A quiet night in the National Hockey League with only one game on the docket. We’ll have a full report on that, plus some trade talk and the usual Quick Hits.
Kings Conquer Penguins
The Los Angeles Kings solidified their hold on first place in the National Hockey League’s Western Division last night with a solid 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins before 6,458 fans at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
Brian Smith led the Los Angeles attack with a pair of goals. Singles came from Eddie Joyal, Brian Campbell and Terry Gray. Art Stratton had two goals for Pittsburgh, with Bobby Dillabough adding the other.
Pittsburgh coach Red Sullivan was surprisingly complimentary towards the host club:
“We were beaten by a pretty good hockey club. The Kings look 30 to 40 per cent better than when we played thim in Pittsburgh (October 28). Right now they’re skating better than anybody in the league. That’s why they’re on top – they hustle.
“We’re skating better and we’re going to get the job done with the players we have. Remember we’ve been missing Ingarfield for five weeks and he could be out at least two weeks more.”
The Kings had a 2-0 lead early in the second period, but allowed the Penguins to tie it up, something that displeased coach Red Kelly:
“They simply didn’t hustle in that second period, but they came back out and got going again to win.
“My defence wasn’t as sharp as it usually is. They didn’t play as well as they have. But everybody hustled in the last period.”
Kelly was asked what he said to his club between the second and third periods. Whatever it was, it certainly seemed to spur the home side on. Kelly wouldn’t elaborate on any locker room speech he might have delivered:
“That’s between my fellas and myself. When we’re in the dressing room, it’s strictly in the family.”
Smith loves the way the Kings have a knack for scoring big goals when needed.
“I never played for a team like this that just seems to come up with the goals when you need them.”
The loss leaves the Penguins in third place, just two points back of the Philadelphia Flyers. The Kings have a three-point lead on the Flyers in the race for first.
Would Leafs Trade Mahovlich?
Toronto Star sports columnist Jim Proudfoot today asks if the Maple Leafs would consider dealing away their superstar left winger Frank Mahovlich. The Big M, as most everyone knows, has been confined to hospital for the past few weeks battling a nervous disorder.
Proudfoot reports that hockey fans in Chicago seem to think that the Black Hawks will wind up with Mahovlich, who would be shifted to centre to work on a line with Bobby Hull. That’s a nightmarish scenario for 22 goalkeepers around the NHL. Hull and Mahovlich are two of the most ferocious shooters in the big league.
Proudfoot believes that the Black Hawks have the assets to tempt Leafs general manager Punch Imlach to pull the trigger on a deal. Specifically, he cites young defenceman Doug Jarret as the player who could headline a package that could pry big Frank away from Toronto. Of course, other players would have to be involved.
The thing that worries Imlach most about trading away his superstar left winger is how well he might perform in a much more, shall we say, hospitable environment. It’s no secret that Mahovlich and Imlach have not gotten along over the years. If he were ever to reach that considerable potential everyone sees, the results would be incredibly embarrassing for the Leafs.
Proudfoot is careful to note that there is no indication that Mahovlich wants out of Toronto. He also says that to move him at this point in time, given the issues he’s been facing, might not be the best thing for the player’s health.
But then again, a possible move to a city where the daily scrutiny is much less might just be the best thing to happen to him.
There have been increasing rumblings over the past weeks that the Leafs are considering the possibility of moving Frank. Imlach was in Detroit last weekend to take in the Red Wings – Montreal game. Both clubs have been said to covet Mahovlich in the past. And we know that last night Imlach dined with Detroit’s assistant general manager Baz Bastien, who now handles bench duties for the Wings as well.
This is a situation that will bear watching as the season unfolds.
Leafs Still Want Parise
In other Leafs trade talk, Imlach is still in talks with Rochester Americans general manager Joe Crozier in an effort to land left winger Jean-Paul Parise. Imlach was in Rochester Thursday and dickered for several hours with Crozier, but nothing as of yet has been arranged:
“That Crozier is a tough guy to deal with. Yes, we want Parise but Joe simply wants too much.”
The usual price for a minor league player is about $20,000 and a warm body. Crozier, who doesn’t have the talent available he had in years before NHL expansion, is holding out for at least one more player from the Leafs.
Crozier told the local Rochester paper that he believes a deal is close, but nothing will be consummated before next week.
Parise became Rochester property when traded by the California Seals just before the start of the season. He must remain exclusive Rochester property because of the complicated sale agreement in the summer of 1966 when the Leafs transferred ownership of the American Hockey League franchise to local Rochester ownership.
- Gordon Pranschke, 51, the chief of the Ottawa and District Hockey Referees’ Association collapsed and died while officiating a game last night in Canton, NY.
- Niagara Falls Flyers downed the St. Catharines Black Hawks in an Ontario Hockey Association Junior A game last night. Don Tannahill, Steve Atkinson and Tom Webster scored for the Flyers. Dale Power was the only Hawk to beat Phil Myre, Niagara goalie.
- Kitchener Rangers thumped Montreal Junior Canadiens 8-4 in the other OHA game at Kitchener. Jack Egers and Walter Tkaczuk each fired a pair of goals for the Rangers.
- Baltimore Clippers scored three times in the final period to claim a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Bisons in Baltimore. Jean-Maurice Cossette, Dick Meissner, Sandy McGregor and Tom McCarthy counted for Baltimore. Wayne Larkin and Billy Knibbs replied for the Bisons.