Is It Truly So Difficult?

TORONTO (Aug. 26) — We may — and I stress, may — discover once again this season just how apparently difficult it is to win the Stanley Cup. Toronto Maple Leafs–“difficult” includes not even appearing in the championship round of the National Hockey League for more than half–a–century. But, the locals aren’t alone in creating a virtually impossible scenario with respect to raising his Lordship’s silver mug.

Yes, the Leafs inhabit an island of their own in Stanley Cup paucity — as of this evening, 50 years, three months, three weeks and three nights since George Armstrong accepted the trophy from NHL president Clarence Campbell at Maple Leaf Gardens. Armstrong is now 87; Campbell has been dead for more than 33 years. As I’ve written numerous times, pay no attention to those that claim the Leafs and St. Louis share the longest Cup famine; May 2, 1967 was five months and nine days before the Blues played their first NHL game and 1968 was their first opportunity to compete for the trophy. That said, the Blues join the Leafs and New York Rangers among teams that have rendered the Stanley Cup task nearly unimaginable. St. Louis hasn’t yet won the Cup, nor played for the title since Mother’s Day afternoon of May 10, 1970, when Bobby Orr famously soared through the air at Boston Garden after beating Glenn Hall with the overtime clincher.

The Rangers finally ended their 54–year Cup drought in 1994 but have since made the final only once — losing to the L.A. Kings in 2014. So, the Blueshirts have but a single championship in the past 77 years!

Neither Buffalo nor Vancouver, NHL expansion entrants in 1970, have won the Cup. The Sabres lost to Philadelphia in the 1975 final and to Dallas in 1999. The Canucks have made it to a trio of championship rounds, losing to the New York Islanders in 1982; the Rangers in 1994 and Boston in 2011. Dallas — the original Minnesota North Stars from 1967–68 — has only that ’99 title to its credit in 49 seasons (or 50 calendar years, counting the lost season of 2004–05). Chicago went 49 years between Cups (1961–2010) before reeling off three in six seasons. There was a time when no person could have envisioned Montreal enduring a quarter–century Cup famine. Prior to 1993, the Habs’ longest drought was 12 seasons (1932–43). But, next spring will mark 25 years since Patrick Roy and Co. prevailed over Wayne Gretzky and the L.A. Kings. Montreal has therefore doubled its previous record famine (with no great expectation for 2018).


MAPLE LEAFS CAPTAIN GEORGE ARMSTRONG CRADLES THE STANLEY CUP ON MAY 2, 1967.

Given, however, their 100–year history, the Maple Leafs have the most to gain by at least appearing in the Cup final. Consider the following: In the expansion era of the NHL (post–1967), only five of 31 franchises have not made such an appearance. Toronto is the lone member of the pre–expansion (or so–called “Original Six”) group. The others are Winnipeg/Arizona; Atlanta/Winnipeg; Columbus and Minnesota. The Winnipeg/Arizona franchise joined the NHL in 1979–80 as part of the World Hockey Association merger; the Atlanta Thrashers (now Winnipeg Jets–2) in 1999–2000; the Blue Jackets and Wild in 2000–01. So, the other five pre–expansion teams (Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York Rangers, Montreal) — and 21 of 25 clubs in the post–1967 era — have all, minimally, played for the Stanley Cup.

Without question, the Leafs have made it appear most difficult. There is, however, widespread conviction that the current Toronto amalgam will end the record drought not–too distantly; prospects arising from last year’s 26–point surge in the standings. Undoubtedly, the season–to–come is the most anticipated among Toronto hockey faithful since the end of the Pat Quinn era in 2006. And, with good reason. Until a year ago, the Leafs had never debuted such a trio of forward prospects as William Nylander, Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews. This may be different than any Toronto hockey era since 1967. But, there are cautionary tales.

The Leafs of the mid–70’s were supposed to be onto something big, with such Hall–of–Fame types as Darryl Sittler, Lanny McDonald and Borje Salming. Yet twice, the club disappointed — in 1976–77, after a seven–game playoff war with the Stanley Cup–champion Philadelphia Flyers… and in 1978–79, after a 92–point season under rookie coach Roger Neilson. The Leafs of Pat Burns and Doug Gilmour nearly made it to the Stanley Cup final in 1993, losing to Los Angeles in Game 7 of the Conference championship. But, after a record 10 consecutive wins to begin 1993–94, that club flattened out and was ultimately disbanded. The Quinn–Mats Sundin–Curtis Joseph Maple Leafs tantalized but could not get past New Jersey in consecutive playoff years (2000–2001). Lofty expectation has hardly ever been met, since 1967, by the Blue and White.

So, which club among the Leafs, Rangers and Blues will be first to overcome the inconceivable?

Hope seems to run highest around here.

GOAL  THE NHL’s MAGAZINE PART 1


For 19 seasons — from 1973–74 to 1991–92 — the National Hockey League published a glossy, full–color magazine each month that served as game–program in most U.S.–based arenas. GOAL was a staple for hockey fans on both sides of the border; sold by subscription and available on news–stands. It began at a time when color photography was still in its infancy. During its nearly two–decade existence, it spanned perhaps the most historic epoch in NHL history — from the height of Bobby Orr’s brilliant career to the dynasties of the late–70’s Montreal Canadiens; early–80’s New York Islanders and mid–80’s Edmonton Oilers; from the beginning of such wondrous careers as Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Denis Savard, Peter Stastny and Mario Lemieux. And, the long goodbye to Gordie Howe’s nonpareil term (with the Hartford Whalers), at age 52, in 1979–80. That season also spelled the demise of the World Hockey Association; four of its survivors — Edmonton, Hartford, Quebec City and Winnipeg — joining the NHL.

I was a subscriber and, later, a contributor to GOAL Magazine at the beginning of my media career in the early–80’s. What a thrill it was to be chosen, for example, to author the NHL season previews in 1982–83 and 1983–84. My small role in the magazine’s history is included in Part 2 of this photo–commemoration, which, while piecing together, consumed the better part of a fortnight. Thankfully, I maintained a large collection of GOAL issues, the majority of which are included here. The names and uniforms are of lore and legend. So, please enjoy the first of this two–part series on the NHL’s first internationally–recognized publication.

Part 1 features mostly game programs. Part 2 will be heavy with news–stand issues of GOAL.


IN THE 80’S, GOAL FEATURED PULL–OUT POSTERS OF NHL STARS. HERE, WE HAVE TWO OF THE BETTER DEFENSEMEN FROM THE EARLY PART OF THE DECADE: RANDY CARLYLE OF PITTSBURGH AND ROB RAMAGE OF THE OLD COLORADO ROCKIES. BOTH POSSESS TORONTO MAPLE LEAF ROOTS; CARLYLE WAS DRAFTED BY THE CLUB IN 1976 AND BEGAN HIS CAREER ON THE LEAFS BLUE LINE BEFORE GETTING TRADED TO THE PENGUINS AND WINNING THE NORRIS TROPHY (1980–81). HE LATER COACHED THE BLUE AND WHITE (2012–15). RAMAGE WAS CAPTAIN OF THE LEAFS FROM 1989–91.

