It’s no secret that I am a hockey fan. My office is filled with memorabilia from the glory days of the NHL, when there were just 6 teams. In those days you might not have recognized one or two of the players, now I’m hard pressed to name all 30 teams without a hint or twelve.
Last night the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1961. I remember that Cup well. The final game was on a Sunday, a school night, but I was allowed to stay up for the first time to watch the Cup be given to the winners. I was 7-1/2 years old.
The Leafs were, and continue to be my favourite team, despite not winning the Cup since 1967, now the longest drought in the NHL. During my childhood years, they won it four times, 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1967. In those years, I also cheered for Detroit and Chicago, especially if they were playing against Toronto’s hated rivals, The Montreal Canadiens.
The centerpiece of my sports memorabilia collection is a set of autographed pucks, including all but two of the members of the 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs. There are three pucks from that last Chicago Cup-winning team, on the shelf. Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, and Glenn Hall have all signed pucks for me.
It was great watching the current, very young Chicago team win the game last night. It brought back a lot of those old memories of watching Hull and Mikita scoring, and Hall stopping the opposition’s shots.
So now, if history really does repeat itself, I can expect my Toronto Maple Leafs to win the Stanley Cup in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Well, I can hope…