Leafs Barbershop Calendars

TORONTO (Dec. 26) — Here’s hoping it was a quiet, peaceful and joyous Christmas Day 2015 for you and your family. I spent part of it looking at several of the most coveted items in my sports collection — the EXPORT Maple Leaf Gardens hockey calendars from the 1960’s and early 70’s.

Cigarette companies can no longer advertise in publications, much–less sponsor mementos such as these colorful, 26×16½–inch relics that were produced at the beginning of October each year; then displayed prominently in smoke and barber–shops across the city. I held onto the versions that I acquired in the 70’s, and lucked into a haul of older calendars in 2000, when my Dad’s brother — a doctor — presented me a giant roll of them from a patient that once worked at the Gardens. Sliding off a trio of rubber bands, I unraveled the roll to delightfully discover perfectly maintained calendars from the 1960’s. I placed them under a mountain of heavy books and forgot about them for more than a year. When I checked back, sometime in late–2001, they had flattened out, and the pages were much easier to flip.

Color photography in hockey was novel and quite uncommon in the 60’s, which made these items even more spectacular. The cover of each calendar (month of October) featured a color portrait of the previous year’s Toronto Maple Leafs. Inside pages showed the defending Stanley Cup champion; National Hockey League All–Star teams and trophy winners, along with team–photos of minor league and junior champions.

The EXPORT Gardens calendars re–produce in radiant color, all these years later.

Here are several from my collection:

RSCN2037edited-BIN THE FIRST YEAR OF THE EXPANDED NHL — 1967–68 — THE MAPLE LEAFS WERE THE DEFENDING STANLEY CUP CHAMPION, AS FEATURED (ABOVE AND BELOW) ON THE COVER.

RSCN9944edited-X

RSCN9971edited-XEXPANSION TEAMS VISITED THE GARDENS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN LATE–OCTOBER 1967: LOS ANGELES KINGS ON THE 25th AND CALIFORNIA SEALS ON THE 28th.

RSCN9923edited-XTHE 1966–67 TORONTO MARLBOROS WON THE MEMORIAL CUP AS JUNIOR ‘A’ CHAMPION OF CANADA. IN THE FRONT ROW IS (LEFT–TO–RIGHT) GENERAL MANAGER JIM GREGORY, ALTERNATE CAPTAIN GERRY MEEHAN, OWNER STAFFORD SMYTHE, CAPTAIN BRIAN GLENNIE AND PRESIDENT HAROLD BALLARD. FUTURE HALL–OF–FAME DEFENSEMAN BRAD PARK IS AT LEFT IN THE NEXT ROW. FUTURE MAPLE LEAFS DEFENSEMAN MIKE PELYK IS SECOND–FROM–RIGHT.  

FSCN9934edited-XALL–STAR TEAMS FROM THE FINAL SEASON OF THE SIX–TEAM NHL.

RSCN0072edited-X1966–67 ROOKIE–OF–THE–YEAR BOBBY ORR WOULD QUICKLY BECOME THE BEST PLAYER IN HOCKEY — AT THE TIME… AND, PERHAPS, OF ALL TIME.

RSCN9937edited-XMARCH 1968 WAS SIGNIFICANT AROUND THE GARDENS. ON SUNDAY, THE 3rd, PUNCH IMLACH TRADED STAR WINGER FRANK MAHOVLICH TO DETROIT IN A MULTI–PLAYER DEAL THAT BROUGHT NORM ULLMAN, PAUL HENDERSON AND FLOYD SMITH TO TORONTO. MAHOVLICH AND THE RED WINGS PLAYED HERE SIX NIGHTS LATER. AN UNSCHEDULED GAME TOOK PLACE AT MLG ON MAR. 7, WHEN THE PHILADELPHIA FLYERS “HOSTED” THE BRUINS. PHILLY HAD TAKEN TO THE ROAD AFTER HIGH WINDS TORE A HOLE IN THE ROOF OF THE SPECTRUM. THE MAR. 17 TORONTO AT PHILADELPHIA GAME WAS PLAYED AT THE COLISEE IN QUEBEC CITY, HOME OF THE FLYERS’ AHL FARM TEAM.

