Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 18
The Stanley Cup Journal

Enio Sclisizzi, who began his NHL life as James Enio, played 81 regular season games through parts of 5 NHL seasons and scored 12 goals and 11 assists in the process. Here, Sclisizzi stars with the AHL's Indianapolis Capitals. (Hockey Hall of Fame)
If Enio Sclisizzi has any sort of identity crisis, he has every reason to be excused.

Born 80 years ago in Milton, Ontario, just west of Toronto, James Enio Sclisizzi joined the Detroit Red Wings for his first-ever NHL game on April 5, 1947, a semi-final playoff contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sid Abel was out with pleurisy and Cliff Simpson injured his shoulder so Sclisizzi was summoned from the Wings' AHL affiliate in Indianapolis where he had scored 20 goals during the regular season.

"('Hockey Night in Canada' broadcaster) Foster Hewitt couldn't pronounce my last name, so he said, 'I'm going to call you Jim Enio,'" laughs Sclisizzi, recalling the story. "Hey, I was a young guy getting a chance to play in the NHL so who was I to argue with Foster Hewitt? I was new. I didn't want to cause a ruckus."

The Leafs buried Detroit 6-1 that night, ending the Red Wings dreams of winning the Stanley Cup for another year. Enio returned to Milton, but that fall, was in the line-up when Detroit opened the 1947-48 season at home hosting the Chicago Blackhawks. Detroit doubled the Hawks 4-2, but Enio was sent back to Indianapolis where he spent most of that season. He returned to the parent club for the playoff run and then was part of the Red Wings' roster when Detroit faced New York in the semi-final, but did not dress in the Stanley Cup final against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Foster Hewitt had a field day pronouncing 'Sclisizzi' in 1948-49 when Enio was a regular leftwinger with the Red Wings, scoring 9 goals and 8 assists in 50 regular season contests. In the postseason, Enio played in the first three games of the semi-final against Montreal but didn't dress again until the final two games of the season — two losses to the Stanley Cup-winning Toronto Maple Leafs. Sclisizzi played on a line with fellow rookies Freddy Glover and Jerry Reid.

Again in 1949-50, Enio started the season with the Detroit Red Wings but after the first 4 games, found himself back in Indianapolis with Glover and Reid. The Red Wings dominated the NHL, finishing the regular season in first place with 88 points; 11 more than second place Montreal.

Detroit defeated the reigning Stanly Cup champion Maple Leafs in seven games during the semi-final, then met the New York Rangers for the Stanley Cup. It took seven strenuous contests to decide a winner but when the dust had cleared, the ledger showed the Detroit Red Wings as Stanley Cup champions for the first time since 1943. A goal by Pete Babando at 8:31 of second overtime gave Detroit the win. Enio Sclisizzi cheered on his pals from his Indianapolis apartment.

The Red Wings graciously added Enio's name to the list of 1952 champions but when the bands were re-configured in 1957, the name 'Enio Sclisizzi' no longer graced the Stanley Cup. (Dave Sandford/HHOF)
Enio didn't see NHL action again until January 1952. The Red Wings were in the midst of another season as regular season champions, the fourth in a row for Detroit. Sclisizzi joined the team for 9 games that month, but again, was returned to the AHL Indianapolis Capitals. Detroit steamrolled over Toronto in the semi-final, sweeping the series in four straight, including two shutouts by Wings' netminder Terry Sawchuk. Pitted against the Montreal Canadiens in the final, Detroit again won the series with relative ease, dumping Montreal in four straight including back-to-back shutouts for Sawchuk in Games 3 and 4 on Detroit home ice. The Detroit Red Wings were Stanley Cup champions! On April 13, in the penultimate game of the 1951-52 season, brothers Jerry and Pete Cusimano began a Detroit tradition when they tossed an octopus on the ice at the Olympia. The eight tentacles of the octopus represented the eight playoff games needed to win the Stanley Cup at that time.

The Cup was engraved that summer, and Detroit recognized Enio Sclisizzi's 9-game contribution during the regular season by including him on Lord Stanley's trophy. But wait! When the bands on the Stanley Cup were re-designed to standardize the sizes in 1957, the name 'Enio Sclisizzi' was left off!

