Saturday, July 31, 2010

RICK PRESTON


Taken from Joe Pelletier - WebSite
- Greatest Hockey Legends

Blue - added - by Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston -

Rich Preston was a fantastic defensive forward during the 1980s with Chicago, also spending 2 seasons in New Jersey. He was also a standout in the WHA.

Preston was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, His father was Ken Preston who played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Team in the 1940's. Ken was also the General Manager of the team in the 1970's. Rich started his hockey career with the Regina Pats in 1969-70. Went onto the University of Denver before turning professional with Houston of the WHA, citing the chance to play with Gordie Howe as his main reason for opting to jump to the WHA. It was with Houston that he first formed a dynamic partnership with center Terry Ruskowski. (Photo: Regina Pats Hockey Club)

In the final season of the WHA, Ruskowski and Preston joined the Winnipeg Jets, and lead the team to the Avco Cup championship. Preston, with 8 goals in 10 playoff games, was named as the post-season MVP.

When the WHA collapsed in 1979, Preston joined the Chicago Blackhawks.

"When the merger talks (between the WHA and NHL) cropped up last season, four or five teams were interested in me, and I was a free agent, so I could talk with them. I signed with Chicago because I like the city, and I know Cliff Koroll and Keith Magnuson from Denver. We all went to college there, and that meant something to me."

Preston will always be remembered in Chicago as a member of the RPM Line with Grant Mulvey and Ruskowski.

The RPM Line was a very close knit trio, both on and off the ice. Ruskowski and Preston had played together in both Houston and Winnipeg, and Mulvey complimented them nicely.

"Grant Mulvey set himself in a position where he could just one-time it. We worked on it a long time; just passing and one timing it. He was a goal scorer. I passed it to him and he put the biscuit in the basket as we say. Preston was great in the corners. He had very strong legs and a strong upper body. He really dug the puck out. So, it was a combination of three people doing what they do best," explained Ruskowski,

Preston immediately stepped into a Chicago lineup and scored 31 goals and 61 points, turning many heads.

As the Blackhawks team got stronger over the coming couple of seasons, Preston was relegated more to a defensive role, a role which he enthusiastically took on and excelled at. He was a student of the game and had a good understanding of any situation on the ice. He was a key penalty killer for Chicago as well.

An aggressive player despite an average build, Preston was excellent in the corners, a poor man's John Tonelli. Preston was also a super team guy in the dressing room as well. He had a contagious attitude. His up beat and positive attitude helped young players and other veterans alike.

He left the NHL after the 1987 season. Coached the Regina Pats from 1995 to 1997. Preston served as an assistant coach for the Calgary Flames from the 2003-2004 NHL season until just after the 2008-2009 NHL season. Shortly after his dismissal from the Flames, Preston was hired as the WHL's Lethbridge Hurricanes head coach and general manager.

BRIAN "Spinner" SPENCER


Taken from Joe Pelletier - WebSite - Greatest Hockey Legends

Blue - added - by Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston -

The life of Brian "Spinner" Spencer was turbulent, fast and tragic.

He grew up in the Canadian backwoods and as every kid in Canada he dreamed of becoming a hockey pro, spending many hours in the local rinks.

Brian's energetic gung-ho style was appreciated by his junior teams and coaches. He started his junior career with the Regina Pats in 1967-68 season, played 18 games before being traded to Calgary). He went on to play for the Calgary Centennials in the WHL 1967-68 and did quite well. The following season he played for both the Estevan Bruins and Swift Current Broncos (WHL), scoring almost a point per game combined with his aggressive in-your-face hockey.

Brian attended Toronto Maple Leafs training camp in 1969 but didn't make the final cut. He was assigned to the farm team in Tulsa where he played most of the season. He got his first recall to the Maple Leafs on December 9, 1969 but didn't play. He had to wait until March 14, 1970 before he made his debut (vs. Boston 2-1). Brian saw the odd shift in another 8 games that season.

The next season Brian was a regular in Toronto for most part of the season. Unfortunately tragedy struck, and it would haunt Brian for the rest of his life. Brian told his parents that he would be a second period guest during Hockey Night In Canada's telecast of the Leafs game against Chicago on December 12, 1970. Brian's parents were extremely proud to have a son in the NHL, especially his father Roy.

When Brian's father discovered that the CBC affiliate near the family's Fort St.James home was carrying the Vancouver-California game instead, he became enraged. He drove over two hours to Prince George Television station CKPG and held employees hostage with his pistol and forced them to cut the transmission power. After a short while the Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrived and a shootout followed. Roy Spencer was shot and killed at the age of 57.

The death of his father hit Brian hard and it hurt Brian for the rest of his life according to people around him, although he tried not to show it. It was his father's dream to have one of his sons playing hockey. Brian's twin brother Byron did not make it, but Brian did, and it made his father almost burst of pride.

Brian split the 1971-72 season between Toronto and Tulsa. He was then left unprotected in the 1972 expansion draft and was picked by NY Islanders. Brian spent the next 1½ years on Long Island before being traded to Buffalo on March 10, 1974.

Brian had his best offensive production in a Sabres uniform when he had 41 points, including 12 goals, in 1974-75. Brian played well in Buffalo and was extremely popular with the fans. His hustle, aggressive play and ability to hit was something the fans loved. Brian developed to a pretty good all-around player.

Traded to Pittsburgh in September 1977, his offensive production fell as he became more specialized as a checking forward. Brian's last NHL season came in 1978-79 when he played 7 games for Pittsburgh. He then finished his playing career in the AHL (Binghamton, Springfield and Hershey) and retired after the 1979-80 season.

