On Friday night we had a presentation from Lefty Reid about his times
with the Stanley Cup and at the Hall Of Fame; one by Richard Lomax on the
number 22 with Chicago during which he had seven game worn sweaters for
players who wore that number and a chat with Bob Wilson, who played for
several years in the Chicago farm system.
Saturday took us to the Peterborough Sports Hall Of Fame, which was well worth the trip itself. We conducted the business part of the meeting before George "Red" Sullivan entertained us with stories from his career as player, coach and scout. After lunch Joey Johnston was in to give us snippets from his hockey career.
During the Presidents report I mentioned that I had worked on scanning 2500 photos-mostly from my own collection-which were mostly non-NHL players to be included on the website. The plan is to have evry players picture in head-waist without a helmet so that you could easily ID that player if you found him on a team photo without names.
I also mentioned the over 3400 photos donated by the Hockey News which I listed and are now available for laser copies to members for a small fee by contacting me. We have another list of 400 such documented by Jeff Sim, but since I don't have them in hand I don't know what the process would be for copying those pictures.
I get about fifty E-mails per week that range from helping other SIHR members with information to helping family members track the careers of their relatives. The most notable such families I was able to help were the Hugh Lambe and John "Red" Doran families.
The Lambe family sent me a nice note saying that they appreciated me helping them ID two team photos for which the Hall Of Fame in Toronto was unable to provide even one name. I have offered my services to the Hall to fill out their ID needs, but they have never taken me up on this offer.
I mentioned that one of my priorities has been making the website better and that Rick Cole and I were just sick because of the troubles we have had lately.
I helped Paul Kitchen a little bit with the gathering of data for the Origins Committee report and more so with the Hockey Heritage project we will be helping the National Archies put together in Ottawa.
Somehow during our deliberations we never got around to having Paul explain what this project was. If anyone is interested, contact Paul or myself and we will do our best to explain it to you.
I explained about being an active member of the E-list, but you all know about that.
Len Kotylo gave the Secretary's report and wanted to emphasize that the SIHR office had moved from Suite 1203 to Suite 702, still at 415 Yonge St. in Toronto.
He handled all correspondence and membership inquiries, assisted the SIHR Executive and worked closely with the Newsletter Editor. As well, he arranged for meetings of the Toronto chapter of SIHR.
He also was our rep with associated societies like Photographic Society of Canada, North American Society for Sports History and St. Mary's University Gorsebrook Research Institute.
He continued to sell SIHR pins at $5 each, assisted others in the donation of John Paton's Guide collection to the Kingston Hall Of Fame and did lots more that he didn't mention.
The Treasurers report was given by Paul Bruno and showed that we have a little over $3000 in the coffers. He also pointed out that his members paid up figures didn't agree with those that Dennis Gibbons had so there will be meetings to hash out the discrepencies.
The website committe report was given by myself and Rick Cole. I explained how I am in charge of content and Rick is in charge of the
Technical end. I told members that we had a lot of info and photos ready to go on-site when we started having server troubles. We planned to put 25 sample photos on site and have a password so that members only would have access to thousands of photos and information.
Rick explained that once our previous patron announced to the server folks that he would be shutting down at years end that our service became erratic at best. We decided to move to a new server but couldn't start up without getting approval from the old server to use our SIHR ID, but that after weeks of detective work they found the old server was in Australia and manys prods produced no answer from the. It was then that I told Rick to change the name to sihrhockey.org so that we could get on with it. His last instructions to the company were to get it back quickly or we would move to yet another server. Hold your breath on this one, but once back I think everyone will be happy with the service.
Another item that came up was the Bill Martin Bibliography. An original member, Bill wrote down every book, Guide, program, Scrapbook, etc. that he had. We felt that we should expand that to included what all of our members have so that what we could put on site would likely include virtually everything every produced on the game.
I announced a statistics/photos committe with me as chairman and including Charles Roth (Spokane), Ed Sweeney (Winnipeg), Bob Duff (Windsor, Ont.), Don Andrews (Pembroke-covers the Ottawa Valley), Iain Fyffe (Fredericton-specializes in early Manitoba hockey and early Lacrosse stats), Patrick Houda (Sweden), Martin Harris (British stats), etc.
I also mentioned how we would miss John Paton of Toronto who had been my
instigation to gather amateur stats to go along with the Pros.
It is our hope to complete every minor Pro league in the modern way and include that data on site for the members to share. As for amateur leagues, we will likely make career records of the better players for the site and share complete season-by-season data with those who work on the committee.
Not much was said about the photos end, but the plan is to put as many different team pictures from as many different leagues as possible, along with a good clear shot of every player. Only original photos will be used at first until all leads are extinguished, then we will consider using copies. Photos of Bee Hive, Quaker Oats, hockey cards, magazines, etc. are not good enough for now. If anyone thinks they have anything to offer please let me know.
Len Kotylo made a presentation as to why Wayne Gretzky of L.A. never got a penalty when he cut Doug Gilmour of Toronto. A lively
discussion ensued-you should have been there.
I had the privilege of attending the Fall meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota,
thanks to our Secretary, Len Kotylo, who guided Ed Grenda and I on a 2,500k
odyssey through Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota and back through
northern Michigan. Eight days of wonderful experiences!
Len capably assumed the chair in Ernie Fitz's absence and Ed, our original secretary took over the recording of the minutes. VPs Ed Sweeney and host Roger Goddin gave executive support.
For those unable to attend this historic meeting in the mid-West, here are a few of the highlights:
1. The Friday night reception and the Saturday session in the Minnesota Wild board room were attended by more Americans than Canadians (14 to 6), which reflects hockey's expansion in North America.
2. Two important decisions were reached during thje 60-minute business meeting:
a. The Origins' Committee will be reactivated and expanded to devlve further into the game's beginning (Montreal and Halifax-Dartmouth) in view of the IIHF's decision to erect a plaque marking Montreal as the birthplace of organized hockey).
b. The decision to confirm the next Fall meeting in New Brunswick, was deferred until the May, 2003 AGM in Richmond Hill, Ont.
(The attendance figures, with only three executive members present, strengthened the contention that we should be careful in moving our meetings outside the Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto quadrangle if key members are not able to attend at distant points.)
However, we must break new ground (there were several new members and first-time attendees present in St. Paul) and try to cater occassionally to the faithful members who travel long distances to central Canada twice a year (i.e. those keen members in New Brunswick).
3. Minnesota Wild's Roger Godin, (our VP U.S. West) the only Curator/Historian in the NHL, was a fine host and besides recruiting speakers Doug Risebrough and Murray Oliver, treated us to a pre-game meal in the press room and all the goodies and great view available in an end- zone suite for the State of Hockey (Wild) vs. Hockeytown, U.S.A. (Wings) game before a record 19,344 fans. Meeting ex-North Star Tom Reid at the reception and later at his bar (where hndreds of fans--many in Wild sweaters--were elbow to elbow) was also a treat.