* * *

Enio Sclisizzi (left) and Harry Howell participated in the Golfing 4 Cancer tournament in Milton, Ontario. Enio was a Stanley Cup champion in 1952. Harry Howell played 21 superb seasons in the NHL yet didn't enjoy a Stanley Cup championship until 1990 when he was scouting for the Edmonton Oilers. (Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
The Stanley Cup visited Enio Sclisizzi (or Jim Enio) in his hometown of Milton, Ontario on Monday, July 11. Enio was taking part in the Golfing 4 Cancer Tournament at the Hornby Glen Golf Course in Milton. Since 1994, organizer Mike Boughton and his team of volunteers have raised close to $500,000, which provides transportation to cancer appointments for Milton residents, whether those treatments are in Toronto, Hamilton, London or at some other destination.

This year, 288 golfers supported the fund-raiser, which also took 40 volunteers to organize and execute. 100 guests, including Hall of Fame defenseman Harry Howell and Enio Sclisizzi, also took part. The Stanley Cup made its appearance at 8 am and was placed at the 18th hole. As each foursome arrived, they got their photographs taken with Lord Stanley's legacy.

Modest but proud, Enio discussed the Stanley Cup omission. "I was called up to the Wings for injury purposes that season," he explained. "During the finals, they brought me up again but I sat on the bench. We won in eight straight games — they didn't want to tinker with the chemistry."

Enio was traded with Fred Glover to Chicago that summer and played 14 more NHL games. He spent the remainder of his career in the minors, scoring proficiently with American Hockey League and Western Hockey League teams. A crosscheck from behind ended his career in 1959.

Although he is a Stanley Cup champion, Enio doesn't recall much about the series that took place 53 years ago. "It's hard enough to remember what I had for breakfast," he jokes.

* * *

Playing parts of 5 seasons in Toronto and one in Boston, Ed Chadwick won 57, lost 92 and tied 35 in 184 regular season contests. He collected 14 shutouts and finished his career with a goals against average of 2.94. (Imperial Oil-Turofsky/HHOF)
Ed Chadwick never won the Stanley Cup as a player during his six seasons as an NHL netminder. In fact, he never played in a single NHL playoff game. Yet, Ed Chadwick is a Stanley Cup champion nonetheless.

Part of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization since 1950, Chadwick made his NHL debut on February 8, 1956 tending goal for Toronto when regular netminder Harry Lumley was injured. In his first contest, Chadwick held the mighty Montreal Canadiens to a 1-1 tie, followed by a 1-1 tie in his second contest. In his third game, Ed earned his first big league shutout, blanking the Rangers 5-0. After yet another 1-1 draw, this time against Chicago, Ed earned another shutout, slamming the door on Boston 1-0. As he wiped the sweat from his forehead and undid his goal pads, Ed was told that Lumley was ready to return and was sent back to the Winnipeg warriors of the WHL, even though he had yet to lose in the NHL, had posted 2 shutouts and had a microscopic goals against average of 0.60.

Although he never won the Stanley Cup as a player, Ed Chadwick has his name on the Stanley Cup three times as a scout on the Edmonton Oilers staff, where he also worked with Harry Howell.
(Dave Sandford/HHOF)
Ed was the Leafs' regular netminder in 1956-57 and 1957-58, playing every single game of the 70-game schedule. But by 1958, the Maple Leafs had secured Johnny Bower and Ed was shunted to the minors. He played just 4 games with Toronto in 1959-60 and was traded to the Boston Bruins for Don Simmons in January 1961. That season, Ed played 4 games with Boston, with Don Head and Bruce Gamble shouldering the rest of the schedule. That would end Chadwick's NHL playing career, although he would be owned by Detroit and Chicago before he retired.

