The revolving doors of National Hockey League training camps continued yesterday and today. Some players arrived, some left, some continued to stay away and many signed contracts. We also got our first look at one of the Expansion team’s new uniforms – here’s today’s hockey news:
Martin Leaves Over “Third-String” Label
Chicago Black Hawks centre Pit Martin left training camp in a huff yesterday after a conference telephone call between himself, general manager Tommy Ivan and NHL president Clarence Campbell. The call was to serve as an arbitration for Martin’s contract dispute with the team.
It’s difficult to side with the team on this one. Martin believes he is much better player than either the Black Hawks or Campbell is giving him credit for. The 24-year-old centre was acquired from the Boston Bruins in May along with defenceman Gilles Marotte and goalie Jack Norris for forwards Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield.
Martin was the Bruins leading goal scorer last season as the only member of the team to reach the 20 goal plateau. He scored 16 goals in just over half a season with the Bruins the year before, following his trade from the Detroit Red Wings.
What upset Martin so much that he felt it necessary to leave the Black Hawks was that both Ivan and Campbell told him he was nothing more than a “third-string” player. The player explains:
“We called in Mr. Campbell to arbitrate. But both Mr. Ivan and Mr. Campbell seemed to question my ability. Chicago offered me less than last year’s average salary and Mr. Campbell said that was right for a third-string player.
“I asked Mr. Ivan why he traded for me if he thought I was only a third-string player and he countered by saying I hadn’t proved myself to him.
“I asked Mr. Campbell if he thought I was a third-string player and he said ‘yeah.’ Then I told them both ‘Okay, then I won’t play at all.’
“I think I’m worth the average salary in the NHL. I mean this year’s average, not last year’s. This year it’s going to be higher than $18,250.”
NHL players’ association counsel Alan Eagleson conferred with Martin and agreed with his assessment.
“What the Hawks are offering Pit is less than what at least six centres are getting in the expansion division. And these are players who didn’t score 20 goals in the NHL like he did.”
Campbell, in true lawyerly fashion, defended his words to the player and suggested that Martin may have misunderstood what he said:
“I told him that in my mind he was a third-line player and any hockey man knows that doesn’t mean a third-rate player.”
Campbell couldn’t understand why Martin was upset because the player and the club had agreed that his decision would be binding. He also remarked that Martin had agreed to the terms of the contract and several bonus clauses. He said that Martin was making a ridiculous request of another bonus based on whether the Black Hawks qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“That kind of bonus is absurd. There’s no justification for any player in Chicago seeking a bonus if the team reaches the playoffs.”
Bower Car Update
You will remember that yesterday we reported on the psychedelic paint job that Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Punch Imlach applied to goaltender Johnny Bower’s wife Mustang convertible. Toronto Star hockey reporter Red Burnett provides us with this update on the situation.
Bower drove the “Imlach Special” home to Toronto to show his wife. Mrs. Bower was none too pleased when she got a look at the paint job. She ordered Johnny out of the house and back to training camp in Peterborough and to not return until the car had been properly painted black.
“The kids loved it” said the 42-year-old netminder, “but my wife went into orbit. I can’t go back until I get it painted.
“I hope our kind-hearted, benevolent general manager springs for the price of a new paint job. Right now I’m out $50 and barred from home until the car is painted black.”
Apparently there is a rock group who wrote a song about poor Johnny’s car…
Horton May Return
Leafs defenceman Tim Horton says he may return to the team’s training camp this weekend. He’s been absent from camp for the entire nine days and has said he won’t report until he has a signed contract.
Horton was asked if he’s about to change his mind and at first was non-committal:
“I don’t know exactly what I’ll do but I guess I might report some time during the weekend. Of course I’ll have to wait and see what Mr. Imlach says. You never know, he may say to hell with me.”
Up to now, Horton has been fined a total of $550. That’s $500 for not reporting on time, and $25 per day more for every day beyond a deadline imposed by Imlach the he stayed away.
Bud Poile Talks Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers general manager Normal (Bud) Poile is very high on his new NHL expansion team’s chances in this, their first NHL season. He spoke with the Toronto Telegram and explained why the infant hockey team will be a force to be reckoned with. He also gave some insight into the trials and tribulations of the job of manager of a new sports franchise.
On contracts: “Just because a player’s been drafted doesn’t mean he’s Gordie Howe and that’s what I tell them. I talked to all my players before I sent them contracts. They all were offered raises because they ARE in the NHL, after all, but some of them…
“What the hell, I’ve had trouble signing guys for $5000 before this. I can remember Art Ross trying to cut MY salary when I was at Boston. I’d scored 19 goals in 40 games the year before and I figured I was worth more, not less.”
