Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 14
The Stanley Cup Journal

Kenny Mosdell, 83 years old just 4 days earlier, celebrates the arrival of the Stanley Cup in Pointe Claire, Quebec with his beautiful wife Lorraine.
(Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
At noon on Sunday, July 17, Kenny Mosdell and his wife Lorraine met the Stanley Cup in front of Le Cambridge, their Pointe Claire, Quebec seniors' residence. Behind the happy couple stood other family members, including grandson Jason Renard, who played last season with Sorel-Tracy Mission of the North American Hockey League. The beautiful Stanley Cup was carried upstairs and placed in the Mosdells' lovely apartment, which is hung with photos of Kenny as a young star.

Kenny was wearing a Stanley Cup ring and a white Canadiens' sweater with a red 'C' crest (as opposed to a Ryan Seacrest). "We got the rings a few years ago," Kenny said. "And this sweater was given to me the night they closed the Forum." Times were different when Kenny Mosdell won the first of his four Stanley Cup championships. "I received a silver lighter with my number 18 engraved on it," Kenny smiles.

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In 693 regular season NHL games, split between the Brooklyn Americans, Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens, Kenny Mosdell scored 141 goals and 168 assists for 309 points. He was a First Team All-Star in 1954 and was selected for the Second Team in 1955.
(Bill Galloway/HHOF)
Although Mosdell broke into the NHL with the Brooklyn Americans in 1941-42, he was ecstatic when his rights were obtained by his hometown Montreal Canadiens after the Americans' franchise suspended operation. After the war, Kenny joined Montreal in 1944-45.

Although he was loaned to the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League for part of the 1945-46 season, he was with the big club for the final 13 games of the regular season and was on the roster as the Canadiens entered the playoffs. The semi-finals saw first-place Montreal facing the third-place Chicago Blackhawks, who they beat in four games straight. Mosdell scored a pair of goals to help the Canadiens' cause.

Montreal faced the red hot Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup final. Game 1 was a 4-3 Montreal win at home, followed by a 3-2 win for the Canadiens in Game 2. The series resumed in Boston for Game 3; a 4-2 win for the Canadiens with Mosdell contributing the fourth goal for Montreal early in the third period. A first period goal, Montreal's second, had been originally awarded to Kenny but was later attributed to have been scored by Glen Harmon.

Boston bounced back in Game 4 to avert a sweep by Montreal. The Bruins edged the Canadiens 3-2 on an overtime goal by former Hab Terry Reardon.

Kenny Mosdell has his name engraved on the Stanley Cup four times -- 1946, 1953, 1956 and 1959 -- all with the Montreal Canadiens. (Dave Sandford/HHOF)
Game 5 returned to Montreal, with the Canadiens hoping to win the Stanley Cup on home ice and Boston battling furiously to prevent that occurrence. Bill Cowley opened the scoring with a goal for the Bruins but Bob Fillion returned the favour to even the score. Bobby Bauer scored for Boston later in the first but Elmer Lach and Kenny Mosdell both pumped in goals to put Montreal up 3-2 at the conclusion of the first period.

Milt Schmidt evened the contest with the second period's only marker but Montreal hammered the nails into the Bruins' coffin in the third, returning with goals in quick succession from Toe Blake, Murph Chamberlain and Dutch Hiller. The game was over and so were the Bruins' chances. The Montreal Canadiens had won the Stanley Cup! Kenny Mosdell, in just his second NHL season, scored 4 goals and had 1 assist to help his team.

It was Mosdell's first championship, but not his last. Kenny and the Canadiens won again in 1953, 1956 and 1959. On April 16, 1953, after Elmer Lach scored at 1:22 of overtime to give Montreal the win and the Stanley Cup championship, Kenny skated around the ice surface at the Montreal Forum with his four-year old daughter Bonny. After the Stanley Cup win on April 10, 1956, Mosdell announced his retirement, although he returned to play the next season with the Chicago Blackhawks, then joined the Canadiens for two games in 1957-58 and for three playoff games in 1958-59 after Jean Beliveau cracked two vertebrae when he was crashed into the boards by Chicago's Glenn Skov in Game 3 of the semi-final.

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Kenny wears his Stanley Cup ring and the sweater he was given at the closing of the Montreal Forum as he points to his name on the Stanley Cup.
(Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
The sign on the entertainment room at Le Cambridge indicated that Kenny Mosdell would be hosting the Stanley Cup between 1:00 and 5:00 that afternoon. Many of the residents were already waiting for Mosdell when he arrived with the Stanley Cup. "I couldn't sleep last night I was so excited," he announced. Through that afternoon, Kenny met many friends and told hockey stories. "What was 'The Rocket' like," asked one gentleman. "Best player ever," replied Kenny immediately. "I roomed with The Rocket for ten years. The Rocket was fiery. Boy, was he ever. The coach paid me a little money on the side to make sure that The Rocket didn't get into any trouble on or off the ice. I was The Rocket's only English friend and I was honoured when I was asked to be a pallbearer at his funeral back in 2000 at Notre Dame Cathedral. I was proud to call him a friend!"

83-year old Kenny, who celebrated his birthday just four days earlier, insisted that he stay with the Stanley Cup for duration of its time in Pointe Claire. "Tomorrow, I'm going to the casino," said Mosdell. After being beside the Stanley Cup all afternoon, we can only hope it brought Kenny much luck.