PRIOR TO GOAL

When the NHL doubled to 12 teams in 1967–68 — the California Seals, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues joining in the Great Expansion — the league came up with its first American–based publication. The National Hockey League Official Magazine was sold as game programs in a number of U.S. cities; among them Oakland, Minnesota, Chicago and St. Louis. Other teams south of the border published dedicated programs, replete with local stories and photos. But, they also included national articles from the NHL magazine. Here are 14 examples from my collection:

  
  
  
   
  
EARLIEST EDITIONS OF GOAL

As mentioned, GOAL Magazine debuted in the 1973–74 NHL season. The earliest issues in my collection are from a pair of games at the old Civic (later Mellon) Arena in Pittsburgh:

  
FEB. 27, 1974 — LOS ANGELES at PITTSBURGH

  
  
THE NEW YORK ISLANDERS WERE IN THEIR SECOND NHL SEASON; STILL SIX YEARS BEFORE BELLIGERENT BILLY SMITH BEGAN TO MAKE HIS MARK AMONG THE TOP MONEY GOALIES IN STANLEY CUP HISTORY.

  
LEFT: 1972–73 ACTION AT THE CIVIC ARENA BETWEEN THE PENGUINS AND MONTREAL CANADIENS (SERGE SAVARD, 18, DEFENDING FOR THE HABS). RIGHT: A PENSIVE BERNIE PARENT WITH HIS FIRST NHL GOALIE–MASK — THE FIBERGLASS STRANDS WORN BY SUCH OTHERS AS CHARLIE HODGE (MONTREAL); PARENT’S ORIGINAL FLYERS’ TEAMMATE, DOUG FAVELL, AND, LATER, KEN DRYDEN OF THE CANADIENS (AT THE BEGINNING OF HIS CAREER). THIS PHOTO OF PARENT WAS TAKEN AT THE BOSTON GARDEN IN 1969. HE WOULD BE TRADED TO THE LEAFS IN 1971; THEN BACK TO PHILLY IN 1973.

  
  
  
IN 1973–74, THE NHL GAME–OF–THE–WEEK WAS TELEVISED BY NBC ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS — BEGINNING IN LATE–JANUARY, AFTER THE SUPER BOWL. TIM RYAN (BORN IN WINNIPEG, BUT RAISED IN TORONTO) CALLED THE ACTION ALONGSIDE HALL–OF–FAME WINGER TED LINDSAY OF THE DETROIT RED WINGS. BRIAN McFARLANE OF HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA TRAVELED STATE–SIDE TO HOST INTERMISSIONS FOR NBC.

  
SADLY, AND WITH TRAGIC IRONY, THIS PROGRAM WAS SOLD IN PITTSBURGH SIX DAYS AFTER TIM HORTON (TOP–LEFT) OF THE BUFFALO SABRES HAD BEEN KILLED IN A SINGLE–VEHICLE CRASH ON THE QUEEN ELIZABETH WAY (QEW) NEAR ST. CATHARINES, ONT. STALWART DEFENSEMAN OF THE MAPLE LEAFS STANLEY CUP DYNASTY IN THE 60’s, HORTON DIED JUST HOURS AFTER PLAYING FOR BUFFALO, AGAINST TORONTO, AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS.

  
MAR. 02, 1974 —  VANCOUVER at PITTSBURGH

  
THREE NIGHTS LATER AND A NEW EDITION OF GOAL GREETED FANS AT CIVIC ARENA AS THE PENGUINS HOSTED LOS ANGELES. ANDRE BOUDRIAS OF VANCOUVER WAS ON THE COVER, WEARING THE CANUCKS ORIGINAL ROAD JERSEY FROM 1970–71. MAGAZINE FEATURES INCLUDED WAYNE CASHMAN OF BOSTON (TOP–RIGHT); BILL GOLDSWORTHY OF MINNESOTA (BOTTOM–LEFT) AND PENGUINS GOALIE JIM RUTHERFORD (BOTTOM–RIGHT). RUTHERFORD, TODAY, IS GENERAL MANAGER OF THE TWO–TIME DEFENDING STANLEY CUP CHAMPION IN PITTSBURGH.

  
  
HOCKEY WAS INDEED IN THE BLOOD OF CALIFORNIA GOLDEN SEALS FORWARD CRAIG PATRICK (TOP–LEFT), PART OF THE GAME’S ROYAL FAMILY. CRAIG WOULD LATER BE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE 1991 AND 1992 STANLEY CUP CHAMPION PITTSBURGH PENGUINS. FRED SHERO’S REVOLUTION (TOP–RIGHT) WAS WELL UNDERWAY IN PHILADELPHIA. THE FLYERS, IN 1973–74, WOULD BECOME THE FIRST EXPANSION TEAM TO WIN THE CUP, DEFEATING BOBBY ORR AND THE BRUINS.


ANDY BROWN OF THE PENGUINS IS THE LAST MAN TO PLAY GOAL IN THE NHL WITHOUT WEARING A FACE MASK. THE HISTORIC OCCASION TOOK PLACE FIVE WEEKS AFTER THIS GAME — AT THE OMNI IN ATLANTA — DURING A 6–3 LOSS TO THE FLAMES. DEFENSEMAN NICK BEVERLEY OF PITTSBURGH WOULD BRIEFLY COACH THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS, REPLACING PAT BURNS LATE IN THE 1995–96 SEASON. BEVERLEY WAS REPLACED, IN 1996–97, BY MIKE MURPHY.

  
THIS GOAL GALLERY PHOTO WAS SNAPPED DURING THE NEW YORK ISLANDERS FIRST NHL SEASON OF 1972–73. A BRAWL AGAINST THE CROSS–TOWN NEW YORK RANGERS AT THE NASSAU COLISEUM. NOT SURPRISINGLY, GARRY HOWATT (8) WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ACTION. VIC HADFIELD (11) AND JEAN RATELLE (19) WERE AMONG THE RANGERS INVOLVED. DEFENSEMAN JOCELYN GUEVREMONT (RIGHT) WOULD BE TRADED BY VANCOUVER TO BUFFALO EARLY IN 1974–75 AND HELP THE SABRES REACH THE 1975 STANLEY CUP FINAL AGAINST PHILADELPHIA.

  
TOM LYSIAK (LEFT) WAS THE FIRST STAR PLAYER OF THE ATLANTA/CALGARY FLAMES FRANCHISE. SECOND OVERALL PICK OF THE 1973 NHL DRAFT (AFTER THE ISLANDERS CHOSE DENIS POTVIN), LYSIAK HAD SEASONS OF 82, 81 AND 77 POINTS IN ATLANTA. HE DIED YOUNG, AT 63, OF LEUKEMIA ON MAY 16, 2016. MEANWHILE, THE LEAFS (TOP–RIGHT AND BELOW) WERE GETTING TERRIFIC MILEAGE OUT OF DARRYL SITTLER (27), WHO HAD 38 GOALS AND 84 POINTS IN 1973–74.


