This weekend marks the final time the Maple Leafs received the Stanley Cup.
The Toronto Solar is re-living that via the eyes of those that have been on the Gardens on Might 2, 1967. At present, we conclude the four-part sequence with reflections of followers, area workers and media:
It may be stated nothing big occurs in Toronto sports activities with out Rolf Bjordammen round.
He was there for the ‘67 Cup (the blues, part 51), at Skydome when Joe Carter received the World Collection in ‘93 (part 124) and proper again to Marilyn Bell swimming Lake Ontario.
“I used to be transferring from Saskatchewan in September of 1954 for graphic arts research at Ryerson on the in a single day bus,” recalled the 83-year-old. “I got here Moose Jaw to Winnipeg, Winnipeg-Chicago, Chicago-Toronto. I left the day Marilyn began throughout and arrived to see the Telegram headline ‘Marilyn Makes It’.”
Bjordammen returned dwelling as a reporter/photographer for the Moose Jaw Occasions-Herald (a younger Peter Gzowski was on workers), earlier than graduating Ryerson to a print firm that gave him the means to purchase Leafs season’s tickets. He settled in to observe Recreation 6 in opposition to the Habs in Row G, seats 17 and 18.
“I took Jack Mitchell that night time, one other Western boy I knew via Ryerson and printing. We should have been carrying fits coming straight from work.
“My enterprise lawyer on the time, Alfred Herman, it turned out his grand-daughter married Zach Hyman. I’ve not too long ago acquired some autographed photos of Zach for my very own grandchildren.”
The Cup-clincher wouldn’t be a straightforward recreation to observe, because the Leafs clung to their 2-Zero lead within the third interval. Like all video games within the largely defensive sequence, they tried to place the clamps on the Flying Frenchmen. After Duck Duff’s third-period purpose, Bjordammen and everybody else sweated out the final minutes.
“Armstrong lumbering up the ice and scoring the empty-netter, that’s what I’ll at all times image in my thoughts that night time,” Bjordammen stated. “That sticks with me like Carter’s homer. I’m so fortunate to have seen each.
“I bear in mind George getting the Cup and the ceremony. That’s the type of night time you don’t wish to depart the place, simply cling round and absorb as a lot of it as you possibly can. I’m not an all-night partyer, although I’m certain some folks have been after that recreation.”
Whereas the Leafs’ Cup drought has reached six many years, Bjordammen isn’t one to go round boasting of his presence that night. However he does take pleasure in giving his two cents in sports activities debates when the subject turns to lack of Leafs’ titles.
“Somebody will say ‘aw, the Leafs by no means win something.’ I’ll casually point out ‘effectively, truly, I used to be there after they did’.
“You need to watch out about individuals who say they went to that recreation. The Gardens solely held about 16,000, however I take into consideration 45,000 will let you know they have been there.”
Bjordammen remains to be energetic, enjoying slo-pitch on two knee replacements and hoping COVID-19 doesn’t delay his ball season or the NHL playoffs. He’s decided to be at Scotiabank when the Leafs win once more.
LAST MINUTE OF PLAY
Right here’s Foster Hewitt’s radio name with the Leafs up 2-1:
“Lower than a minute remaining and the Leafs are referred to as for icing … the referee requires the faceoff to the left of the Leafs purpose. There’s a delay in play and Montreal goaltender Gump Worsley doesn’t know whether or not coach Toe Blake needs him to come back out of the online … now Blake had determined to take away Worsley. He’s going to the bench, with 55 seconds to play, Montreal will use six attackers. Canadiens intend to shoot the works … Beliveau is approaching the ice, so are Roberts, Cournoyer, Ferguson, Richard and Laperriere. It’s all or nothing for them now.
“Imlach is making his stand with an all veteran lineup of Stanley, Horton, Kelly, Pulford and Armstrong.”
SO LONG RED
Within the stands Andra Kelly was welling up. It had not been revealed, however she knew this could be her husband’s final shift within the NHL, going out along with his fourth Cup as a Leaf and eighth general.
Defenceman Stanley moved as much as take the draw in opposition to Beliveau, a ploy Imlach usually used, an enormous blueliner to take out an enormous centre. As Ferguson got here in to seek the advice of with Beliveau, which received the impatient crowd booing concerning the delay, Stanley had a fast phrase with Kelly and had him change sides. The left-shooting Stanley received the draw again in the direction of Kelly and tied up Beliveau as deliberate.
“I scooted over and flipped the puck as much as Pulford,” Kelly described in his 2018 biography. “He took a couple of strides simply over our blue line and handed it to Armstrong who was breaking to our proper. Military simply skated over centre and fired a wrist shot into the empty internet.”
HOUSE OF USHERS
Crowd pictures of the Gardens at playoff occasions within the ’70s, ‘80s and ‘90s usually featured the ushers with their distinctive white hats, waving indicators or miniature Stanley Cups. Just a few have been on responsibility again on Might 2, ‘67.
The late Dennis Goodwin put in a half century on Carlton St. and shared his expertise of that night time on the Gardens’ closing in 1999. At the moment, he was the longest-serving of the 200 women and men who labored Leafs, Marlies, wrestling, rock live shows and different massive occasions.
The roar when Armstrong scored was nonetheless ringing in his years 20 years later.
“Essentially the most spontaneous cheer I’ve heard in all my years right here,” Goodwin stated. “You by no means used to want a scoreboard to let you know to cheer. I’d snuck in a bottle of champagne and was serving everybody in my part in Dixie cups.”
It was the fifth Cup profitable crew Goodwin noticed, again to Invoice Barilko’s time beyond regulation purpose in 1951. Goodwin was completely stationed in sections 65-67 of the east greens, having fun with the ambiance of a budget seats which he in comparison with the bleachers at Chicago’s Wrigley Area.
