Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Food For Thought

~ PART 1 ~

While roaming the corridors of Ricoh Coliseum, home of the AHL Toronto Marlies, I came across this wonderful photograph of Toronto Maple Leaf goaltender Turk Broda.

You will observe that Broda has a plate of pancakes in hand. I thought this would be an appropriate picture, taking into account today is Pancake Tuesday.

Recently, I wrote about Pittsburgh goalie Gil Mayer, being summoned from the Hornets as a substitute for Broda. The Leafs starting netminder was benched by Leaf boss Conn Smythe for exceeding a prescribed weight limit of 190 pounds. Broda tipped the scales at 197 pounds. With Broda out of the line-up, Mayer played in his first National Hockey League game on December 2, 1949. At the same time, the Leafs purchased the contract of goalie Al Rollins from the Cleveland Barons (AHL).

In addition to Broda, four other players felt the wrath of Smythe concerning their weight. Garth Boesch dropped to 189.5 pounds, well below Dr. Smythe's recommended weight of 192. Harry Watson shed 5 pounds, hitting his target 0f 200. Vic Lynn was a work in progress, requiring the removal of 2 extra pounds in order to reach 194. Sid Smith had the easiest assignment. The Maple Leafs forward had 8 ounces to drop from his frame.

Turk Broda spent his "benching" sitting in the stands with Conn Smythe (above). Broda lost 7.5 pounds in 2 days. He weighed in at 189.5 pounds, a half-pound lighter than the figure set by Major Smythe.

~ PART 2 ~

Yesterday, I spent a terrific afternoon breaking bread with those attending the monthly Original Six luncheon in Markham, Ontario. The occasion is a delightful opportunity to mingle with past greats of the game. Hall of Fame New York defenceman, Harry Howell, addressed the crowd, as did former Leaf and Ranger, Wally Stanowski. The comedy portion was performed by a very funny Ron Hurst, who skated in 64 NHL games with the Leafs (1955-56/1956-57).

Harry Howell (R) and Ron Hurst (L)

George Storey, brother of Hall of Fame referee Red Storey

Pete Conacher, who played for Chicago, New York and Toronto

Howie Morenz Jr., the son of Montreal Canadiens icon, Howie Morenz
Good food and good company. A tip-of-the-cap to Al Shaw for organizing this outstanding event! To quote a line from the Charles Dickens classic, Oliver Twist, "MORE PLEASE".

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