But although Ed Chadwick's netminding never backstopped a Stanley Cup champion, he has his name engraved on the trophy three times. After retiring as a player in 1968, Ed turned his attention to scouting. Through his career, Chadwick scouted for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Oakland Seals, the New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres before joining the Edmonton Oilers in 1981. Assisting in the compilation of a championship squad through the Oilers' dynasty years, Ed Chadwick has his name on the Stanley Cup in 1984-85, 1986-87 and 1989-90. By the way, Harry Howell was a scout for that Oilers' championship squad in 1990, too.

* * *

Ed Chadwick shared the Stanley Cup with friends at the Fort Erie Golf Club. I can assure you, no one mistook Lord Stanley's bowl for an elaborate tee holder or ballwasher.
(Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
Weather delayed the arrival of the Stanley Cup in Fort Erie, Ontario by approximately five hours on Friday, July 22, but it didn't crimp Ed Chadwick's day with the trophy. The Cup was taken to Fort Erie Golf Club where Ed was hosting a tournament to raise money for a local family who had lost a son to cancer. The tournament was in progress so Ed simply put the Stanley Cup in a golf cart and drove to every single hole in order to meet each of the golfers. The registrants were thrilled to see the Stanley Cup; even moreso when the host pointed out his name engraved on the trophy.

After visiting the course, Chadwick took the Cup to the reception, where caterers were laying out a buffet of chicken, ribs and salads. As each foursome completed its day, they retired to the reception building where they could get a photograph taken with Lord Stanley's gift. A raffle was held for sports memorabilia. One magnificent piece was a framed montage of every Toronto Maple Leaf goalie, including Ed Chadwick, who shone during the 1950's sandwiched between Hall of Famers Harry Lumley and Johnny Bower.

There's not a refreshment in the world that doesn't taste better when it's sipped from the Stanley Cup. Ed Chadwick savoured every drop of his favourite beverage!
(Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
Ed was particularly pleased to hear that the family that had been the intended recipient of the proceeds had been well cared for by the community, and had in turn donated the money to another family who could use the proceeds from Ed Chadwick's charity golf tournament.

By 8 pm, the Cup had been packed away and a grateful Ed Chadwick waved goodbye following an entertaining and very successful day.

* * *

George Armstrong first wore the Maple Leaf blue and white for two games during December 1949. A regular since 1952-53, Armstrong had proven to be an effective forward but an even stronger leader.

The Toronto Maple Leafs struggled through the 1950's missing the playoffs in 1953, 1957 and 1958. In each of the remaining years (1952, 1954, 1955 and 1956), the Detroit Red Wings rolled over Toronto in the semi-finals in what was becoming an annual ritual, much to the amusement of the Motown faithful. But things changed in 1959. Coach Punch Imlach had taken the reins of the team and Johnny Bower had taken over from Ed Chadwick in the Leafs' crease. All-star Red Kelly had been secured from the Detroit Red Wings. The young Turks — Carl Brewer, Bobby Baun, Bob Pulford and Billy Harris from the Marlboros and Frank Mahovlich, Dick Duff and Tim Horton from St. Mike's — had hit their stride. And George Armstrong had assumed the captaincy prior to the 1957-58 season.

While serving as captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs for 12 seasons, more than any other Toronto captain, George Armstrong accepted the Stanley Cup 4 times on behalf of his teammates. That, too, is more than any other Maple Leaf captain. Syl Apps was captain for 3, Ted Kennedy for 2 and Bob Davidson and Hap Day were captains for one championship each. (Graphic Artists/HHOF)
In 1959, Toronto reached the Stanley Cup final for the first time since 1951, but the Montreal Canadiens proved too strong and won the NHL championship. The same scenario played itself out in the spring of 1960. In 1961, Detroit (who else?) eliminated the Leafs in the semi-final. But then, the decade belonged to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Armstrong-led blue and white reeled off three consecutive Stanley Cup championships — 1962, 1963 and 1964. The Maple Leaf dynasty had been revived.

By 1966-67, the Maple Leafs were appearing tired. Netminder Johnny Bower had turned 42 and Terry Sawchuk 37. Defencemen Tim Horton, Allan Stanley and Marcel Pronovost were 37, 41 and 36 respectively. Red Kelly had turned 39. George Armstrong was 36. The core of the team had remained intact for eight years. No one gave the Maple Leafs, who hobbled to a third place finish, much hope in winning the Stanley Cup. In fact, the Chicago Blackhawks had been the dominant team all season, collecting 94 points for a first place finish. But no one took into account the cunning of a veteran team with strong desire.

