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Fans, ushers, media recall last Leafs Cup – Toronto Sun



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 Telegram 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.


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.”


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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Katai Leaves Galaxy After Wife’s Racial Social Media Posts… – Mount Royal Soccer



You would hope that the Katai’s weren’t looking forward to an extended stay on America’s west coast.

If they were it’s all been scuppered by some strongly-worded Instagram posts from the player’s wife, Tea in which she called for people to kill protestors, which she referred to as ‘disgusting cattle’.

Now the former Alaves and Red Star Belgrade midfielder and his club have parted ways.

In what looks to all the world like a firing, LA Galaxy has called the move ‘a mutual decision’ between themselves and their player, who joined the club from Chicago Fire only in December last year.

The Galaxy released a statement condemning Tea’s since-deleted comments on Wednesday saying…

“Earlier today, the LA Galaxy were made aware of a series of racist and violent social media posts by Tea Katai, the wife of LA Galaxy midfielder Aleksandar Katai.

“The LA Galaxy stands firmly against racism of any kind, including that which suggests violence or seeks to demean the efforts of those in pursuit of racial equality.”

The player for his part had come out strongly following the comments, distancing himself from his spouse’s posts, although accepting full responsibility.

“These views are not ones that I share and are not tolerated in my family.

“Racism, particularly toward the black community, is not only prevalent in the United States and Europe, but across the globe. I strongly condemn white supremacy, racism and violence towards people of color. Black lives matter. This is a mistake from my family and I take full responsibility.

“I will ensure that my family and I take the necessary actions to learn, understand, listen and support the black community.

“I understand that it will take time to earn back the support of the people of Los Angeles. I am committed to putting in the necessary work to learn from these mistakes and be a better ally and advocate for equality going forward. I am sorry for the pain these posts have caused the LA Galaxy family and all allies in the fight against racism.”

It was not enough to save his LA Galaxy career with the club yesterday producing a terse and final statement confirming Katai’s departure…

“The LA Galaxy have mutually agreed to part with midfielder Aleksander Katai.”

Aleksander Katai with his wife Tea, author of the unacceptable Instagram posts in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

While Tea Katai’s comments are totally and unequivocally unacceptable, you wonder if the player himself has been treated fairly by the club. He did clearly distance himself from the comments, explaining they were not representative of his own views, and in fact verbally came out in support of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

Is it right that a player’s future at a football club can be determined in this way by comments, no matter how disgusting, made by another family member, which in the days of social media he had very little, if any, control over?

Katai has ‘accepted full responsibility’, but it must be acknowledged that was part of a carefully worded statement providing apology and certainly designed to prolong his short LA career.

Or is it correct that the former Chicago Fire player is ‘found guilty by association’ and was rightly dismissed?

What do Impact fans think? Would you have expected Montreal Impact to fire a player under the same circumstances?


Are the LA Galaxy right in dispensing with the services for Aleksander Katai due to his wife’s unacceptable Instagram posts?

  • 28%

    Yes 100%. He has to go…

    (2 votes)

  • 14%

    Not sure. It’s a grey area. I’m on the fence and think getting rid of the player is too harsh a punishment.

    (1 vote)

  • 57%

    100% No. Katai should not be held accountable for the social media interactions of his wife or any other family member.

    (4 votes)

7 votes total

Vote Now

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GOLDSTEIN: Media deliberately distorted what Trump said about George Floyd – Toronto Sun



Contrary to a globally reported blunder by the media on Friday, President Donald Trump did not say a positive report on U.S. job numbers was “good news for George Floyd.”

Here’s what Trump said:

“Equal justice under the law must mean that every American receives equal treatment in every encounter with law enforcement regardless of race, color, gender, or creed. They have to receive fair treatment from law enforcement. They have to receive it. We all saw what happened last week. We can’t let that happen.

“Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying, ‘This is a great thing that’s happening for our country.’ It’s a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality. It’s really what our Constitution requires and it’s what our country is all about.”

Clearly, Trump’s reference to Floyd was in the context of Americans agreeing everyone must be treated equally by police, not optimistic U.S. job numbers.

Despite their obvious blunder about what Trump said, which quickly went global and erupted on social media, few media organizations have corrected it.

Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, reacting to the inaccurate media reports, said what Trump said was “despicable.”

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Some are now arguing it was outrageous for Trump to invoke Floyd’s name  — he died in police custody, with the four fired police officers involved now facing a slew of major criminal charges — in any context.

But that deliberately ignores the point, which is that the media got the story wrong.

In another controversy involving Trump, a widely-circulated medical study published in the Lancet claiming patients with COVID-19 were more likely to die or suffer serious side effects from taking hydroxychloroquine has been retracted.

Based on this research, Trump was widely attacked for recommending the use of hydroxychloroquine and saying he was taking it himself to ward off COVID-19.

Trump should not be freelancing medical advice and it was dangerous for him to do so.

But as James Heathers, a research scientist at Boston’s Northeastern University, writing in the Guardian, observed, the retraction of the research paper is also alarming and potentially dangerous.

As Heathers wrote:

“The Lancet is one of the oldest and most respected medical journals in the world. Recently, they published an article on Covid patients receiving hydroxychloroquine with a dire conclusion: the drug increases heartbeat irregularities and decreases hospital survival rates. This result was treated as authoritative, and major drug trials were immediately halted — because why treat anyone with an unsafe drug?

“Now, that Lancet study has been retracted, withdrawn from the literature entirely, at the request of three of its authors who ‘can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.’

“Given the seriousness of the topic and the consequences of the paper, this is one of the most consequential retractions in modern history.

“How did a paper of such consequence get discarded like a used tissue by some of its authors only days after publication? If the authors don’t trust it now, how did it get published in the first place?”

Heathers says the root problem is with the peer review process which, “at its worst … is merely window dressing that gives the unwarranted appearance of authority, a cursory process which confers no real value, enforces orthodoxy, and overlooks both obvious analytical problems and outright fraud entirely.”

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Saskatoon police officer put on paid leave over 'harmful and offensive' social media posts – Saskatoon StarPhoenix



Article content continued

“I want to assure the public that we take these complaints seriously. We have acted swiftly to address the issue and a thorough investigation will occur.”

The Saskatoon Police Association, the union that represents police officers in the city, said it will not be commenting at this time since the investigation is active.

The board of directors of Saskatoon Pride, in a Facebook post, said Cooper personally contacted the organization to inform it about the posts.

The organization said the posts are not just hurtful to the city’s 2SLGBTQ+ community, but to the entire community, and “are not worthy of someone charged with upholding the law and protecting the community.”

“It is a sad day for Saskatoon that, in the midst of outrage over the racist and criminal acts committed by police against the BIPOC community across the continent and during a month meant to celebrate diversity, inclusion and Pride, there is a member of the Saskatoon police force who would feel that they were entitled to express such bigoted views, while claiming to uphold the law and serve the public,” Saskatoon Pride’s board wrote.

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