Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 23
The Stanley Cup Journal


Following a 13-season NHL career in which he played 848 regular season contests, scored 181 goals, 421 assists and collected 602 points, Bert Olmstead was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985. Here, Bert stands with linemate and fellow Honoured Member, Jean Beliveau (left) (Imperial Oil-Turofsky/HHOF)
Bert Olmstead was always passionate about the game he played. He backed down from no one and expected his teammates to show the same fire that was stored in his belly. Born in Sceptre, Saskatchewan, Murray Albert Olmstead first skated in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks for 9 games during the 1948-49 season. After scoring 20 goals in his first full NHL season, Bert was traded to Detroit along with Vic Stasiuk on December 2, 1950, with Chicago receiving Steve Black and Lee Fogolin in return. Seventeen days later, and without ever having pulled on a Red Wings sweater, Olmstead was packed off to the Montreal Canadiens for Leo Gravelle.

The big leftwinger made strong contributions to the Canadiens and in 1952-53, Bert Olmstead first sipped champagne out of the Stanley Cup. That season, he was also named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team.

The powerhouses in the National Hockey League during that era were the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens. The Red Wings won the Cup in 1952. Montreal captured it in 1953. Detroit grabbed it again in 1954 and 1955. But the game was all over in 1956 — the Montreal Canadiens dominated the NHL to such a degree at that time that they won the Stanley Cup an unprecedented five times in succession.

1955-56 was quite a year for Olmstead. He led the NHL in assists, was selected for the NHL's Second All-Star Team and to cap it off, his Canadiens won the Stanley Cup. For Bert, it was the second of five championships he would ultimately win. (Dave Sandford/HHOF)
Bert Olmstead was part of that dynasty during its first three years. During the regular season, while playing on a line with Bernie 'Boom Boom' Geoffrion and Jean Beliveau, Bert Olmstead set an NHL record by collecting 56 assists. Olmstead would continue that trend during the playoffs.

Montreal won the semi-final against the New York Rangers in 5 games, with Bert contributing 3 goals and an assist (two of those goals were in the deciding Game 5 contest).

The Stanley Cup final was like 'Showdown at the OK Corral.' The gunslingers from Detroit faced the sharpshooters from Montreal. It was certain to be one hell of a series.

In Game 1, Bert Olmstead contributed 2 assists, both on goals by Beliveau, was the Canadiens outscored the Wings 6-4. Montreal outdrew Detroit again in Game 2, winning 5-1 and Olmstead collecting 3 assists. The Red Wings rebounded 3-1 in Game 3 but Montreal brought them back to earth in Game 4 with a 3-0 whitewash. Bert Olmstead assisted on two goals, both scored by linemate Beliveau. Game 5, played April 10, 1956 in Montreal, was a 3-1 Montreal win, giving les Canadiens le Coupe Stanley. Bert Olmstead earned an assist on Montreal's third goal, a tally by Bernie Geoffrion. The assist gave Olmstead 8 during the Stanley Cup final and a league-best 10 for the entire playoff tournament.

Bert Olmstead was named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team that season.

* * *

Okotoks, Alberta. Population 11,664. Home to the new WHL franchise, the Okotoks Oilers. On August 13, Okotoks was also home to the Stanley Cup. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
The Town of Okotoks has a population of 11.664. On Saturday, August 13, that number was bumped up by one as the Stanley Cup came to town as the guest of Bert Olmstead. Bert maximized his time for the day, as everyone knew he would. Always productive, Bert at first declined a day with hockey's most cherished trophy. "I'll admit, at first I didn't want it," stated Olmstead. "I thought it was just because of the lockout that they were giving it to the old guys. I have to say I'm getting pretty excited now."

Bert started the day at the Okotoks' Seniors Centre at 7 that morning, visiting with the residents with whom he shared stories and laughs. Most of the folks there remembered Olmstead's five Stanley Cup victories — four with the Montreal Canadiens and one as a Maple Leaf.

At ten, Olmstead toted the Cup over to the Okotoks Recreation Centre where the Black Elk Hockey Camp was in session. Students, fully garbed in hockey gear, stood slack-jawed to see the Stanley Cup arrive, and were even more impressed when they discovered the man who brought it was a five-time champion. Both students and instructors gathered around the Cup, and you just know that visions of one day hoisting the Cup over their head or sipping champagne from the silver brim were running through a lot of impressionable young minds.

Later that afternoon, Bert took the Stanley Cup to the Foothills Centennial Centre where the Okotoks Oilers, the new Western Hockey League Major Junior franchise, hosted the trophy. The team, which will begin play this fall, assisted through the evening as dinner and speeches were delivered. Emcee John Gerlitz was a genial host, mixing equal quantities of warmth and laughs. "Do you know what the Edmonton Oilers and the Titanic have in common," queried Gerlitz. "Well, they both look good until they hit the ice!" The crowd, which included Okotoks' mayor Bill McAlpine, well-known Calgary Flames' trainer and Okotoks native Jim 'Bearcat' Murray, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and members of the Okotoks Oldtimers Hockey Association, roared with each punchline. "Does anyone know what the Toronto Maple Leafs and the post office have in common? They both wear uniforms but neither delivers!"

