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Hockey Today a "Goon Game", says Hall of Fame Goalie Glenn Hall

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davetherave

davetherave
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Blackhawks' 'Mr. Goalie' on NHL today: 'It's a goon game'

Ex-Hawks great, trendsetter decries it as 'goon game'

David Haugh, Chicago Tribune, May 21, 2009

Glenn Hall is hockey's true iron man among goalies, having played 502-straight regular-season games over eight seasons -- and without a mask. Hall led the NHL in shutouts six-consecutive seasons and was in goal when the Hawks won the 1961 Stanley Cup. He is the first goalie to play with what is now known as the butterfly style, a low, wide stance to fan the body across the goal to cover the corners.

Back in the day, the pressure a goaltender such as
Nikolai Khabibulin has faced to save a playoff series against a superior team like the Red Wings probably would have made Glenn Hall, arguably the Blackhawks' best goalie ever, vomit.

But then Hall made vomiting a vital part of his pregame ritual during a 19-year
NHL career that began with the Red Wings and included a decade in Chicago: Lace up, throw up, and go stand on your head for 60 minutes.

"I did it before almost every game because I played better when I did and I was hyper," Hall said Wednesday on the phone from his farm in Stony Plain, Alberta. "It was pretty natural. I worked myself into it. I reminded myself I was representing my family and it would be unforgivable to not play at a certain standard."

During the 1960s in Chicago, maybe only
Mayor Richard J. Daley was protected better than the Blackhawks' net.

Nowadays Hall, "Mr. Goalie" to Hawks fans who remember him from the 1961 Stanley Cup champions, only feels like throwing up while watching a sport he often struggles to recognize. The player who still owns an NHL record considered untouchable -- 502 consecutive games by a goalie, all without a mask -- lamented, "I am not a big hockey fan."

"It's a goon game now," said Hall, 77. "It used to be a skill game, but it's not anymore. It's changed. They don't call penalties for charging, boarding or hitting from behind. You have to question who's educating these officials. So I don't bother to watch much."

When Hall has tuned in to the Western Conference finals between the Blackhawks and Red Wings, he has seen goaltenders Khabibulin and Detroit's
Chris Osgood employing the butterfly technique he is credited for introducing to the league back in the late 1950s. Tony Esposito, Hall's fellow Blackhawks legend who played from 1969-84, later subtly modified the butterfly but still used much of what he learned watching Hall in his prime.

"A lot of Blackhawks fans today never got to see Glenn play and how great he was, but he was the one that started [the butterfly]," Esposito said in a phone interview. "He was up there with the best ever. I was lucky I didn't have to come directly after Glenn or else I'd have had more pressure. We both were agile and had quickness, [but] he was the beginning of the change of goaltending style."

A butterfly goalie protects the lower portion of the net by dropping to his knees and spreading his hands to block shots on goal in a synchronized movement similar to the way a butterfly flutters its wings.

Many NHL goaltenders such as Khabibulin, and
Patrick Roy of Denver before him, have enjoyed stellar careers using the style, but some still avoid relying too much on the butterfly because it can leave the top of net vulnerable. Interestingly, Osgood revived his career in 2005 by altering his primary approach from stand-up to butterfly -- kind of like a dead-pull hitter in baseball forcing himself to hit to the opposite field.

To Hall, the transition from stand-up to butterfly came down to common sense.

"It was a natural progression of goalkeeping," he said. "In the pre-mask days, goalies would stack their pads and keep their head away from the puck. With the butterfly you could drop but still keep your head up so you don't get hit. Critics said I couldn't do it and shouldn't do it, but they didn't know what they were talking about."

Never shy with his opinions, Hall says it was that outspoken nature that was responsible for making him a Blackhawk. Back in the 1950s, the Norris family that owned the Red Wings also had controlling interest in the Blackhawks with Arthur Wirtz. So business between the two teams essentially was an inter-office transaction.

After Hall's third season, for example, Red Wings officials asked the 1956 Rookie of the Year to stop buddying up to teammate Ted Lindsay, who was the co-organizer of the NHL Players Association.

"I said I had a problem with that and there are certain things you probably shouldn't tell your boss," Hall said. "So after I didn't have a great playoff series [in 1957] the Norris family made a mistake and traded me to Chicago. That's where they traded players they wanted to punish."

His punishment was Chicago's pleasure for the next decade.

