Archive | November, 2013


13 Nov

Funny, how something reminds one of lost memory, just  like discovering unearth treasure that you once knew but never associate with a  sports hero from the past.

I was reminding in a couple of books I recently reads in Dave Bidini “Keon and Me” he describe among other trait that’s Sittler was a tough guy, he goes on describe him perfectly  “…. curly-haired centreman with a bashful smile and a bullish stride whose gentle manner was belied by sudden gusts of rage that saw the softness of his youth harden like clay.” (Keon And Me, Dave Bidini).

Then in  “Orr, My Story” there its a picture of a group of people obviously at summer cottage get together–some older some the bottom far right, below a young Orr with his grandmother, sits a young couple, he in cut-off jeans, no shirt,  the lighting catching his dirty blonde curly hairs that frame youthful joyous  face  beside him I young girl, white blonde with a big smile… I know them but can’t immediately place them I scroll down. Above:……..Darryl Sittler and his late wife Wendy,…  A young happy couple.

I guess that’s how I will always remember Sittler- the Leafs Captains, the guys who got those ten points in a game against the Boston Bruin in 76′ ( as a adult I receive a child book for Christmas about the Leafs and  Sittler-“My Leafs Sweater”) . I remember Sittler as the  guy who got the goal against the Czechs tough goalie Dzurilla in 76′   Canada Cup  Overtime winner.

I can still remember his interviews his earnest almost shy delivery with his eyes cast down almost not daring to looks  directly into the camera. Right down to  the way he spoke; his quiet voice, his lips barely moving, just a little O forming in his face when he spoke– just like the boy who wanted to be a dentist in “Rudolph Red Nose Reindeer”. I met a guy years later who could do dead ringer  of a Sittler interview.

Other players that were tough players who were also GOOD players that wore their persona on their face. Guys like Mel Bridgman, big  dark bushy mustache and dark thick eyebrow than met at a V above piecing eyes. Harold Snespsts, a big  tall defensemen with a “Fu Man Chu”  mustache that gave him a formable menace. Lots of guys that had THAT look..  Shultz, Saleski, Kevin McClelland…………others had  matching  names like… Bouchard, Butcher, Battleship Kelly, Mad dog Kelley…on and on.

But looking back I guess he was a tough guy. In 1977/78 he got 117 points with 100 PIM. We want to remember our sports idol the way we wants. The years past by, the memories go through a sifter, milling out what we want to remember cloaks in nostalgia, we keep what we unconsciously what to carry with us. All the same I like that Sittler had a tough side…I dig through my memory I can picture  him going off the  ice blood on his face the C on Toronto Maple Leafs jersey



2 Nov

Link to good song and an vintage 70’s video..Enjoy

Staal reunion: Rangers’ Marc faces Eric, Jordan and the ‘Canes

2 Nov



Saturday night will be a special one for the Staal family.

At Madison Square Garden, Marc Staal will face his brothers Eric Staal and Jordan Staal for the first time in the same game. We’ve heard plenty about the Staal family anytime they’ve faced each other one-on-one, but this is the first time all three of the NHL-playing brothers will square off against each other.

As Marc tells Steve Zipay of New York Newsday, it’ll be quite the experience.

“I’m sure I’ll see a lot of either of them. When you’re up against one, it’s kind of easy to know when he’s on the ice, or if I’m matched up, but two of them . . . It’s going to be two of those faces all the time.”

At least they have all that family experience to build off of to know more of what it’s like to play…

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Former Habs coach Cunneyworth hired as Sabres scout

2 Nov

This guy has deep root with the Sabres organization with Rochester…maybe it me but I read a little more into this…maybe I’m way off but once upon a time it was thought he would be heir apparent lock as the next sabres coach…stay tune


It turns out you couldn’t keep former Montreal Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth away for very long.

The Buffalo Sabres announced they’ve hired Cunneyworth as a pro scout. He was fired as Habs head coach in May of 2012 after relieving Jacques Martin of the job earlier that season.

Cunneyworth’s time in Montreal is most notable thanks to his language issues with some of the French-Canadian media in Montreal since he did not speak French. That on top of the Canadiens’ poor play as well as scratching P.K. Subban helped make his tenure a short one. He coached just the final 50 games of the 2011-12 season before being let go.

Buffalo is a familiar place for the 52-year-old Cunneyworth. He was drafted by the Sabres in 1980 and played his first two seasons with them as well as his final season during their run to the Stanley Cup Final…

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Number 4 Bobby Orr

2 Nov

I wrote this a few year ago..a true backyard rink story.

Magical number 4

Number four for Bobby Orr;  kids from my era wanted to pretend to be number 4 when it came to playing street hockey or at the outdoors rinks in a game of shinny. Actually it went beyond that, if the Kentucky derby was on television you rooted for the number four horse to win, if you played baseball you asked for number four, there was something magical about it.

Like most outdoor shinny games across Canada,  our games would start much the same as others, we’d throw the sticks in the middle or just pick teams draft style, and then it was “roll call time”, you had to think quick,  machine gun burst of names bellowed with bravado it sounded something like this “I’m Bobby Orr,  I’m Espo ,  I’m Sittler, I’m  Frank Mahovalich, F#@&*c  OK I’m Pete Mahovalich, I’m Tony “O”, I’m Cornyeyer”, then our wise cracking neighbor Cheech would demand silence, then once he had everybody attention in deadpan sarcasm  “I’m Cheech!” raise his eyebrows half serious and turn away. I didn’t have to worry I knew who I was going to be, I’m Mike Pelyk I shouted with tinny enthusiasm.

Mike Pelyk was a very serviceable defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs, he carved out a solid workmen like career in the best hockey league in the world.

He wasn’t my uncle or a family best friend, no the reason for me being I was Mike Pelyk  because  I was stubborn and Leaf diehards. Let me explain; I had always worn my Leaf jersey (my favorite team forever) and it was adorned with the number four (because everybody, including me love Bobby Orr).One day I was at my best friend’s house who happened to be a Bruins fan and we got into an argument the ways young kids do; who was better the Leafs or the Bruins? He was arguing the Bruins were the best, me the Leafs; he was clearly correct but like I say I was a stubborn die hard Leaf kid, the only thing that transcended the Leafs love was number four Bobby Orr, everyone loved him. I wore number 4 on the back of my Leaf jersey for this very reason. Our argument was as heated and logical as two seven or eight year olds could get, there was going to be no winner so we did what we always do, headed outside to play street hockey, we could settle it that way. As I was leaving his father said “you know Bobby Orr doesn’t play for Toronto Maple Leafs pointing to the number four on the back of the Leaf jersey, a wry smile on his face. I could feel my face getting red “no I’m not Bobby Orr I’m Mike Pelyk” (number 4 for the Leafs at the time). So there it was boldly pronounced in front of my friends, they held me to it and I didn’t flinch.

My buddies and I went out and played street hockey,  because there was only three of us we had to play two against one, Bobby Orr and Gibert Perrault against Mike Pelyk a colossal mismatch of idols.

When teams were picked sometimes guys wouldn’t pick me because they wanted to be the French connection Gibert Perrault -Rick Martin and they needed a Rene Robert and they’d see me standing earnestly in my blue number four and they knew I had the Pelyk albatross to deal with, so a lot of times I was picked last. I can say this, Mike Pelyk had a hell of a pond hockey career in Thunder Bay’s  neighborhood of Northwood amidst the cold lengthy winters of days long gone.

Lower Deck Halifax

2 Nov

I remember this  was great place for Irish (and other type music).

Farewell Nova Scotia

1 Nov

A good old Maritime song ” Farewell Nova Scotia”