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.
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.
Media availability following Council meeting – ottawa.ca
Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Keith Egli, Chair, Ottawa Board of Health, Steve Kanellakos, City Manager, Anthony Di Monte, General Manager, Emergency and Protective Services, and Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, will respond to media questions after today’s Council Meeting.
When: Wednesday, September 22
Time: 15 minutes after Council adjourns
Canada denies Chinese state media report that sailor was stopped in Northwest Passage – Nunatsiaq News
Zhai Mo is attempting to circumnavigate Arctic Ocean
Chinese state media is reporting the Canadian government stopped a Chinese sailor attempting to circumnavigate the Arctic Ocean last week, but Transport Canada says no such thing happened.
“Captain Zhai Mo has not entered Canadian Arctic waters,” Transport Canada stated in an email to Nunatsiaq News on Sept. 17.
Chinese media claim Mo was stopped at Lancaster Sound, in the Northwest Passage.
Mo, along with two crew members, is sailing a 25-metre boat that is fully solar powered and sponsored by Chinese telecom corporation China Mobile.
He is well known in China for his quest to sail non-stop around the Arctic Ocean and his travels are being closely covered by Chinese state media. Mo claims his journey, which he is video-blogging, will be the first of its kind.
Transport Canada told Nunatsiaq News it emailed Mo to relay that foreign boats going through the country’s waters for recreation or pleasure are temporarily prohibited due to COVID-19.
Transport Canada added it had seen reports that Mo now plans to avoid Canadian waters and the department “is monitoring the situation.”
According to Chinese state media, Mo is scheduled to return to China by the end of the year.
Gabby Petito’s Disappearance And Clues Debated On Social Media – Forbes
On Monday, a body thought to be that of missing Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito was discovered, while authorities are still searching for her fiancé Brian Laundrie. The 22-year-old was reported missing on Sept. 11 after she failed to return from a months-long cross-country trip with Laundrie, who as of Tuesday afternoon – when he was named a person of interest – remains missing.
The case has remained in the spotlight on cable news over the past week while there have been nightly segments on the national evening news. “Gabby Petito” has also been trending on social media this week, but some users have even questioned why her disappearance has garnered so much media scrutiny while other cases fail to gain any attention.
Missing White Woman Syndrome
While Petito’s disappearance and possible death should not be taken lightly, many on the social platforms have noted that the media attention is an example of what has been labeled “Missing White Woman Syndrome.” The term is used by social scientists and media commentators to refer to the alleged disproportionate media coverage, especially on TV, of a missing person case that involves a young, white, upper-middle-class woman compared to the relative lack attention towards missing women who are not white and women of lower social classes, as well as missing men or boys.
Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) of the Huffington Post tweeted, “In the same area that Gabby Petito disappeared, 710 indigenous people— mostly girls—disappeared between the years of 2011 and 2020 but their stories didn’t lead news cycles.” via @MollyJongFast”
Some on social media have also used Gabby Petito’s disappearance to highlight other missing person’s cases. The grass roots organization Occupy Democrats (@OccupyDemocrats) posted, “BREAKING NEWS: While the media obsesses over the Gabby Petito story, Jelani Day, a Black aspiring doctor and Illinois medical school student is also missing, but his disappearance is barely being covered. His abandoned car was found in the woods. Please RT to make this go viral.”
“I’m very sad and angry. Gabby could have been saved. Some are highlighting the media responses. It doesn’t diminish Gabby’s case. It’s an attempt to make sure we search for them all. Still, so many women missing. Use the same outrage to find them all,” added social media user @tbkeith.
Even with those calls to find every missing woman, this case certainly highlights yet another divide in our nation, and it further puts social media in the spotlight for its ability to get people arguing about nearly everything.
“Social media continues to have that potential to be polarizing,” said Saif Shahin, assistant professor in the school of communication at the American University.
“We see this all the time in the political space between liberals and conservatives, but it is evident on social media in different contexts such as this one,” Shahin added.
It also seems that this case has taken social media by storm unlike others, and that could potentially help break the case.
“When you combine that with America’s fascination with true crime – Serial Podcast, Don’t F**k With Cats and the latest Kristin Smart case – this is a perfect storm for the story to go viral,” said Matt Zuvella, VP of marketing at talent management services company FamePick.
“In the case of Gabby, her social media profiles might actually help solve the case, mainly because her fans became accustomed to her style of posting,” noted Zuvella. “So when there is something off or different, her fans immediately took notice and started asking questions.”
Spread Of Misinformation During Investigations
At issue too is where there is a potential for the spread of misinformation that could impact cases such as this one. How much harm it can do is a matter of debate, but past cases have shown that wild theories can stir up individuals and even put some people in harm’s way.
“Over the last few years, we have seen the dark side of social media with the spread of Covid-19 misinformation and political/election agendas,” added Zuvella. “However, in Gabby’s case we can see social media’s positive impact since her fans and fellow influencers jumped to her ‘aide’ and tried to help in any way they could.”
However, in past cases, social media has caused more harm than good, and amateur sleuths ‘debating’ potential suspects during an ongoing investigation could present serious problems.
“This happened after the Boston bombing,” explained Shahin. “There was the sharing of information on Reddit and Twitter, and other platforms. Users on social media were actively trying to figure out who were the Boston bombers.”
And they did so without the knowledge the police and FBI had access to, and as Shahin added, that was a problem as there was a zealous audience seeking information and sharing details without context. Many didn’t have investigative training either.
“They were pointing fingers everywhere,” said Shahin. “That certainly targeted people of color, and some on social media pointed fingers at a young man from India who had gone missing.”
Sunil Tripathi was wrongly accused of being a Boston Bombing suspect on Reddit, as he had been missing for a month prior to the April 15, 2013 bombing. His family had even turned to social media to assist in their search for Tripathi. That included setting up a Facebook page and sharing a video on YouTube.
Instead of helping find Tripathi, the information posted online resulted in his being misidentified as a suspect by users on social media. Thousands of individuals actually jumped on the bandwagon, and his name and details were even shared on Reddit. A BuzzFeed reporter then named the young man, who was born to Indian immigrants, as being a primary suspect.
“That led to threats against his family, while some mainstream media outlets even picked up on the story,” said Shahin. “The family was already in a lot of pain and it exacerbated it.”
In the end, Tripathi had nothing to do with the bombing, and he had killed himself by drowning.
“There is such a potential for the spread of bad information, and that could even distract the police during an investigation,” warned Shahin. “This isn’t new, but the presence of social media brings in such new dynamics.”
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