This weekend marks the last time the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup.
The Toronto Sun is re-living that through the eyes of those who were at the Gardens on May 2, 1967. Today, we conclude the four-part series with reflections of fans, arena staff and media:
It can be said nothing huge happens in Toronto sports without Rolf Bjordammen around.
He was there for the ‘67 Cup (the blues, section 51), at Skydome when Joe Carter won the World Series in ‘93 (section 124) and right back to Marilyn Bell swimming Lake Ontario.
“I was moving from Saskatchewan in September of 1954 for graphic arts studies at Ryerson on the overnight bus,” recalled the 83-year-old. “I came Moose Jaw to Winnipeg, Winnipeg-Chicago, Chicago-Toronto. I left the day Marilyn started across and arrived to see the
headline ‘Marilyn Makes It’.”
Bjordammen returned home as a reporter/photographer for the
Moose Jaw Times-Herald
(a young Peter Gzowski was on staff), before graduating Ryerson to a print company that gave him the means to buy Leafs season’s tickets. He settled in to watch Game 6 against the Habs in Row G, seats 17 and 18.
“I took Jack Mitchell that night, another Western boy I knew through Ryerson and printing. We must have been wearing suits coming straight from work.
“My business lawyer at the time, Alfred Herman, it turned out his grand-daughter married Zach Hyman. I’ve recently received some autographed pictures of Zach for my own grandchildren.”
The Cup-clincher would not be an easy game to watch, as the Leafs clung to their 2-0 lead in the third period. Like all games in the mostly defensive series, they tried to put the clamps on the Flying Frenchmen. After Duck Duff’s third-period goal, Bjordammen and everyone else sweated out the last minutes.
“Armstrong lumbering up the ice and scoring the empty-netter, that’s what I’ll always picture in my mind that night,” Bjordammen said. “That sticks with me like Carter’s homer. I’m so lucky to have seen both.
“I remember George getting the Cup and the ceremony. That’s the kind of night you don’t want to leave the place, just hang around and soak up as much of it as you can. I’m not an all-night partyer, though I’m sure some people were after that game.”
While the Leafs’ Cup drought has reached six decades, Bjordammen isn’t one to go around boasting of his presence that evening. But he does enjoy giving his two cents in sports debates when the topic turns to lack of Leafs’ titles.
“Someone will say ‘aw, the Leafs never win anything.’ I’ll casually mention ‘well, actually, I was there when they did’.
“You have to be careful about people who say they went to that game. The Gardens only held about 16,000, but I think about 45,000 will tell you they were there.”
Bjordammen is still active, playing slo-pitch on two knee replacements and hoping COVID-19 doesn’t delay his ball season or the NHL playoffs. He’s determined to be at Scotiabank when the Leafs win again.
LAST MINUTE OF PLAY
Here’s Foster Hewitt’s radio call with the Leafs up 2-1:
“Less than a minute remaining and the Leafs are called for icing … the referee calls for the faceoff to the left of the Leafs goal. There’s a delay in play and Montreal goaltender Gump Worsley doesn’t know whether coach Toe Blake wants him to come out of the net … now Blake had decided to remove 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 coming on 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
In the stands Andra Kelly was welling up. It had not been revealed, but she knew this would be her husband’s last shift in the NHL, going out with his fourth Cup as a Leaf and eighth overall.
Defenceman Stanley moved up to take the draw against Beliveau, a ploy Imlach often used, a big blueliner to take out a big centre. As Ferguson came in to consult with Beliveau, which got the impatient crowd booing about the delay, Stanley had a quick word with Kelly and had him change sides. The left-shooting Stanley won the draw back towards Kelly and tied up Beliveau as planned.
“I scooted over and flipped the puck up to Pulford,” Kelly described in his 2018 biography. “He took a few strides just over our blue line and passed it to Armstrong who was breaking to our right. Army just skated over centre and fired a wrist shot into the empty net.”
HOUSE OF USHERS
Crowd shots of the Gardens at playoff times in the ’70s, ‘80s and ‘90s often featured the ushers with their distinctive white hats, waving signs or miniature Stanley Cups. A few were on duty back on May 2, ‘67.
The late Dennis Goodwin put in a half century on Carlton St. and shared his experience of that night at the Gardens’ closing in 1999. At that time, he was the longest-serving of the 200 men and women who worked Leafs, Marlies, wrestling, rock concerts and other big events.
The roar when Armstrong scored was still ringing in his years two decades later.
“The most spontaneous cheer I’ve heard in all my years here,” Goodwin said. “You never used to need a scoreboard to tell you to cheer. I’d snuck in a bottle of champagne and was serving everyone in my section in Dixie cups.”
It was the fifth Cup winning team Goodwin saw, back to Bill Barilko’s overtime goal in 1951. Goodwin was exclusively stationed in sections 65-67 of the east greens, enjoying the atmosphere of the cheap seats which he compared to the bleachers at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.
“You almost had a Hot Stove League going on game nights, with little side bets between ushers, or between ushers and fans. It was a quarter, or a dollar, on who’d get the first goal or penalty.