Each delegate came home with a Wild calendar, game booklet and the Wild's Hockey Operations Handbook which expands on the four principals of Team-Passion-Honesty-Preparation in striving to build a winning tradition. (The youthful Wild are 7-1-1).
4. Ex-Golden Seal and Canadian National forward Morris Mott--one of three Winnipegers to make the eight-hour drive south--gave us an insightful paper on playing against the Soviet Russians. Former Canadian, now a U of Minn. professor Donald MacEachern delivered a thoroughly researched paper on Saskatchewan Senior Hockey 1928-1944, a league that graduated 74 NHL players, including the famous Bentley brothers of Delisle.
Californian and ex-Detroiter Morey Holzman read a chapter from his provocative book, Deceptions and Doublecross, that is due out in a few weeks from Dundurn Press. It will change some people's opinions on the first NHL President Frank Calder and enlighten us about Pete Muldoon and Eddie Livingstone.
5. Delegates got a kick out of the paper presented by Jim Coughlin (author of the self-published book Squaw Valley Gold--American Hockey's Olympic Odyssey). It was entitled "The Short Life of the Unappreciated Kick Shot" (which died out in the 1940s.)
6. There was another presenter, (who has never missed a SIHR meeting) who told about the six-year old correspondence between Winnipeg's Ed Evans and SIHR charter member, the late Pat Conway of Syracuse, N.Y. The extensive papers, including vital stastaistics on 4,000 players, are ensconsed in the International Hockey Museum, Kingston, Ont. and will soon be preserved and available at Queen's University Archives.
7. The meetings were not without humour, especially when the venerable Harry Brown divulged that his brother Charlie Brown gave his name to the late Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts cartoon strip. Schulz, who hailed from the Twin Cities, was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 1993, according to Ross Bernstein's excellent 135-page booklet The Hall, distributed by Roger at the conference. Glenn Gostick, a former trainer for the WHL Fighting Saints, also added to the levity.
8. Tom Sersha, executive director of the U.S. Hall gave an informal but comprehensive report on the triumphs and troubles of the Eveleth, Minn. shrine (which the Ontario contingent visited and made many fine research discoveries). Closed for two years, the revitalized and reopened Hall is going to remain in Eveleth, we were assured by Jim Findley, president of the U.S. Hall. "He's heading for Eveleth," means something in the U.S.
9. Bill Sproule was unable to attend and give a paper on the original IHL, 1904-07, but the possibility of celebrating the centennial of this first pro hockey league, was explored by the Kotylo-Grenda-Fitsell troika on its tour of the Copper Country while motoring back to Ontario. Recreation officials in the Michigan Soo, which played the Ontario Soo in that initial game Dec. 9, 1904, has photograhs of the original teams and is keen on being part of the celebration. Stay tuned!
10. My personal highlights were touring the U.S. College Football Hall of Fame (near Notre Dame U) in South Bend, Indiana, which is mind-boggling in its creativity and visiting nearly every notable university and palatial arena in Duluth, Houghton, Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. What a thrill it was to discover Michigan Tech's Dee Stadium, built on the site of James R. Dee's 1902 Amphidrome where some of the first professional games in the Copper Country were played a century ago, not to forget the National Guard Armoury in Calumet, Mich., built in 1913, which could be North America's oldest rink. Anyone know of an older one? P.S. Acting President Len announced that the fifth edition of The Hockey Research Journal is being prepared by Eric Zweig of Dan Diamond Associates and
will be in the mail shortly. The only discordant report at the meeting was the fact that 97 of 220 members are in arrears of dues. Please send in those $20 (U.S.) and $25 (Cdn.) cheques!
For those who couldn't make it, here's what I really liked about the
sessions (not necessarily in this order);
Red Kelly's remininences of his varied career:
The stories about his father, a farmer and good hockey player.
His revelation that his salary over a 20-year career went from the minimum of $6,000 a year to $25,000 or $30,000.
His story of how Punch Imlach brought two loads of Brink truck bags to the dressing room before a crucial Stanley Cup playoff game, emptied the contents on a table and told the Maple Leaf players: "Every time the Canadiens take the puck away from you, they are putting their hands in your pockets and stealing your money." It worked!
Mr. Minor Hockey J.L. (Jack) Christie's talk about his part in building the largest minor hockey association (the OMHA) in the world. (He modestly left behind a 61-page copy of his Memoirs that tells the story of the origin and rise of the organization from a dining room table operation to a $7-million a year business and his comment about the changing attitudes of parents of young hockey players.
Having the birth certificates of several hundred prospects, Jack met all the scouts -- and rightfully predicted that Bobby Orr should have never played Junior hockey at such a young age (his career was cut short by knee injuries).
OMHA past president Jim Kinkley's welcome both at the Friday night meet-and-greet and the Saturday meeting and the conducted tour of the fabulous OMHA headquarters.
Past President Paul Kitchen's astute summary of the Origin's committee report and the showing of the Montreal media conferece video as nicely introduced by Earl (The Pearl) Zukerman.
Bill Sproule's paper on the original International Hockey League and the very professional invitation by Houghton, Michigan to hold a future meeting in the Copper Country.
Ample time was devoted to the selection of sites for future meetings, which resulted as follows:
- October, 2003: Burlington, Ont. (near Hamilton).
- May, 2004: Kingston, Ont. (halfway between Toronto and Montreal - where SIHR was born in 1991).
- October, 2004 - Houghton, Mich.: To mark the Centennial of the IHL.
Glen Goodhand's paper on "Minor League Davids vs. Major League Goliaths."Still recuperating from the effects of an operation, and battling a cold, the Reverend Glen, came through in his usual entertaining and informative style.
The contribution of Neil Orser's quiz (from the current issue of The Hockey History Journal) on Who Was the Coach When? at the Friday night "Show and Tell." Kudos to Eric Zweig and Paul Bruno, the prizewinners and the contribution of Eugene Willis, who loves The Rocket and the California Seals.
The fine, ultra-modern facilities of the Radisson Hotel, Markham - a bargain at $109 a night, conveniently located at Highways 404 and 7. (Did anyone else overlook the fact the Valhalla access street was one-way?)
The fine response of Bruce Newton, an 18-year-old Ridley student, on receiving the Brian McFarlane Award (for outstanding research and collecting) on behalf of his late grandfather, John D. Paton, from our Honourary President (who attended with his mother Shirley Anne Newton of St. Catharines.) "It was not only a hobby," he said, "It was a part of his life." The Patton collection is now in the International Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum in Kingston, Ontario.)