“You virtually had a Sizzling Range League occurring recreation nights, with little aspect bets between ushers, or between ushers and followers. It was 1 / 4, or a greenback, on who’d get the primary purpose or penalty.
“The Gardens is sort of a dwelling, a household. It’s not like a job. There was a time when you would be president of an organization and other people would assume extra of you since you have been an usher on the Gardens.”|
Colleague Andy Mastoris was there for the win over the Habs as effectively, although not in optimum place at clutch time.
“I used to be within the south finish and Armstrong scored down on the different,” Mastoris advised the New York Occasions in 2019 shortly earlier than he handed. “Going to the Gardens was like a Catholic going to the Vatican. It was a spot of worship.”
Mastoris and Goodwin by no means skilled a Cup once more, although each turned fairly pleasant with season ticket holders via the years. One night time after a very poor Leafs marketing campaign, Greek immigrant Mastoris was invited out by a few subscribers and all toasted the welcome finish to the season with a number of rounds of Ouzo.
THE FILEY FILES
Additionally within the crowd that night time, budding journalist/historian Mike Filey, who delights readers of this paper each Sunday along with his highlight on Toronto’s previous, The Means We Had been.
“Understanding my love for the Leafs again then, my spouse received the 2 tickets from J. M. ‘Ted’ Tory, department supervisor at Solar Life,” stated Filey, who took buddy Ross Edwards and sat within the Blues.
Ted was associated to present Mayor John Tory, the household being early buyers within the Leafs advert the Gardens.
“All these years later she doesn’t bear in mind what she paid. I ought to have saved our ticket stubs, besides we have been satisfied Leafs would keep as champions for years to come back. In spite of everything there have been six new (enlargement) groups becoming a member of the NHL and so they wouldn’t quantity to a lot for years.”
Or so many individuals thought.
CLEARANCE FROM CLARENCE
In case you’ve by no means heard what these candy championship sounds are with ‘Leafs’ in the identical sentence, right here’s Campbell:
“Women and gents it’s now my nice pleasure to current the Stanley Cup to the Maple Leaf hockey membership for the 11th time. I ask the captain of the Toronto membership to come back ahead and settle for the trophy.”
Armstrong’s younger son Brian, on the urging of his grandfather, was on the presentation desk and seems in lots of the photos with Campbell, his father and the trophy.
“My grandfather and I deliberate to go on the ice earlier than the sport if the Leafs received and have been making an attempt to sign to one another,” Brian advised Ward Cornell of Hockey Evening in Canada. “It was the primary Stanley Cup recreation I’d been to. My grandfather advised me ‘keep behind Al Smith’.”
Smith, the Leafs third goalie, was prepared within the dressing room all night time. Although Johnny Bower was too injured to play after getting harm in warm-up of Recreation 4, he thought his place was on the bench along with his mates to present help.
THEIR CUP RUNNETH OVER
When the sport ended and handshakes with the Habs accomplished, the Leafs posed for a fast photograph with the Cup. There was no victory lap or solo skate with the Cup again then, however loads of celebrating out of the general public eye.
Normal supervisor/coach Punch Imlach, feared and revered by his gamers each different day of the season, was relieved of his well-known fedora and pulled into the bathe absolutely clothed.
“I received into the dressing room, nevertheless it was a madhouse,” Hockey Evening analyst Brian McFarlane stated. “Everybody was drenched with champagne.”
Successful goaltender Terry Sawchuk sat on the bench, dragging on a cigarette.
“I don’t like ale or champagne and I’m too drained to bop round,” Sawchuk stated, “however this needs to be the largest thrill of my life.”
In a thriller post-script, Sawchuk was introduced as winner of the ‘Air Canada Trophy’, the Leaf voted most vauable participant within the playoffs by teammates. The fair-sized trophy, believed to have been minted two years earlier (it truly learn Trans Canada Airways, pre-dating AC’s re-branding) was given to Sawchuk the identical day Keon acquired the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP voted by the writers. However the trophy disappeared, Air Canada and the Sawchuk household unable to account for it to today. It’s a moot level with the Leafs not profitable a Cup since.
PARTY LIKE IT’S 1967
McFarlane and the printed crew weren’t invited to the after-party at govt Stafford Smythe’s dwelling, however they knew the place he lived and crashed it anyway.
“There was Eddie Shack, perspiration dripping down his nostril, everybody dancing and lots of attractive girls,” McFarlane stated. “The Cup was within the lobby and all of us took a sip from it, coming and going.
“I’m certain folks thought one other Cup was coming in a 12 months or two.”
The Telegram printed 42 births on Might 2, 1967, together with Lui Redigonda at Northwestern Hospital (now Humber River).
Emilio Redigonda was current for each his son’s birthday and the win over Montreal. Emilio thought of it a very good luck signal for the Leafs after spouse Mary had given beginning to seven-pound Lui. He then went to the sport with a gaggle of buddies from his development firm, who shared season tickets.
“I simply bear in mind getting very, very drunk,” Emilio stated in a 2004 interview. “A son and a Stanley Cup. It was nice.”
Leaf gamers on the ‘67 Cup: George Armstrong, Bob Baun, Johnny Bower, Brian Conacher, Ron Ellis, Aut Erickson, Larry Hillman, Tim Horton, Pink Kelly, Larry Jeffrey, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Milan Marcetta, Jim Pappin, Marcel Pronovost, Bob Pulford, Terry Sawchuk, Eddie Shack, Allan Stanley, Peter Stemkowski, Mike Walton.
— to torontosun.com