Monday, March 13, 2017


This is one of the most icon action photos in the history of the game and features "Rocket" Richard, "Gump" Worsley and Ivan Irwin. Never the type of player to backdown when confronted, Irwin stood his ground when the "Rocket" selected his weapon of choice. If Richard wanted a duel, Irwin was up to the task. Fortunately, the battle didn't escalate, but one thing is certain, the "Gumper" wanted no part of it.

And today, Ivan Duane Irwin celebrates his 90th birthday!

On November 5, 1953, Ivan skated in his first NHL contest for the New York Rangers. Early reviews of his Broadway performance were positive. "He's all I thought he was - and more," said Ivan's most important critic, his coach, Frank Boucher. The Rangers boss further stated, "I wondered if he was a sound thinking fellow, whether he might be wild and wooly and get foolish penalties." In the same breathe, Boucher laid to rest any fears in this regard. "Why, he's cool and smart. He doesn't get excited. You'd think he'd been in the league for five years."

Last Monday at the Original Six Alumni lunch, family and friends gathered to wish Ivan a Happy Birthday and to give him one special gift. As is the custom when a member of the alumni turns 90, he is presented with a plated chair to recognize the milestone birthday.

Here are some photos from the event.

Ron Hurst (C) and Pete Conacher (R) making the presentation.

Lorraine Shaw with Ivan's birthday cupcake.
Ivan is flanked by his wife, Peg (L), and daughter, Kim.

Thanks to the wizard behind the lens, ace photographer, John Cavers, for the pictures from the alumni luncheon.

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