The Friday Vault

TORONTO (Oct. 30) — After another heavy, emotional sports day in our city, it’s time for some harmless enjoyment. As I like to do on a Friday, I went through my collection and pulled out programs from Maple Leaf Gardens during the 1968–69 and 1969–70 National Hockey League seasons.

These are some of my oldest and most–treasured items, as they date to a time when I began following the expanded NHL; getting to know the players and uniform designs of the 12 teams. The programs are from the second and third years of expansion, after the league added the Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Oakland Seals, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues in 1967–68.

Along with the program covers, I’ve included the turquoise–colored inserts that contained player information and the center–spread line–ups for that night’s game. The rosters of all 12 NHL teams are featured here in random order. Please enjoy browsing through this coveted part of my collection.

RSCN9989edited-DA COLLAGE OF PHOTOS FROM TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS GAMES IN THE 1967–68 SEASON ADORNED THE COVER OF THIS PROGRAM SOLD AT THE GARDENS IN DECEMBER 1968 AND JANUARY 1969.

RSCN0011edited-XWITH SUPERSTARS BOBBY ORR AND PHIL ESPOSITO, THE BRUINS WERE A RISING POWER IN 1968–69, THOUGH THE LEAFS EMERGED WITH A 2–0 VICTORY ON THIS NIGHT EARLY IN THE SEASON.

RSCN0228edited-XIN FEBRUARY 1969, BOBBY HULL (ABOVE) WAS THE BIGGEST GATE ATTRACTION IN THE NHL. HE CAME TO TORONTO WITH 38 GOALS (BELOW) ON FEB. 22 AND CHICAGO DEFEATED THE LEAFS, 4–2.

RSCN9726edited-XRSCN0241edited-XPROGRAM FROM DECEMBER/JANUARY OF 1968–69 SHOWED DAVE KEON RACING FOR A LOOSE PUCK WITH DEFENCEMAN NOEL PRICE OF THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS IN 1967–68.

RSCN9963edited-XCOVER FROM FEBRUARY 1970 FEATURED BRUCE GAMBLE MAKING A CLOSE–IN STOP ON NEW YORK RANGERS STAR ROD GILBERT. THE BACK PAGE OF THE PROGRAM (BELOW) CONTAINED AN ADVERTISEMENT AND A CORRESPONDING PORTION OF THE NHL SCHEDULE.

RSCN0036editedRSCN9969editedTORONTO AND MINNESOTA PLAYED TO A 3–3 TIE ON NOV. 30, 1968.

RSCN0126edited-XALSO FROM DECEMBER/JANUARY OF THE 1968–69 NHL SEASON.

RSCN0183edited-XOAKLAND WAS THE POOR COUSIN OF THE GREAT EXPANSION — PLAYING AND DRAWING POORLY. THE LEAFS WON EASILY, 4–1, ON FEB. 25, 1970 (ABOVE AND BELOW).

RSCN0021editedRSCN0108edited-XCOVER FROM DECEMBER 1969 HAD LEAFS VETERAN CENTER NORM ULLMAN IN ACTION AGAINST THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS. PROGRAM CONTENTS ARE BELOW.

RSCN0042edited-XRSCN9952editedTHE LEAFS AND KINGS TIED, 3–3, AT THE GARDENS ON FEB. 28, 1970.

RSCN0111edited-XJANUARY 1970 COVER. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP–LEFT: DAVE KEON. BRIT SELBY (CALDER TROPHY WINNER AS NHL ROOKIE–OF–THE–YEAR IN 1965–66). MIKE WALTON (16) CUTTING IN FRONT OF CHICAGO DEFENCEMAN DOUG JARRETT (20). BOBBY HULL BEING WATCHED CLOSELY BY RON ELLIS (6).

RSCN0163edited-XIN DECEMBER 1969, PAUL HENDERSON WAS LESS THAN THREE YEARS AWAY FROM SCORING HIS LEGENDARY GOAL IN MOSCOW THAT WON THE 1972 SUMMIT SERIES FOR CANADA OVER RUSSIA.

RSCN0174edited-XTHE LEAFS BLANKED THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS, 5–0, AT THE GARDENS ON DEC. 6, 1969.

RSCN0146edited-XDAVE KEON (14), MIKE WALTON (16) AND BOB PULFORD (20) START OUT OF THE LEAF ZONE NEXT TO JOHNNY BOWER ON ANOTHER MID–SEASON PROGRAM COVER IN 1968–69.

RSCN9931editedTORONTO SHUT–OUT DETROIT, 4–0, ON NOV. 22, 1969.