The story about Spinner Spencer should end here, but unfortunately his life after hockey became a mess. Brian moved to Palm Beach, Florida right after he retired. He met the wrong kind of people in Florida and got involved with drugs and crime. He moved in with a prostitute who worked for an escort service. She accused Brian of committing a 1982 murder against a Palm Beach Gardens restaurateur named Michael Dalfo.

Brian was arrested for a first degree murder in January 1987 but was acquitted in October 1987 after a 10-month trial. Needless to say, Brian didn't feel much better after that experience. In February 1988 Brian visited former Leaf teammate Jim McKenny, a friend of Brian who at the time was working as a Toronto sportscaster. Jim noticed how disillusioned Brian was.

"He walked down a lot of avenues people have never been. He experienced a lot of things people never have, " McKenny said later. " He thought he was the only bad person in the NHL, he felt he was the only person who failed. But I told him there were 200 other guys who messed up worse than he thought he had. I told him he shouldn't feel guilty. It's really tough to re-establish yourself after hockey. He was all alone. When he came here he was amazed at the interest of people. He was surprised people still cared about him. He thought he was the scum of the earth. But he really picked up when he visited Toronto. He wasn't your run-of-the-mill NHL'er. He was inquisitive about everything."

A book about Brian's life named Gross Misconduct: The life of Spinner Spencer by Martin O'Malley was due to be released and Brian was very happy about it. Finally his life seemed to turn around for the better.

But that never happened in Spencer's lifetime. On the night of June 2, 1988, Brian and his friend Gregory Scott Cook cruised around Riviera Beach, allegedly to buy a rock of cocaine. (which was later denied). After having made the buy they stopped a couple of blocks away when a stranger in a white car pulled up, walked to the driver's side window, demanded money (reportedly getting as little as $ 3) and shot the 38-year old Brian in the heart.

Cook, who escaped uninjured, rushed Brian to a nearby fire station. The paramedics took Brian to St. Mary's hospital in West Palm Beach where he was pronounced dead at 12:12 a.m. June 3, 1988.

Brian's hectic life came to an abrupt end just as he was turning his life around. The curly haired Spencer was survived by his twin brother Byron, mother Irene, his two ex-wives, Linda and Janet plus his five children, Andrea, Nicole, Kristin, Jason and Jarret.

Hockey fans will always remember that curly hair and wide smile on his face when he hustled down the ice to nail somebody to the boards, his energetic style that earned him the nickname "Spinner". People will always remember "Spinner", on the contrary to what he always thought.

Don "Big Bird" SALESKI


Taken from Joe Pelletier - WebSite
- Greatest Hockey Legends

Blue - added - by Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston -

There was a time when Don Saleski represented all that was wrong in hockey. Boy were we wrong about him.

Saleski was one of the famed Broad Street Bullies. Along with Bob "Hound Dog" Kelly, Dave "The Hammer" Schultz, and "Moose" Dupont, Saleski was one of the noted goons on a team that knew no rule book. Nicknamed "Big Bird" because his wild hair reminded many of the Sesame Street character, Saleski would be sure to enter upon or create any fracas involving another Flyers player, whether it was necessary or not. Any fracas included with fans, which in 1976 got him charged in Toronto, though nothing ever came of the charges.

But Saleski was anything but the cement-head most people made him out to be.

In junior hockey in the late 1960s, (Played with the Regina Pats from 1966-67 to 1968-69). He was one of the few hockey players to attend university, studying at the University of Saskatchewan. He would continue his education while playing in the NHL and after wards, studying at Villanova University and Wharton business school. He also obtained a realtor's license while with the Flyers.

His interest in scholastics and business paid off handsomely after hockey. He went on to become a top salesman and later vice president with ARAMARK sports and entertainment group, and then president and chief operating officer of Club Systems Group, Inc. With sales volumes in the hundreds of millions and personal salary and stock options numbering many times more than what he earned in hockey, Don Saleski life is far beyond hockey. Nowadays he has started his own company, Business Edge Development, a sales training company in the Greater Philadelphia area.

In the 1987 book Life After Hockey by Michael Smith, Saleski talks about both his hockey career and his prosperous business career. You almost get the sense that the man once known as "Big Bird" is far more proud of his business successes than his career on the ice, which included two Stanley Cup rings. He admits to being reluctant to talk about his hockey past, saying that is done and over with and just a stepping stone to where he is now. Even in the text he comes across as much more vibrant when discussing his business ventures.

The author, who first met Saleski back in 1978, says "he struck me almost immediately as a bright, articulate person with a mind of his own. He certainly did not fit the image of the Broad Street Bully as he was often portrayed."

Even on the ice Saleski wasn't nearly as bad as his reputation. He only had 629 PIMs in 543 NHL games, and after his first season or two he curtailed his fighting, largely because he wasn't that good at it. Schultz suggested in his autobiography by calling him " a big sonofagun who couldn't fight very well but would throw his weight around" and "he had this wild-man routine to make himself more scary than he really was."

He was a 20 goal scorer who was utilized as a shutdown winger. Often teamed with center Orest Kindrachuk, he was often assigned the task of controlling top wingers on the other team.

“I never considered myself a tough guy. I was more of an instigator. I caused a lot of problems and Dave Shultz would finish them off. I was competitive and wanted to win, so I did whatever I could to help the team,” he told philadelphiaflyers.com.

Late in his career Saleski was not playing much in Philadelphia and he asked for a trade. He was moved to the Colorado Rockies, which proved to be a difficult transition for him.

