Today’s news features some exhibition results, including an AHL team defeating an NHL squad, Bobby Orr meets some baseball players and the usual string of contract signings.
Bruins Meet the Cards
Two members of the Boston Bruins met a couple of players from the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals during a pre-World Series workout yesterday at Fenway Park in Boston. Young Bobby Orr and veteran goalie Ed Johnston stood in street clothes behind the batting cage and watched the Cards do some damage to balls thrown up to the plate.
Orr, who is only 19, showed he is still a small-town Ontario boy at heart. He seemed in awe while watching Roger Maris take his swings, telling Johnston “Gee, this is the first time I’ve seen these people up close.”
The two Boston hockey players had their pictures snapped with first catcher Tim McCarver and then third baseman Mike Shannon. Shannon told Orr that he had played hockey when he was younger, on a river in Missouri.
Each player was given an official World Series baseball as a keepsake. After the session the players met autograph-seeking fans outside the stadium. Most admittedly were expecting the likes of Maris and Lou Brock, but they nonetheless asked Orr And Johnston to sign, even though most weren’t sure who they were.
Johnston quipped that he only signed Orlando Cepeda’s name once.
Olmstead Irked As Seals Lose to Buffalo
The California Seals have been touting themselves as the team to beat in the National Hockey League’s new expansion division this season. That pre-season confidence took a hit last night in Port Huron when they were defeated by the American Hockey League’s worst team last season, the Buffalo Bisons.
To be fair, the Bisons were all but ignored by the parent Chicago Black Hawks last year and iced one of their weakest teams in recent memory. This year the Buffalo roster is almost totally revamped thanks to a change in working agreements. The Bisons now are affiliated mainly with the New York Rangers. In addition, Buffalo will receive players from the Seals, possibly even a couple whom they faced last night.
Whatever changes have taken place in Buffalo, it’s clear that California’s general manager-coach Bert Olmstead was anything but pleased with his team’s performance against a minor-league club. The tough taskmaster Olmstead proclaimed he wasn’t happy and the team knows it.
“If they won’t work in a game, they’ll practice, and practice hard. They’ll get into condition. They’ll skate so hard that game day will be anticipated like a day off.”
Olmstead would not use the excuse that his new team will take longer to gel because of its expansion status.
“Some of the established clubs can plan years ahead. That’s the sign of a good organization, when you can predict where the weaknesses will come and prepare for them.
“I’m interested in right now. We drafted as much for youth as ability and we came out of the draft well.
“So far, nobody’s producing. I’m not happy with any of them and they know it. Some of the teams in our division are enthused with their opportunity – our guys aren’t and I’m going to find out why.”
Olmstead won’t single out individuals, saying only that the players know who is giving 100 per cent and who isn’t.
The game was marked by a fine performance by Bisons’ holdover goalkeeper Ed Chadwick. He put on another great pre-season exhibition, making 37 saves and leaving many wondering how he could have been overlooked in the expansion draft. He excelled for the awful Buffalo team last year and both rivals and team mates felt he was a shoe-in for a berth with one of the new franchises.
Truth is, Chadwick wasn’t even available to the new clubs. As a result of the convoluted set of expansion rules crafted by the NHL, players owned outright by American Hockey League teams were not eligible to be selected by an expansion club. That meant that Chadwick had to sit and watch as lesser players were taken by the new teams. Any NHL team could make a deal with Buffalo for Chadwick’s services, but to date Buffalo general manager Fred Hunt’s asking price has been too exorbitant.
Greg Pilling led the attack for the Bisons scoring two goals. Singles were netted by Guy Trottier and Gerry Ouelette. Ron Harris fired a pair of goals for the Seals, with Alain (Boom Boom) Caron getting the other.
Wings Dump Habs in Final Exhibition
Detroit Red Wings completed their seven-game exhibition series last night with a solid 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at the Olympia in Detroit. Detroit is now idle until they open the NHL season next week in Boston.
Montreal, by the way, will play three more preseason games before they open in Pittsburgh on October 11.
Red Wings started the game slowly, but goalie Roger Crozier stopped 14 of 15 first-period drives by the Canadiens and that set the tone for the rest of the evening. He finished with 20 saves before being replaced by George Gardner midway through the second frame and was easily the star of the game. If Crozier stays healthy and maintains a level of play similar to what he showed against the Habs, Detroit will be a force to be reckoned with in the NHL’s Eastern Division.
Detroit received goals from Gordie Howe, Gary Bergman, Floyd Smith and Paul Henderson. They dominated Montreal over the final 40 minutes and the outcome was never in doubt.
Yvan Cournoyer connected for the only Canadiens marker in the first period. Over the entire contest the Montreal “Kid Line” of Danny Grant, Garry Monahan and Mickey Redmond was their most impressive attacking unit.
Gump Worsley and Rogatien Vachon split the netminding duties for Canadiens.
Bruins Nip Rangers
The new-look Boston Bruins edged the New York Rangers 2-1 at Boston Garden last night before over 5700 fans. It was the first look that Bruins faithful had at the new uniforms the Beantown team will wear this season.
The new Bruins garb will be predominantly black, with white and gold trim. Road sweaters will be white with black and gold.
The new Bruins look isn’t limited to their threads. This Boston team is noticeably bigger than that of years past. They also seem to play with a bit more of an edge and are much more aggressive around the opposition goal.
Last year’s rookie phenom Bobby Orr saw his first action of the preseason. While he was a bit tentative in the early going, he was his old self by mid-game and led several rink-length rushes.
All the scoring took place in the final 13 minutes. Tommy Williams gave Boston a 1-0 lead at the seven-minute mark of the third. New York evened the score just over seven minutes later on a marker by former Bruin Orland Kurtenbach.
It looked like this one would end in a tie, but with only seven seconds remaining on the clock, Ken Hodge slipped a backhander past Ranger goalie Gilles Villemure for the game winner for the Bruins.
Gerry Cheevers went all the way in goal for Boston. Ed Giacomin played the first 40 minutes for the Rangers, with Villemure taking over in the third.
- Ed Hoekstra scored with 41 seconds to play to lift the Philadelphia Flyers into a 4-4 tie with the Minnesota North Stars at Kingston, Ontario. Bill Sutherland scored twice for the Flyers, with Leon Rochefort netting the other. Bill Goldsworthy paced the North Stars with a pair of markers. Mike McMahon and Len Lunde added singles.
- Phoenix Roadrunners blanked the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 in a Western Hockey League exhibition match at Victoria, B.C. Brian Smith, Lou Jankowski and Dick Lamoureux scored the goals while Claude Cyr and Rick Charron shared the shutout.
- Dick Beddoes of the Toronto Globe and Mail wonders how long it will be before the American NHL owners move the league offices to the United States. Red Dutton, former NHL president and a trustee of the Stanley Cup, vows that the trophy will remain in Canada if the league offices are moved south.
- Annis Stukus, general manager of the Vancouver Canucks of the WHL reports that the team has sold over 1200 season tickets so far.
- Los Angeles Kings made a number of player moves yesterday. Signed to new contracts are expansion draft picks Mike Corbett, Howie Hughes, Terry Gray, Mike Corrigan and Lowell MacDonald, and former Springfield players Larry Johnston, Brian Kilrea and Howie Menard. Rick Pagnutti, the first player taken in the amateur draft, also inked a deal.
- Kings also sold forward Bill Sweeney outright to the Vancouver Canucks. Sweeney had been under suspension since the beginning of training camp by the club for unspecified reasons. Corbett and Larry Mavety were also loaned to Vancouver.
- Holdout defenceman Joe Watson has signed a two-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers.