Skip to main content

Hockey And The Korean War

There is an absolutely fantastic hockey history article over at the Globe and Mail that I know I certainly have never heard of before, and likely you have not either.

It's about a Canadian military initiative to keep troops spirits up during the Korean War. Within ear shot of enemy forces, Canada set up a hockey rink on the Imjin River. It became the site of some heated hockey matches that brought joy and life to the armed forces stationed there.

Here's a taste of the article:
Canadian soldiers played hockey games in the winters of 1952 and 1953, although it's not clear exactly how many matches in total.

In early 1952, the Van Doos were on reserve, a pause to regroup from the front lines, when Claude Charland, then a lieutenant in command of an infantry platoon, was called to duty on the right wing. For a moment, he said, the war disappeared.

"It was like the players forgot about everything else," he said. There was no room to think about "attacks here and there, or bombs here and there. When the game was finished, we all hoped there would be a next one."

Afterward, spectators dissected the games with the kind of scrutiny usually reserved for playoff hockey "It was a tremendous morale booster," said Mr. Charland, 88.

And the best line in the article:
"I'm asked an awful lot, weren't you ever scared? And what I always say is, 'well, who would ever think of attacking 30 Canadian soldiers with hockey sticks in their hands?' " said Mr. Moore.
Read the full article here.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M