“I went from winning close to 50 games (a season) with the Flyers to winning 15 with Colorado. When you are competing every night just trying to keep the score close, it’s a whole different mentality then when you are competing to win. It was tough on me, but I also felt bad for the young guys on the team because they would really get down and demoralized. We had a real poor hockey team.”

Saleski was viewed as a disappointment in Colorado. He had a sound theory as to why he and his former Bully Brothers had trouble once they left Philadelphia:

"One of the problems I experienced in Colorado was similar to the problem that other guys with the Flyers experienced when they were traded to other teams. People associated with other teams viewed us differently. I was skilled at my role and other Flyers also gave a specific strength to the team. But, other people didn't view us as role players. There was a perception we were more complete players than we really were, thereby expecting more out of us. They expected us to be complete leaders for their teams and looked for a greater contribution than we really could provide.

You would think a player of Saleski's ilk would be a perfect fit in Don Cherry's world, but he would never see eye to eye with his coach.

"If Blue (Cherry's beloved bulldog) could have spoken, he could have coached better than Don Cherry," he once said.

"He didn't know how to deal with that team. He didn't know how to motivate them. He motivated them by intimidation. It wasn't so much the way he treated me, I felt terrible the way he treated the younger kids on the team."

Although he has distanced himself somewhat from hockey and his image in it, he still holds a special place for the Broad Street Bullies.

"When I think of memories I think of the team and how we had a common vision. We supported each other and we really had this bond. We still do. I don’t see the guys that often, but when we do see each other there is the feeling of excitement. It is almost like a brotherhood.”

GLENN "Chico" Allan RESCH

Taken from Joe Pelletier - WebSite - Greatest Hockey Legends

Blue - added - by Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston -


Born in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, Glenn "Chico" Resch was one of the last players to be part of the old sponsorship system. Instead of drafting players, NHL would literally invite 12 or 14 year old kids to junior programs sponsored and funded by the NHL. In turn, players playing in that organization's system basically became property of that team.

Resch was invited to the Regina Pats junior system which was coached by former Montreal defenceman Bob Turner. Glen played only 11 games as back goaltender to Tim Tabor. Resch was told by Turner that he would guarantee that Resch would make the NHL if he stayed in Regina, but Resch hadn't played very well in his short time there, and decided if he got a college scholarship offer he had better not pass up on the opportunity.

The University of Minnesota at Duluth offered him that scholarship, and Resch jumped at it. In three seasons in the WCHA Resch had an okay career. His GAA was high and his win/loss record was below .500. Probably his biggest highlight while in college was when Resch backstopped the team into the NCAA championships. The team was knocked out after losing a tough fought 1-0 game in double overtime against Cornell. The goalie in the Cornell net was Ken Dryden.

Ken Dryden inadvertently played a big role in getting Resch to the NHL. Following the NCAA championships, Resch was invited to the Montreal Canadiens training camp. Resch was a raw rookie who had never even seen a live NHL game before. And the Habs had several veteran goalies in camp such as Rogie Vachon, Phil Myre, Wayne Thomas, Michel Plasse and Ken Dryden - who the season before backstopped the Habs to the Stanley Cup as a rookie.

Needless to say Resch was buried in the Montreal system, and likely would have just toiled in obscurity had he stayed in the Montreal system. The Habs sent Resch to the lowly Muskegon Mohawks of the IHL where Glenn had a good season, leading the league in GAA and shutouts. But an old friend helped fulfill a promise. Remember how his old coach Bob Turner in Regina guaranteed Resch would make the NHL? Well Turner was a friend of New York Islanders GM Bill Torrey and told Torrey that Resch was a long shot but a worthy gamble. Torrey acquired Resch in a trade.

After a couple of years playing in the minors, Resch made the Islanders and the NHL on a full time basis in 1974-75 when he played in 25 games, with a record of 12-7-5 with a 2.47 GAA and 3 shutouts. By the playoffs he had become the number one goalie and like Dryden a few years earlier, Resch pulled a playoff miracle of his own. (Photo: Hockey Hall of Fame - HHOF - 0118-0184 - Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston - Collection)

"Until then Turk Broda had been the only goalie to bring a team from three games down in the playoffs and win the series," recalled Resch as he setup his story. "It was the Islanders first year in the playoffs. First we played the Rangers in a best of three and beat them, and that was a massive upset. That's what really started the rivalry between those two teams. Then we played Pittsburgh and lost the first three games. Billy Smith was the other goalie and we both played early in the series. But I played the last five games and I was there all the time for the comeback."

After rallying from the 3-0 deficit to beat the Pens, the Isles played the defending champion Philly Flyers. The Isles of course were huge underdogs and lost the first three games. But then wouldn't you know it, the Islanders battled back and tried doing what they had just done in the previous series. The Isles won 3 games to force a game 7 before bowing out in game 7.

For the Isles, it was the first of several memorable playoffs to come. But until the reached their dynasty years of the early 1980s, the Isles were faced with several disappointing playoff upsets, and more often than not the goalies got the blame. In 1978 it was Toronto as Lanny McDonald scored the game winner in overtime in game 7 against Resch. In 1979 it was the Rangers who upset the Isles. Resch was again in net in the final game of the year.

1980 was the first year the Islanders won the Cup. And you certainly can't blame the Isles for using Billy Smith in the playoffs - he was one of the all time best money goalies. But late in the season Resch was the hottest goalie in the league, going undefeated in his last 10 games. Despite his spectacular play, Isles coach Al Arbour remembered Resch's past playoff failures and went with Smitty. Resch played in only 120 minutes of the Isles championship run.