Bill Humber's rousing reading of Soup Campbell's tribute to Red Tilson--the popular ex-Oshawa General who now lies in Flanders Field where the poppies blow.
Secretary Len Kotylo and President Ernie Fitizsimmons and his wife, Marlene, did a fine job of looking after all the small but important details that make for a successful convention and Newsletter Editor Denis Gibbons, who was there to record the happenings for posterity (including the taking of a group photo outside the OMHA headquarters, while prostrate on the pavement!)
And most important,, the wind-up event at the home of our secretary Len and his gracious wife, Meezma. They put on a sumptuous buffet, with bubbly and friendly chatter. We had to be pulled away from Len's incredible scrapbook collection--every known sports photo from the 1950s to 2000! It's destined for some lucky archive.
When a group meets at a Police Station (Halton Division 30) and is warmly welcomed by a former Anglican Bishop-- John Bothwell, father of St. Louis Blues' veteran Tim Bothwell, now of Calgary) and given a blessing from "The Father, The Son and The Holy Goal Post," then you know the participants (and the event) had to be good!
Thanks to a couple of Burlington Burties, veteran news hounds
Larry Robertson and Denis Gibbons, backed by secretary and legal
beagle Len Kotylo, the Saturday session had a little of everything:
a. An early start and a full business session;
b. Ample time for presentation of papers, and
c. a top guest--the convivial and informative Gaye Stewart of Burlington.
This genial octogenarian, who played 502 games in the NHL, made three all-star teams, compiled 344 points with Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, N.Y. Rangers and Montreal and never drew over $10,000 a year in salary, spent four hours reminiscing, kibitzing and answering questions. He coached in the AHL and officiated in the NHL and admitted he learned more about the game as a referee. "(In those days) lots of guys skated with one foot in the NHL and one foot in the AHL." (Await Denis's complete report in the next Newsletter).
Socializing was also done on Friday night at a free wheeling OHA
Senior AAA game at nearby Dundas, where the short- handed Real McCoys,
winners of two Ontario championships, fell to the Aylmer Blues (8-6).
It was great to hear the sh-h-h-h of the blades, the schwack of the
stick on puck, the crack of fists on visors and the verbal niceties
exchanged by players in action. All performed on a tight 188 by 78
foot ice surface, where "roll the tire" is an intermission
After the game in the lounge of the rebuilt 1950's arena, the SIHR delegates met Dundas president Don Robertson and mingled and posed for pictures with the executive--the guys that met a $65,000 guarantee and held a very successful Allan Cup--Canadian senior championships--tourney in the Hamilton suburb last Spring. The dozen visitors went home with programs featuring the Allan Cup on the cover--all for the bargain price of one buck!
The formal and informal presentations of research papers were
a multi-media variety, including overhead projector, slides and
videos of old newsreels--one from the 1942 Stanley Cup playoffs--provided
by film collector Paul Patskou and withcomments from Gaye.
1. Host Larry Robertson gave us a little history lesson on early Burlington ice action and provided an outline of the unique family-operated Burlington (Junior C) Cougars.
2, Bob Duff updated us on the perils of checking NHL scoring stats, prior to official scorers being appointed in 1926 and appealed for more volunteers.
3. Gene Willis, whose main interests are Rocket Richard and the California Seals, pulled a switch and gave us a warm-hearted and comprehensive look at small town minor hockey in Ontario--the 1953 Midget C championship Bracebridge Kin Kids. Besides preparing a history of this unique team--(no major penalties)--he compiled a valuable pictorial album and took keynote speaker/nonagenarian Jack Christie (Mr. Minor Hockey) to the 50th anniversary banquet.
4. New member George Fosty of New York, who did a world-wide search on hockey, garnered 6,000 citations and produced a "rough-edge time line" spoke extemporaneously. The former Kamloops, B.C. junior coach dared to enter "the den of the lion" and defended his ambitious 5,000 year history of the field and ice game, Splendid Is The Sun. He duelled verbally with Ed Grenda and yours truly and came out unbowed. "This is a work in progress,"" he said. "What is shoddy (research) today is cutting age tomorrow."
5. Our founding president gave an illustrated talk on the dazzling, one-eyed
centreman Joseph Francis (Jo-Jo) Graboski, who starred on three senior championship
teams in England, United States and Canada prior to and during the Second World
6. Most fascinating session was a 58-minute presentation by superb hockey artist Daniel Parry of nearby Grimsby. He displayed more than a baker's dozen of his art--from Wayne Gretzky, The Rocket and the Esposito brothers to Team Canada '72. They showed his great care for detail ("People like to find mistakes") and his creative talent in capturing the essence of the game. It's a booming business with paintings, prints and posters going for thousands of dollars. (I learned that "limited edition" can mean anywhere from 250 to 3,500 copies. However, don't expect to find a high-priced Parry masterpiece at a bargain price. He has scruples!)
A cornucopia of hockey books, donated by Bob Duff, Brian McFarlane
and George Fosty, resulted in a draw that sent home most of the 29
people present with special reading material. Eighty-four year-old
Lloyd Penwarden picked up Hockeytown, USA, the 75th Anniversary History
of the Detroit Red Wings, a book he was seeking. The $5 draw fee
subsidized the $20 registration charge that provided two great deluxe
buffet, including baron of beef. No beefs on the food--just praise!
In fact the only negative comments I heard, were:
a. the lack of central mee-and-greet place on Friday night and
b. detailed maps directing members to the Dundas Arena in Hamilton. (Two drivers got lost but missed only two minutes of the game).
Three American members, Roger Godin and Don MacEachern,
borth of Minnesota and George Fosty from The Big Apple were in attendance
and vied with The Fitzsimmons of Fredericton, New Brunswick, for
the mythical prize for coming the longest distance. A medal should
go to Marlene Fitzsimmons for handling the registrations and generally
keeping things moving at the back of the hall. We were graced by
the presence of three other ladies, Anne Kitchen, Lesley Willis and
Theresa Colle. Cheers!
Honourary President Brian McFarlane announced that his museum will relocate in a new 3,500 square foot addition to the Bowmanville (Clarington) Arena. With Bill Humber in the same town, there is a good prospect for a future meeting there. Ditto in Georgetown, Ont., where Bryan Lewis, former NHL official is supervisor of referees and spokesman for the Georgetown Hockey Heritage Council.
We missed three regular: Executive Vice President Glen Goodhand, VP U.S. East Don O'Hanley and Lefty Reid. (Hope all are well).. And wouldn't it be great if authors Don Reddick, Andrew Podnieks and Frank Cosentino could clear their schedules to appear at a future meeting. Lloyd Davis is keen to participate in a Perils of Publishing panel.
