September 11

Fines For Leafs Holdouts

Punch Imlach

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager-coach Punch Imlach has kept his cool regarding the withholding of services by four of his regular players – at least up until now. Today Imlach issued an ultimatum: If the players are not on the ice by 8 a.m. tomorrow morning, they will be fined $500.

The threatened fine applies now to only Bob Pulford and Tim Horton, two of the Leafs more senior servants. The other two holdouts, Mike Walton and Brian Conacher have reported for workouts, beating Imlach’s deadline.

Fines May Not Be Legal

Right away, Imlach has run into trouble with the fine threat. National Hockey League president Clarence Campbell says the fines are not permissible under NHL rules. Campbell says that those types of penalties cannot be levied against players until 30 days prior to the club’s first regular season game. So the earliest Imlach could apply the fines would be September 14.

NHL players association counsel Alan Eagleson said that he was aware of that regulation within the players contract:

Alan Eagleson

“Just because they (Leafs) have changed their camp dates, they cannot change the provisions of a contract. I am aware of the clause.

“Mr. Imlach can do as he likes. All I can say is that players’ association will back up these two men.”

Horton says he has not heard from Imlach or anyone else connected with the team:

“I have made it known to the Leafs that I will not report unless I have a signed contract. I had my mind to that before the players’ association came into existence.”

Horton also said that there was no agreement between himself and Pulford, Walton and Conacher.

Red Wings Missing Four

The Detroit Red Wings opened their training camp and, like the Maple Leafs, they found that four of their regulars failed to report. It had been widely reported that Norm Ullman, Bruce MacGregor and Ted Hampson would not be present at camp opening. They were joined by young forward Paul Henderson. Henderson is embroiled in a contract dispute as well.

Norm Ullman

Ullman commented on his situation:

“I have no agreement with Sid (Abel). We are not so far apart, but not real close either. I don’t plan to be skating until I sign my contract.”

MacGregor was unavailable for comment while Hampson was said to be en route from Flin Flon, Manitoba.

The Red Wings did announce the signings of a pair of veterans, left winger Dean Prentice and defenceman Bob McCord.

Prentice, 34, is a veteran of 15 NHL seasons with New York, Boston and Detroit. Last year, his first full season with the Red Wings, he netted 23 goals and added 22 assists.

McCord is 33 and spent most of last season with the American Hockey League Pittsburgh Hornets, wehre he was an all-star. He also got into 14 games with the Red Wings, scoring a goal and two assists.

Red Wings Americanized?


The Red Wings will have a bit of a native-born flavour this season. Three home-grown players are trying for a spot on the big club. Shown here are Gerry Abel, Doug Roberts and Jimmy Peters, Jr.

Roberts had a 13-game trial with the Wings late last season, scoring 3 goals and adding one assist.  Abel, the son of general manager-coach Sid Abel, got into 11 games with the Wings, scoring once. Peters was actually born in Montreal but is somewhat home-grown, as he is the son of Red Wings farm system coach and former player Jim Peters. He also played in 11 games for Detroit last season, bagging a pair of goals.

Flyers Get A Rule Book

Keith Allen during his playing days.

Philadelphia Flyers coach Keith Allen wasted no time in showing his players that he will be all business this season, and he expects them to follow his lead. Upon their arrival at the Flyers training camp in Quebec City, each player was given a handbook outlining Allen’s training camp rules and expectations.

Here are the rules Allen set out:

  1. All players will be in their own room by 11 p.m. every night. There will be a $100 fine for every violation.
  2. No liquor will be allowed in the rooms and no players will be permitted to visit taverns in the town. Again, that nets a violator a $100 fine.
  3. No gambling.
  4. Bad language must be curbed at practice sessions, especially when fans are present.
  5. No smoking in the dressing room and no cigars on the bus.
  6. Hockey sticks must not be given away, taken from the arena or broken in fits of anger.
  7. All players will have their weight checked daily.
  8. Automobiles are permitted but must be used judiciously.
  9. Players will be required to pay for all phone calls and laundry.
  10. Equipment must be hung up after every practice. Leave skates to be sharpened with the trainers.

These 10 commandments will be in effect until pre-season drills end on October 10. The handbook also contained the complete training camp schedule and a few words of welcome.

The most popular note in the handbook concerned golf. The Flyers are encouraging players to play as often as possible. To that end, Allen and general manager Bud Poile have secured free access to the Royal Quebec Golf Club for the duration of their stay.

On hand to help out Allen with workouts and player assessments is Vic Stasiuk, coach of the Flyers AHL Quebec Aces farm team.

Quick Hits

Fred Hucul
  • St. Louis Blues defenceman Noel Picard has refused to report to the club’s training camp until he received a satisfactory contract offer.
  • Blues general manager Lynn Patrick has been very impressed with the early training camp work of 35-year-old defenceman Fred Hucul. Hucul had back surgery after missing most of last season and says it’s the best he’s felt in years.
  • Allan Johnson, a member of the Detroit Red Wings in 1962-63, is attempting to make the team this fall. He retired and was reinstated as an amateur after his one NHL season, but wants to try to return to the big league this year.
  • Frank Sinatra was asked to name his price to perform at the opening of the Spectrum arena in Philadelphia. The price he named was $175,000. The Flyers respectfully declined.
  • Veteran Eastern Hockey League standout Gordie Stratton has been named the coach of the Jersey Devils. Stratton played last year with the Long Island Ducks, scoring 35 goals and adding 18 assists. He will likely serve in the dual role of player-coach.


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