It was a very tough situation for Glenn. Normally winning the Cup is the highest high a hockey player could ever experience. But for Glenn, it marked a terrible time in his life.

"A lot of things changed in my life because of that. I actually became a Christian, a committed Christian, through that experience because when all of that happened I realized my life was out of control. I remember being on the bench just about in tears because I couldn't play. I couldn't say anything to the press but I was really wondering if it was the end. I would go home and be in tears. I just could not understand why it was that I had waited my whole life for this moment, to help my team win the Stanley Cup, and I couldn't do anything about it."

Resch came back in 1980-81 and played well as Smith's backup before he was traded in a late season trade to the Colorado Rockies. He played a lot in Colorado, appearing in 61 games in 1981-82, but the Rockies were at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Islanders, and Resch's stats reflected that. He went 16-31-11 with a 4.03 GAA. I've always felt a goalies stats are more indicative of the team he played for, and you can tell just how bad the Rockies were.

That was actually the Rockies last season in Denver, and Resch accompanied the franchise in moving to New Jersey to become the Devils. For the next 4 years Resch played well for the Devils, who remained a weak sister in the NHL. Resch played in the majority of games before he was traded to Philadelphia late in 1986.

Resch finished the 1985-86 season with the Flyers and returned the following season for what proved to be his last year in the NHL. He backed up a hot young rookie named Ron Hextall who took the Flyers to the Finals. This time Resch knew he'd be on the bench during the Finals and I think he enjoyed that Cup run better than he did with the Islanders. Wiser and older, he savored every moment as the Flyers fell just short, losing to the mighty Edmonton Oilers in game 7.

Resch had an interesting viewpoint on life in the NHL.

"When I became an NHLer I realized the perception I had of the glitz and the glamour was wrong. It wasn't what I had imagined and at times I almost wished I hadn't made it. But when you retire and look back on the people you got to know and the tough times you overcame, and the highs you experienced, and you can look back with great satisfaction."

After he retired in 1987 he worked as a goaltender coach, scout, general manager and coach of the WHL's Tri-City Americans, plus a color analyst for the North Stars and Devils.
ROBERT "Bob" George TURNER

By Permission: Taken from Joe Pelletier - WebSite - Greatest Hockey Legends

Blue - added - by Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston -

On a team that sported Rocket Richard, Jean Beliveau, Boom Boom Geoffrion, Jacques Plante, Doug Harvey, Henri Richard, and Dickie Moore, it comes as little surprise that defensive defenseman Bob Turner might be the least known member of the Montreal Canadiens great dynasty of the late 1950s.

Turner starred with his hometown Regina Pats (junior hockey) and Regina Capitals (senior hockey) before joining the Montreal Canadiens for the latter half of the 1955-56 season. Turner played solidly, turning a 33 game audition into a spot on the vaunted Montreal Canadiens defense.

Talk about incredible timing. The rookie would play solidly, and despite his inexperience he played in all of Montreal's playoff games en route to the first of what would prove to be an unheralded 5 consecutive Stanley Cups! (Photo: Saskatchewan Archives - File # R-L-1637)

In total Turner would play 6 seasons in Montreal, scoring just 8 goals in those years. But his job was not about scoring goals, but rather preventing them. Turner took great pride in his trade. The Canadiens reportedly paid a bonus of $1000 to all of their defensemen if the team had the fewest goals against in the whole league.

"We always looked forward to that," said Turner, who was never one of the higher paid players in a very low paying era.

Although he contributed to 5 Stanley Cup championships by the time he played 279 games in the NHL, he never felt he had any security in his job.

"I wasn't one of the stars on the team," he admits. "I was just hanging on by the skin of my teeth."

In the summer of 1961 Turner was traded to Chicago where he would play 2 more seasons. He even blossomed into an 8 goal scorer in 1961-62.

But in 1963 Turner found himself demoted to the Buffalo Bisons of the AHL. He was quite bitter about the move, considering it a low blow that he did not deserve.

"I think it was more of a move to embarrass you. That's one of the reasons there's a union in the league now. They didn't want me to quit. I think they wanted to cut my salary. So I said I was packing it in."

After just one season in Buffalo, Turner packed his bags and returned to his native Regina. He would operate a vending machine business while coaching the Regina Pats for 10 years. Turner's highlight as a coach came in 1974 when he led the Pats to the Memorial Cup championship.

Turner would later become a successful real estate agent until his retirement. He spent most of his winter golfing in Arizona where he and his wife Betty would visit with their sons Jim and Ken.

Bob was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on June 18, 1994. He passed away on Monday, February 7, 2005, in Regina.


Friday, July 30, 2010



OLD RINKS: TORONTO, ONTARIO


Toronto Maple Leafs Arena

Home of the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL and Toronto Marlobros

(Regina Pats vs. Newmarket Redman - (1932-1933 - Memorial Cup)
(Regina Pats vs. Buelph Biltmore Mad Hatters - 1951-52 - Memorial Cup - last 3 games)
(Regina Pats vs. Toronto - 1955-56 - Memorial Cup)

Built 1933




OLD RINKS: WINNIPEG, MANITOBA


Winnipeg Shea Amphitheatre

(Photo: Manitoba Archives)

Seated 5,000 spectators.