“The Gardens is like a home, a family. It’s not like a job. There was a time when you could be president of a company and people would think more of you because you were an usher at the Gardens.”|
Colleague Andy Mastoris was there for the win over the Habs as well, though not in optimal position at clutch time.
“I was in the south end and Armstrong scored down at the other,” Mastoris told the New York Times in 2019 shortly before he passed. “Going to the Gardens was like a Catholic going to the Vatican. It was a place of worship.”
Mastoris and Goodwin never experienced a Cup again, though both became quite friendly with season ticket holders through the years. One night after a particularly poor Leafs campaign, Greek immigrant Mastoris was invited out by a couple of subscribers and all toasted the welcome end to the season with several rounds of Ouzo.
THE FILEY FILES
Also in the crowd that night, budding journalist/historian Mike Filey, who delights readers of this paper every Sunday with his spotlight on Toronto’s past, The Way We Were.
“Knowing my love for the Leafs back then, my wife got the two tickets from J. M. ‘Ted’ Tory, branch manager at Sun Life,” said Filey, who took friend Ross Edwards and sat in the Blues.
Ted was related to current Mayor John Tory, the family being early investors in the Leafs ad the Gardens.
“All these years later she doesn’t remember what she paid. I should have kept our ticket stubs, except we were convinced Leafs would stay as champions for years to come. After all there were six new (expansion) teams joining the NHL and they wouldn’t amount to much for years.”
Or so many people thought.
CLEARANCE FROM CLARENCE
In case you’ve never heard what those sweet championship sounds are with ‘Leafs’ in the same sentence, here’s Campbell:
“Ladies and gentlemen it is now my great pleasure to present the Stanley Cup to the Maple Leaf hockey club for the 11th time. I ask the captain of the Toronto club to come forward and accept the trophy.”
Armstrong’s young son Brian, at the urging of his grandfather, was at the presentation table and appears in many of the pictures with Campbell, his father and the trophy.
“My grandfather and I planned to go on the ice before the game if the Leafs won and were trying to signal to each other,” Brian told Ward Cornell of Hockey Night in Canada. “It was the first Stanley Cup game I’d been to. My grandfather told me ‘stay behind Al Smith’.”
Smith, the Leafs third goalie, was ready in the dressing room all night. Though Johnny Bower was too injured to play after getting hurt in warm-up of Game 4, he thought his place was on the bench with his mates to give support.
THEIR CUP RUNNETH OVER
When the game ended and handshakes with the Habs completed, the Leafs posed for a quick photo with the Cup. There was no victory lap or solo skate with the Cup back then, but plenty of celebrating out of the public eye.
General manager/coach Punch Imlach, feared and respected by his players every other day of the season, was relieved of his famous fedora and pulled into the shower fully clothed.
“I got into the dressing room, but it was a madhouse,” Hockey Night analyst Brian McFarlane said. “Everyone was drenched with champagne.”
Winning goaltender Terry Sawchuk sat on the bench, dragging on a cigarette.
“I don’t like ale or champagne and I’m too tired to dance around,” Sawchuk said, “but this has to be the biggest thrill of my life.”
In a mystery post-script, Sawchuk was announced as winner of the ‘Air Canada Trophy’, the Leaf voted most vauable player in the playoffs by teammates. The fair-sized trophy, believed to have been minted two years earlier (it actually read Trans Canada Airlines, pre-dating AC’s re-branding) was given to Sawchuk the same day Keon received the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP voted by the writers. But the trophy disappeared, Air Canada and the Sawchuk family unable to account for it to this day. It’s a moot point with the Leafs not winning a Cup since.
PARTY LIKE IT’S 1967
McFarlane and the broadcast crew were not invited to the after-party at executive Stafford Smythe’s home, but they knew where he lived and crashed it anyway.
“There was Eddie Shack, perspiration dripping down his nose, everyone dancing and a lot of gorgeous women,” McFarlane said. “The Cup was in the foyer and we all took a sip from it, coming and going.
“I’m sure people thought another Cup was coming in a year or two.”
The Telegram printed 42 births on May 2, 1967, including Lui Redigonda at Northwestern Hospital (now Humber River).
Emilio Redigonda was present for both his son’s birthday and the win over Montreal. Emilio considered it a good luck sign for the Leafs after wife Mary had given birth to seven-pound Lui. He then went to the game with a group of friends from his construction company, who shared season tickets.
“I just remember getting very, very drunk,” Emilio said in a 2004 interview. “A son and a Stanley Cup. It was great.”
Leaf players on the ‘67
Cup: George Armstrong, Bob Baun, Johnny Bower, Brian Conacher, Ron Ellis, Aut Erickson, Larry Hillman, Tim Horton, Red 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.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020
Media firms, celebrities join #BlackOutTuesday protests – The Globe and Mail
Major broadcasters, celebrities and music streaming companies including Apple Music and Spotify turned off or made changes to their services on Tuesday to mark their solidarity with protests against the killing of George Floyd.
