Leafs Have Holes

Punch Imlach, kindly old coach and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, realizes that the Stanley Cup champions have a lot of work to do if they wish to repeat their cup-winning campaign this season.  So, in an effort to leave no stone unturned, he has invited 74 mostly young men to the Leafs training camp, slated to open in Peterborough next Wednesday. Red Burnett of the Toronto Star outlined what he feels  the are the most pressing issues facing the Leafs .

Sawchuk and Bower – partners no more.

First and foremost, according to Burnett, is the gaping hole left between the pipes with the departure of Terry Sawchuk. For the past three seasons Sawchuk and the venerable Johnny Bower made an ideal tandem tending the Toronto goal. The two highly skilled but aging veterans complimented themselves perfectly, each getting enough playing time to keep the other guy fresh. And as we witnessed in the playoffs, when one man went down, the other stepped up to fill the void without missing a beat.

Sawchuk departed to the Los Angeles Kings as the very first player taken in the Expansion Draft. It’s quite likely that veteran journeyman Bruce Gamble will slide into Sawchuk’s space as Bower’s partner. Young Al Smith, the former Marlboro netminder, is a possibility, but it says here that he’s in need of more seasoning, likely at Rochester.

Another huge loss for the Maple Leafs was that of Red Kelly. Kelly has retired to become the first coach of the aforementioned Kings, but that didn’t happen without considerable trepidation.

kellyRedTOR2 cropped.jpg

Depending on whom you believe, Kelly was signed, sealed and almost delivered to the Kings well in advance of the Expansion Draft. The only obstacle that needed to be overcome was the fact that in order for Kelly to become a Kings employee, the team had to acquire his rights from Toronto. When Kings owner Jack Kent Cooke (the only owner to do his own drafting) failed to select Kelly in the first nine rounds, Imlach recalled Kelly and placed him on Leafs’ protected list.

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth on the part of Cooke, Imlach finally relented and traded the veteran red-head to Los Angeles a couple of days later for a nondescript defenceman named Ken Block. Satisfied that he had  taught Cooke a much-needed lesson in humility, Punch no longer wanted to stand in the way of his old friend Kelly and dealt him for a rearguard who very likely will never wear the blue and white in Toronto.

Leafs have 74 men who will show up in Peterborough next week and vie for a spot on the big club. Here’s the roster with the team they played with last year:


Bobby Perreault
  1. Serge Aubry (Sherbrooke QSHL),
  2. Johnny Bower (Maple Leafs),
  3. Bruce Gamble (Maple Leafs),
  4. Harold Murphy (Cornwall CJAHL)
  5. Bobby Perreault (Rochester),
  6. Al Smith (Victoria),
  7. Bob Whidden (Marlboros),
  8. Roger Wilson (Sudbury NOJHA),
  9. Lynn Zimmerman (Charlotte EHL).


Jack Chipchase
  1. Len Bazay (Jacksonville EHL)
  2. Camille Bedard (did not play; LA Blades 65-66)
  3. Ken Block (Omaha CPHL – acquired in the Red Kelly deal)
  4. Marc Brunet (Jacksonville EHL)
  5. Don Cherry (Rochester)
  6. Jack Chipchase (Vancouver)
  7. Jim Dorey (London OHA JR.A)
  8. Ray Dupont (Tulsa CPHL)
  9. Rick Foley (Charlotte EHL)
  10. Brian Glennie (Marlboros)
  11. Larry Hillman (Leafs)
  12. Tim Horton (Leafs)
  13. Danny Malone (Helsinki, Finland)
  14. Jim McKenney (Rochester)
  15. Randy Murray (Tulsa)
  16. Gord Nelson (Three Rivers QPJHL)
  17. Leo Olivier (Nashville EHL)
  18. Mike Pelyk (Marlboros)
  19. Marcel Pronovost (Leafs)
  20. Duane Rupp (Rochester)
  21. Harry Shaw (Tulsa)
  22. Darryl Sly (Rochester)
  23. Allan Stanley (Leafs)


Andre Champagne
  1. Stan Allan (London)
  2. George Armstrong (Leafs)
  3. Norm Armstrong (Rochester)
  4. Bob Barlow (Victoria WHL)
  5. Mike Byers (Marlboros)
  6. Ken Campbell (Tulsa)
  7. Wayne Carleton (Rochester)
  8. Andre Champagne (Tulsa)
  9. Brian Conacher (Leafs)
  10. Michel Cormier (Jacksonville)
  11. Gord Cunningham (University of Toronto)
  12. Jim Davidson (Tulsa)
  13. Les Duff (Rochester)
  14. Gerry Ehman (Rochester)
  15. Ron Ellis (Leafs)
  16. Dick Gamble (Rochester)
  17. Claude Goulet (London)
  18. Nick Harbaruk (Tulsa)
  19. Andre Hinse (Charlotte)
  20. Bronco Horvath (Rochester)
  21. Brent Imlach (London)
  22. Dan Johnson (Omaha-Tulsa CPHL)
  23. Bob Kelly (Port Arthur Marrs JR A)
  24. Dave Keon (Leafs)
  25. Jim Keon (Tulsa)
  26. Merv Kuryluk (Yorkton, WCSHL)
  27. Paul Laurent (University of Toronto)
  28. Frank Mahovlich (Leafs)
  29. Milan Marcetta (Victoria)
  30. Walter McKechnie (London)
  31. Gerry Meehan (Marlboros)
  32. Gary Milroy (Michigan Tech)
  33. Murray Oliver (Boston Bruins)
  34. Jim Pappin (Leafs)
  35. Jean Payette (Tulsa)
  36. Bob Pulford (Leafs)
  37. Barry Simpson (Charlotte)
  38. Stan Smrke (Rochester)
  39. Wally Sprang (Nashville)
  40. Peter Stemkowski (Leafs)
  41. Gary Unger (London)
  42. Mike Walton (Leafs)


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