(Regina Patricia vs. Manitoba Varsity - Abbott Cup - 1921-1922)
(Regina Patricia vs. Fort William Canadians - Memorial Cup - 1921-1922)
(Regina Pats vs. Winnipeg Tammy Tigers - Western Semi - 1923-1924)
(Regina Pats vs. Calgary Canadians - Abbott Cup - 1923-1924)
(Regina Pats vs. Elmwood Millionairies - Western Semi - 19261927)
(Regina Pats vs. Port Arthur West Ends - Abbott Cup - 1926-1927)
(Calgary Canadians vs. Regina Pats - Western Semi - (2nd. game) - 1927-1928)
(Regina Pats vs. Elmwood Millionaires - Abbott Cup - 1929-1930)
(Regina Pats vs. Toronto Nationals - Memorial Cup - 1929-1930)
(Regina Pats vs. Elmwood Millionaires - Abbott Cup - 1930-1931)
(Regina Pats vs. Brandon Native Sons - Abbott Cup - 1932-1933)
(Regina Pats vs. Winnipeg Monarchs - Abbott Cup - 1950-1951)
(Regina Pats vs. Winnipeg Monarchs - Abbott Cup - last 3 games 1954-1955)

Built 1909


OLD RINKS: TORONTO, ONTARIO

The Old Toronto Mutual Street Arena

Home of the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL and Toronto University

(Regina Patricia vs.Toronto University - First Ever Memorial Cup - 1918-1919)
(Regina Pats vs. Aura Lee - 1924-25 - Memorial Cup)
(Regina Monarchs vs. Ottawa Gunners - 1927-1928 - Memorial Cup)

Built 1912




OLD RINKS: MONTREAL, Quebec


Montreal Foreum

Home of the Montreal NHL and Junior Canadiens

(Regina Pats vs. Montreal - Memorial Cup - 1949-50)

Built 1924




OLD RINKS: GUELPH, ONTARIO

(Photo: Copyright: Kevin Jordan)

Guelph Memorial Gardens

Home of the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatter

(Regina Pats vs. Guelph - Memorial Cup - 1951-52; 1957-58)

Built 1948




WHL - PRESENT RINKS: VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA


Pacific Coliseum

Home of the Vancouver Giants

Built 1967




WHL - PRESENT RINKS: TRI-CITY, WASHINGTON, U.S.A.


(Photo: Copyright - Paul Buxton)

Toyota Center

Tri-Cities (Richland, Kennewick & Pasco), Washington

Home of the Tri-City Americans

Built 1988




WHL - PRESENT RINKS: SPOKANE, WASHINGTON, U.S.A.


(Photo: Copyright - Paul Buxton)

Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena

Home of the Spokane Chiefs

Built 1995




WHL - PRESENT RINKS: KENT, WASHINGTON

(Photo: Copywright - Paul Buxton)

ShoWare Center

Home of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Built 2009





WHL - PRESENT RINKS: PRINCE GEORGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA


(Photo: Copywright - Cam Szondi)

CN Centre (formerly the Prince George Multiplex)

Home of the Prince George Cougars

Built 1995




WHL - PRESENT RINKS: PORTLAND, OREGON, U.S.A.


(Photo: Copywright - Paul Buxton)

Portland Rose Garden

Also Home of the Portland Winter Hawks

Built 1995




WHL - PRESENT RINKS: PORTLAND, OREGON, U.S.A.


(Photo: Copywright - Paul Buxton)

Portland Memorial Coliseum

Home of the Portland Winter Hawks

Built 1960




WHL - PRESENT RINKS: KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA


(Photo: Copyright - Paul Buxton)

Prospera Place

Home of the Kelowna Rockets

Built 1999




WHL - PRESENT RINKS: KAMLOOPS, BRITISH COLUMBIA


(Photo: Copywright - Vince Kreiser)

Interior Savings Centre (formerly Riverside Coliseum)

Home of the Kamloops Blazers

Built 1993




WHL - PRESENT RINKS: EVERETT, WASHINGTON, U.S.A.


(Photo: Copywright - Paul Buxton)

Everett Events Center

Home of the Everett Silvertips

Built 2003




WHL - PRESENT RINKS: CHILLIWACK, BRITISH COLUMBIA

Prospera Centre

Home of the Chilliwack Bruins

Built 2004



WHL - PRESENT RINKS: SWIFT CURRENT, SASKATCHEWAN


(Photo: Copyright - Calvin Dyck)

Credit Union iPlex
(Centennial Civic Centre)


Home of the Swift Current Broncos

Built 1967







WHL - PRESENT RINKS: REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN

Brandt Centre (formerly Regina Agridome)

Home of the Regina Pats

Built 1977


Thursday, July 29, 2010



WHL - PRESENT RINKS: SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN


Credit Union Centre (formerly SaskPlace)


Home of the Saskatoon Blades

Built 1988




WHL - PRESENT RINKS: RED DEER, ALBERTA


(Photo: Copyright - Calvin Dyck)

ENMAX Centrium

Home of the Red Deer Rebels

Built 1991





WHL - PRESENT RINKS: PRINCE ALBERT, SASKATCHEWAN


(Photo: Copyright - Tony Pellerin)

Art Hauser Centre (formerly the Prince Albert Communiplex)

Home of the Prince Albert Raiders

Built 1971




WHL - PRESENT RINKS: LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA


(Photo: Copyright - Calvin Dyck)

ENMAX Centre

Home of the Lethbridge Hurricanes

Built 1974





WHL - PRESENT RINKS: CRANBROOK, BRITISH COLUMBIA

(Photo: Copyright - Larry Shalk)

Cranbrook RecPlex

Home of the Kootenay Ice

Built 2000




WHL - TO BE PRESENT RINK: MOOSE JAW, SASKATCHEWAN


Moose Jaw Multiplex (To be Open - 2011)

Home of the Moose Jaw Warriors

Built 2010




WHL - PRESENT RINKS: EDMONTON, ALBERTA


Rexall Place (Northlands Coliseum)