The Blackhawks planned to pay tribute to Hall's tenure during a ceremony April 1, but his wife, Pauline, has been ill so he stayed home in Stony Plain, a small town where a highway and hockey rink are named for him. One day Hall still would love to make the trip to see old friends Dale Tallon and Rocky and Peter Wirtz, as well as Scotty Bowman, who coached Hall with the
St. Louis Blues.

"It would be nice to walk into the dressing room for a number of reasons," said Hall, whose No. 1 is retired. "Those are good memories. Chicago Stadium, there was no greater building in sports."

Without Hall, the old Stadium never may have hung a '61 Stanley Cup banner. He was as tough as he was instinctive, once returning to a game after getting 26 stitches in his chin. He had 20-15 vision and cat-like reflexes he kept sharp in the off-season playing table tennis at home in Canada.

If you call Hall the greatest goaltender in franchise history, don't expect him to disagree.

"It's complimentary, but I'd have to agree," Hall said. "I had some good years there in Chicago."


dhaugh@tribune.com

Hockey Today a "Goon Game", says Hall of Fame Goalie Glenn Hall Glenn_10

---

I was lucky enough to watch Glenn Hall play, both as a Cup winner with the Blackhawks and into his time with the St. Louis Blues. IMHO there are few goaltenders who come close to matching the quality of Hall's goaltending, especially when you consider how profoundly he influenced the way the position was played.

The fact that he played almost his entire career without a mask adds to the complexity and intrigue of a man who is--if you've ever seen his profile and interview in the great TV series "Legends of Hockey"--both quiet and intense.

His thoughts on the game today--as opposed to how it was played back in his time--give one pause.

What are yours?

wprager

wprager
Administrator
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Apparently Mr. Hall did not read Don Cherry's book. Some of the stuff he describes (both in the minors -- AHL, WHL, ECHL -- and in the NHL) is eye opening.

The game is faster, the players are bigger, the rinks are the same size as before -- all that is going to lead to way more contact and much harder hits. Add to that the equipment factor -- both in terms of being a weapon and in terms of giving the player a sense of invincibility -- and you've got what you have today.

Chippy play has always had a part in the NHL. It used to be much worse, but the lack of instigator rule just meant that the offending party had to back up what he did. Having read Cherry's book I am no longer convinced that the players "back in the day" had any more respect for one another than they do now.

SeawaySensFan

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Franchise Player
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I just happened to be reflecting on the "old game" since watching a Wings/Hawks playoff tilt from 1965. What I saw was a game that was faster than one might expect. It really caused me to question how people perceive today's game.

I think there might be more velocity to today's game as opposed to speed. And having watched that game, the ice is noticeably smaller today because of the size of the players and probably their equipment too.

I also think that we assign recent greats with the "greatest" tag without truly knowing how they stand up against players such as Hall and Sawchuk, Hull and Richard... I think it's terribly presumtuous to call Brodeur the greatest goalie ever or Messier the greatest leader ever. In fact, I just don't buy it. The sad part is, it will be repeated so often everyone else will and some of the real greats will fade into anonymity.

Guest


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wprager wrote:Apparently Mr. Hall did not read Don Cherry's book. Some of the stuff he describes (both in the minors -- AHL, WHL, ECHL -- and in the NHL) is eye opening.

The game is faster, the players are bigger, the rinks are the same size as before -- all that is going to lead to way more contact and much harder hits. Add to that the equipment factor -- both in terms of being a weapon and in terms of giving the player a sense of invincibility -- and you've got what you have today.

Chippy play has always had a part in the NHL. It used to be much worse, but the lack of instigator rule just meant that the offending party had to back up what he did. Having read Cherry's book I am no longer convinced that the players "back in the day" had any more respect for one another than they do now.

What else did he talk about in it? Is it worth a read? Whats it called?

wprager

wprager
Administrator
Administrator
SeawaySensFan wrote:I just happened to be reflecting on the "old game" since watching a Wings/Hawks playoff tilt from 1965. What I saw was a game that was faster than one might expect. It really caused me to question how people perceive today's game.

I think there might be more velocity to today's game as opposed to speed. And having watched that game, the ice is noticeably smaller today because of the size of the players and probably their equipment too.

