Hockey’s Greatest Photography

By HOWARD BERGER

TORONTO (Apr. 22) – The 1960’s are often referred to as the “golden years” of hockey and the images in this blog may help you understand why.

Current arenas in the National Hockey League are amply illuminated – and photo technology so advanced – that artificial lighting is barely required to capture brilliant images. In the early-to-mid 60’s, when color television was a novelty, NHL arenas were comparatively dim. Games were telecast in black and white. With the advent of color TV, additional lighting was required.

If you come across film of games at the Detroit Olympia during the 1966 Stanley Cup final, you will notice that a strand of lights was suspended from the glass at either end of the rink. This enabled CBS to televise the Detroit-Montreal games in color. The end-lighting cast long shadows when players entered the attacking or defensive zones. It was primitive, but it worked.

Maple Leaf Gardens was the first of the pre-expansion buildings to install permanent lighting. In the summer of 1966, several-dozen flood-lights were attached to a girder on the west side of the arena, spanning the entire length of the ice. When Toronto and New York opened the 1966-67 season on Sat. Oct. 22, CBC televised the match in full color. If you attended a Leaf game from that point on and arrived, say, 15 minutes before the warm-up, you’d be on hand when the TV lights were activated – five or six at a time. It always engendered a reaction from early birds in the building.

The same principal of lighting in that era governed still photography. Arenas were too dark to produce color images for newspapers or magazines. To overcome the problem, strobe lights (containing flash-tubes) were affixed to the end-glass in each corner of the rink. When a photographer clicked his camera shutter, the light flashed instantly – illuminating his subject(s) and darkening the background. Incredible hockey images resulted.

The pioneer of such photography was Harold Barkley, a resident of Oakville, Ont. – just west of Toronto – who made the rounds of the six-team NHL, but spent most of his time at Maple Leaf Gardens. Barkley’s color photos from the 60’s and early-70’s have long been the standard in professional hockey.      

IN THIS 1966 PHOTO FROM THE OLD MADISON SQUARE GARDEN IN NEW YORK, MAPLE LEAFS CAPTAIN GEORGE ARMSTRONG INTENSELY PURSUES PUCK. EXCLUSIVE TO HAROLD BARKLEY’S PHOTOGRAPHS IN THE 60’s AND 70’s WAS STROBE LIGHTING, WHICH FOCUSED BRILLIANTLY ON PLAYERS AND MADE BACKGROUND APPEAR DARK.

Barkley’s work first appeared during the six-team era in the Star Weekly – a supplement to the Toronto Star newspaper – published between 1910 and 1973. NHL players were captured in stunning, full-page photos, as seen here:  

          

          

FINALLY, A BOOK

EARLY IN THE 1969-70 NHL SEASON, WHILE VISITING A COLE’S BOOKSTORE AT THE YORKDALE SHOPPING MALL HERE IN TOWN, I WAS DELIGHTED TO COME ACROSS A GORGEOUS, COFFEE-TABLE SIZED PRODUCTION SIMPLY ENTITLED HOCKEY. IT WAS A 96-PAGE COMPILATION OF GLOSSY PHOTOS FROM THE HAROLD BARKLEY ARCHIVE AND I IMMEDIATELY CAJOLED MY DAD INTO PLUNKING DOWN $6.95 TO BUY IT FOR ME. YES – $6.95. A SIMILAR ITEM TODAY WOULD COST $50.00. A POCKET-BOOK TODAY CAN BE THREE TIMES MORE THAN $6.95. ARRIVING HOME, I SPENT HOURS LOOKING AT BARKLEY’S INCREDIBLE PHOTOGRAPHY – UNLIKE ANYTHING I’D EVER SEEN.

THE BOOK’S LAYOUT WAS BIZARRE, YET CONSISTENT WITH THE TIME. PHOTOS WERE ARRANGED HAPHAZARDLY – MOST ON BRIGHTLY COLORED BACKGROUNDS. DOUBLE-PAGE SPREADS WERE COMMON AND BREATHTAKING. IT WAS EARLY IN THE NHL EXPANSION ERA, SO IMAGES OF ALL 12 TEAMS APPEARED – A NOVELTY UNTO ITSELF.