And finally SIHR was big news in the Burlington area: The Hamilton Spectator reported on its Nov. 1 front page--Real hockey fans never stop studying--International society gathers for a gab, and quoted our indomitable Newsletter Editor Denis Gibbons: "I consider us (SIHR) the Hockey Hall of Fame. They have the pictures and the plaques of the honoured members, but we have the important stuff."
IF YOU WEREN'T ONE OF THE 26 MEMBERS WHO ATTENDED SIHR'S 13TH ANNUAL GENERAL
IN KINGSTON, ONTARIO, MAY 21-22, YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN THESE HIGHLIGHTS:
1. Secretary Len Koytylo, who has been SIHR's CEO since the head office moved from Kingston to Toronto, was elected president for a two-year term. Ernie Fitzsimmson, after five years as president, was elected secretary.
2. Ed Grenda, one of the co-founders and former secretary, who was co-host of the Kingston meeting, was elected Executive Vice-President.
3. Montreal will host the May, 2005 AGM, on invitation of Earl (The Pearl) Zukerman, VP Quebec. Invitations are invited to host the Fall 2005 meeting.
4.Membership dues were increased from $25 to $30 (Cdn.) and $20 to $25 (U.S.) effective Jan. 1, 2005.
5. A new version of membership cards--thanks to the Pearl--was produced and will be available on request to the Toronto office.
6. Ron Leger, who continued his tradition of providing fascinting items for Friday's Show and Tell session and distributed many Moncton programs, was restored as Vice-President Atlantic.
7. Paul Bruno was re-elected treasurer and reported 110 memberships paid to date. The roster lists 137 Canadian members, 78 Americans and 10 others throughout the world.
8. Bill Sproule of Houghton and Jerry Springer of Marquette, gave us an attractive overview of the Pro Hockey Centennial scheduled for Michigan's Copper Country Sept. 23-26, 2004, with SIHR's fall meeting as an important segment. Gordie Howe and the Detroit Red Wings Alumni will be featured at the Saturday night game as MacInnes Arena. Tickets will be available in June. For more info check out www.cchockeyhistory.org
9. Special Kingston guests Ron Plumb and Jim Dorey, both of whom played in the NHL and WHA, gave highly entertaining and informative presentations, including hilarious new versions of the infamous rain of pucks at the inaugural game of the Philadelphia Blazers in 1972. Ernie Fitzsimmons presented both with their personal records as gleaned from the SIHR website.
10. Joseph Nieforth of Toronto, co-author of Deceptions and Doublecross with Californian Morey Holzman, and contributor to our website, was announced as recipient of the Brian McFarlane Award for outstanding research and writing. Len Kotylo received the award and will re-present it.
11. Five well-prepared and professionally presented papers, three of them illustrated, were squeezed into 12 to 36 minute periods at the end of the conference. Grateful thanks were extended to presenters Paul Kitchen, Glen Goodhand, Eugene Willis, Bil Sproule and Eric Zweig. Read all about them in the next SIHR-Plus Newsletter!
12. The longest period -- 65 minutes -- in SIHR's 13 year history, was required to elect a president, executive VP, secretary, treasurer and VP Atlantic. Although the Queen's University Archives' meeting room was tabled into square not a punch was thrown! The balloting stretched the day's program but indicated that SIHR is growing up politically. People are keen to fill various offices and to say why. Cheers!
13. The meeting was graced by the attendance of four women, Anne Kitchen and Marlene Fitzsimmons, who are members and Leslie Willis and Kathy Bruno (prospectives). Anne greatly assisted in the electoral process as a scrutineer and complimented the usual judicious chaisrmanship style of husband Paul Kitchen, who presented the nomination report.
14. First time attendees at the Friday night reception at the International Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum included Wayne Geen of Oshawa and Neil Orser of Sydenham, (publisher of The Hockey History Journal), Jerry Sullivan of Marquette, Mich., plus observers Murray and Chris Cook, who supported Jim Cook in his presentation of a fine colelction of his Hall of Fame father Bill Cook of
the New York Rangers.
15. Journal editor Eric Zweig, (11 books), Ernie Fitzsimmons (2 books) and Bob Duff (co-author of "Without Fear" and many other articles, and noted book editor Lloyd Davis participated in "The Perks and Perils of Publishing" panel and brought forth many helpful tips.
16. Sixteen delegates wound up the conference with dinner and warm conversations at the Holiday Inn dining room overlooking the historic harbour where the first Kingston game was played in 1886.
The 2004 fall meeting was held in the hockey rich Copper Country of northern Michigan in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the International Hockey League (IHL) on September 24th and 25th, 2004.
The Friday Meet and Greet was held at the Grant Education Center on the Michigan Tech Campus with presentations by local hockey historian Connie Julian who discussed the SIHR website, meeting host Bill Sproule who discussed The Copper Country and Hockey History and former player Jerry Sullivan who revealed some interesting Goal Scoring analysis.
Rick Yeo, Athletic Director at Michigan Tech greeted members back to the Grant Education Center for Saturday's meeting. Following the business portion of the day, the following presentations were made:
- Doc Gibson Put the Eye in IHL - Bill Fitsell
- Newspaper Coverage of Early Pro Hockey - Dan Mason
- IHL Players and How to Find Them - Ernie Fitzsimmons & James Milks
- How the IHL Affected the Stanley Cup - Morey Holzman
- Moe Roberts; A Cereer in Bookends - Roger Godin
- An Introduction to Game Worn Jerseys - Richard Lomax
- The Virtual Hall of Fame - Morey Holzman
- The First Miracle on Ice; The 1960 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team - Jim Coughlin
- The Hockey Injury of Wilbur Wright - Ed Grenda
The group also welcomed recent U.S. Hall of Fame inductee Paul Coppo and toured the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena Complex with host Chris Roy. The evening was capped off with a hockey game between the Detroit Red Wings Alumni vs. Michigan Tech Huskies Alumni.
TO ALL SIHR MEMBERS (the Fortunate Fifteen who made the Annual General Meeting at McGill University in Montreal, May 20-21, 2005 and those who couldn't attend:
1. Delegates came home with a renewed appreciation of the Mecca of Hockey, the zest of host Earl Zukerman, McGill's unflappable Communications and Publications officer and the leadership skills of President Len Kotylo:
"Our organization is no longer a mystery," the prez reported. "It is becoming acknowledged as a significant entity in hockey research...Our name presently has recognition and substance." A number of SIHR members, notably Past President Paul Kitchen have made valuable contributions to CBC's "Hockey, A People's History," due to be televised in February, 2006.