Home of the Edmonton Oil Kings
Built 1974




WHL - PRESENT RINKS: Calgary, Alberta


Olympic Saddledome

Home of the Calgary Hitmen
Built 1983




WHL - PRESENT RINKS: BRANDON, MANITOBA


(Photo: Copyright - Sean Harp)

Westman Communications Group Place

(formerly the Keystone Centre)

Home of the Brandon Wheat Kings
Built 1972




WHL PRESENT RINKS: MOOSE JAW, SASKATCHEWAN


Moose Jaw Civic Centre also know as "The Crush Can"

Home of the Moose Jaw Canucks (SJHL -1958-66 and 1968-70) (WHL 1966-70), Warriors (WHL - 1984-85 to Present)

Built 1960




WHL FORMER RINKS: WINNIPEG, MANITOBA


(Photo: Copywright - Kevin Jordin)

Winnipeg Arena

Former Home of the Winnipeg Jets, Monarchs, Clubs and Warriors
Built 1955, Demolished 2006




WHL - FORMER RINKS: VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA


(Photo: Copywright - Vince Kreiser)

Kerrisdale Arena


Former Home of the Vancouver Nats
Built 1949

Kerrisdale Arena is a footnote in WHL history, having only been home to one team, the Vancouver Nats, for one season, 1971-72. I have very little information about the building, other than apparently it hosted some pretty kick-awesome looking concerts in the 1980's.




WHL - FORMER RINKS: TACOMA, WASHINGTON, U.S.A.


Tacoma Dome

Former Home of the Tacoma Rockets
Built 1983


The Tacoma Dome is a geodesic dome in the southern Puget Sound city of Tacoma. Designed by the legendary Buckminster Fuller, the dome seats an improbable 17,000 people for hockey. It was home to the expansion Tacoma Rockets from 1991 to 1995, before common sense prevailed and the team was moved from their geodesic home to Kelowna.

Ray Marcham says: The Tacoma Dome is the ultimate multi-purpose arena - and, frankly, not good for any sport. It hosts American football, soccer, basketball, hockey and indoor soccer. The side seats for Rockets games were horrible - the pitch was too shallow. The "front row" of seats were still 50 feet away from the ice, and the arena floor was the main concourse. There were four rows of temp seats set up along the boards to try and give it a "real" hockey feel, but it didn't work. There are no corner seats, as the seating is much like an old-style English football stadium. Except when Tacoma played Seattle, they didn't draw well. There was a reason they went to Kelowna as fast as they could.





WHL - FORMER RINKS: SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, U.S.A.


(Photo: Copywright - D.J. Kris)

KeyArena
Seattle, Washington
Former Home of the Seattle Thunderbirds
Built 1962

KeyArena, formerly the Seattle Center Coliseum, is first and foremost a basketball arena that was the only home that the missed and lamented Seattle Supersonics ever had. Although built in 1962, the arena was given a $75-million renovation in 1994 that was supposed to ensure the long-term future of the NBA in town, yet a short 14 years later the team was uprooted in one of the great acts of sports villainy in history, right up there with the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn, the Jets leaving Winnipeg, and every time the Yankees play. Half a season later, the Thunderbirds also left, to their new, purpose-built arena in the southern Seattle suburb of Kent. While I never made it to a WHL game there, I've been told by more than one person that it wasn't a great experience, as the arena floor wasn't really big enough for hockey and the T-Birds never sold enough tickets to fill the place. KeyArena is today only home to the WNBA, and the city is debating the rink's long-term future.




WHL FORMER RINKS: SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, U.S.A.


(Photo: Copywright - Paul Buxton)

Mercer Arena is a part of the Seattle Center complex that also includes the Thunderbirds' current home, the KeyArena. Mercer was built in 1927 and was home to the Thunderbirds alongside the KeyArena (then called the Seattle Center Coliseum) in a venue-splitting arrangement similar to the one that exists in Portland, from their arrival in the Emerald City in 1977 to 1994. It was a U-shaped seating facility that held about 4,000, and until the mid-80s (after the team was renamed the Seattle Thunderbirds from the Seattle Breakers), the end boards at the open end was topped not by glass, but by chain-link fencing. The T-Birds played big games at the Coliseum, and smaller ones at Mercer. In 1994 the city of Seattle announced a major renovation to the Coliseum, and so while the NBA's Seattle Supersonics relocated for a year to the larger Tacoma Dome and the massive Kingdome, the T-Birds played their full schedule at Mercer. When the 1995-96 season opened, the Thunderbirds moved permanently into the KeyArena. Mercer Arena is abandoned today, with a plan currently before the city council to turn it into an opera house.



WHL - FORMER RINKS: NEW WESTMINSTER, BRITISH COLUMBIA


(Photo: Copywright - Vince Kreiser)

Queen's Park Arena

Former Home of the New Westminster Bruins
Built 1930

Queen's Park Arena is one of the oldest remaining hockey arenas in Western Canada, yet I'm told it's still full of life inside, having been recently renovated. It hosted the legendary New Westminster Bruins teams of the 1970's that won four consecutive WHL titles, as well as the not quite as legendary second generation Bruins, which won nothing. It's today home to the minor hockey and lacrosse.