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Some call him 'Bobby.' Others call him 'Robert.' All that matters is that this man is a very proud Stanley Cup champion. (Pascale Robillard)
The next day, Monday, July 18, Mosdell's Montreal teammate, Robert Fillion, had his day with the Stanley Cup. Except…he didn't know it!

Bob Fillion, whose July 12th birthday is just one day earlier than Kenny Mosdell's, was taken to the Domaine de Rouville Golf Club for a small birthday get-together with a few family and friends. But when he arrived, expecting to see but a few people, Robert was greeted by the raucous applause of more than forty people. Looking around the room, Bob beamed, seeing long-time friends, fellow golfers and many family members. In fact, he was so surprised to see all the people that he missed his extra-special birthday surprise. "Uncle Robert, look beside you," advised his nephew, Francois Fillion. There, not fifteen feet away, sat the Stanley Cup!

It was difficult for Robert to disguise his emotions. He was thrilled beyond compare. After winning the Stanley Cup as a rookie with the Canadiens in 1943-44, then again in 1945-46, Bobby got the chance to embrace hockey's most glorious reward. And this time, he got to share it with those people who mean the most to him.

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Robert Fillion spent his entire 327-game NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens, scoring 42 goals and assisting on 61 more for 103 points. His brother Marcel played a single game in the NHL, dressing for Boston
in 1944-45. (HHOF Archives)
Robert, who was born in Thetford Mines, Quebec in 1921, was called 'Bobby' when he joined the Canadiens in 1943-44, and the engraving on the Cup that year shows the rookie's name as 'Bob Fillion.' That year, Bobby dressed for the first game of the playoffs; a contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He didn't see further action until Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

In 1945-46, Bobby had become Robert, and Robert became a star in the playoffs. In Game 1 of the semi-final against Chicago, Fillion picked up an assist in a 6-2 Montreal win. He scored the opening goal in Game 2's 5-1 win. Robert scored a goal and added an assist (on Kenny Mosdell's goal) in Montreal's 8-2 thrashing of the Hawks in Game 3. The series concluded with a 7-2 spanking in Game 4, with Robert contributing an assist on the seventh and final Montreal goal.

In the final, les Canadiens were being challenged by the Boston Bruins. Robert scored Montreal's second goal in a 4-3 win in Game 1. Montreal won Game 2 3-2 and Game 3 by a 4-2 score. Boston fought hard and came up with an overtime win in Game 4 but it was a moot point. The Canadiens steamrolled Boston 6-3 on April 9, 1946 to win the Stanley Cup. Robert Fillion collected a goal, Montreal's first, in the pivotal game. On the Stanley Cup that year, the engraving reads: 'Robert Fillion.'

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It was a whale of a surprise party for 84-year old Bob Fillion, with the Stanley Cup as a very special guest at the Domaine de Rouville Golf Club. (Pascale Robillard)
Rouville is a small community close to the Quebec towns of Beloeil, Chambly and St. Hilaire in the southwestern corner of Quebec, east of Montreal. Robert Fillion Jr. is the assistant manager of the golf course, which also houses what is likely the largest campground in North America. Both Robert Fillions drank champagne out of the Stanley Cup together — a proud father with his equally proud son.

Photographs were taken of Robert with his friends, family and the Stanley Cup. Then, a foursome comprised of Robert Sr., Robert Jr., Nelson Fillion Jr. and Serge Dagenais decided to take advantage of the beautiful day to play a round of golf on the breathtaking course. The two seniors in the group — Robert Sr. and Serge Dagenais — taught the younger generation a lesson. Dagenais, still a 'AA' competitor on the amateur circuit, swore that he could have scored in the low 80's had he putted just a little better. 84-year old Robert Fillion almost scored his age, finishing with an impressive 87. The younger players hid their scorecards so we couldn't report their scores.

Robert Fillion won the Stanley Cup as a rookie in 1943-44. Two years later, he enjoyed another Stanley Cup celebration.
(Dave Sandford/HHOF)
The Stanley Cup was taken to show the campers on-site, then was brought back to the clubhouse in time for dinner. More photos were taken of friends and family who were unable to visit the Stanley Cup earlier in the day.

With Tampa Bay's victory in June 2004, the final spot was taken on the bottom row of the Stanley Cup's base. With the next winner, the top band will be removed and permanently retired to the Hockey Hall of Fame, then each subsequent band will be moved up so that a new band can be added to the bottom. But with the retirement of the top band comes the removal of thirteen Stanley Cup championship teams — 1940-41 to 1952-53. And with that band's retirement, Bobby/Robert Fillion will no longer have his name displayed on the Stanley Cup. "Sure, it makes me a little sad," he said. "But I still won those Stanley Cups as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, and no one can ever take that away from me." Kleenexes dabbed moistened eyes. "Je suis tres fier! I am very proud!"

There may never have been a surprise birthday party quite like it!

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Enjoy the weekend, then join us again Tuesday as Stanley Cup Journal visits beautiful British Columbia and celebrates with Howie Meeker, Harry Taylor, Clint Smith and salutes the memory of Alex Shibicky.

Kevin Shea is the Manager of Publishing and Editorial Services at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
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