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The Vintage Leaf Memories Podcast - Episode 2

The second installment of the Vintage Leaf Memories podcast looks back on what was, for me (and likely for countless Leaf fans of that era) Frank Mahovlich’s magical run at a big-time NHL record.  I’m referring to Rocket’s Richard’s record of 50 goals in a single NHL season, a then previously unheard of standard in that golden era of hockey.

Mahovlich, as Leaf fans of the time well know, was the tall, powerful, elegant-skating winger who never quite seemed to be play good enough, often enough, to suit Toronto fans.  (Sound vaguely familiar?) He was nonetheless considered a true superstar of his era, good enough to have the Chicago Blackhawks offer one million dollars for his services in a straight cash transaction with the Leafs—until then General Manager and Coach Punch Imlach put his foot down and said “no” to the team’s ownership. He later came close to scoring 50 again when he played with the Red Wings in the late 1960s on a line with Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio. (That's "The Big M" scoring against the Bruins in an early '60s action photo at right- I'm guessing the Bruins goalie is Don Head, but I'm not sure...)


In any event, this episode tries to pull together a little bit of the special feeling that that time in Leaf history had for me.

Here's how to listen to the podcast: you should be able to find the podcast on iTunes now.  Go to the the following link in the iTunes store:


It could take up to 24 hours for this second episode to show up in iTunes.

And again, you can also listen to the podcast, and subscribe through other services, by visiting the URL of the RSS feed:

3 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your personal perspective on the Big M, who my Dad always expressed regret over the Leafs handling of such a fine player. When I saw him playing for Montreal and especially for Team Canada in '72, I wondered how we could have let him go (even though I liked Ullman and Henderson a lot, Frank was just on a level of excellence that was hard to 'lose' - even if it happened at the beginning of my budding (pun intended) Leaf sentience).

    Given his difficulties with Imlach and some fans, I'm glad he was able to recover on a personal level and continue an exceptional career. His story provides a great caution to (Leaf) fans who forget that these guys have feelings, too, and may not thrive under the verbal assaults and abuse that are hurled their way under the guise of 'fandom'. We've sent quite a few good players packing who did thrive before and after their Leaf experiences... I'd love to see what players could do when encouraged, cheered for and exhorted to excellence (even if they just did something poorly... rather... especially if they just had a 'gaff').

    Did you see the Sportsnet countdown of top Leafs that posted today on the Big M?

    Here's the link:
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/ (hmmm... seems the story doesn't get linked directly... Guess people will have to just look there!)

    Some good tidbits over the month leading up to the Winter Classic... I've enjoyed their synopses on our Leaf greats.

    Thanks for an enjoyable trip down memory lane!

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    1. I didn't see the Sportsnet piece (haven't watched TV for days) but remember the Big M so well, as I'm sure many of that era do. You're right, he was a sensitive individual in a world that didn't understand that trait. He went on to exceptional success in Montreal, for sure...

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  2. Also on Sportsnet is an excellent piece of writing that will move you if you have the time for a read on Gordie Howe. One of the best articles I've read in a long time.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/24-7/red-wings-legend-gordie-howes-toughest-fight/

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