NEARLY 4½ DECADES LATER, I HAVE MY ORIGINAL COPY OF THE BOOK – BEATEN UP THROUGH THE YEARS, BUT STILL IN VIEWABLE CONDITION:     

FRONT COVER (ABOVE) AND INSIDE-PAGE (BELOW) OF 1969 HAMLYN PUBLISHING BOOK HOCKEY. BOBBY HULL, WEARING HIS ORIGINAL NO. 7, IS ON THE COVER. TOE BLAKE, COACH OF MONTREAL CANADIENS, ADDRESSES HIS PLAYERS ON THE INSIDE PAGE.  

COLORFUL LAYOUT…

          

DOUBLE-PAGE PHOTO SPREADS…

WHITE BACKGROUND…

MIKE LEONETTI’S BOOKS

IN THE LATE-1980’S, TORONTO HOCKEY ENTHUSIAST MIKE LEONETTI BEGAN COLLABORATING WITH HAROLD BARKLEY ON A SERIES OF HISTORIC NHL CALENDARS – THEIR MEETING ARRANGED BY THE LATE FRANK SELKE JR. ULTIMATELY, BARKLEY HINTED HE WOULD BE OPEN TO SELLING HIS INCOMPARABLE PHOTO COLLECTION AND WONDERED IF LEONETTI MIGHT BE INTERESTED. IT WAS AKIN TO WONDERING IF A STRANDED PERSON IN DEATH VALLEY WOULD ACCEPT A GLASS OF WATER. LEONETTI AND A FRIEND PURCHASED THE BARKLEY ACCUMULATION – 80 PERCENT OF WHICH BELONGS TO LEONETTI TODAY (MIKE WOULD NOT REVEAL HOW MUCH BARKLEY GOT FOR THE PHOTOS). WHAT RESULTED WAS A SERIES OF EXQUISITE COFFEE-TABLE BOOKS – MOST OF WHICH ARE DISPLAYED HERE:

                     

IN THESE BOOKS IS AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF HAROLD BARKLEY’S UN-MATCHED PHOTOS, WHICH CONTINUE TO RESONATE IN THE HOCKEY WORLD WITH THE POWER OF A BEATLES’ SONG. HERE IS A SELECTION OF HIS WORK: 

PRE-EXPANSION PHOTOS

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ALL LOGOS: SPORTSLOGOS.NET

FROM 1965-66 SEASON, MAPLE LEAF WINGER FRANK MAHOVLICH AND NEW YORK GOALIE ED GIACOMIN WATCH THE PLAY ON OPPOSITE SIDE OF ICE. 

FROM MAPLE LEAF GARDENS IN 1965-66, YOUNG RON ELLIS SCUFFLES WITH VETERAN DETROIT DEFENSEMAN BILL GADSBY. RED WINGS WORE LIGHT-BROWN GLOVES UNTILL THE 1966-67 SEASON, WHEN THEY SWITCHED TO RED AND WHITE.  

          

IN 1966-67, FUTURE HALL-OF-FAMERS BERNIE PARENT (LEFT) AND BOBBY ORR WERE ROOKIE TEAMMATES WITH THE BOSTON BRUINS. PARENT WOULD LATER WIN CONSECUTIVE STANLEY CUP TITLES (1974 AND 1975) IN PHILADELPHIA.

IN 1966-67, CESARE MANIAGO (30) WAS BACK-UP TO NO. 1 GOALIE ED GIACOMIN OF NEW YORK, APPEARING IN ONLY FOUR GAMES. MANIAGO WOULD BE CHOSEN BY MINNESOTA NORTH STARS IN THE 1967 EXPANSION DRAFT. I INTERVIEWED THE FORMER NETMINDER, THEN 74 YEARS OLD, LAST YEAR IN VANCOUVER (PHOTO BELOW).

AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS IN 1966-67, DEFENSEMAN BOB BAUN IS CHASED BY CHICAGO’S FRED STANFIELD. IN MAY 1967, STANFIELD WOULD BE DEALT TO BOSTON WITH PHIL ESPOSITO AND KEN HODGE IN THE MOST ONE-SIDED TRADE OF ALL TIME.

MAPLE LEAFS AND CANADIENS GET STICKS UP IN FRONT OF GOALIE TERRY SAWCHUK AT THE MONTREAL FORUM IN 1966. CLAUDE PROVOST OF THE HABS (14) IS WATCHED CLOSELY BY VETERAN LEAFS DEFENSEMAN MARCEL PRONOVOST (3).

TORONTO CAPTAIN GEORGE ARMTRONG BATTLES FOR THE PUCK WITH EX-TEAMMATE DICK DUFF (8) OF MONTREAL IN ACTION AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS IN 1966-67 SEASON. HABS DEFENSEMAN TERRY HARPER IS BETWEEN ARMSTRONG AND DUFF. 