OCT. 13, 1976 — ATLANTA at CLEVELAND

  
YOU NEED SOUND RECOLLECTION OR A BEND TOWARD NHL HISTORY TO REMEMBER THE CLEVELAND BARONS (AND SOME FAIRLY GOOD FORTUNE TO HAVE A PROGRAM FROM ONE OF THEIR GAMES AT THE CAVERNOUS RICHFIELD COLISEUM). FOR ONLY TWO SEASONS (1976–77 AND 1977–78), THE BARONS WERE THE REBORN CALIFORNIA GOLDEN SEALS; THE FRANCHISE RE–LOCATING TO A VILLAGE BETWEEN CLEVELAND AND AKRON AFTER NINE FRUITLESS SEASONS IN OAKLAND. ATLANTA GOALIE DAN BOUCHARD GRACED THE COVER OF THIS PROGRAM FOR THE BARONS FOURTH NHL GAME (THIRD AT HOME).

  
GIVEN THIS GAME TOOK PLACE SO EARLY IN THE SCHEDULE, LOCAL STORIES IN THE BARONS/FLAMES PROGRAM FEATURED IMAGES FROM THE GOLDEN SEALS FINAL NHL SEASON (1975–76).

  
MONTREAL HAD WON THE 1976 STANLEY CUP, BEGINNING ITS FOUR–YEAR DYNASTY UNDER SCOTTY BOWMAN.


CLEVELAND HAD ONE OF THE BRIGHTEST, YOUNG TALENTS IN THE NHL: SOPHOMORE CENTER DENNIS MARUK, WHO PLAYED IN ALL 80 GAMES AT OAKLAND IN HIS ROOKIE SEASON. ALSO SKATING FOR THE BARONS WERE LONG–TIME NHLers JIM PAPPIN (TORONTO, CHICAGO) AND JIM NEILSON (NEW YORK RANGERS). UNHERALDED FORWARD CHARLIE SIMMER WOULD ULTIMATELY BECOME A 50–GOAL SHOOTER IN LOS ANGELES. THE LATE, GREAT IRISHMAN, PAT QUINN, WAS ON DEFENSE FOR ATLANTA. WINGER ERIC VAIL HAD WON THE CALDER TROPHY AS NHL ROOKIE–OF–THE–YEAR IN 1974–75.

  
  
BOB VERDI OF THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE WROTE ABOUT BOBBY ORR LEAVING BOSTON TO JOIN THE BLACK HAWKS FOR 1976–77. IN THE PHOTO HERE (LEFT–TO–RIGHT) WERE ALAN EAGLESON, HAWKS’ GM TOMMY IVAN AND ORR. THE RICHFIELD COLISEUM (RIGHT) HAD MORE THAN 20,000 SEATS. RARELY, WERE 6,000 OCCUPIED FOR BARONS GAMES.

  
DEC. 26, 1976 — TORONTO at PITTSBURGH

  
DARRYL SITTLER GRACED THE COVER OF THE GOAL MAGAZINE PROGRAM AT THE FIRST–EVER LEAFS ROAD GAME I ATTENDED, WHILE VISITING COUSINS IN PITTSBURGH OVER THE 1976 CHRISTMAS BREAK. IT WAS JUST MORE THAN A MONTH PRIOR TO MY 18th BIRTHDAY. THERE MAY HAVE BEEN 3,000 PEOPLE IN CIVIC ARENA THAT NIGHT AS A SNOWSTORM RAGED OUTSIDE. THE PENGUINS BEAT THE LEAFS, 4–2. INNUMERABLE OTHER ROAD GAMES WOULD FOLLOW WHEN I COVERED THE LEAFS FOR THE FAN–590 BETWEEN 1994 AND 2011.

  
THE TOP CENTERS ON EACH TEAM WERE SITTLER AND SYL APPS JR., SON OF THE LEGENDARY LEAFS CAPTAIN IN THE MID–1940’s. MOST HOCKEY FANS DO NOT REALIZE THAT SITTLER AND APPS JR. ARE TODAY RELATED — AS IN–LAWS. MEAGHAN SITTLER AND AMY APPS ARE TOGETHER IN A SAME–SEX MARRIAGE. MEAGHAN ACQUIRED A SPERM DONOR AND SAWYER APPS–SITTLER WAS BORN ON FEB. 26, 2014 — A GRANDSON TO DARRYL AND SYL. A UNIQUE AND WONDERFUL STORY.

  
AIR CANADA WAS A PROMINENT ADVERTISER IN GOAL THROUGHOUT THE MAGAZINE’S HISTORY.


  
YES, IT WAS GAME 17 OF THE PENGUINS 1976–77 HOME SCHEDULE.

DEC. 29, 1976 — MONTREAL at PITTSBURGH

  
THREE NIGHTS LATER, AMID MUCH–CALMER WEATHER, I ATTENDED THE PENGUINS 18th HOME GAME OF ’76–77, AGAINST THE DEFENDING STANLEY CUP–CHAMPION MONTREAL CANADIENS. IT ENDED IN A 3–3 TIE.

  
THE “MONTREAL JINX” (TOP–LEFT) FOR THE PENGUINS BEGAN IN THEIR FIRST NHL GAME — AT HOME TO THE CANADIENS, OCT. 11, 1967. AS YOU CAN SEE, PITTSBURGH COMPILED A PALTRY 5–17–4 RECORD AGAINST MONTREAL IN ITS FIRST 26 HEAD–TO–HEAD MEETINGS (TO JAN. 23, 1972). VETERAN WINGER VIC HADFIELD (11) WAS FEATURED IN A MAGAZINE AD (TOP–RIGHT); THE PHOTO FROM A 1975–76 GAME AT CIVIC ARENA AGAINST THE CALIFORNIA GOLDEN SEALS.

  
ROGIE VACHON OF THE LOS ANGELES KINGS WAS FEATURED IN A GOAL ARTICLE. COINCIDENTALLY, VACHON HAD PLAYED IN NET FOR MONTREAL DURING THE PENGUINS FIRST NHL GAME. JEAN BELIVEAU SCORED HIS 400th CAREER GOAL IN A 2–1 HABS VICTORY AT CIVIC ARENA. HALL–OF–FAMER ANDY BATHGATE RECORDED THE FIRST GOAL IN PENGUINS HISTORY.

JAN. 13, 1977 — DETROIT at COLORADO

  
ANOTHER RARE SOUVENIR: GOAL MAGAZINE PROGRAM FROM THE FIRST NHL TEAM IN DENVER — THE COLORADO ROCKIES. ORIGINALLY THE KANSAS CITY SCOUTS (JOINING THE NHL WITH THE WASHINGTON CAPITALS IN THE 1974–75 EXPANSION), THE FRANCHISE MOVED TO DENVER AFTER TWO HORRIBLE SEASONS AND CONTINUED TO BE MOSTLY HORRIBLE FOR SIX MORE YEARS. THE ROCKIES ARE BEST–REMEMBERED FOR HIRING DON CHERRY AS COACH AND TRADING WITH THE LEAFS FOR LANNY McDONALD — BOTH IN 1979–80. ULTIMATELY, THE TEAM LANDED IN EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. AS THE NEW JERSEY DEVILS (IN 1982–83) AND TURNED THE CORNER IN THE LATE–80’s. STANLEY CUPS FOLLOWED IN 1995, 2000 AND 2003. VETERAN DEFENSEMAN TERRY HARPER OF DETROIT WAS ON THE COVER OF THIS PROGRAM.