2. Among the most important decisions made were:
a. The 2005 Fall Meeting will be held at the OHA offices in Cambridge, Ont. (one hour west of Toronto) in October, 2005:
b. The 2006 AGM will be held in Moncton, New Brunswick, during the Memorial Cup finals, May 20-28, thanks to the warm invitation extended by Ron Leger, VP, Atlantic. This quiet, unassuming collector has signed up 12 new members in the Maritimes and has promised a visit to his hockey room!
c. The executive was returned with one exception: Lloyd Davis, the Toronto hockey book editor supreme, accepted the position of secretary, vacated by Past President Ernie Fitzsimmons of Fredericton, N.B. The president and Executive Vice-President Ed Grenda (who missed his first AGM in 14 years) are in the midst of a two-year term.
d. Webmaster James Milks of Gatineau, Quebec, volunteered to succeed Denis Gibbons as SIHR-Plus Newsletter editor at the end of the year.
Denis, who has done an excellent job for the past five years, is retiring to devote more time to his job as a freelance writer and global hockey guru (The Hockey News, Kings of the Ice). He was given a hearty round of applause and deserves everyone's thanks for filling this important role with energy, ideas and distinction.
3. Saturday's program was spliced with entertaining tours of two ice
palaces: The Bell (ex-Molson) Centre, conducted by amiable Carl Levigne, Montreal Canadiens' Publications head, and McGill's refurbished 1952 McConnell Arena, where the historic input and enthusiasm of host "Earl the Pearl" was evident. Carl took us through the bowels of the 21,000 seat arena, posed us in $150 seats for a group photo and explained why violinist Andre Rieu is making sweet music and not Saka Koivu.
4. Eric Zweig, the Editor of The Hockey Research Journal was announced and congratulated as the 2005 recipient of The Brian McFarlane Award for outstanding research and writing. Dan Diamond Associates' key editor on NHL publications has contributed at least six papers over the past five years while compiling and editing the Journal. The trophy will be presented at a later date.
5.The raison d'etre of our Society--research and publication--was served by three presentations:
i. Eric Zweig featured with a timely report on "The End of the Challenge Era of the Stanley Cup (1914). His handout included a summary that shows the coveted cup, valued historically at 10 guineas--$51.10 , is actually worth between $5,570.07 and $8,908.20 (and priced at $60,000 to $70,000 in press reports).
ii. Roger Godin of St. Paul, Minnesota, gave a paper on "The Evolving 'State of Hockey' - The 1934-35 St. Paul Saints," who attracted crowds of 7,000 (at 35, 50 and 85 cents a ticket) in the midst of the Depression Years.
iii. Yours truly outlined the career of U.S. sports historian Frank G. Menke and "the birthplace battle" (Kingston-Montreal-Halifax) during the Second World War. The Cleveland-born, New York-based writer aimed to trace hockey to its original starting point and with the aid of three McGill officials (all with USA connections) came close to the definition of the SIHR origins' committee.
When our rink tour went overtime, James Milks had to depart before giving his report of Hugh McCormick, a McGill alumni, who was back-up goaltender for Canadiens and Maroons. Past President Paul Kitchen, (who has been involved in clarifying the Free Stanley initiative, quietly held over his informative paper on "Payola." Look for them in the next Journal.
6. Host Earl reported the Montreal Hockey Heritage is awaiting a city report before accepting the IIHF's announced proposal to erect a plaque marking the Montreal as the site of the first organized indoor game. (1875)
7. Our organization is solvent. Treasurer Paul Bruno, through President Len, reported a bank balance of $1,216 on revenue of $7,620.
8. Newsletter Editor Denis, submitted a written report that shows membership is now at a record 294 after deleting the names of delinquents members. (164 are paid-up in 2005, so beware!). There are
174 members in Canada (58 per cent), 108 in the USA and 12 in other countries. He credits part of the increase to the expanding website.
9. Ernie and James gave encouraging reports on the SIHR website--more than 1,400 hits. There are now 10,960 photos on site, thanks to the concentrated work of Wilbrod Despres of Riviere au Renard, Quebec and tons of Olympics research input by Patrick Houda of Stockholm, Sweden. A media conference announcing the site launch will be held on two continents in the near future.
An appeal was made for more input of book reviews and historical'
information to combat the Windsor, Nova Scotia's origin versions and balance the extensive statistical material. Members were urged to
respond off-list to personal e-mail requests.
10. One hundred and fifty members missed these generous handouts:
-- "Maurice Richard, The Reluctant Hero," a glossy, 160-page coffee table book, compliments of Carl Levigne and the Canadiens' souvenir shop;
--The current Canadian Hockey League Yearbook, 228 pages, cover shot of phenom Sidney Crosby, plus a CHL Prospects magazine, both donated by Ron Leger;
--2005-05 McGill Redmen Hockey Program: "A hard-skating tradition since 1877," thanks to Earl Zukerman.
--A collection of Scotiabank Hockey College News from 1982, donated by Ernie Fitzsimmons.
11. The social side of the Friday night/all-day Saturday sessions were very enjoyable and productive. Dinners were enjoyed at Quality Hotel's Bistro di Roma, and a Crescent Street cafe. Room 620 got the Hot Stove League off in high spirits (and some members paid the price of the Ontario-N.B. chug-a-lug challenge!). Host Earl laid on a sumptuous lunch in the comfortable third-floor Hurlburt Lounge at the Hartland Molson Centre. Cheers!
Greetings to first time attendees Steve LeBlanc of New Brunswick and J.P. Martel of Chambly, Quebec. Special kudos to Anne Kitchen, who alone represented the smarter sex due to the unavoidable absence of stalwart Marlene Fitzsimmons; Baseball coach Michel Vigneault who attended Friday night and Billie (Jazzman) Georgette of the Montreal Hockey Heritage Committee, who took in two sessions. And we must record another SIHR first, the attendance of our watchdog. "Coco/Koko" attended the Friday night social, thanks to mistress Meezan Kotylo.
For the second time in seven years,
SIHR invaded the relatively new
community of Cambridge, Ontario
(formed in 1973 from the city of
Galt and towns of Hespeler and Preston) and came home consumed with hockey memories.
Thanks to host Ed Heather and
President Len Kotylo, the Ontario
Hockey Association offices and the
Holiday Inn's Hespeler Room, were
the settings for the strongest parade of former hockey greats and special guests ever featured at a Fall Meeting.
Interspiced with meet-and-greets, "health breaks" and sumptuous meals was a busy business session that produced the most pro-active decisions taken in years. President Len, in his written report, pointed to the growing number of members, many attracted by the Society's website. "The level of talent of SIHR members is high," he said. "Therefore the abilities of our organization to create successes in many areas will be demonstrated before our next annual meeting in (Moncton, N.B.) in May, 2006."
