Thursday, August 8, 2019


Here is the latest addition to my Maple Leaf Programme Project, the quest to collect a game program from every season in the history of Maple Leaf Gardens. I believe this is the 42nd of 50 seasons between 1930/31 and 1979/80 that I have a program from Maple Leaf Gardens. A few of them are from wrestling or ice-capades events at the Gardens and one is a Junior game. These all count for my purposes. 
This latest acquisition is from April 1939, an Allan Cup Finals game between the Montreal Royals and the Toronto Goodyears. The Royals would eventually win the Allan Cup by three games to two.
The Goodyears were led by future NHLers Don Metz, Peanuts O'Flaherty, Hank Goldup and 22 year-old future Leafs Coach/GM, George "Punch" Imlach. The Royals boasted two future big-leaguers in Buddy O'Connor and Gerry Heffernan.
The cover of the program has a wonderful painting of a Leaf skater, not identified inside the program.  Looking through the photo database of the Leafs of that era, I believe the player pictured is Bob Davidson (photograph below).
Davidson would play twelve NHL seasons, all for Toronto. He posted his best numbers in 1943/44 when he tallied 47 points in 47 games. Davidson retired after the 1945/46 season.
 This program is loaded with great advertisements of the day including the great interior shot of The Gardens in a Department of Highways Ontario ad. The fellow below seems simply enthralled with his piece of Wrigley's Doublemint gum.
The ad for the Globe and Mail newspaper shows a terrific action shot of the Maple Leafs baseball club of the Triple A, International League. You could have got yourself a brand new Pontiac Arrow Coupe for a mere $880. That equals approximately $15,000 today, which is still a steal. 
The NHL scoring stats to that point showed Leafs Gord Drillon having an outstanding playoffs. Unfortunately the Leafs ended up losing to Boston by four games to one. Drillon produced only two assists in the five games. Boston's Bill Cowley ended up tops in playoff scoring with 14 points.
Above, Maple Leafs players enjoy their pre-game cereal with Bee Hive Corn Syrup. Apparently it aids digestion AND builds strength! Below, an ad for Dunne Skate Company of Toronto. I would love to strap on a pair of these bad boys and go for a whirl. 
 As per usual for this time, the back cover is adorned with a full colour ad for cigarettes, specifically Sweet Caporal.

Monday, January 7, 2019


I recently got a great deal on this wartime era Maple Leaf Gardens program. It was issued for a wrestling event on June 4, 1942 and pictures two gorgeous lady wrestlers on the cover. The lineup page in the middle of the program is below.
The neat thing about this program is that it's chock-full of war related advertisements. The folks at Bee Hive Corn Syrup offered map-away photos of the Royal Air Force planes in addition to hockey players of the day.
In addition, Crown Brand Corn Syrup (Canadians sure ate a lot of corn syrup back then) also offered pictures of "Britain's Famous Fighting Planes and Warships".
General Electric advertised their many contributions toward the war effort below.
In hockey related advertising, CCM listed the hockey winners of the 1940/41 campaign and noted that 95% of players used CCM sticks and skates.
The rear cover even pictured the Sweet Caporal girl cavorting with a friendly G.I. to wrap up the wartime themed program.