  
THE ROCKIES PLAYED AT McNICHOLS ARENA, LOCATED NEXT TO THE GIANT MILE HIGH STADIUM, HOME OF THE NFL’s DENVER BRONCOS. THE COLORADO AVALANCHE ALSO PLAYED AT McNICHOLS DURING THEIR FIRST THREE SEASONS AFTER RE–LOCATING FROM QUEBEC CITY IN 1995–96, THEN MOVED TO THE NEW PEPSI CENTER. McNICHOLS AND MILE HIGH WERE BOTH DEMOLISHED TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE CURRENT BRONCOS’ STADIUM: SPORTS AUTHORITY FIELD. CROWDS FOR THE ROCKIES, AS IN KANSAS CITY, WERE GENERALLY SPARSE. AMONG THE COLORADO PLAYERS IN 1976–77 WAS DEFENSEMAN COLIN CAMPBELL (MIDDLE, TOP–RIGHT) — CURRENTLY, AND FOR MANY YEARS NOW, THE NHL’s SENIOR VICE–PRESIDENT OF HOCKEY OPERATIONS; TWO RUNGS BENEATH COMMISSIONER GARY BETTMAN.

  
THIS ISSUE OF GOAL SHOWED THE NHL UNIFORMS OF THE MIDDLE AND LATE–1970’s: A FEATURE ON GARRY UNGER OF THE ST. LOUIS BLUES (TOP–LEFT) AND A RARE PHOTO OF THE CLEVELAND BARONS RED ROAD JERSEY (TOP–RIGHT). THE LOWER IMAGE IS FROM A MINNESOTA NORTH STARS AT NEW YORK RANGERS GAME.

MAR. 09, 1977 — NEW YORK ISLANDERS at ATLANTA

  
A GOAL PROGRAM HERE FROM THE NHL’s FIRST OF TWO FORMER TEAMS IN ATLANTA. THE CLUBS PLAYING THIS NIGHT AT THE OMNI — THE FLAMES AND NEW YORK ISLANDERS — CAME INTO THE NHL TOGETHER IN THE THIRD WAVE OF EXPANSION (1972–73). AFTER EIGHT SEASONS IN GEORGIA, THE FRANCHISE HEADED NORTH (WAY NORTH) TO CALGARY IN 1980–81. THE ATLANTA THRASHERS WERE AN EXPANSION TEAM IN 1999–2000 AND MOVED TO WINNIPEG AS THE REINCARNATED JETS IN 2011–12. GOALIE GLENN (CHICO) RESCH OF THE ISLANDERS GRACED THE COVER OF THIS MAGAZINE.

  
JOHN ZEIGLER (TOP–LEFT) WAS PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE FROM 1977–78 (SUCCEEDING CLARENCE CAMPBELL) TIL 1993–94, WHEN REPLACED (AS COMMISSIONER) BY GARY BETTMAN.

  
TWO CURRENT HALL–OF–FAMERS, AND A SLAM–DUNK FUTURE MEMBER, WERE PART OF ATLANTA’S FRONT OFFICE IN 1976–77, THE CLUB’S FIFTH NHL SEASON. GENERAL MANAGER CLIFF FLETCHER AND THE LATE BERNIE GEOFFRION HAVE ALREADY BEEN ENSHRINED. FLETCHER’S ASSISTANT, DAVID POILE, WILL ULTIMATELY JOIN HIS FIRST BOSS IN THE BUILDERS CATEGORY. POILE, TODAY, REMAINS THE ONLY GM IN THE HISTORY OF THE NASHVILLE PREDATORS (est. 1998–99). HIS TEAM, AS YOU’LL RECALL, PLAYED IN THE 2017 STANLEY CUP FINAL, LOSING TO PITTSBURGH.


THREE OF FOUR PRIME BUILDING BLOCKS WERE IN PLACE FOR THE ISLANDERS, JUST MORE THAN THREE YEARS BEFORE THE CLUB WOULD BEGIN ITS RUN OF FOUR CONSECUTIVE STANLEY CUP TITLES. GOALIE BILLY SMITH, DEFENSEMAN DENIS POTVIN AND CENTER BRYAN TROTTIER WOULD BE JOINED, ONE SEASON LATER, BY RIGHT–WINGER MIKE BOSSY.


A GOAL FEATURE ON NHL LINESMEN AND THEIR THANKLESS ROLE OF BREAKING UP FIGHTS.

  
YES, THE BIG IRISHMAN (TOP–LEFT) WAS CAPTAIN OF THE FLAMES IN HIS FINAL NHL SEASON.

  
THE MONDAY NIGHT NHL GAME–OF–THE–WEEK IN 1976–77 WAS CARRIED BY INDEPENDENT TV STATIONS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES; HERE IN TORONTO, WE GOT THE FEED FROM WUTV CHANNEL 29 IN GRAND ISLAND. N.Y. (NEAR BUFFALO). GOAL EDITORS CAME UP WITH A DANDY HEADLINE FOR THE STORY (TOP–RIGHT) ON PHILADELPHIA’S BROTHER ACT ON DEFENSE: JOE AND JIM WATSON — BOTH FROM SMITHERS, BRITISH COLUMBIA. THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS (DICK AND TOM) WERE A WILDLY–POPULAR COMEDY TEAM IN THE 60’s AND 70’s.

  
THE FLAMES PLAYED AT THE OMNI, BUILT FOR THE CLUB’S INCEPTION IN 1972–73. AFTER HOSTING VOLLEYBALL DURING THE 1996 SUMMER OLYMPICS, THE OMNI WAS DEMOLISHED AND PHILIPS ARENA (HOME OF THE ATLANTA THRASHERS) ROSE ON THE SAME SITE — ADJACENT TO THE CNN WORLD HEADQUARTERS BUILDING AND OPPOSITE CENTENNIAL OLYMPIC PARK. ORILLIA, ONT. NATIVE KENNY (JIGGS) McDONALD WAS THE TV VOICE OF THE FLAMES. HE HAD BEGUN HIS NHL BROADCASTING CAREER WITH THE EXPANSION LOS ANGELES KINGS IN 1967–68 AND LATER MOVED ON TO BECOME TV VOICE OF THE ISLANDERS DURING THEIR STANLEY CUP DYNASTY. JIGGS WORKED ALONGSIDE BERNIE GEOFFRION, THE FLAMES’ FIRST–EVER COACH AND A PROLIFIC WINGER DURING MONTREAL’S FIVE–YEAR STANLEY CUP RUN (1956–60).