WHL - FORMER RINKS: NANAIMO, BRITISH COLUMBIA

(Photo: Copywright - Vince Kreiser)

Frank Crane Arena

Former Home of the Nanaimo Islanders
Built 1975

While Vancouver Island was home to the WHL for over two decades with the presence of the Victoria Cougars, the smaller logging town of Nanaimo only hosted the WHL once, and for one brief year, 1982-83. The team, originally located in Calgary, was relocated to Nanaimo from the equally unlikely city of Billings, Montana, and left to become the second, less successful incarnation of the New Westminster Bruins. They are today the Tri-City Americans. Frank Crane Arena was built in 1975 as a compliment to the previous Nanaimo Civic Arena, and is today home to the BCHL's Nanaimo Clippers.






WHL - FORMER RINKS: KAMLOOPS, British Columbia

(Photo: Copywright - Vince Kreiser)

Kamloops Memorial Arena

Former Home of the Kamloops Blazers
Built 1948

The tiny Kamloops Memorial Arena was built in 1948 and was home to various Kamloops teams from then onwards, including the Kamloops Chiefs from 1973-77 and the Blazers from 1981 to 1992. The arena is still open and hosting hockey today.



WHL - FORMER RINKS : BILLINGS, MONTANA, U.S.A
MetraPark Arena

Former Home of the Billings Bighorns
Built 1975


(Photo: Copywright - Paul Buxton)

Originally the Yellowstone METRA (for Montana's Entertainment, Trade and Recreation Arena), the MetraPark Arena was built in 1975 on Billings' fairgrounds. Two years later, the original Calgary WHL franchise uprooted from Alberta and moved in. The team lasted five seasons in Montana, and produced such NHLers as Dave Barr and Andy Moog. They moved to Nanaimo in 1982, and today are the Tri-City Americans. The arena was recently renamed the Rimrock Auto Arena and is still open for concerts, indoor football, and other usual arena events.
EX-REGINA PATS

BILL CHARLES "RED" HAY



By Permission: Taken from Joe Pelletier - WebSite - Greatest Hockey Legends


Bill Hay came from an athletic family. His father, Charlie Hay, was an outstanding goalie for the Regina senior team in the early 1920's. In 1923 he lost out in the Allan Cup finals to the famous and very strong Toronto Granites team. His mother, the former Florence "String" Miller was one of Canada's great track and field stars. His uncle, Earl Miller played in the NHL in the late 1920's, early 30's.

Bill played his first hockey around Regina, Saskatchewan. and had a solid junior career with the Regina Pats (1952-53 and 1954-55 season (WCJHL). In two seasons he scored 78 points (30 goals, 48 assists) in 62 games, plus 20 goals, 15 assists in 34 play-off games. He also played a couple of games for the University of Saskatchewan in 1953-54, but dropped out. (Photo: Saskatchewan Archives - RB-10128(3))

Bill's life and hockey career were at a crossroads at this point. The Montreal Canadiens owned his NHL rights, and expected him to report to training camp. But Bill had other ideas, and literally hitch-hiked his way down to Colorado Springs where he literally convinced Colorado College to give both him and good friend Bob McCusker athletic scholarships. Through CC he would complete his degree in geology.

He had two splendid seasons with Colorado College Tigers (116 points) and led the entire league in points in 1957-58. He was selected to the first WCHA All-Star team in both seasons (1957 & 58). Bill also was named to the NCAA West first All-American team both years. He helped lead the Tigers to the 1957 national championships.

Bill originally did not intend to pursue a NHL career, and rather use his geology degree and join his father in the oil industry. But, despite it being almost unheard of to have a college player make it to the NHL, Bill decided to give pro hockey a shot.

He attended Montreal Canadiens training camp in 1958-59. The vaunted Habs were so overstocked with talent that he of course did not make the team, so they loaned him to the Calgary Stampeders of the WHL, which at that time was Chicago Blackhawks farm team. Bill impressed everyone and scored a fine 24 goals and 54 points in 53 games. In April 1959 Chicago bought him from Montreal who reluctantly sold him for $ 25,000.

Bill was an immediate hit in the NHL as he scored 18 goals and 37 assists for 55 points in 70 games as a rookie, good for 13th place overall in the league. His fine season earned him the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year, the first collegiate player to do so.

His linemates during that season were Murray Balfour on the right side and a young superstar in Bobby Hull on the left. They were quickly dubbed "The Million Dollar Line"

The rangy redhead was one of the slickest stickhandlers and playmakers in the NHL. He often "quarterbacked" the Hawks power play and provided fine leadership to the team overall. In only his second season with the team he became the assistant captain. As a sophomore he scored 59 points in 69 games and helped Chicago win the Stanley Cup.

Teammate Stan Mikita raved about Hay's leadership abilities being such a key to the '61 championship.

The trick in making us a winner was getting the team working. This is where a leader comes in and Billy Hay was just such a leader."

His best season offensively came in 1961-62 when he had 63 points in only 60 games. Bill continued to be a steady player, scoring a career high 23 goals in 1963-64 (56 points). In 1965-66 he had 20 goals and 51 points in 68 games.

Although Bill loved hockey he decided to retire at the end of the 1965-66 season to pursue a business career. However his retirement was shot as he returned to the Hawks mid-way through the 1966-67 season and picked up 20 points in only 36 games.

Chicago left him unprotected in the expansion draft that summer and he was claimed by St.Louis. But this time Bill decided to hang em' up for good, only 31 years old.

Bill obviously did well in the business aspect of his life, finally jumping into the family business of oil. At one point he had enough money to be a part owner and team president of the Calgary Flames. He would later add the presidency duties of the Hockey Hall of Fame to his resume.