The results of the semi-final between Toronto and Chicago were a foregone conclusion to most hockey aficionados. Game 1, broadcast in five Toronto-area movie theatres, saw the Hawks blast Toronto 5-2. The Leafs rebounded with back-to-back 3-1 wins, but George Armstrong hurt his right knee in Game 2 after being hit by Bobby Hull. Chicago edged Toronto 4-3 in Game 4 but again, the Maple Leafs summoned a reserve to win 4-2 in Game 5. Armstrong returned for Game 6 and with the Leafs more determined than ever, eliminated Chicago by winning Game 6 3-1.

With a team stocked with so many veterans in their late thirties or early forties, it might have made more sense had the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Grey Cup! Nevertheless, in 1966-67, the Armstrong-led Leafs proudly won their 4th Stanley Cup championship of that decade. (Dave Sandford/HHOF)
The Stanley Cup final couldn't have been more apropos. With Montreal-situated Expo 67 showcasing Canada's attributes to the world, the two Canadian NHL teams — Toronto and Montreal --- were competing for the Stanley Cup.

George Armstrong was platooned with young Brian Conacher on a line with Dave Keon and Frank Mahovlich. Montreal drew first blood, slicing the Leafs 6-2. Although Terry Sawchuk started the game in goal, he was replaced by Johnny Bower in the third after Montreal's fifth goal.

With Bower in goal, Toronto shut out Montreal 3-0 in Game 2, then edged the Canadiens 3-2 in the third contest. Montreal exacted revenge in Game 4, blitzing Terry Sawchuk and Toronto 6-2.

In Game 5, with Sawchuk back in the crease, the Maple Leafs won 4-1. Canadiens' netminder Rogie Vachon was replaced by veteran Gump Worsley in the third period.

Game 6 took place May 2 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. Hall of Fame netminders faced each other from opposite ends of the ice — Worsley for Montreal and Sawchuk for Toronto. Ron Ellis and Jim Pappin tallied for the Leafs in the second period but Montreal wasn't going to go down without a scrap. Dickie Duff scored for the Habs early in the third to close the gap.

With less than a minute remaining and Montreal buzzing like a hive of angry bees, Canadiens' coach pulled the Gumper for an added attacker. Toronto bench boss Punch Imlach countered by sending defenseman Allan Stanley out to take the faceoff against Jean Beliveau. Stanley won the draw, pulling the puck to Red Kelly. Kelly got it to Bob Pulford who saw George Armstrong streaking up the right side. Receiving the pass just over the blueline, Armstrong cradled the puck, continued a few strides over the centre red line, then fired the puck into the gaping net. The insurance goal ensured that Toronto would be the recipient of the Stanley Cup for 1967!

George Armstrong skated to centre ice, his son and teammates beside him, and accepted hockey's highest prize from NHL president Clarence Campbell.

* * *

Danny Lewicki (left) and George Armstrong played integral roles in the Allan Cup championship won by the senior Toronto Marlboros in 1949-50. Danny collected 42 points and George 38 in the 17 Allan Cup playoff games that spring.
(Imperial Oil-Turofsky/HHOF)
Having celebrated his 75th birthday on July 6, George Armstrong turned his day with the Stanley Cup into a family affair. The beautiful trophy was taken to Vaughan -- the City Above Toronto' -- on Wednesday, July 27. The trophy was met at 1:30 that afternoon by George's son Fred, who had reserved a place of honour for the Stanley Cup — a table draped in a Toronto Maple Leafs banner with another one hanging behind. Fred, his wife Wendy and children Kaylee and Jessica, were thrilled to have the Stanley Cup in their home. The Stanley Cup party was slated to run 'from 2 to 2.' A few close friends showed up as well as Fred's sister Betty-Ann and brothers Brian and Lorne. About 3 that afternoon, George and Betty Armstrong arrived.