RSCN9948edited-XFLOYD SMITH (17) IS PICTURED IN FRONT OF EX–DETROIT TEAMMATE GORDIE HOWE ON THE COVER OF THIS APRIL 1969 PLAYOFF PROGRAM. LINE–UPS (BELOW) ARE FROM GAME 3 OF THE LEAFS–BRUINS STANLEY CUP QUARTERFINAL AT THE GARDENS ON SAT. APR. 5, 1969. AFTER HUMILIATING THE LEAFS, 10–0 AND 7–0, IN THE FIRST TWO GAMES AT BOSTON, THE BRUINS SCRATCHED OUT A 4–3 TRIUMPH TO TAKE A STRANGLEHOLD ON THE BEST–OF–SEVEN SERIES THEY WOULD SWEEP THE FOLLOWING NIGHT.

RSCN0160edited-XRSCN0049edited-XPUNCH IMLACH’S COLUMN IN CENTER–SPREAD OF THE PROGRAM. THE LONG–TIME LEAFS GENERAL MANAGER AND COACH WOULD BE FIRED AFTER THE 1969 PLAYOFF SWEEP BY BOSTON.

RSCN0006edited-XPROGRAM COVER FROM NOVEMBER 1968. JOHNNY BOWER TURNS 91 NEXT WEEK.

RSCN9799edited-DPHILADELPHIA CAME TO THE GARDENS IN THE SECOND WEEK OF THE 1969–70 SEASON (ABOVE AND BELOW) AND UPSET THE MAPLE LEAFS, 4–3. BOB CLARKE (16) WAS A FLYERS ROOKIE.

RSCN9719edited-XRSCN0049edited-XPROGRAM FROM FEBRUARY 1970. TOP PHOTO: PAUL HENDERSON SWOOPS IN ON ST. LOUIS GOALIE GLENN HALL. BOTTOM: ALEX DELVECCHIO OF DETROIT CHIPS PUCK PAST BRUCE GAMBLE. AND, A STORY (BELOW) BY FAMED AUTHOR BRIAN McFARLANE — LEAFS TV ANALYST IN THE 60’s AND 70’s.

RSCN0057edited-XRSCN0029edited-XALSO FROM FEBRUARY 1970. TOP PHOTO: RON ELLIS IN ALONE ON MONTREAL GOALIE TONY ESPOSITO, WHO WOULD LATER CRAFT A HALL–OF–FAME CAREER WITH CHICAGO. BOTTOM: DAVE KEON AND BRUCE GAMBLE KEEP AN EYE ON FORMER TEAMMATE FRANK MAHOVLICH OF DETROIT.

RSCN9808edited-DPROGRAM INSERT FROM GAME vs. BOSTON: 5–5 TIE ON JAN. 15, 1969.

RSCN9862edited-XCOVER FROM SATURDAY, NOV. 2, 1968: PHILADELPHIA AT TORONTO.

RSCN9865edited-XTHIS HAMBURGER ADD STILL MAKES ME HUNGRY 4½ DECADES LATER.

RSCN9868edited-XPHILADELPHIA DEFEATED TORONTO, 3–2. PROGRAM SCORECARD, BELOW.

RSCN9871edited-XRSCN0015edited-XCOVER FROM JANUARY 1970: HELMETED PAUL HENDERSON BEING CHECKED BY THE BRUINS EDDIE WESTFALL. THAT’S AN AUTOGRAPH FROM LEAF CENTER MIKE WALTON IN THE YELLOW BOX.

RSCN9998editedTHE LEAFS BEAT SCOTTY BOWMAN’S ST. LOUIS BLUES, 3–2, ON FEB. 26, 1969.

RSCN0018edited-XFROM MID–SEASON 1968–69. BRUCE GAMBLE WAS TORONTO’S NO. 1 GOALIE AT THE TIME.

RSCN9981edited-XON DEC. 7, 1968 (ABOVE AND BELOW), THE MAPLE LEAFS DEFEATED THE NEW YORK RANGERS, 5–2, AS PART OF A 7–0–1 HOT STREAK FROM DEC. 4–21.

RSCN9984editedRSCN0009edited-XJANUARY 1970 COVER SHOWING RAMBUNCTIOUS LEAFS DEFENCEMAN, JIM DOREY.

RSCN9975edited-XDOREY AND THE LEAFS LOST 3–1 (ABOVE AND BELOW) TO THE HABS ON NOV. 26, 1969.

RSCN9978edited-XEMAIL: HOWARDLBERGER@GMAIL.COM

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