FEB. 22, 1978 — NEW YORK RANGERS at CHICAGO

  
BOBBY ORR MAY HAVE BEEN SMILING IN THIS ARTICLE, BUT THERE WAS MUCH SADNESS FOR THE CHICAGO BLACK HAWKS THAT A MANGLED KNEE COULD NO LONGER CARRY HIM ON THE ICE. HOCKEY’S GREATEST DEFENSEMAN (AND, ARGUABLY, THE NHL’s BEST ALL–TIME PLAYER) WOULD BE FORCED INTO A TEARFUL RETIREMENT NINE MONTHS AFTER THIS HOME GAME AGAINST THE RANGERS. CHICAGO STAR STAN MIKIITA WAS ON THE COVER OF THE GOAL PROGRAM.


  
GOAL MAGAZINE FEATURE ON GARY SIMMONS — GOALIE FOR THE LOS ANGELES KINGS IN A GAME AT ST. LOUIS — STILL WEARING THE “COBRA” MASK FROM HIS YEARS WITH THE CALIFORNIA SEALS AND CLEVELAND BARONS. WHEN NHL CHARACTERS COME TO MIND, HIS NAME RANKS HIGHLY. AMONG THE 1977–78 BLACK HAWKS WAS PUCK–MOVING DEFENSEMAN DOUG WILSON, CURRENTLY THE VETERAN GENERAL MANAGER OF THE SAN JOSE SHARKS.

FEB. 26, 1978 — TORONTO at CHICAGO

  
THE LATE, GREAT COMEDIAN, JACOB COHEN (KNOWN AS RODNEY DANGERFIELD), GOT SOME RESPECT FROM THE NHL AND GOAL MAGAZINE WITH AN INTERVIEW IN THE FEBRUARY 1978 ISSUE.

  
  
THIS GAME, A 5–3 TORONTO VICTORY ON A SUNDAY NIGHT AT CHICAGO STADIUM, QUICKLY ENTERED INTO LEAFS LORE. NHL PRESIDENT JOHN ZEIGLER HAD ORDERED ALL 18 TEAMS TO SPORT PLAYER NAMES ON THE BACK OF JERSEYS. SEVENTEEN TEAMS COMPLIED… SAVE FOR THE LEAFS. OWNER HAROLD BALLARD CLAIMED SUCH A MOVE WOULD INHIBIT PROGRAM SALES AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS. ZEIGLER, HOWEVER, WAS ADAMANT AND THREATENED THE LEAFS WITH A PROHIBITIVE FINE. SO, BALLARD PULLED A STUNT. HE HAD THE LEAF TRAINERS SEW BLUE NAME–PLATES ONTO THE REAR OF THE CLUB’S BLUE ROAD JERSEYS FOR THIS GAME IN CHICAGO (AS PER TORONTO STAR STORY, BELOW). BRILLIANT MOVE, HUH? ONLY AFTER ANOTHER THREAT FROM ZEIGLER DID THE SILLY BALLARD GIVE IN TO THE LEAGUE DIRECTIVE.



THIS WAS THE BEST MAPLE LEAFS TEAM SINCE THE 1967 STANLEY CUP VICTORY 11 YEARS EARLIER. WITH ROOKIE COACH ROGER NEILSON AND HIS PENCHANT FOR BREAKING DOWN GAME–VIDEO, THE LEAFS COMPILED 92 POINTS, SECOND–MOST IN FRANCHISE HISTORY TO THAT TIME. CAPTAIN DARRYL SITTLER FINISHED THIRD IN NHL SCORING, BEHIND ONLY GUY LAFLEUR (MONTREAL) AND BRYAN TROTTIER (NEW YORK ISLANDERS). SITTLER ESTABLISHED CLUB RECORDS WITH 72 ASSISTS AND 117 POINTS. THE CLUB FAMOUSLY UPSET THE ISLANDERS IN THE STANLEY CUP QUARTERFINALS ON AN OVERTIME GOAL IN GAME 7 AT NASSAU COLISEUM BY LANNY McDONALD. IN THE CUP SEMIS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE ’67, THE LEAFS WERE DEMOLISHED IN FOUR STRAIGHT BY THE SCOTTY BOWMAN–LED CANADIENS DYNASTY.


  
ANOTHER LOOK AT THE UNIFORMS OF THE DAY IN PHOTOS OF COLORADO ROCKIES GOALIE DOUG FAVELL (TOP–LEFT) AND MINNESOTA NORTH STARS WINGER JIM ROBERTS (RIGHT).

FEB. 28, 1978 — CLEVELAND at LOS ANGELES

  
INTERESTING THAT PAUL GARDNER OF THE COLORADO ROCKIES WOULD BE ON THE GOAL MAGAZINE COVER OF A BARONS–KINGS PROGRAM, BUT SUCH WAS THE CASE THIS NIGHT AT THE L.A. FORUM. GOAL FEATURED A STORY ON INGE HAMMARSTROM OF THE ST. LOUIS BLUES. HAMMARSTROM HAD COME TO NORTH AMERICA WITH FELLOW SWEDE BORJE SALMING FOR THE 1973–74 NHL SEASON. BOTH PLAYERS CONTRIBUTED NICELY TO A MUCH–IMPROVED TORONTO TEAM. HAMMARSTROM WAS TYPICALLY PASSIVE AS A EUROPEAN PLAYER OF THAT ERA, THOUGH HE HAD A NIFTY TOUCH AROUND THE NET. HAROLD BALLARD FAMOUSLY (AND BOORISHLY) SEIZED ON THE FORMER — SUGGESTING THAT HAMMARSTROM “COULD GO INTO THE CORNER WITH HALF–A–DOZEN EGGS IN HIS POCKET AND NOT BREAK ANY OF THEM.” ULTIMATELY, THE LEAFS TRADED HAMMARSTROM TO ST. LOUIS FOR RUGGED WINGER JERRY BUTLER (NOV. 1, 1977).

  
THE KINGS ALWAYS INCLUDED A PAGE OF “PRESS NOTES” IN THEIR PROGRAMS, WRITTEN BY “BLUELINE BORGEN”. THE NOTES INCLUDED THE ON–ICE OFFICIALS; IN THIS INSTANCE, REFEREE BRUCE HOOD AND LINESMEN RYAN BOZAK AND RON FINN. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN QUITE A COLOR SPECTACLE AT THE FORUM — THE BARONS DRESSED IN THEIR SCARLET ROAD UNIFORMS WITH BLACK AND WHITE TRIM; THE KINGS IN GOLD JERSEYS, PANTS AND SOCKS WITH PURPLE TRIM.

  
THIS PROGRAM FEATURED STORIES ON VETERAN L.A. PRANKSTER (AND ONE–TIME LEAF) PETER STEMKOWSKI AND MONTREAL’S STANLEY CUP–WINNING GOALIE, KEN DRYDEN.

