Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Father's Day

The game of hockey continues to be a special bond between father and son / father and daughter. As toddlers, we were introduced to the game by dad. Our earliest memories are associated with hockey and dad was present every step of the way.

Traditions passed from one generation to the next in line. The Saturday evening ritual of viewing Hockey Night in Canada. How we play the game, from lacing our skates to taping our hockey stick. The early morning rides to hockey practice, after dad has put in a 60 hour work week. The dedication and hard labour of maintaining a backyard rink. Attending your first Junior or National Hockey League contest, with dad paying the way.

In Junior hockey, a flood of off-spring have followed in the footsteps of their famous dad's, who travelled the same path to reach NHL glory. In the OHL playoffs this spring, the Belleville Bulls were a prime example of this. Their roster contained several father/son combinations - Carter Sandlak (Jim), Dylan Corson (Shayne) and Bjorn Krupp (Uwe). Also, in the line-up were players with a family connection other than father/son. Former NHLer Andy Bathgate took delight in watching his grandson, also named Andy, perform for the Bulls. In goal, Malcolm Subban's career is being closely monitored by his big brother. Of course, we refer to P.K. Subban, who patrols the blueline for the Montreal Canadiens.

Back in 1961-62, another Junior organization could boast of having a large contingent of NHL bloodlines waiting in the wings. The team was the St. Michael's Majors.

The above photograph reveals how rich this talent pool was. Five NHL players are represented - Ken Mosdell (Wayne), Wally Stanowski (Wally), Des Smith (Gary), Harry Watson (Barry) and King Clancy (Terry).

The St. Michael's Majors were defending Memorial Cup champions in the fall of 1961. However, their line-up was undergoing a major face lift. A newspaper report, indicated ten players from the Memorial Cup team were lost due to age restrictions. Another three - Dave Dryden, Arnie Brown and Dunc MacDonald - were moved to the Toronto Marlboros due to student requirements.

Terry Clancy, a centre with St. Mike's, was a member of the '61 Cup team. Also returning for another season, were Andre Champagne, Billy MacMillan, Paul Colin, Tom Polonic and Barry McKenzie. The turnover, resulted in the door being opened for St. Mike's to take a look at left winger Barry Watson, defencemen Wayne Mosdell and Wally Stanowski and goalie Gary Smith.

It is fitting that Father's Day comes so close on the heels of the Stanley Cup final. We can think back and relish the time spent with dad (past or present), watching countless regular season and playoff games.

Wally & Wally
Golden memories, collected over many, many years. Like those shared by four-time Stanley Cup Champion Wally Stanowski and son Wally. The above photo of father and son was snapped in May 2011.

Happy Father's Day!!!

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