Friday, June 22, 2018


I recently realized I had not yet posted my 1962/63 program which was hiding in plain sight on my Leafs goalies shelf in the Den. Issued for the game on February 16, 1963 against the Rangers, a game won 4-2 by the Leafs as Don Simmons out-dueled Gump Worsley in the nets.
I would kill for one of the T-shirts from York peanut butter.
Here's a photo of a horse kissing Eddie Shack.
 Another riveting pic of The Big M, Frank Mahovlich enjoying a cup of coffee.
 A new innovation at this time was the broadcasting of live road games in a local movie theatre. $2.50 for the best seat seems a tad steep to watch on a screen (the internet tells me that is equal to roughly $20 today), I suppose there were zero other options though.
 Somewhat surprisingly, Boston's Johnny Bucyk was tops in the scoring parade at this point in the season, with teammate Murray Oliver close behind. They would both fade out to finish 7th and 10th respectively. Gordie Howe and Andy Bathgate each got hot as a pistol down the stretch. Howe tallied 29 points in the final 18 games, Bathgate collected 27 in the final 17.
 Leafs trainer Bob Haggert also sold Volkswagens on the side, because he had to.
The Leafs goaltending tandem of Bower and Simmons just missed out on the Vezina Trophy by a mere two goals to Glenn Hall and the Black Hawks.
These Leafs made a tidy $20 each for appearing in this add for Hearn Pontiac. The graphic artist made at least that much for the fine cut and paste pre-photoshop job. 
If you grew up in Toronto, you are familiar with Shopsy's hot dogs. They really were good.

Monday, June 4, 2018


Here's the newest addition to the Maple Leaf Programme Project, my second one from the 1945/46 campaign. This one is from January 1946 and was sold during the Ice Follies shows that took over the Gardens for a stint. On the cover is a fantastic image (as they all were back then) of Leaf Gordie Drillon.
Inside the old programs, there's usually lots of nice old advertisements like the one above. Inside the front cover is a great full-colour ad for British American Motor Oil and inside is a full-page ad for a necessity of the day, Brylcreem.
 A large section of the program is devoted to the Ice Follies, but there is still five articles about hockey including the one below on how Russia has begun to play hockey.
 Finally, a cool add for CCM showing three of the main trophies in hockey.

Monday, January 22, 2018


Check out this beauty. One of my annual "self-purchased" Christmas presents from this year. Fantastic artwork of Ted "Teeder" Kennedy for a game against the Black Hawks on December 1, 1945. Lineup page below shows Maple Leaf Gaye Stewart with 13 goals already in the campaign, Toronto had played 13 games to that point in the season. Stewart would finish the 50 game schedule with 37 goals to lead the league, the last Maple Leaf to do so.
To this point in the season, Toronto had a record of 3-9-1 while Chicago was 6-4-1. The Leafs would finish 5th and out of the playoffs for the season while the Hawks placed 3rd, only to be swept by Montreal in the Semi-finals.
There is a great spread in the program of some of the various events that Maple Leaf Gardens had hosted in 1945, including a show featuring Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger.
A few pages are devoted to the Leafs "Victory Dinner" celebrating the Cup win of 1944/45. A golf tournament was held on the day, showcasing various current and old-time Maple Leafs.
This page shows players receiving various gifts for winning the Championship as well as the Cup itself in it's old "stovepipe" variation. At centre-right below is a rare shot of Captain Syl Apps sporting a moustache. 
Finally, a cool advertisement for Odex Soap featuring some nice artwork. Apparently the entire squad washed wish Odex after every game, and for 6 cents a bar, how could they not!?

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Finally, a new addition to the Programme Project. I picked up this beauty from my regular source at the Vancouver Flea Market for a nice price. It's probably in the best condition of any of my older programs, real clean. "The Dipsy Doodle Dandy from Delisle", Max Bentley is pictured on the cover. The program itself was issued for the Mann Cup Finals, the Senior lacrosse championships of Canada. The series took place at Maple Leaf Gardens in mid-October of 1948,  just prior to the NHL campaign.
The lineups of the Hamilton Tigers and New Westminster Adanacs, Hamilton would go on to win the Mann Cup three games to two. The interior of the program is full of Leaf photos and stories, as the same issue would have been used for the start of the NHL season with only the lineup pages in middle changed.
Where are they now, Leafs of the past.
Great photo of Leaf Captain Syl Apps who competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Pole Vault. He finished sixth place in the event.
Below is a shot of some of the Leafs decked out in their best tops and tails.
Leaf higher-ups enjoying a Vancouver golf outing on their 1934 tour of Western Canada.