MAR. 18, 1978 — MONTREAL at LOS ANGELES

  
GUY LAFLEUR GRACED THE COVER OF GOAL WHEN THE CANADIENS VISITED THE L.A. FORUM THREE WEEKS LATER. THE NHL HAD EXPANDED ITS GAME–OF–THE–WEEK PACKAGE TO MONDAY NIGHTS AND SATURDAY AFTERNOONS; THE ACTION CALLED, ON INDEPENDENT STATIONS IN THE U.S., BY LEGENDARY SPORTSCASTERS DICK STOCKTON AND DAN KELLY.

  
  
GOAL MAGAZINE ARTICLES IN MARCH 1978 FEATURED THE BIG CZECH, VACLAV NEDOMANSKY, OF DETROIT (TOP–LEFT); JIM LORENZ OF BUFFALO (BOTTOM–LEFT) AND GREG MALONE OF PITTSBURGH (BOTTOM–RIGHT). THE GOAL GALLERY PHOTO (TOP–RIGHT) SHOWED PHIL ESPOSITO IN THE UNIFORM THE NEW YORK RANGERS WORE DURING THE 1976–77 AND 1977–78 SEASONS. UNPOPULAR, THE BLUESHIRTS SWITCHED BACK TO THEIR TRADITIONAL (AND CURRENT) DESIGN IN ’79–79. GREG MALONE WORE THE DOUBLE–BLUE PENGUINS JERSEY. PITTSBURGH WOULD CHANGE ITS COLORS TO BLACK AND GOLD FOR 1980–81, JOINING THE OTHER PRO TEAMS IN TOWN (BASEBALL PIRATES AND FOOTBALL STEELERS).

  
APR. 08, 1978 — VANCOUVER at LOS ANGELES

  
IT WAS THE REGULAR–SEASON FINALE FOR THE KINGS AND CANUCKS AND VETERAN GOALIE CESARE MANIAGO (TOP–LEFT) WAS ON THE COVER OF GOAL MAGAZINE AT THE FORUM. PETER MAHOVLICH (TOP–RIGHT) HAD BEEN TRADED TO PITTSBURGH BY MONTREAL FOR PIERRE LAROUCHE (53 GOALS IN 1975–76) ON NOV. 29, 1977. THIS PHOTO PROVIDES ANOTHER GOOD LOOK AT THE PENGUINS ROAD UNIFORM BEFORE IT CHANGED TO BLACK AND GOLD.

  
BUTCH GORING (TOP–RIGHT) WAS A POPULAR AND PRODUCTIVE MEMBER OF THE KINGS FROM 1969 TO 1980 BEFORE GOING TO THE NEW YORK ISLANDERS AT THE TRADE DEADLINE OF THE 1979–80 SEASON. AN EXCELLENT, TWO–WAY CENTER, HE BECAME THE FINAL PIECE OF THE PUZZLE THAT YIELDED THE ISLES FOUR CONSECUTIVE STANLEY CUPS.


  
THE FINAL–WEEKEND SCORING LIST IN 1977–78 WAS LOADED WITH FUTURE HALL–OF–FAME PLAYERS. THE KINGS TRAVELED TO TORONTO TO OPEN A BEST–OF–THREE PRELIMINARY PLAYOFF ROUND. THE LEAFS ROMPED TO VICTORY IN TWO CONSECUTIVE MATCHES, WINNING 7–3 AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS ON TUESDAY AND 4–0 AT THE L.A. FORUM ON THURSDAY. TORONTO THEN WENT ON TO FACE THE ISLANDERS IN A MEMORABLE, SEVEN–GAME QUARTERFINAL.

  
THE INEPT WASHINGTON CAPITALS OF THE LATE–70’s WEREN’T FEATURED OFTEN IN GOAL, BUT THIS WAS THE NHL’s MAGAZINE AND THE BOTTOM–FEEDERS GOT THEIR OCCASIONAL SHARE (TOP–LEFT).


AN INTERESTING SHOT OF THE OMNI UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN ATLANTA PRIOR TO THE FLAMES INCEPTION IN 1972–73. THOUGH THEY WEREN’T “LAUGHING” AT THE NOTION OF HOCKEY IN THE AMERICAN BIBLE BELT, THE FLAMES WOULD LEAVE ATLANTA AFTER THE 1979–80 SEASON AND MOVE TO CALGARY.

GOAL MAGAZINE — JUNE 1978

  
HIGH–SCORING RICK MacLEISH (TOP–LEFT), A KEY FIGURE ON THE PHILADELPHIA STANLEY CUP TEAMS OF 1974 AND 1975, WAS STILL GOING STRONG WITH THE FLYERS IN ’78. MacLEISH DIED YOUNG, AT 66, ON MAY 30, 2016. THERE WAS AN ARTICLE (TOP–RIGHT) ON JOURNEYMAN DEFENSEMAN NICK BEVERLEY, THEN WITH MINNESOTA. AFTER HIS PLAYING CAREER, NICK WOULD MANAGE THE L.A. KINGS AND BRIEFLY COACH IN TORONTO.

  
DEFENSEMAN IAN TURNBULL OF THE MAPLE LEAFS (TOP–LEFT) HAD RECENTLY COME OFF A STELLAR SHOWING AGAINST THE ISLANDERS IN THE ’78 STANLEY CUP QUARTERFINALS. TURNBULL PLAYED EXCEPTIONAL HOCKEY IN THE ABSENCE OF PARTNER BORJE SALMING, WHO SUFFERED A SERIOUS EYE INJURY PARTWAY THROUGH THE SEVEN–GAME ROUND (WON BY TORONTO). AND, O.J. SIMPSON, POPULAR AS EVER, WAS GALLOPING THROUGH AIRPORTS ON BEHALF OF THE HERTZ CAR–RENTAL COMPANY, STILL 16 YEARS BEFORE HIS INFAMOUS, DOUBLE–MURDER CHARGE IN LOS ANGELES.

  
IN JUNE 1978, NHL ALL–STAR PHIL ESPOSITO WAS SHILLING FOR VOLKSWAGEN. AND TV RECORDING (TOP–RIGHT) WAS IN ITS INFANCY WITH THE SONY BETAMAX VCR CONSOLE.

GOAL MAGAZINE — NOVEMBER 1978

  
THE CANADIENS HAD WON THREE CONSECUTIVE STANLEY CUP TITLES BY THE TIME GOAL MAGAZINE DEBUTED FOR THE 1978–79 SEASON. IT WAS THEREFORE APPROPRIATE THAT FUTURE HALL–OF–FAMER KEN DRYDEN APPEAR ON THE COVER OF THE FIRST ISSUE IN WHAT WOULD BE HIS FINAL YEAR AS A PLAYER IN THE NHL.

  
PART OF THE GOAL ’78–79 PREVIEW INCLUDED THE FRANCHISE–MERGER, FOR THAT SEASON, OF THE MINNESOTA NORTH STARS AND CLEVELAND BARONS (TOP–LEFT). THE NORTH STARS, IN FACT, SWALLOWED THE MONEY–LOSING BARONS AND DERIVED GREAT BENEFIT. THE ACQUISITION OF SUCH PLAYERS AS GOALIE GILLES MELOCHE AND FORWARD AL MacADAM LIFTED THE STARS INTO THE 1981 STANLEY CUP FINAL AGAINST THE NEW YORK ISLANDERS. AND, WHAT HOCKEY FAN, 40 YEARS AGO, WOULDN’T HAVE WANTED TO WEAR SKATES ENDORSED BY THE GREAT GUY LAFLEUR?