ViacomCBS Inc said it will be on “on pause” for #BlackOutTuesday to reflect on recent events and to shift focus from “building business to building community.”
The company on Monday had its channels, including CBS News, MTV and Comedy Central, transmit 8 minutes and 46 seconds of breathing sounds with the words “I can’t breathe,” denouncing the incident last week that sparked protests across America.
A Minneapolis police officer was arrested last week on third-degree murder and manslaughter charges for his role in the death of the 46-year-old Floyd.
Celebrities including Rihanna, Katy Perry, Britney Spears and Kylie Jenner all went dark on social media to acknowledge Floyd’s death.
NBA stars including LeBron James and Steph Curry posted an empty black photo on their Instagram pages. The league’s official page posted the same photo with the hashtag “#NBATogether.”
Streaming giant Spotify Technology said it would feature an 8 minute and 46 second long track of silence in select podcasts and playlists on Tuesday, while also halting social media publications.
Apple Music said it would use the day to reflect and plan actions to support black artists, creators and communities.
Dozens of artists and sports stars have spoken out against Floyd’s death and the racism they say lay behind it as the protests spread through U.S. cities.
Leading record labels said they would mark Tuesday by suspending business and working with communities to fight racial inequality.
“Watching my people get murdered and lynched day after day pushed me to a heavy place in my heart!,” Rihanna wrote on Instagram.
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What is Blackout Tuesday? The social media trend and controversy around it, explained – For The Win
Welcome to FTW Explains: a guide to catching up on and better understanding stuff going on in the world.
You may have seen a hashtag at the top of social media trends —#BlackoutTuesday — this morning. You may have also seen some people criticizing the movement, and wondered exactly what is going on.
That’s what this post is for. We’re here to explain what’s going on with this movement, which started in the music industry but appears to have seeped into other businesses, but it’s also caused some controversy.
Let’s break it all down for you, starting with the first question you might have.
What is Blackout Tuesday?
As protests and unrest over the death of George Floyd continue around the United States, a movement was started by music execs Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang, who wrote on a site that Tuesday, June 2 would be a day to pause all business and take a stand against the “racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard.”
The movement would take the form of people posting all black pictures to Instagram and other social media platforms.
Who is participating?
Artists from Quincy Jones to Mick Jagger, with music companies and studios, all announced they would be participating ahead of June 2:
How do people join in?
They post a completely black square on social media, like these companies, sports teams and celebrities did, with the hashtag #BlackoutTuesday or #TheShowMustBePaused.
You said there were criticisms about the movement?
Part of the controversy stems with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. Many people participating in the movement are using the hashtag along with their posts. But the hashtag #blacklivesmatter is normally used as a tool for protestors to communicate information through social media.
With the blackout, it’s being rendered useless as a hashtag. Now, when people click on the hashtag, they’re being confronted with a sea of black squares and not with anything about what’s going on with protests across the country.
But there are also larger complaints about the movement, saying this is a time to spread awareness, and not just literally “black out” social media feeds. There are arguments that now, more than ever, is when communication shouldn’t be “blacked out.”
Are there any proposed solutions?
To start, organizers are asking users to stop tagging those images with #BlackLivesMatter and stick with either #BlackoutTuesday or #TheShowMustBePaused.
Wuhan doctor at whistleblower's hospital dies from coronavirus, state media report – CTV News
BEIJING, CHINA —
A Wuhan doctor who worked with coronavirus whistleblower Li Wenliang died of the virus on Tuesday, state media reported, becoming China’s first COVID-19 fatality in weeks.
Hu Weifeng, a urologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, passed away after being treated for COVID-19 and allied issues for more than four months, state broadcaster CCTV said.
He is the sixth doctor from Wuhan Central Hospital to have died from the virus, which emerged in the central Chinese city late last year.
Cases have dwindled dramatically from the peak in mid-February as the country appears to have brought the outbreak largely under control.
The official death toll in the country of 1.4 billion people stands at 4,634 — well below the number of fatalities in less populous nations.
Wuhan Central Hospital has yet to give a formal statement on Hu’s death. In early February it said some 68 staff members had contracted coronavirus.
Hu’s condition became a national concern after Chinese media showed images of him with his skin turned black due to liver damage.
Fellow doctor Yi Fan showed similar symptoms, but recovered and has since been discharged from hospital.
The death of their colleague Li Wenliang in February triggered a national outpouring of grief and rage against the government as he documented his final days on social media.
The 34-year-old ophthalmologist was reprimanded by authorities after he warned colleagues about the virus in late December.
Beijing has since named him a national martyr, but suppressed much of the dissent and criticism sparked by his death.
Other medical whistleblowers at Wuhan Central Hospital — including emergency unit director Ai Fen — have told Chinese media they were punished by authorities for speaking out.
China has not released a complete figure of the number of medical worker deaths from COVID-19, but at least 34 medics have been awarded posthumous honours by health authorities.
In February the National Health Commission said about 3,387 health workers had been infected.
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