the Gardens. The first was on January 21, 1963, when King George V died. The opponent for that game was the Montreal Canadiens. In 1952, the New York Rangers were fully supportive of the action taken by MLG. The Rangers took an earlier train to their next destination, Chicago, for a tilt against the Black Hawks.
The night prior to the cancelled game against the Leafs, New York coach Bill Cook and general manager Frank Boucher took in a game between the Guelph Biltmores and Barrie Flyers. The Biltmores were partially sponsored by the Manhattan club and their roster contained a number of Blueshirt prospects. Boucher and Cook were especially impressed by - Ron Murphy, Andy Bathgate, Dean prentice, Aldo Guidolin and Harry Howell - all future NHLers.
|George McCullagh, Vice-President Maple Leaf Gardens|
Of note, there was an interesting story pertaining to another George - George Armstrong. The Maple Leafs had purposely stalled calling-up their future captain until after the game on February 6, 1952 had been played. This would have kept "The Chief" eligible for being involved in the voting for the Calder Trophy in '52-53. With the additional game now on the schedule, Armstrong participated in the remaining 20 games, thus taking him out of the running for a crack at the 1953 Calder. He went on to play 21 seasons with the Leafs incorporating 1,187 games.