On the Expansion Draft: “We worked hard this winter, before we went to the draft meetings. I hired Keith Allen as coach and he and I tried to cover everybody but the draft changed right away for us because we didn’t expect to get those two defencemen, Ed Van Impe and Joe Watson.
On his roster: “I think we have more depth than any of the others. We passed up Glenn Hall, you know that. But I didn’t want to take a chance on getting a goalie who only wanted to play one year. So we got Bernie Parent instead. He’s going to be around for some time – he’s only 22.
“We have a pretty young team. I think LA’s is younger but not much. Brit Selby’s only 22 and I think he could turn out to be the best choice we made.
“We got Lou Angotti, you know about him. Forbes Kennedy. Got to have one like him on every club.
“There’s Pat Hannigan on right wing. He’s had big years. Gary Dornhoefer – I just like him, period. Leon Rochefort was a Montreal regular and that’s good enough for me.
Flyers Sign Two
Poile also announced that the Flyers have signed centres Serge Bernier and Andre Lacroix to contracts.
Bernier, 20, is a graduate of the Sorel Black Hawks of the Quebec Provincial Junior Hockey League, where he scored 37 goals and 46 assists in only 33 games last season. He was selected fifth overall in last summer’s amateur draft.
Lacroix is 22 and came up through the Montreal organization with the Ontario Hockey Association Peterborough Petes. He led the OHA Jr. A league in scoring in 1965-66 with 40 goals and 80 assists. Last year with the AHL Quebec Aces he scored 25 goals and added 24 assists. He became Flyers property when they purchased the Quebec franchise and their players.
Poile also said the club has purchased winger Dick Sarrazin from the Detroit Red Wings. He split last season between the Jersey Devils and Johnstown Jets of the Eastern Hockey League, scoring 26 goals and adding 28 assists.
Penguins Unveil Uniforms
The Pittsburgh Penguins have unveiled the colours they will wear in their first NHL season. The home uniforms will be light blue with white and black trim, and will have “Pittsburgh” in a diagonal script across the front, similar to that of the New York Rangers. Eight former Pittsburgh Hornets pose for the cameras in the picture below:
Hank Bassen, recently acquired from the Detroit Red Wings and expected to battle for the number one goaltending job, finally arrived at camp yesterday morning. He proudly shows off the new Pittsburgh colours:
On the ice, the Penguins went through a very successful day of workouts. Coach Red Sullivan singled out 32-year-old amateur goalie Marv Edwards as having impressed him the most. Edwards gave up only one goal during an entire morning scrimmage and looked completely at ease against the pros. Marv spent the past five seasons tending goal for the Nashville Dixie Flyers of the Eastern Hockey League. He was the loop’s top netminder and last year led the league with 51 wins.
In another interesting development, scout Rudy Migay, 38 and retired for three years, put on the skates and centred a line with amateurs Bob Young and Lynn Patterson. Migay actually looked pretty good, scoring the only goal of that session on former Hornet Joe Daley.
- Bobby Orr has reported to the Bruins training camp. He’s doing light exercises and is expected to start skating on Monday.
- Los Angeles Kings owner Jack Kent Cooke took a spin on the ice at the Kings training camp and fired a few pucks at goalie Terry Sawchuk.
- Leafs will take 20 players to London for tonight’s exhibition game against the Bruins. Included are rookies Walt McKechnie (who played for London Nationals last year), Gerry Meehan and Mike Byers.
- Meehan and fellow rookie Mike Pelyk have signed up for classes at the University of Toronto in case the Maple Leafs fail to offer them professional contracts.
- Goalie Charlie Hodge and the California Seals are still far apart in their contract negotiations.
- New York Rangers have signed holdouts Arnie Brown, Orland Kurtenbach and Vic Hadfield. Rod Gilbert remains unsigned.
- Chicago Black Hawks would like to make a deal with the Philadelphia Flyers to bring back forward Lou Angotti. Any trade for Angotti would likely be costly for the Hawks. Flyers are looking to Angotti to be their first captain.
- Holdouts Ed Van Impe and Joe Watson reported to the Flyers training camp this morning.
- Detroit Red Wings have signed recently-acquired goalkeeper Roy Edwards to his 1967-68 contract. Wings traded Hank Bassen to Pittsburgh to get Edwards.
- It looks like Ken Block, the young defenceman the Maple Leafs picked up from the Kings in exchange for Red Kelly, will be with the AHL Rochester Americans this season.
- Minnesota North Stars have signed forwards Andre Boudrias, Murray Hall and Bill Goldsworthy.