Bert took the opportunity to get his old team together. It wasn't the Hawks, Habs or Leafs; it was the Okotoks Oldtimers. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)

Bert Olmstead and his wife Nora were thanked for making the day "one of the most memorable in the history of sports here in Okotoks."

"I'm a hockey man through and through," replied Bert, who'll turn 79 on September 4. "I have a lot of love for the game and for what it means, so I'm happy to have the Stanley Cup once again. I'm excited to share this with Okotoks, I'm happy for the town, for the Olmstead family and for hockey!"

The ovation was more than well-deserved.

* * *

In 234 regular season NHL games through six seasons, Alf Pike scored 42 goals and added 77 assists for a total of 119 points.
(Imperial Oil-Turofsky/HHOF)
Alf Pike was known as 'The Embalmer' during his six-season NHL career, all spent with the New York Rangers. Born in Winnipeg in 1917, Alf was a tough customer with a scoring touch.

In 1939-40, Pike's rookie season, the Rangers finished the regular campaign in second place, just behind the reigning Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. Those same two teams met in the playoff semi-final.

The opening game went scoreless until midway through the second period, and New York went on to blank Boston 4-0. Game 2 saw the Bruins double the Rangers 4-2 in a penalty-filled contest. Brothers Muzz and Lynn Patrick scored in Game 3 but it wasn't enough as Boston edged New York 4-3. Davey Kerr, the Rangers netminder, earned his second shutout of the playoffs, backstopping the Rangers to a 1-0 win in Game 4. Game 5 was also a tight affair, with Babe Pratt's third period goal making the difference in another 1-0 win for New York and another shutout for Kerr. In Game 6, with Boston missing Art Jackson, Mel Hill and Dit Clapper to injuries, the New York Rangers eliminated the Boston Bruins by a score of 4-1. Alf Pike scored New York's first goal of the game.

The Stanley Cup final saw the Rangers challenged by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto agreed to play back-to-back games in New York because the Ringling Brothers Circus was booked for Madison Square Garden on April 4.

Just a rookie in 1939-40, Alf Pike won the Stanley Cup championship with his New York Rangers. It was the only celebration he would win during his NHL career.
(Dave Sandford/HHOF)
The final opened on April 2 in New York, and the home team narrowly defeated the Maple Leafs 2-1. Pike scored the winning goal at the 15:30 mark of overtime. Game 2 saw the Rangers spank Toronto 6-2, in spite of the fact the Leafs led 2-0 at one point. As the skaters were leaving the ice, the boards at Madison Square Garden were being dismantled so that the circus could open the next day.

Toronto won Game 3, 2-1 then followed with a 3-0 win as Turk Broda recorded the shutout.

With the series tied at two wins apiece, Game 5 saw the Leafs make some changes in their lineup. Hard-hitting Bucko McDonald and Reg Hamilton replaced Jack Church and Red Horner, but the changes were moot as New York doubled the Leafs 2-1.

In Game 6, Toronto tinkered again. Horner and Church were returned to the lineup (it would be Red Horner's final NHL game). Toronto led 2-0 until Neil Colville and Alf Pike scored in the third to tie the contest. In overtime, Bryan Hextall potted the winner to give the New York Rangers the Stanley Cup!

* * *

It's been 65 years since Alf enjoyed winning the Stanley Cup but the memories remain as clear and vibrant as the day they occurred.
(Mike Bolt/HHOF)
Alf Pike held his Stanley Cup celebration on Sunday, August 14 at the Calgary home of his grandson, R.J. Carron. Between 9 AM and noon, more than 125 friends and family members visited the Stanley Cup and the reason it was in the city, Alf Pike. Downstairs, Carron proudly had photographs displayed of his grandfather with the Cup back in 1940.

During his day with the Stanley Cup, Alf Pike took the opportunity to help raise money for the Calgary Minor Hockey Association. He dedicated the day to his family. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
Pike, who was courted for the Toronto Maple Leafs' coaching job in the late 1950's before it was awarded to Punch Imlach, will turn 88 on September 15. From his Stanley Cup-winning Rangers' team, Clint Smith already enjoyed his day with the Cup while Dutch Hiller will get it later this summer. Alex Shibicky passed away just before his turn with hockey's glorious trophy.

Through the afternoon, Pike graciously offered the Cup to help raise essential funding for the Calgary Minor Hockey Association. The Stanley Cup was displayed from 1:00 until 5:00 PM at the Chestermere Water Festival, where a donation to minor hockey earned you a photograph with the Cup. Any youngster wearing a hockey jersey received a picture for free.