I also think that we assign recent greats with the "greatest" tag without truly knowing how they stand up against players such as Hall and Sawchuk, Hull and Richard... I think it's terribly presumtuous to call Brodeur the greatest goalie ever or Messier the greatest leader ever. In fact, I just don't buy it. The sad part is, it will be repeated so often everyone else will and some of the real greats will fade into anonymity.

Hear, hear! Brodeur is a great goalie, no doubt about that, but he did have a fantastic defense around him early on, and the defensive style of the team definitely helped pad his tats a bit. Also he's played his entire career in an 82-game league.

davetherave

davetherave
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Having watched the NHL in Hall's day through the present day, there's no question the game now is more violent.

The body armour the players wear, and the strength training they do, makes them into human missiles.

Hockey has always been a rough sport, but back in the early 60's, it didn't have the level of injury--especially head injuries--present in today's game.

The players today have better conditioning, superior medical treatment and surgical procedures that simply did not exist in those days.

What Don Cherry talks about in the minor leagues was behaviour that WAS minor league behaviour...those players were often career minor leaguers who would not make it in the six team NHL.

As it was exceedingly tough to make it to the big league, many players--Cherry being one of them--had only brief stays in the NHL.

Guyle Fielder is a good example.

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
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davetherave wrote:Having watched the NHL in Hall's day through the present day, there's no question the game now is more violent.
Violent or tougher? I think of the old NHL as being more violent with the flying elbows and stick swinging and stuff that went on unseen that you can't get away with now because of video replay and the two referee system.

davetherave

davetherave
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All-Star
Shabbs, stick swinging incidents were rare in the six team NHL. The fact that the players didn't wear helmets and visors meant players were more responsible with their sticks.

As for 'flying elbows'...the stuff you see today, really didn't happen in the old NHL.

Not to say it wasn't rough and tough...it certainly was.

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
davetherave wrote:Shabbs, stick swinging incidents were rare in the six team NHL. The fact that the players didn't wear helmets and visors meant players were more responsible with their sticks.

As for 'flying elbows'...the stuff you see today, really didn't happen in the old NHL.

Not to say it wasn't rough and tough...it certainly was.
Ummmm.... Gordie Howe?

His stick work and elbows are LEGENDARY.

wprager

wprager
Administrator
Administrator
cash wrote:
wprager wrote:Apparently Mr. Hall did not read Don Cherry's book. Some of the stuff he describes (both in the minors -- AHL, WHL, ECHL -- and in the NHL) is eye opening.

The game is faster, the players are bigger, the rinks are the same size as before -- all that is going to lead to way more contact and much harder hits. Add to that the equipment factor -- both in terms of being a weapon and in terms of giving the player a sense of invincibility -- and you've got what you have today.

Chippy play has always had a part in the NHL. It used to be much worse, but the lack of instigator rule just meant that the offending party had to back up what he did. Having read Cherry's book I am no longer convinced that the players "back in the day" had any more respect for one another than they do now.

What else did he talk about in it? Is it worth a read? Whats it called?

It's called "Hockey Stories and Stuff". Just the way Grapes would've said it. I've read it twice Smile

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
wprager wrote:It's called "Hockey Stories and Stuff". Just the way Grapes would've said it. I've read it twice Smile
It's pretty funny. It literally is written just the way Grapes says it. Full of grammatical errors and all...

Guest


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Worst incidents acording to CBS Sports

1. Retaliatory hit begets All-Star Game
Boston Bruins defenceman Eddie Shore was considered one of the roughest players of his era. On Dec. 12, 1933, in a game versus the Leafs, Toronto's King Clancy stood up Shore at the blue line as he was rushing up the ice with the puck. No penalty was called.

An irate Shore exacted revenge by slamming into Leaf winger Ace Bailey with a vicious hit from behind, sending the future Hall of Famer crashing headlong into the ice.

Bailey suffered a fractured skull – onlookers said it sounded like a watermelon hitting pavement – and never played again. A benefit game held the next year in his honour morphed into what is now the NHL All-Star Game.

2. "Rocket" Richard's tomahawk & the ensuing riot

Hockey Today a "Goon Game", says Hall of Fame Goalie Glenn Hall Richard_maurice
Rocket Richard
The longtime Hab set the standard for snipers with an eight-point game in 1944. Few can forget his 14 all-star selections or his 1961 Hall of Fame induction. But the fiery "Rocket" Richard may best be known for the riot he sparked.