The 26 Cambridge delegates hailed from Minnesota to New Brunswick. The Friday night meet-and-greet was featured by the fine presentations of Gord Renwick, former vice-president of the International Ice Hockey Federation and Dave (Cerebral) Cressman of the Minnesota North Stars. Both well known names in the Galt- Kitchener area, their observations on local and international hockey were augmented by the words of Terry Walker, a former CBC sports producer, now doing research on a new ten-part series, Hockey: A People's History (due late in 2006). The son of former Toronto writer Gord Walker, made a an impassioned and detailed plea for restoring the bronze medal to Father David Bauer's 1964 Team Canada which was demoted to fourth place by a late ruling by IIHF
President Bunny Ahearne. "He was no friend of Canada," said Mr. Renwick, who supported the move to have the 1964 medal situation rectified.
Cressman, a Minnesota North Star (1974-76),
who finished his career with the CambridgeHornets, said the caliber of Senior
A players in Ontario started
to decline after the 1967 NHL
expansion. In those days he
played for "share the wealth"--
$800 to $1,700 a season. Today's
seniors get $100 a game
for a win and $50 for a loss. Expros
earn $200 and $100.
Cressman also credited North-Star goaltender Cesare Maniago with saving his rookie skin in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers, in which he found himself surrounded by the Broadstreet Bullies. It seems that Maniago charged the group and bowled them over like pins
allowing the referees to intervene.
The Saturday afternoon session was faced off with a fascinating film session presented by movie collector Paul Patskou. No one was more interested than special guests Harold "Boat" Hurley, the sterling goaltender for Galt Hornets and Kitchener Dutchmen, and another fine netminder Norm Defelice, who donned the pads for 22 teams, including Boston Bruins, between 1952 and 1970. Both admitted they had never seen themselves play and Paul surprised them with videos of themselves in action. (Two days later the Toronto film collector found highlight clips of Cressman).
“Boat” recounted the fascinating experience he had during his trip to the Soviet Union with the National Team as well as the various opportunities he had to turn pro. The pragmatic, softspoken man had no regrets about his decision to remain an amateur and stick with his job at Bauer, where he would remain for many years.
After the formal discussion, Hurley shared memories with James Milks of his experience as the backup goaltender for one game for the Chicago Blackhawks during their Stanley Cup run in 1961 against Detroit. Despite paying his way to and from the motor city, Hurley was
only handed $50 by Chicago coach Rudy Pilous. His protests earned him a pat on the back and another $25 before he returned to Canada, never having been needed on the ice.
Norm Defelice had no shortage of memories to share either. Having played for the legendary Eddie Shore, he confirmed the rumour that Shore would carry suspension slips in his shirt pocket so that a player could be sidelined at any given moment. Another funny moment came when Norm recounted the time at which he found out he had been called up to play with the Bruins. Upon arriving home, his
wife told him to pack his bags. “What for?” he asked. “Well, you’re headed to Boston” she replied. “Me, I don’t think they would ask me”. “Well that is what they are saying on the radio” she said. Norm played 10 games for the Bruins to replace Terry Sawchuk who was hospitalized for nervous exhaustion. When asked about his short stay in Trois-Rivières with the Lions, he explained how his family felt terribly isolated in the French-speaking community, resulting in his decision to quit the team. “The old man will break you” his coach told him, referring to Shore’s reaction. Despite being suspended and then traded, this troublesome time was actually the beginning of his most spectacular performance in the crease. The 1958-59 season would see Norm lead the EHL with 41 wins and a GAA of 2.78 with the Clinton Commets. Over the next six seasons with the team, his stats would continue to impress, notching a league-leading 48 wins and 15 shut-outs in 1964-65 season.
In 1967 he returned to Galt where he was quickly approached by the Hornets. At first, he balked at the salary, but eventually came around
and joined the team. He recorded 5 shut-outs and had a GAA of 2.14 with the team, which led to a sizeable bonus with which he purchased a new Chevrolet Vega for his wife. It was the gift that kept on giving, as each of his children learned to drive with it.
Former SIHR member Fred Addis of Orillia, gave a valuable, 36-minute PowerPoint presentation on "The Year of the Mask, 1959-60." It ranged from its creation and development from the Benedict, Plante and Simmons' versions to the molded plexiglas and the form-fitting fibreglas models made from a plaster impression. He ended with a salute to the last bare-faced goalie, Andy Brown. "Anyone who
stands up to 90 mph slapshots," he said, "is no coward."
Padre Glen Goodhand, who recently moved from Beaverton to Lindsay, Ontario (where The Daily Post publishes his Hockey Historic
Hilites' columns) presented his umpteenth paper in his usual entertaining and finely enunciated style. In 18 minutes he covered "Hockey's Hand-Me- Downs"--the public transfer of retired numbers, i.e. No. 9 from Charlie Conacher to Ted Kennedy; No. 10, from Syl
Apps to George Armstrong and No. 6 from Ace Bailey to Ron Ellis.
Recent McFarlane Award
winner Joseph Nieforth of
Toronto gave a well researched
paper on "70 Years of Penalty
Shots" including the first stop
by George Hainsworth and the
first play-off goal by Lionel
(Big Train) Conacher. Pathos
and humour prevailed. Dit
Clapper scored twice (the first
was disallowed because of an
illegal start). One ref let the
opposing team pick the shooter
(a bench warmer), and the incomparable
Jean Pusie circled
the ice before picking up the
puck and blasting it into the
Membership fees and the prompt payment of dues ($30 Cdn., $25 U.S.) received close scrutiny. Secretary Lloyd Davis reported on successful efforts to decrease the delinguent list and President Len reported the growing interest in SIHR, included new members in France and Italy (to go along with those in Germany, Sweden, Australia and Hong Kong).
SIHR members who made the trek to Moncton, New Brunswick, were treated to a well organized annual general meeting (AGM) on May 19th and 20th, thanks to the efforts of Ron Leger and his band of hard working Moncton members.
With a city gripped in the clutches of Memorial Cup fever as a backdrop, members enjoyed a well attended Friday night meet-and-greet where the many new Maritime members where introduced to the out of town visitors from Canada and the U.S.
Thanks to the efforts of Steve Leblanc, members were shuttled to and from the Coliseum where they each obtained the much coveted “All-Access” photo passes for the Memorial Cup tournament. Most members then attended the opening hockey game in which the Peterborough Petes defeated the Quebec Remparts in a somewhat placid game.
Saturday’s meeting first dealt with the requisite business matters, in which the following issues were discussed:
1) President Len Kotylo was unanimously returned for a second two-year term and the remaining executive members were acclaimed with these exceptions:
Stephen Hardy of Durham, New Hampshire was elected Vice-President, U.S. East, succeeding Don (O'Hockey) O'Hanley of Providence, R.I. and Wayne Geen of Oshawa, Ontario, was elected director-at-large for Ontario, succeeding Denis Gibbons, of Burlington. Both Don and Denis, who gave valiant service to the organization are recuperating from serious operations and will continue their valuable research and writing efforts.
