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.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Here's the latest addition to my Hockey Den and to my quest to collect a program for every year of Maple Leaf Garden's existence. This one is from opening night of the 1942/43 season between the New York Rangers and the defending Stanley Cup champs Maple Leafs. The cover features a great photo of Pete Langelle scoring the winning goal in Game 7 of the 1942 Cup Finals. 
The Maple Leafs would win this home-opener by a score of 7-2. I found a Canadian Press write up on the game; 
"In surprisingly simple fashion, Toronto Maple Leafs conquered New York Rangers, 7-2, Saturday in their opening National Hockey League game before 11,777 fans to pick up the thread where they left off in the Stanley Cup finals last season. 
President Frank Calder of the National Hockey League presented Leafs the Stanley Cup pennat they won last season in a brief pre-game ceremony. The first puck was faced by Pte. Alex Chisholm of the Toronto Scottish Regiment, who won the Military Medal at Dieppe."

Gaye Stewart potted two goals and an assist and Hank Goldup recorded a goal and two helpers. Lorne Carr, Bucko McDonald, Shep Mayer, Bud Poile and Billy Taylor all chipped in two points.
Being at the height of World War II, the program is filled with wartime ads and articles, one is below. The game was also the debut of Rangers goaltender Steve "The-puck-goes-inski" Buzinski who would play only eight more games with the Rangers posting a career goals against average of 5.92.

Toronto would finish 3rd in the NHL in 42/43 and lost in the semi-finals to Detroit in six games. New York stumble to a mere 11 wins and 30 points in the fifty game season.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Here's the latest Maple Leaf Gardens program added to the collection. It fills the gap I had between 1959/60 and 1976/77. Now I need only three seasons between 1946/47 and 76/77, getting there.

This one's from opening night, October 23, 1965 with Chicago as the visitor. Lineup page is below.

Leaf captain George Armstrong  traveled the world the previous summer as a goodwill ambassador. It appears he was often pictured in his native head-dress, being "The Chief" and all.
Armstrong got as far as the middle-east, touring on a camel trek as well as visiting over-seas troops.

Here's a couple cool advertisements, one featuring Johnny Bower's "sticky" glove hand.

This is a shot I have never seen before, comedy superstar Bob Hope picture in Maple Leaf wear. Hope was in town for a multi-night engagement at the Canadian National Exhibition at the time of the photo. Below is a a shot of Bobby Hull posing with heavyweight boxing champ Ernie Terrell.