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August 14, 2014

1956-57: Player Uprising

The Three Stars

Lindsay Tries To Organize Players Union - A group of players led by Detroit's Ted Lindsay, Montreal's Doug Harvey and Toronto's Jim Thomson and Tod Sloan attempt to unionize the players and form a labour association. The idea does not sit will with NHL bosses, of course. Toronto GM Conn Smythe labels Thomson, the team captain, as "a traitor and quisling" and trades him and Sloan to Chicago. Detroit also is upset and unthinkably trades Ted Lindsay and goalie Glenn Hall, also to Chicago.



Habs Force PP Rules To Change: The potent power play of the nearly unbeatable Montreal Canadiens leads to a rule change that allows penalized players to return to the ice in the event of an opponent scoring. Previously teams spent the entire two minutes shorthanded which allowed teams, Montreal in particular, to blow open games in no time. In the previous season Jean Beliveau scored three power play goals in just 44 seconds, all on the same power play.


Sawchuk Quits On Bruins - It has been a weird last couple of years for Terry Sawchuk. He went from best goalie in the game to unthinkably traded to lowly Boston Bruins where he posted the league's most losses in his first season there. This season the frustration continues and becomes worse when he contracts mononucleosis. "I'm fed up, I'm quitting," he says as he walks out on January 16th, 1957. "My nerves are shot. I'm just edgy and nervous all the time." He sits out the remainder of the season but returns to the game the next season, but only after being reacquired by Detroit. Don Simmons became the Bruins go to goalie.


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