  
KEN DRYDEN STUCK AROUND FOR A FOURTH STANLEY CUP AND RETIRED AFTER JUST EIGHT FULL NHL SEASONS.

GOAL MAGAZINE — FEBRUARY 1979

  
AFTER A BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE AGAINST THE ISLANDERS IN THE 1978 PLAYOFFS, TORONTO’S ACROBATIC GOALIE, MIKE PALMATEER, ACQUIRED HOCKEY SAINTHOOD IN THESE PARTS. PALMATEER (NEW MASK ON THE GOAL COVER, TOP–LEFT; ORIGINAL LEAFS MASK IN THE STORY, BOTTOM–LEFT) WAS THE BEST TORONTO STOPPER OF THE POST–1967 ERA, TO THAT POINT. THE NHL TELEVISION NETWORK GAMES–OF–THE–WEEK CONTINUED TO BE SHOWN ON INDEPENDENT TV STATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES ON MONDAY NIGHTS AND SATURDAY AFTERNOONS.

  
  
MACHINE–GUN LANNY McDONALD, PALMATEER’S TORONTO TEAMMATE, ENDORSED BAUER SKATES IN NOVEMBER 1978. AND A YOUTHFUL DON CHERRY (FULL HEAD OF HAIR; STILL COACHING IN BOSTON) WAS BUSY INTRODUCING US TO HIS BULL–TERRIER “BLUE”, WITH WHOM WE’D BECOME MORE ACQUAINTED IN THE DECADES THAT FOLLOWED.

  
AIR CANADA WAS EXPANDING ITS AMERICAN ROUTES AND STILL ADVERTISING IN GOAL MAGAZINE. AND, WHO CAN FORGET (EVEN IF WE WISH) THOSE GHASTLY UNIFORMS THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS DEBUTED IN 1978–79?

GOAL MAGAZINE — MARCH 1979 

  
PHILADELPHIA AND BOSTON WERE AMONG THE STANLEY CUP CONTENDERS OF THE ERA, YET NEITHER COULD UPEND THE MONTREAL JUGGERNAUT. FLYERS CAPTAIN BOBBY CLARKE (TOP–LEFT AND BELOW) PROVIDED THE FEATURE SUBJECT FOR THE MARCH 1979 ISSUE OF GOAL, WITH BOSTON NETMINDER GERRY CHEEVERS (TOP–RIGHT) ALSO PROMINENT.

  
  
DAVE (TIGER) WILLIAMS OF THE LEAFS (TOP–LEFT) AND BOB GAINEY OF MONTREAL HOOKED UP IN THE PLAYOFFS IN 1978 AND 1979 — THE CANADIENS SWEEPING EIGHT CONSECUTIVE MATCHES EN ROUTE TO STANLEY CUPS 3 AND 4.

  
A PHOTOGRAPHER APPARENTLY NAMED JOE DiMAGGIO AIMED HIS CAMERA–LENS AT BRUINS COACH DON CHERRY FOR ALL 60 MINUTES OF A ROAD GAME (TOP–LEFT). AND, THE GOAL GALLERY PHOTO GAVE US ONE FINAL LOOK AT THE ORIGINAL VANCOUVER CANUCKS COLORS, BEFORE THE SWITCH TO BLACK, ORANGE, RED AND WHITE.

GOAL MAGAZINE — JUNE 1979

  
GUY LAFLEUR AND THE CANADIENS WOULD TRIUMPH IN THE 1979 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS FOR A FOURTH CONSECUTIVE SPRING. THE HABS DOMINATED THE DECADE (BELOW), WINNING NHL CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 1971–73–76–77–78 AND ’79.


  
THE CONN SMYTHE TROPHY — NAMED IN HONOR OF THE LEAFS FOUNDER — WAS FIRST WON IN THE SPRING OF 1965 BY MONTREAL CAPTAIN JEAN BELIVEAU, AFTER HIS CLUB KNOCKED OFF CHICAGO IN A SEVEN–GAME STANLEY CUP FINAL. AND, GRAPES WAS FRONT–AND–CENTER ONCE MORE IN GOAL, DISCUSSING THE SCIENCE OF HIS THEN–PROFESSION.

OCT. 17, 1979 — LOS ANGELES at PITTSBURGH

  
THE LOS ANGELES KINGS’ GREATEST PLAYER (PRE–WAYNE GRETZKY) GRACED THE COVER OF GOAL MAGAZINE FOR THIS GAME AT CIVIC ARENA IN PITTSBURGH TO BEGIN THE SECOND WEEK OF THE 1979–80 NHL SCHEDULE. MARCEL DIONNE WOULD WIN THE ART ROSS TROPHY THAR SEASON, FINISHING IN A POINTS TIE (137) WITH GRETZKY (PLAYING HIS FIRST YEAR WITH THE EDMONTON OILERS). DIONNE PREVAILED BY VIRTUE OF AN EDGE IN GOALS, 53–51.

  
KINGS’ CAPTAIN MIKE MURPHY (TOP–LEFT) WOULD GO ON TO COACH IN THE NHL — PRIMARILY WITH THE MAPLE LEAFS IN 1996–97 AND 1997–98. IN THE TOP–CORNER OF THE PENGUINS’ PLAYER PHOTOS WAS GOALIE GREG MILLEN, NOW A VETERAN TV ANALYST FOR THE LEAFS AND HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA.



  
1979–80 WAS A WATERSHED SEASON FOR THE NHL, WHICH WELCOMED FOUR SURVIVORS (EDMONTON, HARTFORD, QUEBEC CITY AND WINNIPEG) FROM ITS SEVEN–YEAR RIVAL, THE WORLD HOCKEY ASSOCIATION. IT WAS WAYNE GRETZKY’S FIRST NHL SEASON AND GORDIE HOWE’S LAST. BOB VERDI OF THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE MADE NOTE (BELOW) OF THE WUNDERKIND ABOUT TO DESTROY THE NHL RECORD BOOK.

  
  
GOAL MAGAZINE — JANUARY 1980

  
AFTER BACK–STOPPING THE NEW YORK RANGERS TO THE 1979 STANLEY CUP FINAL (AND A FIVE–GAME DEFEAT BY MONTREAL), BIG JOHN DAVIDSON (TOP–LEFT) MADE THE COVER OF GOAL MAGAZINE. DAVIDSON WENT ON TO AN ILLUSTRIOUS BROADCASTING CAREER AND IS NOW PRESIDENT OF THE COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS. GOAL, IN ’79–80, HAD SPECIAL SECTIONS ON THE FOUR NEW TEAMS FROM THE WHA, BEGINNING WITH EDMONTON (TOP–RIGHT).