TORONTO FORWARD EDDIE SHACK IS CHASED BY BRUINS DEFENSEMAN BOB McCORD DURING 1963-64 SEASON AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS. McCORD WOULD BECOME AN ORIGINAL MEMBER OF THE MINNESOTA NORTH STARS IN 1967-68. BY THAT TIME, A SLIGHTLY MORE DYNAMIC PLAYER WOULD BE WEARING NO. 4 FOR BOSTON.

          

BOB BAUN IS PURSUED BY CHICAGO FORWARD DOUG MOHNS (TOP LEFT) AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS IN 1965. GEORGE ARMSTRONG CHASES PUCK BEHIND NET (RIGHT) AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN IN NEW YORK. TORONTO GOALIE IS JOHNNY BOWER.

DEFENSEMAN KENT DOUGLAS OF THE LEAFS – ONLY PLAYER IN NHL HISTORY TO WEAR EYE-BLACK – TAKES DOWN BOBBY HULL AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS IN 1966. DOUGLAS WON THE CALDER TROPHY AS NHL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR IN 1962-63.

IN 1965-66 GAME AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, DON AWREY (26) OF THE BRUINS IS TIED UP BY NEW YORK WINGER VIC HADFIELD, AS GOALIE BERNIE PARENT LOOKS ON.

          

THREE HALL-OF-FAMERS: MONTREAL CAPTAIN JEAN BELIVEAU (TOP-LEFT). DETROIT’S GORDIE HOWE CROWDING GOALIE JOHNNY BOWER (RIGHT) IN 1965 EXHIBITION GAME AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS – BOTH TEAMS WEARING COLORED JERSEYS.

MAPLE LEAFS GOALIE TERRY SAWCHUK SPRAWLS TO THWART DETROIT FORWARD RON MURPHY AT THE GARDENS IN 1965-66 SEASON.

DURING 1967 STANLEY CUP FINAL AT MONTREAL FORUM, PETER STEMKOWSKI (12) OF THE LEAFS FALLS IN FRONT OF CANADIENS NET WITH LINE-MATE BOB PULFORD LOOKING FOR REBOUND. HABS DEFENSEMAN IS TERRY HARPER (19) WITH FORWARD CLAUDE LAROSE IN BACKGROUND. LEAFS BEAT MONTREAL IN SIX GAMES. 

POST-EXPANSION PHOTOS

California Seals Logo - Yellow and green seal holding a hockey stick on a blue C     

GEORGE ARMSTRONG CHASES FORWARD TED HAMPSON OF THE OAKLAND SEALS IN 1968 GAME AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS. SEALS JOINED NHL IN THE GREAT EXPANSION OF 1967 ALONG WITH LOS ANGELES KINGS, MINNESOTA NORTH STARS, PHILADELPHIA FLYERS, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS AND ST. LOUIS BLUES.

TORONTO LINE-MATES NORM ULLMAN (9) AND FLOYD SMITH (17) PRESSURE OAKLAND GOALIE (AND FORMER LEAF) GARY SMITH. DEFENSEMAN DOUG ROBERTS (2) LOOKS ON.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS WORE THE ABOVE UNIFORMS ONLY IN THEIR INAUGURAL NHL SEASON (1967-68). HERE, GOALIE LES BINKLEY AND TORONTO FORWARD PETER STEMKOWSKI ARE UNCERTAIN WHERE THE PUCK IS. TYING UP STEMKOWSKI IS DEFENSEMAN AL MacNEIL, WHO PLAYED ALL 74 GAMES FOR THE PENGUINS IN THEIR FIRST YEAR. MacNEIL WOULD COACH MONTREAL TO THE 1971 STANLEY CUP.

ON MAR. 3, 1968, PAUL HENDERSON (19, ABOVE) WAS TRADED TO THE MAPLE LEAFS IN A BLOCKBUSTER DEAL WITH DETROIT. NORM ULLMAN AND FLOYD SMITH ALSO CAME TO TORONTO FOR FRANK MAHOVLICH, PETER STEMKOWSKI, GARRY UNGER AND THE NHL RIGHTS TO DEFENSEMAN CARL BREWER. THREE NIGHTS LATER, THE NEW LEAFS PLAYED THEIR FIRST GAME – AT THE GARDENS AGAINST THE EXPANSION PHILADELPHIA FLYERS. IN THIS PHOTO, HENDERSON IS BATTLING FOR PUCK WITH FLYERS GOALIE DOUG FAVELL AND DEFENSEMAN ED VAN IMPE (2).