Bill was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, on June 20, 1992.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


JOHNNY GOTTSELIG

Born: 24 June 1906 -
Died: 15 May 1986, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

by: Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston

Many people thought Johnny Gottselig was born in Canada, but he was actually born (24 June 1906) along the banks of Dnieper river in a tiny German Catholic village of Klosterdorf in the Swedish district in the Kherson Governorate of the Russian Empire (now part of Ukraine)

His family moved to the Canadian prairies when Johnny was just an infant. Later on in life. as his hockey career progressed to the point when he was constantly crossing the Canadian-American border to play in the National Hockey League, he would often create great delays since he declared his birthplace as being Russia. At that time relations between the Soviet Union and the Americans were beginning to thaw as a prelude to the Cold War, hence the reason why Johnny was of interest to American authorities. Eventually Johnny realized that it would be a whole lot easier to filled out his border crossing papers as being born in Canada. (Photo: Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston - Collection)

Gottselig was the secord born Russian player in the history of the National Hockey League. Johnny played junior hockey for the Regina Pats from 1923-24 to the 1924-25 season. He then moved on to the senior Regina Victorias, the Regina Capitals of the Prairie League and the AHA's Winnipeg Maroons He later became head coach of the Chicago Black Hawks, and became the first European head coach in the NHL.

Gottselig was a nifty skater and puck handler, and a noted penalty killer who liked to rag the puck. He was respected around the league as a creative left winger "who could make a fool out of you if you didn't watch him closely."

After helping the Regina Pats win the Memorial Cup in 1924-25. Gottselig signed with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 1928-20 season. It was the first of 18 years with the Hawks as a player. In total he played in 589 games, picking up 176 goals and 371 points.

Gottselig was a big part of Stanley Cup wins in 1934 and 1938. During the 1938 post-season he led all scorers with eight points in ten games. The following season he scored a career best 39 points and was named to the NHL second all-star team. He became the team's Captain from 1935-36 to the 1939-40 season.

He would coach the Hawks (1944 to 1948) for 3 years. Gottselig brought his players to his home town of Regina, Saskatchewan and started a training camp Wednesday, September 28, 1946, at the Queen City Gardens. He was also with Chicago in 1961, as Director of Public Relations, when they won their third Stanley Cup. Gottselig was included on the team, but his name was not engraved onto the Stanley Cup.

Later he served as their publicity director and worked on the radio broadcasts. He would eventually leave hockey to become an executive with Stone Construction, a manufacturer of concrete pipes. (Jersey Photo's: Earl Seibert -collection)

Like many prairie players of his era, Gottselig's other passion was baseball. In 1942 Gottselig was instrumental in the formation of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the brain child of Chicago based Philip K. Wrigley, the chewing gum mogul. Gottselig's contacts back in softball-hotbed Saskatchewan led to many Canadian girls joining the four team league, notably Mary "Bonnie" Baker, All-Star catcher for the South Bend Blue Sox. Gottselig himself was the first manager of the Racine Belles in 1943, leading the team to the AAGPBL's first championship. He later managed the Peoria Redwings and the Kenosha Comets.

Johnny Gottselig died 15 May 1986, at the age of 80 in Chicago, Illinois. 

Burial: Calvary Cemetery, Evanston, Cook County, Illinois


DON JOHN DEACON

Born: 02 June 1913, Shawington Falls, Quebec

Died: 25 December 1943, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

*******************************************************

By Permission: Taken from Joe Pelletier - WebSite - Greatest Hockey Legends

Newspaper archives suggest the Detroit Red Wings really felt Deacon could have been a very special NHL player had he been able to control his weight. Standing at just 5'9" tall, he struggled to keep his weight below 200lbs, therefore slowing him down.

Other sources suggest the roly poly center from Regina (Regina Pats 1928-1929 to 1931-1932) lacked the drive to become a NHL regular. While playing with the AHL Pittsburgh Hornets, player-coach Larry Aurie fined Deacon for "lack of hustle and interest." Deacon's listless play in that 1938-39 season had gotten so bad that he was the target of the boo-birds amongst the Duquesne Garden faithful. What makes that so surprising is he recovered from his rocky start to register 66 points in 46 games, a new record in that league. (Photo: Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston - Collection - Indianapolis Capitals (AHL 1930-1932)

Despite his misgivings, Don Deacon managed to average 40 points in a pro career that lasted seven years, most notably with the Hornets and Cleveland Barons. Parts of three of those years were spent with the Detroit Red Wings where he scored 6 goals and 10 points in 40 career NHL games.

In 1942 Deacon became part of Canada's military effort in World War II. He was stationed in Calgary for two years, helping a local team capture the Alberta senior championship.

Unfortunately Deacon never got his discharge from the army, as he died in a freak accident on Christmas night, 1943. While serving with an army unit in British Columbia, Deacon somehow accidentally fell off of a friend's balcony, plummeting 25 feet to the ground. He died soon thereafter with a fractured skull and internal bleeding.

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Don played one game with the Regina Olympics in the 1929-30 season before joining the Regina Pats. Then went on and played with Prince Albert Mintos in the (North Saskatchewan Senior Hockey League). During the 1935-36 season played with Detroit Olympics, (International Hockey League) In 1936-37 played 4 games with Detroit Red Wings, (National Hockey League), also with Pittsburgh Hornets, (International American Hockey League) until 1937-38. During the 1938-38 season played with Detroit Red Wings (NHL) 8 games and 1939-40 - 18 games, also with Indianapolis Capitals (IAHL). 1939-40 to 1941-42 with Cleveland Barons (AHL). Don finished with the Calgary Currie Army (CNDHL) during the 1942-43 season - There were only 3 teams in the League: Calgary Navy, Calgary RCAF Mustangs and Red Deer Army.