It stemmed from a March 13, 1955, game in which Richard was given a match penalty for deliberately injuring Hal Laycoe - tomahawking him over the head with his stick – and punching linesman Cliff Thompson. Richard was later suspended for the rest of the season, causing an uproar amongst Habs fans, given Richard was leading the NHL in scoring and his team was battling for first place.

The following season, NHL president Clarence Campbell was pelted with eggs while attending a game between the Canadiens and Detroit at the Montreal Forum. The game was forfeited and the arena evacuated due to an out-of-control crowd that took to the streets. A riot ensued, causing $500,000 in damage.

3. Wayne Maki fractures Ted Green's skull

Hockey Today a "Goon Game", says Hall of Fame Goalie Glenn Hall Green_ted0308
Ted Green staggers to his feet after the melee.
Imagine the worst stick-swinging incident of the modern NHL era, complete with heavy wooden sticks and helmets nowhere in sight.

Voila, you have St. Louis' Wayne Maki opposite "Terrible" Ted Green of the Boston Bruins, circa 1969-70 in Ottawa.

In the midst of a pre-season game, Maki knocked Green down from behind. The latter retaliated by slashing Maki, who hit the ice. Maki speared Green, who again sent Maki flying. The pair soon exchanged vicious slashes until Maki clubbed Green over the head, fracturing his skull.

Green needed three major operations to save his life and had a steel plate inserted in his head. Maki was suspended for 30 days and Green for 12 games when he returned to action one year later. Assault charges were filed against both players, who were later acquitted.

4. Bobby Clarke's Summit Series chop

Hockey Today a "Goon Game", says Hall of Fame Goalie Glenn Hall Bobby_clarke
Bobby Clarke during the '72 Summit Series.
While most incidents of on-ice violence are met with shock and disciplinary action, Bobby Clarke's slash on Soviet superstar Valeri Kharlamov's ankle has been lauded in some hockey circles as an act of heroism.

With Canada trailing in the legendary series 3-1-1 and in a dogfight in Game Six, Clarke, at the encouragement of assistant coach John Ferguson, delivered a brutal two-hand slash to Kharlamov's sore ankle. The attack proved to be the turning point in the emotionally-charged matchup.

Kharlamov, the Soviets' most skillful player, was never the same after the hack, and the Canadians rallied for a series victory. When asked about the incident years later Clarke said: "If I hadn't learned to lay on a two-hander once in a while, I'd never have left Flin Flon." The attack also cemented Canadian hockey players' reputation as thugs who won games through intimidation and violence rather than skill and finesse.

5. Maloney crowns Glennie; crown sticks it to Maloney
Dan Maloney's NHL resume includes a Stanley Cup appearance, all-star selection and three 20-plus goal seasons. Oh yeah, an assault charge as well.

The former Detroit Red Wings left-winger was involved in an on-ice attack against Toronto's Brian Glennie on Nov. 5, 1975. Glennie's skull met Maloney's stick tomahawk-style, and it was lights-out for the Leaf. The incident made further headlines when Ontario crown attorney Roy McMurtry became involved and made the charge against Maloney.

Glennie was put on the stand, but it didn't matter much. "When I testified, I said very little," he joked later. "How could I? I was out cold at the time."

In exchange for a no-contest plea, Maloney did community service work. He also was banned from playing in Toronto for two seasons. Maloney finished his playing career with the Leafs in the early 1980s before embarking on a coaching career with the club.

6. The night the lights went out at world juniors
There have been plenty of modern-day brawls in hockey, but none have come close to the impact of the 1987 world junior championship game.

Canada was in contention for the gold medal and leading Russia 4-2 in the final game of the tournament … until a bench-clearing brawl erupted. The ice was covered in helmets and gloves, and pairs of skaters – goalies included – engaged in an orgy of rock-em sock-em blows.

When officials failed to get control of the melee, they shut off the lights at the arena. The players continued to fight in the dark, and organizers cancelled the game. Both teams were eventually disqualified.

Some Canadians were proud of the squad (Don Cherry, for one), while others were ashamed of the reputation it gave our national pastime.

7. Hunter ends Turgeon's playoff run

Hockey Today a "Goon Game", says Hall of Fame Goalie Glenn Hall Dale_hunter
Dale Hunter
Dale Hunter could hurt an opposing team on more than just on the score sheet. The winger was never one to shy away from the dirty side of hockey. When he retired from the game in March 2000, he was the only player in NHL history to record more than 300 goals and 1,000 points while still recording over 3,000 penalty minutes.

