May 21, 2009

Glenn Hall On Hockey Today:
"It's A Goon's Game."

Glenn Hall, forever to be remembered as "Mr. Goalie," was recently contacted by David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.

For those who are too young to know who Glenn Hall was, he was the goalie who played 502 consecutive games, all without a mask. He is also considered to be father of the butterfly goaltending technique. Back in the 1950s and 1960s when the NHL's best goalie was determined more by the First All Star Team ballots than the Vezina Trophy, Hall won 7 first team honours (and 4 seconds), compared to Terry Sawchuk's three and Jacques Plante's three.

He was also an instrumental player in Chicago's last Stanley Cup, way back in 1961.

Much to Haugh's surprise, it seems Hall is not much of a fan of today's NHL.

"I am not a big hockey fan," he lamented. And he even stayed in hockey for a long time after retirement, as a goaltending coach and consultant with the Calgary Flames.

It seems like a funny thing to say coming from one of the NHL's all time greats. So why, at the age of 77, has soured on the current NHL product?

"It's a goon game now. 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."

This does not explain Hall's inexplicable absence from the Chicago Blackhawks renaissance. After years of neglecting their history, the Hawks have welcomed back and celebrate the likes of Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Tony Esposito. The Hawks have made ammends with Hall too, and had planned to honour him back in April. But he could not make the trip from his farm in Stony Plain, Alberta because his wife was ill.

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


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this reminder of Mr. Hall's monumental accomplishments!

Unknown said...

Having what has been proven to have been his wife's terminal illness, his reason for not attending hardly seem "inexplicable"!
He not only was the greatest goalie ever but also a true gentleman!
I have met him several times in Boston when he came to town.
The fans here always appreciated his talents!

Unknown said...

Not only the best, all-time goalie but areally nice person.
His wife's premature death was both shocking & sad.
I hope he is drawing comfort from the rest of his wonderful family.