2) President Len reported the successful relocation of the SIHR Head Office (and his law office) around the corner from Yonge Street, to 66 Gerrard Street East, Suite 300, Toronto, M5B 1G3. Phone number remains (416) 585-9373. He cited the growing activities and influence of the Society, much of it due to the work of website volunteers "who have sent news of our research throughout the world." He noted an increase in new members including those from France, Italy and New Zealand.
3) SIHR is a $15,000 a year business, including a $976 Ontario government grant and growing. The bank balance as of Oct. 3, 2005, according to treasurer Paul Bruno's submitted report is $3,143.35.
4) The meeting approved a resolution to nominate pioneer player and organizer James George Aylwin Creighton (1850-1930) as a builder of hockey. The Halifax native, who is credited with taking a form of the Maritime game to Montreal and Ottawa in the 1870s and 1880s, is already a member of the Nova Scotia Sports Heritage Centre. SIHR's nominations will be submitted to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, both in Toronto, and the International Hockey Hall of Fame in Kingston, Ontario.
Finally, Roger Godin sought and received approval to pursue, on behalf of SIHR, the task of having a plaque erected at the site of the Minneapolis Arena to mark the building’s historical significance to early hockey in that city.
With the business portion complete, it was time to welcome the guest speakers. First up was Bob Mongrain, the current coach of the University of Moncton Blue Eagles men’s hockey team. Bob has had a long career both as a player and a coach, which led him to the Memorial Cup a total of three times, to the NHL and AHL as well as eleven seasons in Europe. After his retirement as a player in 1994, he focused his attention to a career in coaching. He joined the university of Moncton in June of 2005.
Bob mentioned that in his capacity as coach, he often uses historical hockey facts to inspire himself and his players. He had great praise for the society and the work we do.
“University hockey is the best kept secret in Canada” he said, when asked what his opinion was on the caliber of players on his team when compared to the many Major Junior players he coached in the QMJHL. “I have been trying to organize exhibition games against some AHL teams, but they continue to decline the invitation, as a loss would be too embarrassing.” He also shared stories about Mike Keenan, his former roommate Lindy Ruff and how he even contemplated changing his name to be less francophone, as he wondered if it had an effect on how often he was sent down to the AHL.
Long time NHL scout and team psychologist Paul Henri was the next to take the floor. He dazzled the crown with recollections about players and coaches alike.
He also spoke at length about how teams need to place more emphasis on the mental part of the game. “In an age where players are in better physical shape than ever before, thanks to team doctors and trainers, many of the game’s mental aspects are being overlooked”
Paul also shared what may have been a telling point about team cohesion in regards to the showing of Team Canada’s Men’s Hockey Team at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic games. Having not yet made the call as to who would be the starting goaltender, coach Pat Quinn entered the team’s dressing room and looked Roberto Luongo in the eye and said “Carlo, you’re in”.
Stephen Hardy, Professor, Kiniesology, University of New Hampshire and Andrew Holman of Bridgewater State College, set a new standard for academic papers in their joint presentation, entitled: Periodizing Hockey History: One Approach. (Periodization: "Dividing a subject into historical eras for purpose of analysis and study.) They achieved their goal of mapping out a big picture--from folk games, the Montreal games, Soviet hockey, corporate hockey and the rise of college and women's hockey--"for understanding hockey's long history in all it its complexities"--convergence, divergence and reconvergence. "How long will this pattern of convergence continue, before we begin to see divergence again?" asked Stephen a sports historian for 35 years. Stay tuned, and keep your stick and eye on the ice!
Eric Zweig, who loves to debunk hockey's myths, came up with another gem in his presentation: Tex's Rangers and Other Tall Tales. He delved into the misty history of the launch of the New York Rangers (1926) and N.Y Americans (1925) and gave a new insight on the presentation of the Prince of Wales Trophy. Although the Rangers' guide credits the creative Broadway press for originating the name, Eric gives the honours to Texas-born George H. (Tex) Rickard. "It was handed to them on a platter--Tex's Rangers, get it" he said, quoting the Madison Square Garden fight and hockey promoter. "They played the media like a violin," he added during a fascinating Q & A period. Read the complete text in your next issue of The Hockey Research Journal.
Thanks to VP Ed Grenda and Moncton volunteer Laurent Poulin, yours truly presented an illustrated paper: "The Memorial and the Man"--the man being Capt. James T. Sutherland of Kingston, Ontario. A pioneer player, coach, manager, referee and founder of the Hockey Hall of Fame movement, has been credited with suggesting the introduction of the Memorial Cup for the junior championship of Canada in 1919. The original trophy was known as the "OHA Memorial Cup" but today it is promoted as the "MasterCard Memorial Cup." Thank God the captain died in 1955!
Following the papers, members hurried off to tour the amazing collection of AGM host Ron Leger. Visitors are awe-struck by the museum-like basement which features artifacts from all eras of the game. A vintage radio in the corner plays games called by the legendary Foster Hewitt as the host scurried about digging up artifacts that related to individual member’s interests.
Vic Howe, co-holder of a unique NHL sibling record, was the special guest at Ron Leger's amazing Hockey Room. Still close to his playing weight of 172 pounds, the Saskatchewan native played 33 games with the New York Rangers (1950-55) and finished his career with the Beavers and Hawks of Moncton. He's 11 months younger than brother Gordie whom he recalled showed his exceptional hockey talent in school hockey at age 12. "It got to the point where there should have been two pucks, one for him to play with and one for the rest of us!" Together with Vic's three goals, the Howes had more than most brother combinations."
Other items that came out of the meeting included the notice that the Origin's Committee report was delayed because chair Paul Kitchen is finishing up the last chapters of the history of the Ottawa Hockey Club. Committee member Earl (The Pearl) Zukerman of Montreal urged resumption of the group work: "It is the lifeline to our credibility and presence in the market place."
Roger Godin, VP U.S. West, reported that the board of directors of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum, have decided to close the facility in Eveleth, Minnesota. A former executive director of the Hall, Roger is hopeful the shrine will be relocated in another section of "The State of Hockey."
And the best Quip of the Weekend came from the always colourful and jovial Terry Kelly, who asked "Prime Minister Harper (a new SIHR member) belongs to the blue party. Can't he do anything for the (Toronto Maple) Leafs?”
The 15th annual Fall Meeting of SIHR at the Iroquois Park Arena in Whitby had a definite international touch. Half the presentations came from members spread across the U.S.A.: Morey Holzman of California (Why Hockey Stats Prior to 1952 Are All Garbage); Roger Godin of Minnesota, (The 1932-33 Eveleth Rangers) and Jim Mancuso, of New York State (Clinton, N.Y.: The Biggest Little Hockey Town in the U.S.A.).