But his brutal crosscheck on New York Islanders forward Pierre Turgeon in an April 1993 playoff game was a black mark on his career. After Turgeon scored a playoff series-clinching goal, Hunter came in from behind and nailed the Islanders forward into the sideboards, separating Turgeon's shoulder. Hunter, then with the Washington Capitals, was given a then-NHL-record 21-game suspension. Turgeon missed six weeks of action and his Islanders exited during the conference finals.

8. Jeff Kugel runs wild in OHL game
It was like a scene straight out of World Wrestling Entertainment.

A junior-hockey enforcer leaves the bench to join a brawl, sucker-punches an opponent from behind, straightens his arms while standing over him, works the crowd, chases away another player already involved in a fight, works the crowd again and throws his arms wildly like a crazed lunatic, challenging players, fans and all comers.

On Nov. 2, 1998, Jeff Kugel was handed a 25-game suspension for attacking Juri Golicic, as well as a lifetime ban from the Ontario Hockey League as a result of the incident that occurred a month earlier between the Windsor Spitfires and the Owen Sound Platers.

OHL commissioner David Branch softened his hardline stance on Kugel's punishment following a lengthy appeal, saying the then-18-year-old could apply for reinstatement at the end of the season.

Windsor later waived the six-foot-seven-inch, 265-pound Kugel, who went on to play two games for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 1999-2000 and four contests that same season with the Flint Generals of the United Hockey League.

9. Gary Suter ruins Paul Kariya's Olympics

Hockey Today a "Goon Game", says Hall of Fame Goalie Glenn Hall Suter_gary
Gary Suter
The 1998 Nagano Games was supposed to be THE Olympics for the Canadian men's hockey team … until Gary Suter gave Paul Kariya some free dental work.

In a Feb. 1 NHL game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim, Kariya scored for the Mighty Ducks and then was brutally cross-checked upside the head by Suter.

Interestingly, Vancouver Canucks GM Brian Burke was the NHL vice-president at the time and slapped Suter with a huge (for the time) four-game suspension for the obvious cheap shot.

Kariya missed the Olympics and the rest of the season with post-concussion syndrome. He returned eight months later but saw his production fall from 100 points in 1998-99 to 57 in 2001-02. Some say Kariya has never been the same player since the hit.

10. The Marty McSorley trial
Perhaps no other incident resonated in and out of hockey circles than Marty McSorley-Donald Brashear incident of February 2000.

McSorley, in the dying seconds of a game between his Boston Bruins and Brashear's Vancouver Canucks, slashed the side of Brashear's head with his stick. When the blow was struck, Brashear fell backwards and slammed his head against the ice. Brashear, who had no memory of the incident, suffered a severe concussion.

Outrage ensued and McSorley, who was suspended for 23 games, found himself on trial for assault with a weapon that October. The aging enforcer, who could have received an 18-month jail sentence, was handed an 18-month conditional discharge. The only stipulation was that he couldn't play any sport where Brashear was on the opposing team.

However, that condition really didn't matter anyway. The 17-year NHL enforcer, with two Stanley Cups to his name, never played another NHL game.

Guest


Guest
I believe the story above gives a somewhat unbiased view that hockey has had violence as part of it's entire history, unfortunately. I think Hall's comments are revisionist at best and at worst a sour former player looking to get his name back in the headlines, either way I lost a bit of respect for him...

wprager

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shabbs wrote:
wprager wrote:It's called "Hockey Stories and Stuff". Just the way Grapes would've said it. I've read it twice Smile
It's pretty funny. It literally is written just the way Grapes says it. Full of grammatical errors and all...

There are a few instances of "so-and-so" as in "that so-and-so ...". Strachan edits it a little bit Smile

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
wprager wrote:
shabbs wrote:
wprager wrote:It's called "Hockey Stories and Stuff". Just the way Grapes would've said it. I've read it twice Smile
It's pretty funny. It literally is written just the way Grapes says it. Full of grammatical errors and all...

There are a few instances of "so-and-so" as in "that so-and-so ...". Strachan edits it a little bit Smile
Yeah. I haven't been reading it front to back as there doesn't seem to be any real flow to it. It's my "sitting on the john" reading material. I just flip to a page and read.

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