FSCN9941edited-XEDDIE SHACK HAD BEEN TRADED TO BOSTON BEFORE THE 1967–68 SEASON.

RSCN9980edited-XIN OCTOBER 1964, THE BEATLES WERE ALL THE RAGE, AND THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS WERE THE THREE–TIME DEFENDING STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS UNDER PUNCH IMLACH.

RSCN9998edited-XRSCN0005edited-XSEVERAL FUTURE LEAFS AND NHLers WERE PART OF THE 1963–64 MEMORIAL CUP CHAMPION TORONTO MARLBOROS, INCLUDING (LEFT–TO–RIGHT) WAYNE CARLETON, GARY SMITH AND RON ELLIS IN THE SECOND ROW; ALTERNATE CAPTAIN PETE STEMKOWSKI AND COACH JIM GREGORY IN FRONT. MARLIES PRESIDENT HAROLD BALLARD SITS TO THE LEFT OF STEMKOWSKI IN THIS PHOTO.

RSCN0011edited-XRSCN0017edited-XRSCN0020edited-XRSCN0023edited-XIN OCTOBER 1970, THE LEAFS WOULD UNVEIL RE–DESIGNED UNIFORMS AND A MODIFIED LOGO. THE ’69–70 LEAFS MISSED THE PLAYOFFS UNDER FIRST–YEAR GM JIM GREGORY AND COACH JOHN McLELLAN. MANY HOCKEY FANS WILL RECOGNIZE THE HANDSOME CHAP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TOP ROW (BELOW). DEFENSEMAN PAT QUINN WOULD LATER MANAGE AND COACH THE BLUE AND WHITE.

RSCN0030edited-XRSCN0039edited-XRSCN0047edited-XNOVEMBER 1970 BROUGHT THE EXPANSION VANCOUVER CANUCKS (ON THE 11th) AND BUFFALO SABRES (THE 18th) TO MAPLE LEAF GARDENS FOR THE FIRST TIME.

RSCN0053edited-XIN 1969–70, BOBBY ORR BECAME THE FIRST DEFENSEMAN TO LEAD THE NHL IN SCORING — A NOTION CONSIDERED IMPOSSIBLE UNTIL HIS ARRIVAL WITH THE BOSTON BRUINS.

RSCN0059edited-XCAPTAIN GILBERT PERREAULT LED THE MONTREAL JUNIOR CANADIENS TO THE 1970 MEMORIAL CUP BEFORE EMBARKING ON A HALL–OF–FAME CAREER WITH THE BUFFALO SABRES.

RSCN0246edited-XTHE LEAFS REDESIGNED UNIFORMS FROM 1970 WERE FEATURED ON THE 1971–72 MAPLE LEAF GARDENS CALENDAR. TWO OF THE GREATEST GOALTENDERS IN NHL HISTORY PLAYED FOR THE LEAFS (BELOW): JACQUES PLANTE (1) AND BERNIE PARENT (30).

RSCN0249edited-XRSCN0254edited-XTHE LATE JEAN BELIVEAU CAPTAINED MONTREAL TO THE 1971 STANLEY CUP BEFORE RETIRING.

RSCN0265edited-XRSCN0185edited-XTHE 1966–67 MAPLE LEAFS WOULD GO ON TO WIN THE CLUB’S MOST RECENT STANLEY CUP.

RSCN0204edited-XI ATTENDED MY FIRST–EVER NHL GAME ON DEC. 3, 1966. THE LEAFS BEAT DETROIT, 5–2.

EMAIL: HOWARDLBERGER@GMAIL.COM

2 comments on “Leafs Barbershop Calendars

  1. These your made/manufactured at Robinson’s Printing Company, and my grandmother worked there and would always get me one each year. I still have them, they mean a lot to me as she did- she was my Maple Leaf buddy.
    Happy Holidays Howard!

  2. just great stuff howard. i rem my dad bringing me home one of these every year but i never did find out where he got them…as if it really mattered.

    ive since bought the 69-70 year on ebay for a very decent price and it has a very nice spot in my ml room. they are pure magic.

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