Jim joined with Whit Bacon to inspire members to accept an invitation to hold the 2007 Fall Meeting in Springfield, Mass., the site of the AHL head office, the Basketball Hall of Fame and the bailiwick of the legendary Eddie Shore. It should stimulate membership in this hockey mad New England area, said James, author of a book about another hockey hotbed--The Clinton Comets, An EHL Dynasty.
Two other Americans graced our meetings: Gene Dupras, a U.S. Air Force veteran from Idaho and newcomer Cathy Kinast, a real hockey aficionado from Pittsburgh, Pa.
To ensure Canadian content, our busy host Wayne Geen of nearby Oshawa, gave a mini-look at the Motor City's one an only professional team--the 1930-31 Patricias (named after the owner's daughter) and the founding president presented a paper on "When Mascots Were Barefaced."
Dedicated webmaster James Milks reported plans are proceeding for the 16th AGM in Ottawa, Ontario in May, 2007.
Discussions followed about the feasibility of extending our meetings so as to accommodate business, presentations and special guests. A Sunday morning session was proposed. Stay tuned!
During the morning business session, President Len Kotylo, cited a number of exceptional acquisitions: Replicas of Hendy Guides created by Joseph Cronin of California; a copy of The Knights of Winter, a remarkable history of British Columbia hockey, 1895-1911, by former SIHR member Craig Bowlsby; and a copy of Arthur Farrell's Hockey: Canada's Royal Winter Game 1899 booklet, the first published history on the game, donated through Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a SIHR member, and Montreal Gazette columnist Red Fisher.
The president acknowledged the impressive work of volunteers including Wilbrod Despres of Quebec in producing 350,000 lines of statistics for the SIHR web site. Not overlooking, of course, the tremendous ongoing contribution by stats guru, past president Ernie Fitzsimmons. The data base has surpased the 60,000 player mark (less than 6000 have played in the NHL prior to 2006-07) and 10,000 of those player's records were added between May and October of 2006 thanks mostly to R.J. Pratt, Wilbrod Despres, Mike Starchok and Ernie Fitzsimmons. Wayne Geen has also added many lines of players Coaching records.
Len also paid tribute to several members including noted film collector Paul Patskou, who contributed to the CBCs ten-part series Hockey: A People's History. "The CBC relied extensively on SIHR written work in our Journal and on the expertise of our members as consultants and to answer questions concerning the work in progress," said the president.
The series, shown on Sunday nights in September and October, has been lauded as "slick and entertaining," a thorough going job," and been criticized for minor errors and major oversights.
Later in the meeting, Vice President Ed Grenda, who did on-ice consulting for some of the re-enactments, participated in the brief discussions about critical comments over some episodes. "If you are involved in history," he said, "you are involved in controversy--it's a way of life!"
Two panel sessions--three counting the Kevin Shea moderated discussion on preservation at the Friday night reception at the Total Hockey Museum in Bowmanville -were enjoyed: Bobby Attersley, introduced by Brian McFarlane as one of the best amateur hockey players ever, led three of the 1958 world champion Whitby Dunlop teammates--Frank Bonello, Ted O'Connor and Sandy Air--in the morning session. There's nothing quite like playing for your country, said the former Mayor of Whitby, even if you have endure a nine-week tour of Europe and middle of the night phone calls from the Soviets.
After lunch in Whitney Hall, members got a taste of four levels of hockey in the Oshawa-Whitby area, from Ron Archibald, Junior C Uxbridge Bruins; Mike Laing, Senior AAA Whitby Dunlops; Peter Tosh, Junior A Durham Fury and Ken Babcock, of Canada's newest university team, the UOIT Ridgebacks of Oshawa. Moderated by Wayne Geen, the foursome revealed they were non-competitive, except for the odd advertising dollar.
SIHR continues to be solvent and making steady growth. Treasurer Paul Bruno reported a $3,930.54 bank balance as of Oct. 30, and 272 paid up members, extending from North America to Italy, Hong Kong and Australia. Secretary Lloyd Davis, between freelance book editing duties, has compiled a list of all 230 members with e-mail addresses--a big aide in distributing updates.
The well-balanced Saturday schedule was wrapped up by Matthew Sibiga of Waterdown, Ont. and his musical colleague Don Wininger of St. Catharines, Ont., who brought insight into the mystique and memories of hockey-on-the-road. Authors of a forthcoming book on the popular Trailer Park Boys, the Bubbles' sweatered duo selected their All-Time, Dream Team, including Mike Pearson, a "roads' scholar" and the incomparable Shania Twain. Members, with the help of Keith's and Moosehead got into the spirit of the occasion and named their individual favourites from Bobby Hull and Fern Flaman to Moose Goheen and Wally Hergesheimer.
The Saturday night OHA Senior AAA game between Whitby Dunlops and Marmora Lakers was a disappointing rout, 12 to 2 for the hosts. SIHR, however got a nice boost over the PA system, when President Len and friend dropped ceremonial pucks. The organization also received good coverage at the Total Hockey opening, where Mayor reported SIHR--"an international collective of hockey historians from around the world," had endorsed the $2-million museum project established by SIHR's honourary president Brian McFarlane. Just before the Sunday opening ceremonies, Prime Minister Harper, stepped out of the VIP line-up to shake hands with our president and learn that SIHR had received the Farrell booklet.
The Society picked up two new members, Dave Nabi of Whitby, a Senators' fan and photo collector of postwar British hockey players and Leslie Willis of Mississauga, who has attended several meetings with hubby Eugene. Leslie joins regulars Anne Kitchen, Cathy Kinast and Marlene Fitzsimmons, among the distaff members who add class and dignity to our organization. Welcome aboard!
Unrecorded was the big bonus of networking that members revelled in at the Holiday Inn Express and across the road at Kelsey's. Priceless!
Two members modestly overlooked the opportunity to publicize momentous publishing achievements. Past President Paul Kitchen and the forthcoming Win, Tie or Wrangle, The History of the Ottawa Hockey Club and Kevin Shea (with Jason Wilson), Lord Stanley, The Man Behind the Cup, just published by H.B. Fenn.
Finally, a a big thank you to Wayne Geen, who with the help of wife, Nancy and daughter Emma, and support of the execs, looked after the myriad of details required to make the sessions rewarding and pleasantly memorable.
And thanks to the executives who selected the founding president as the 2006 McFarlane Award for outstanding research and writing. The same gent, author of Hockey's Captains, Colonels & Kings, was just as surprised to receive the Sun God Award from the New York-based Society of North American Hockey Historians and Researchers. He is pleased to join four other recipients, all fellow SIHR members, Morey Holzman and Joseph Nieforth, authors of Deceptions and Doublecross, How the NHL Conquered Hockey; Andrew Podnieks, Canada's Olympic Hockey Teams and Dr. Garth Vaughan, The Puck Starts Here.