Alf grew tired as the day grew longer and excused himself, knowing that he had made a difference by sharing his past glories with his adopted home.

* * *

Johnny MacMillan scored 5 goals and 10 assists for 15 points during his 104-game NHL career. Here, Johnny (right) poses with Maple Leafs' publicist Stan Obodiac.
(Imperial Oil-Turofsky/HHOF)
John MacMillan made quite a splash in this bordertown when he took the Stanley Cup to Milk River, Alberta on Monday, August 15. It seemed like a peculiar choice — he was born and raised in Lethbridge, Alberta and currently lives in Boise, Idaho where he runs an information technology company with his brother. In fact, Johnny never actually lived in Milk River. When MacMillan moved to Colorado to attend the University of Denver, his family relocated there and during university and later, when John played in the NHL, he would spend his summers in Milk River with the family.

After three seasons starring for the University of Denver Pioneers, and earning Second Team All-Star status in 1959-60, John MacMillan was signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 1960-61 season and split the campaign between the big club and their AHL affiliate in Rochester. Johnny split 1961-62 between Toronto and the AHL Pittsburgh Hornets, but when the NHL post-season began, MacMillan was on the Leafs' active roster.

Although he played just 12 playoff games during the 5 partial seasons he toiled in the NHL, MacMillan has his name engraved on the Stanley Cup twice -- 1961-62 and 1962-63. (Dave Sandford/HHOF)
Toronto was up two games to one over the New York Rangers in the semi-final when John saw his first playoff action of the season, and he played in Games 4, 5 and 6 as the Leafs eliminated the Rangers in 6 games. He didn't see any activity in the final as his Maple Leafs defeated the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks four games to two.

John dressed for Toronto in three games of the Stanley Cup final in 1962-63 as well. MacMillan was inserted into the line-up of Games 3, 4 and 5 against the Red Wings as the Maple Leafs won their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship. For a second year in a row, Johnny had his name engraved on the Stanley Cup, although in '62-63, for some inexplicable reason, John Stewart MacMillan is immortalized as 'C. MacMillan.'

* * *

JOHNNY! LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU!! As everyone who has ever been a Stanley Cup champion knows, there is always someone breathing over your shoulder trying to get their shot with the Stanley Cup. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
Hockey is born from the grassroots beginnings of communities like Milk River; the ponds and local rink in towns of 1,000 or so residents just like Milk River. So often, it is these smaller communities that spawn good, young hockey players like Johnny MacMillan. Too often in larger centres, youngsters are offered a surplus of choices but in communities like Milk River, the arena is the focal point of the region.

69-year-old John MacMillan spent two hours, starting at 10 AM, at the retirement home in Milk River and later stopping at the local hospital. At each stop, MacMillan had photo cards of himself with the Leafs that he was more than willing to sign for anyone who asked.

At noon, Johnny gathered some of his old friends and ate lunch with them. As much as he tried to catch up on the group's events, most were enthralled with the Stanley Cup's presence.

Milk River is renowned for its terrain — rich farmland surrounded by dramatic mountains and big sky so familiar to those of the Midwest. But the area is also well-known for its history. Nearby Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park showcases the petroglyphs of ancient aboriginals. The Milk River Ridge is the site where, in 1987, a local teenager discovered a nest of petrified dinosaur eggs. To celebrate the local history, Milk River has an enormous replica dinosaur beside its tourist information centre; perfect for photo souvenirs or shots with the Stanley Cup.

The Town of Milk River, Alberta proclaimed August 15 as 'Stanley Cup Day' and made Johnny MacMillan the town's honourary mayor.
(Mike Bolt/HHOF)
John and the Cup spent three hours through the afternoon as the guests of honour at the town hall. Deputy Mayor Robert Oswald read a proclamation: "Be it resolved by the council of the Town of Milk River that this 15th day of August, 2005 shall henceforth be known as 'Stanley Cup Day' in celebration of Mr. John MacMillan's return home with Lord Stanley's Cup. The council of the Town of Milk River also hereby recognizes Mr. John MacMillan as honourary mayor of Milk River." There to observe the proceedings were John's wife Jolene, his son Tavis, his mother-in-law Joanne, his brother from Medicine Hat and his sister from High River. Another friend, Wade Klippenstein, the assistant coach with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks, was also present for the honour.

Autographs and photographs followed, along with a visit with the Stanley Cup in the council chambers by the South Country Sabres, the region's midget 'A' team.

John and his family were eating dinner with the Stanley Cup at Milk River's Southgate Hotel when they came upon an idea. "Let's cross the border into Montana," John suggested. "I'll bet the Cup has never been there." The group arrived at the customs building and impressed the staff with hockey's glorious trophy. John was invited to climb to the roof of the building where he held the Stanley Cup while straddling the border -- one leg in Canada and the other in the United States.