EN ROUTE TO WINNING THE STANLEY CUP IN 1976 AND 1977, MONTREAL TWICE DEFEATED THE NEW YORK ISLANDERS IN THE SEMIFINALS. IN THE JANUARY 1980 ISSUE OF GOAL WAS THIS PHOTO OF THE CLUBS SHAKING HANDS AFTER THE 1976 SERIES AT NASSAU COLISEUM — LARRY ROBINSON (19) OF MONTREAL GREETING ANDRE ST. LAURENT (21).

  
MORE UNIFORMS–OF–THE–DAY: MINNESOTA NORTH STARS (TOP–LEFT) AND ATLANTA FLAMES (RIGHT).

GOAL MAGAZINE — FEBRUARY 1980

  
DARRYL SITTLER MAY HAVE SPENT A DECADE “AT THE TOP”, BUT HE WAS HAVING A DREADFUL TIME IN 1979–80 BATTLING WITH RECYCLED TORONTO GENERAL MANAGER PUNCH IMLACH. IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR SITTLER IN A TORONTO JERSEY. AND, THE GREEN WHALERS FROM HARTFORD WERE NEXT UP IN PROFILES OF THE EX–WHA TEAMS.


IN HIS LONE SEASON AS COACH OF THE COLORADO ROCKIES, DON CHERRY SPOKE UP FOR GOAL MAGAZINE.



GOAL MAGAZINE — MARCH 1980

  
TOWARD THE END OF HIS REMARKABLE FRESHMAN SEASON IN THE NHL, WAYNE GRETZKY MADE THE COVER OF GOAL FOR THE FIRST TIME (STORY BELOW). MANY MORE GRETZKY COVERS WOULD FOLLOW — IN EDMONTON AND LOS ANGELES. QUEBEC CITY WAS NEXT UP IN FEATURING THE OLD WHA CLUBS.


  
AFTER SEVERAL YEARS BOUNCING AROUND IN THE CALIFORNIA SEALS/CLEVELAND BARONS ORGANIZATION, CHARLIE SIMMER (TOP–LEFT) BROKE OUT, BIG TIME, WITH LOS ANGELES. HE HAD CONSECUTIVE 56–GOAL SEASONS (1979–80 / 1980–81) WHILE A MEMBER OF THE TRIPLE CROWN LINE WITH MARCEL DIONNE AND DAVE TAYLOR. MEANWHILE, RIGHT–WINGER TOM ROWE OF THE WASHINGTON CAPITALS (RIGHT) WENT INTO MANAGEMENT AND FINISHED LAST SEASON AS INTERIM HEAD COACH OF THE FLORIDA PANTHERS. HE’S BEEN REPLACED BY BOB BOUGHNER.

  
MAGAZINE FEATURES ON GOALIES ROGIE VACHON (DETROIT) AND GILLES GILBERT (BOSTON).

GOAL MAGAZINE — APRIL 1980

  
OF THE PLAYERS I’VE WATCHED IN MY LIFE, NOBODY COULD ONE–TIME A PASS WITH MORE ACCURACY AND VELOCITY THAN MIKE BOSSY — HALL–OF–FAMER AND FOUR–TIME STANLEY CUP CHAMP WITH THE NEW YORK ISLANDERS. BRETT HULL WAS MIGHTY CLOSE, BUT BOSSY STILL THE BEST. THE ISLANDERS WERE ONE MONTH AWAY FROM BEGINNING THEIR CUP DYNASTY IN APRIL 1980 WHEN BOSSY APPEARED ON THE COVER OF GOAL. IT WAS AN APPROPRIATE PLACE FOR HIM, GIVEN THAT HE HAD SEASONS OF 69, 68, 64, 61 AND 60 GOALS (AVERAGING 57.3; MANY FED BY LINE–MATE BRYAN TROTTIER) IN JUST 10 YEARS BEFORE A WONKY BACK PREMATURELY ENDED HIS CAREER AT 30.

  
ANOTHER BRILLIANT SHOOTER WAS PHILADELPHIA’S REG LEACH (TOP–RIGHT), WHO HAD SEASONS OF 61, 50 AND 45 GOALS IN ORANGE AND BLACK. THE RIFLE WAS AMONG THE BEST–EVER AT BLOWING PUCKS PAST OPPOSITION GOALIES FROM A DIFFICULT ANGLE ON RIGHT WING; SUCH WAS THE PIN–POINT ACCURACY OF HIS BLAZING SLAP–SHOT. LEACH SKATED ON THE FLYERS TOP LINE WITH BOBBY CLARKE AND BILL BARBER. HE WON THE CONN SMYTHE TROPHY IN 1976 WITH 19 PLAYOFF GOALS, EVEN AS THE FLYERS WERE SWEPT BY MONTREAL IN THE STANLEY CUP FINAL. YOU’LL NOTICE (TOP–LEFT) THAT NHL NATIONAL TELECASTS IN THE U.S. HAD GORDIE HOWE AND THE HARTFORD WHALERS SCHEDULED THREE TIMES, BUT DID NOT HAVE THE FORESIGHT TO SHOW GRETZKY AND THE OILERS IN THE GREAT ONE’S FIRST SEASON.


AN OP–ED PIECE (ABOVE AND BELOW) WRITTEN BY BOBBY ORR FOR GOAL ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS IN 1979–80.


GOAL MAGAZINE — MAY 1980

  
ANOTHER GOAL COVER FOR BOBBY CLARKE OF THE FLYERS, WHO WAS STILL PLAYING EXCEPTIONALLY WELL IN HIS 11th NHL SEASON. IN MAY 1980, HOWEVER, PHILLY WOULD LOSE THE STANLEY CUP FINAL TO THE ISLANDERS IN GAME 6 AT NASSAU COLISEUM ON BOB NYSTROM’S LEGENDARY OVERTIME GOAL. CLARKE WOULD GO ON TO A LENGTHY CAREER AS GENERAL MANAGER OF THE FLYERS, BEGINNING UPON HIS RETIREMENT AS A PLAYER IN 1984.


THE QUEBEC NORDIQUES AND THEIR BLUE NHL ROAD JERSEYS WERE FIRST FEATURED IN GOAL. (LEFT–TO–RIGHT) REAL (BUDDY) CLOUTIER, ROBBIE FTOREK AND MARC TARDIF WOULD COMBINE FOR 93 GOALS AND 208 POINTS IN 1979–80.

  
THE NEW AND THE OLD: FIRST YEAR NHLer MORRIS LUKOWICH (35 GOALS) OF THE WINNIPEG JETS (TOP–LEFT). AND VETERAN CENTER GARRY UNGER OF THE ATLANTA FLAMES, IN HIS 13th NHL SEASON.

MORE GOAL COVERS

  
DECEMBER 1983 (WAYNE GRETZKY); JANUARY 1984 (DENIS SAVARD).

  
MARCH 1984 (ROD LANGWAY); APRIL 1984 (PHIL HOUSLEY).

  
NOVEMBER 1984 (WAYNE GRETZKY); FEBRUARY 1985 (RICK VAIVE).

END OF PART 1

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