'67: The Maple Leafs, Their Sensational Victory, and the End of an Empire Paperback – Sep 19 2006
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
"Hockey fans should want to read this book just as much as Leaf fans. It takes you inside the great history of the Leafs—right inside. From Johnny Bower’s contract negotiations to everything that was happening behind the scenes, I enjoyed this book so much. It’s fascinating stuff"
—John Davidson, MSG Network and Hockey Night in Canada
"Cox and Stellick may not always have mainstream opinions, but their respective abilities to present a case are abundantly clear in this work. Their candor will strike a nerve with many, and this book will be a must read for hockey fans everywhere."
"Gord and Damien give an excellent insight into the last Leaf team to win a Stanley Cup championship. I lived part of it, but I realize that the legacy of the Leafs is for everybody. The most enduring legacy continues to be the unwavering support of all loyal Leaf fans."
"I enjoyed reading '67. It certainly brought back many memories. Reliving that great series and the year 1967 was most exciting and emotional. I believe most fans who read it will also enjoy reliving that series."
"Gord and Damien have done an excellent job capturing the story of the Leafs’ 1967 Stanley Cup win. It brought back fabulous memories of the best time to be an NHL player in Toronto. A must read for any hockey fan."
From the Inside Flap
IT WAS THE LAST GASP OF A HOCKEY EMPIRE. Amidst the dying embers of the Original Six, the Toronto Maple Leafs combined a collection of fading veterans with a sprinkling of untested youngsters to surprise the hockey world and capture the 1967 Stanley Cup.
It was a team layered with complicated, sometimes frail characters, from loveable Johnny Bower to cerebral Brian Conacher; from sensitive Frank Mahovlich to Allan Stanley, a childhood pal of tragic Bill Barilko; from Jim Pappin, who led the team in scoring that unforgettable spring but was quickly cast aside, to Dave Keon, a true believer who gradually became bitterly alienated from the team.
The reflected glory of the Cup also concealed a great deal. Harold Ballard was beginning the process of ripping Maple Leaf Gardens from the hands of the Smythe clan and committing crimes that would lead him to jail. The seeds of what would become a lurid pedophile scandal were being planted. Personal feuds that last to today were being formed. Tim Horton was en route to becoming both a Canadian business icon and a tragic footnote to Leaf history.
Award-winning Toronto Star journalist Damien Cox and former Leaf general manager Gord Stellick tell the story of this unique team. About more than just hockey, this is a story about a time and a place when change in both society and sport was at hand. It examines the heroes and the myths and offers a new look at the contradictions, the legends, the shame and the glory of ’67.See all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
Kudos for Cox focusing in on the true heroes of '67--Pappin, Stemkowski, Pulford, Pronovost and Hillman. Also, brilliant analysis of how the Leafs' scouting was not to blame but more their anti-union/anti-WHA stance of management for the failures of the team post-'67.
The book is written in a way that focuses on the games of each series in the '67 playoffs without getting bogged down in game stories. The game stories are very brief and act almost as jumping-off points for further discussions on other topics.
For example, who knew GM Punch Imlach kept better players down on the farm in Rochester because he had money invested in the franchise? Who knew disgraced player agent Alan Eagleson had ZERO WHA player clients? That should have been the first sign he was in with the NHL owners despite being an NHLPA executive.
Definitely a must-read for any of us well West of the so-called "Centre of the Universe" who were inflicted with the Laffs on TV every friggin' Saturday night during the '80s. This is sweet revenge for all those nights stuck with Dan Daoust, Pat Boutette and Claire "the Milkman" Alexander skating (and I use that term loosely) across our screens.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The approach by Cox and Stellick is quite interesting. Chapters on the individual games of the playoffs are interspersed with a deeper look at the players of this team and their careers before and after 67, as well as the general history of the Leafs itself during this time and how things were not well in the ranks of management with poor decision making by GM-Coach Punch Imlach that in effect gutted the team's future, as well as the misdeeds of co-owners Stafford Smythe and Harold Ballard that also helped run the team into the ground in the years that followed. Cox and Stellick also recount the details of sordid tales of sexual abuse by Maple Leaf Gardens employees that weren't known for decades, that was also sadly part of the fabric of this last era of winning hockey in Toronto.
About the only quibble I have with the book is their whitewash of disgraced Players Union head Alan Eagleson, whom they interviewed in regards to his role in trying to form the union at the time. It almost seemed like that in order to talk to Eagleson for this book, they had to promise to go easy on him regarding his later disgrace and frankly that doesn't speak too well of them. Aside from that, this book is the best I have ever seen that offers some well-written insight into what the NHL was like in the last years of the Original Six era, and even the casual hockey fan should be able to enjoy it.
Basically, this book is more about the seismic shift in hockey that took place in the late '60s. Bobby Orr was revolutionising the position of defense, Alan Eagleson took up the union torch that Ted Lindsay failed to light, and the league doubled in size (which also caused teams to start looking to Europe for players). Against this backdrop, the Leafs were the last of the old-time teams. Management (and some players) was bitterly opposed to the union. In addition, corruption and nepotism surrounded the team, especially with regards to the junior system (the Rochester Americans farm team was more profitable than the Leafs, so that team was sometimes stacked at the expense of the Leafs). It is the conclusion that the Leafs management - especially Ballard, Stafford Smythe, and coach/GM Punch Imlach - destroyed the Leafs proud heritage through hubris and occasionally criminal activity, from which the team has yet to fully recover.
The book does, of course, cover the Stanley Cup playoffs for the '66-67 season on a game-by-game bases (the Leafs played 12 games in total), which act as chapter intermissions. The book jumps around in time and location, but generally each chapter focusses on some aspect of the Leafs or the hockey world in general. For example, there is a chapter on the family connections (the Conacher, Smythes, Imlachs, etc), one on the union, one on the defense corps. Certainly all the players on that team are given some space. The standard Leaf tidbits are also included - the story of Tim Horton's coffee/doughnut shop and his car-accident death, the story of Baun's overtime goal on a broken leg, etc. But most interesting are the lesser-known facts, e.g. how Bobby Orr was passed over by Imlach as an insignificant teenager.
However, all told, the book really just uses the Leafs team of '66-67 to describe the way the hockey world changed when expansion arrived. The book is better for it, and that is what makes it a valuable addition for any hockey fan, not just Leafs fans.
Well, I had no idea what to expect when I picked this one up, but boy was I ever pleasantly surprised.
I won't go into details, you can read them, but this excellent book really puts the Leafs, the Original Six, and the hockey business under the microscope.
It ain't pretty, but it is a cracking good read.
Still, this is a great read, and a must-have for anyone who loved the Original Six.
There were some interesting segments on how the Leafs potential Dynasty still could have been maintained. They had chances to sign some of the greats in the game, but did not.It prevented them from maintaining a great run.