The group decided to celebrate with a toast in a nearby bar. Sweetgrass, Montana looked like it was out of a Hollywood western. With classic old rickety buildings that looked like they were new at the turn of the previous century, all that was missing were tumbleweeds scooting across the landscape. The saloon of choice in this village of 100 citizens was the Glocca Morra. A toast was made to John MacMillan and his day with the Stanley Cup. "I think it's pretty phenomenal," MacMillan responded. "I can't find the words to describe it."

* * *

Through the course of 14 NHL seasons, spent with Chicago, Detroit and Boston, Vic Stasiuk scored 183 goals and 254 assists for a total of 437 points.
(Graphic Artists/HHOF)
To many hockey fans, Vic Stasiuk is best-known for being part of the Boston Bruins' terrific Uke Line during the late 1950's. Teamed with Johnny Bucyk and Bronco Horvath, the three Ukrainian-Canadians were the first line in NHL history to have all three members top the 20-goal plateau. But digging just a little deeper, Stasiuk had already won the Stanley Cup on three occasions as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.

Born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Vic entered the NHL through the portals of the Chicago Blackhawks during the 1949-50 season. In December 1950, Stasiuk and Bert Olmstead were shipped to Detroit in exchange for Stephen Black and Lee Fogolin. As a part-timer, traveling back and forth between the minors and the big club, Vic Stasiuk earned his first Stanley Cup championship in 1952, repeating in 1954 and 1955.

Perhaps best remembered as a member of the Uke Line in Boston, Stasiuk was no slouch in Detroit, where he helped the team win three Stanley Cup championships in the early 1950's. (Dave Sandford/HHOF)
Not long after winning the last of his three championships, Detroit GM Jack Adams shook up the league by trading Stasiuk, Marcel Bonin, Lorne Davis and Terry Sawchuk to Boston with Gilles Boisvert, Real Chevrefils, Norm Corcoran, Warren Godfrey and Ed Sandford moving to the Motor City. Vic stayed with Boston until January 1961 when a trade with Detroit returned Vic to his former team.

* * *

Vic Stasiuk brought the Stanley Cup back to his hometown on Tuesday, August 16. "I feel very privileged and honoured to bring the Cup back to Lethbridge," beamed Stasiuk.

Vic signed autographs in the parking lot of the Westminster Community Association, where once upon a time, he learned to play hockey on an outdoor rink located on the same spot, right there under the branches of Ol' Westy. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
Vic learned how to play hockey on an outdoor rink on Lethbridge's north side. The rink, long gone, was located in the shadow of a tree locals call 'Ol' Westy.' "That tree was there when I was just a little squirt going up and down the ice," Stasiuk recalled. "It was behind the west-end goal and that's where we'll have the Cup. If it wasn't for that rink, under that tree, I never would have made it (to the NHL) because that's where I learned to play."

In a tradition reserved for true champions, Vic Stasiuk lifts the Stanley Cup over his head, smiling in triumph of victories once earned.
(Mike Bolt/HHOF)
From noon until 4:00 PM, Vic Stasiuk met hockey fans in the parking lot of the Westminster Community Association, where the landmark tree is located. Signing photos of the Stanley Cup-winning Detroit Red Wings team of 1951-52, Vic encouraged donations which were to be used for building restorations of the Community Association.

After 4:00, Vic, his wife Mary, their three daughters and son returned to their home where guests awaited. Vic uncorked a bottle of champagne given to him by long-time friend Johnny Bucyk. Then, from 6:00 until 9:00 PM, the Stanley Cup was taken to the Paradise Canyon Golf Club where members, friends and family got the opportunity to fawn over the Cup. Any donations given were presented to the club's junior golf program.

Although Vic was part of three Stanley Cup-winning teams in Detroit, his name is only engraved on the world's best-known trophy twice — 1951-52 and 1954-55. In 1953-54, even though Vic played 42 games with the team, he was injured during the playoffs and his name omitted from the Cup. "We never got the chance to spend any time with it (the Stanley Cup). We didn't get to parade it around like they do today. I've seen it once since then (mid-fifties), when Jamie Pushor (of the 1996-97 Detroit Red Wings) brought it back to town a few years ago. But I was so excited to just hold it over my head that I never looked for my name!"

* * *

On Friday, Stanley Cup Journal turns the page and reveals what Wally Stanowski and Bob Hassard, both former members of the Toronto Maple Leafs, did on their day with the Cup.

Kevin Shea is the Hockey Hall of Fame's Manager, publishing and Editorial Services.
Spirit Of Hockey, shop online now!
Find out about renting the facilities at the Hockey Hall of Fame
Donate your hockey artifacts to the Hockey Hall of Fame
The Weston Harbour Castle Toronto