ST. LOUIS MADE ITS SECOND VISIT TO MAPLE LEAF GARDENS ON FEB. 21, 1968 (PROGRAM LINE-UPS FROM THAT GAME, BELOW) AND GOT HAMMERED, 5-1. IN THE ABOVE PHOTO, GARY VENERUZZO OF THE BLUES (20) CROSSES STICKS WITH TORONTO DEFENSEMAN LARRY HILLMAN. RON ELLIS (8) LOOKS ON BESIDE HILLMAN. 

          

EXPANSION GUARANTEED FULL-TIME NHL JOBS FOR MANY PLAYERS THAT HAD LANGUISHED IN THE MINORS – AMONG THEM (ABOVE) DEFENSEMEN BILL WHITE OF LOS ANGELES KINGS AND AL ARBOUR OF ST. LOUIS BLUES. ARBOUR WOULD LATER COACH NEW YORK ISLANDERS TO FOUR CONSECUTIVE STANLEY CUP TITLES (1980-81-82-83).

MAPLE LEAFS FORWARD MIKE WALTON PASSES NET AFTER SCORING CHANCE ON NEW YORK GOALIE ED GIACOMIN DURING 1967-68 GAME AT THE GARDENS. RANGERS’ HALL-OF-FAME DEFENSEMAN HARRY HOWELL (3) IS IN THE BACKGROUND.

HOW ODD IT WAS TO SEE FRANK MAHOVLICH WEARING A DETROIT UNIFORM ON MAR. 9, 1968 – SIX NIGHTS AFTER BEING TRADED BY LEAFS TO RED WINGS.

TORONTO DEFENSEMAN RICK LEY (2) – IN HIS ROOKIE SEASON OF 1968-69 – STAYS CLOSE TO BOBBY ORR DURING GAME AT  MAPLE LEAF GARDENS. LEY AND PAT QUINN WERE LEAF TEAMMATES FOR TWO SEASONS. THIRTY YEARS LATER, LEY WOULD BECOME AN ASSISTANT COACH UNDER QUINN HERE IN TORONTO.

SPEAKING OF THE BIG IRISHMAN, HE WAS FRONT-AND-CENTRE IN ONE OF THE MOST UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS IN LEAF PLAYOFF HISTORY. ON APR. 2, 1969 – IN GAME 1 OF A QUARTERFINAL SERIES AT BOSTON GARDEN – QUINN LAID OUT BOBBY ORR WITH A FLYING SHOULDER-ELBOW SMASH THAT KNOCKED THE BRUIN SUPERSTAR INTO NEVER-NEVER LAND. IT PRECIPITATED A RIOT THAT HAD NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER ON THE GAME OR THE SERIES, AS BOSTON CLOBBERED THE LEAFS, 10-0, AND ROLLED TO A QUICK ELIMINATION. THE LEGEND OF THE ORR HIT, HOWEVER, HAS FOLLOWED QUINN THROUGH THE DECADES, SPANNING HIS EIGHT-YEAR TERM COACHING THE LEAFS (1998-2006). AS A RUGGED DEFENSEMAN, QUINN HAD MANY A BATTLE WITH THE BRUINS – ENCOUNTERING PHIL ESPOSITO (7) ABOVE AND JOHN McKENZIE (19) BELOW. 

BOBBY HULL WAS THE NHL’s BIGGEST ATTRACTION IN THE 1960’s AND IT WAS ALWAYS A SPECIAL NIGHT WHEN HE CAME TO TOWN WITH THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS. HULL (ABOVE) IS CHECKED BY LEAFS DEFENSEMAN DUANE RUPP DURING 1967-68 SEASON. 

          

IN TORONTO-BOSTON ACTION AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS IN 1968-69, DEREK SANDERSON SKATES PAST GOALIE BRUCE GAMBLE (TOP-LEFT) WHILE TORONTO DEFENSEMAN TIM HORTON (7) SCUFFLES WITH A YOUNG GLEN SATHER (14).

MAPLE LEAFS DEFENSEMAN MIKE PELYK (4) TRIES TO KEEP WAYNE CASHMAN OF BOSTON AWAY FROM THE PUCK AT THE GARDENS IN 1968-69.

NHL North East Divisions Toronto Maple Leafs NHL Logo fom 1968 - 1970 large     

IN THE 1970-71 SEASON, NHL TEAMS BEGAN WEARING THEIR PREDOMINANTLY COLORED JERSEYS ON THE ROAD. THE LEAFS DID A UNIFORM RE-DESIGN, WITH MODIFIED LOGO AND SHOULDER-YOKE EXTENDING LENGTH OF THE SLEEVE. SEVERAL TEAMS – PITTSBURGH, ST. LOUIS, CALIFORNIA – EXPERIMENTED WITH COLORED SKATES. IN THE ABOVE PHOTO, ROD ZAINE (24) OF THE PENGUINS, WEARING LIGHT-BLUE AND DARK-BLUE SKATES TO CORRESPOND WITH UNIFORM, SHOOTS PAST LEAFS DEFENSEMAN BOB BAUN (21) WITH FORWARD JIM HARRISON FOLLOWING THE PLAY.

LEAFS CAPTAIN DAVE KEON HAS A STEP ON PITTSBURGH DEFENSEMAN DUNC McCALLUM IN GAME AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS ON JAN. 9, 1971.

STEVE VICKERS OF THE NEW YORK RANGERS LOOKS FOR THE PUCK BEHIND MAPLE LEAFS GOALIE JACQUES PLANTE AT THE GARDENS IN 1972-73. VICKERS WON THE CALDER TROPHY THAT SEASON AS THE NHL’s TOP ROOKIE.

California Golden Seals Logo - Seals in green with yellow outline Cleveland Barons Logo - The state of Ohio inside a maroon 'C'    

ROOKIE LEAFS DEFENSEMAN IAN TURNBULL RIDES BILL GOLDSWORTHY OF MINNESOTA NORTH STARS INTO END-BOARDS AT THE GARDENS ON OCT. 23, 1973.

TORONTO–PHILADELPHIA RIVALRY

FEB. 13, 1974 at MAPLE LEAF GARDENS

THEY DIDN’T COME ANY NASTIER IN THE 70’s THAN DAVE SCHULTZ OF THE FLYERS (8) – BATTLING FOR POSITION HERE WITH LEAFS DEFENSEMAN BOB NEELY (3). TORONTO GOALIE IS ED JOHNSTON; FLYERS FORWARD OREST KINDRACHUK (26).

ROOKIE LEAFS DEFENSEMAN BORJE SALMING (21) PUTS STICK IN FRONT OF FLYERS CAPTAIN BOBBY CLARKE WITH TERRY CRISP FOLLOWING THE PLAY. REFEREE IN BACKGROUND IS ANDY van HELLEMOND.

DARRYL SITTLER OF THE MAPLE LEAFS WATCHES PUCK FROM BEHIND PHILADELPHIA GOALIE BERNIE PARENT, AS FORWARD GARY DORNHOEFER REGAINS BALANCE.

BOB BERRY OF LOS ANGELES KINGS CHECKS TORONTO FORWARD ERROL THOMPSON (12) AT THE GARDENS ON FEB. 24, 1974. BORJE SALMING (21) WATCHES THE PLAY.

PHIL ESPOSITO OF BOSTON STUNNED THE HOCKEY WORLD BY ERUPTING FOR 76 GOALS IN THE 1970-71 SEASON, OBLITERATING BOBBY HULL’S RECORD OF 58. HERE, ESPOSITO SWOOPS IN ON GOAL AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS ON FEB. 14, 1971.

FUTURE HALL-OF-FAME WINGER LANNY McDONALD WAS A MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT FOR THE LEAFS IN HIS FIRST TWO SEASONS, SCORING A COMBINED 31 GOALS. IN YEAR THREE, HE TURNED IT AROUND WITH 37 MARKERS AND LATER POPPED IN 66 AS A MEMBER OF THE CALGARY FLAMES. IN HIS ROOKIE SEASON – 1973-74 – McDONALD SCUFFLED WITH BOBBY ORR (ABOVE) IN BACK OF BRUINS GOALIE GILLES GILBERT AND FOLLOWED PUCK (BELOW) PAST BERNIE PARENT OF THE FLYERS.

DARRYL SITTLER OF THE LEAFS SKATES BETWEEN BUFFALO CAPTAIN JIM SCHOENFELD (6) AND ROOKIE DANNY GARE (18) AT THE GARDENS ON MAR. 16, 1975. CALLING PENALTY ON SABRES IN THE BACKGROUND IS REFEREE BRYAN LEWIS. MAPLE LEAFS WERE DESTROYED, 11-3, IN THIS SUNDAY NIGHT GAME.

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