Fred Armstrong had secured video footage of his Dad's Stanley Cup wins. While screening the final contest of the 1967 Stanley Cup playoffs, George added commentary that alternated between hilarious and illuminating. "Did you know that Stemkowski takes credit for scoring the winning goal that year? He never even touched the puck! Pappin took the shot and it hit a skate (Terry Harper's) and went in. Pappin got the goal. No one else touched it."

George Armstrong (left) joined the Maple Leafs in 1951-52, and was placed on a line with Max Bentley (centre) and Danny Lewicki (right). Lewicki and Bentley were part of the dramatic Stanley Cup championship of 1951. (Imperial Oil-Turofsky/HHOF)
Brian talked about being on the ice with his father when the Maple Leafs were presented with the Stanley Cup in 1967. "Oh yeah, I remember that well," he said. "I didn't realize how cool it was at the time, but I sure do now." Someone brought over a picture of the celebration, and there stands Brian, grinning ear to ear standing beside his Dad, the captain of the Stanley Cup champion Toronto Maple Leafs.

George told other terrific stories, too, including a wonderful baseball story. "When I came up to the Leafs in 1951, I guess the word got around that I had been a pretty fair ball player back home," started George. "The Toronto Maple Leafs baseball club (a semi-pro club owned by Jack Kent Cooke, former owner of the Los Angeles Kings) asked if I wanted to join them for an exhibition game against the St. Louis Browns (of baseball's Major Leagues). I only got one at-bat, and it was against (Hall of Fame pitcher) Satchel Paige."

One of the greatest captains of all-time, George Armstrong had a stranglehold on the Stanley Cup during the 1960's, accepting the trophy on behalf of his teammates in 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1967. (Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
"The catcher for the Browns was a guy named (Matt) Batts, who had had a try-out with the Leafs. I stepped into the batter's box and he said, 'This pitch is going to be a curve on the outside.' I thought he was trying to mess me up so I looked for a fastball down the middle but sure enough, it was a curve on the outside. The he said, 'This one's going to be in the same place.' I was so sure he was trying to mess with me this time that I thought, 'Ah ha!' I looked for a pitch inside, I looked for a pitch down the middle but again, the ball went right where the catcher said. Well, by this time, I was so messed up trying to figure whether Batts was trying to help me or hurt me that I psyched myself out. Batts said, 'Right down the middle, George.' By this time, I was so messed up trying to second-guess the catcher that the pitch came right down the middle of the plate and I stood there and was called out on three straight strikes! But at least I can say I had one at-bat against the great Satchel Paige!"

Other guests drifted into the party through the afternoon, including George's nephew, former NHL star Dale McCourt, and former Leaf teammate Bob Hassard.

The video of the 1967 Stanley Cup final continued, and George commented, "J.C. Tremblay wasn't the biggest guy, but he was a really good defenseman." Someone else commented on Red Kelly's surprising transition from being a defenseman in Detroit to playing forward in Toronto. George wasn't surprised.

Armstrong looks on as his granddaughter points out her Grandpa's name on the Stanley Cup during a party at the Vaughan, Ontario home of George's son Fred.
(Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
"Detroit used him there when they had injuries so we knew he'd make a great centre."

Armstrong proceeded to explain about Stanley Cup celebrations during the 1960's. "When we won the Cup in '67, I got the Cup at centre ice and then we took it right off the ice. We put it on a table in the dressing room and the team looked at it. There was a party at the Westbury Hotel (a hotel less than a block behind Maple Leaf Gardens) and then there was a parade. That was it. We never saw the Cup again!"

George's jokes continued as sandwiches and salads were served. "Hey, you can't ride your bike today," George told a neighbourhood youngster. "Why not?" George glanced at the kid, then looked back at the party-goers. "Because your bike's two tired!" The boy stared blankly at the Leaf legend while the family and friends roared with laughter.

The Stanley Cup stayed all day long on the table in the Vaughan home of George's son, with George posing with the trophy amidst some of hockey memorabilia while laughing with the gathering. At midnight, Fred's hockey teammates arrived to get a photo with the Stanley Cup. One of the guys asked if he could get a picture of the Stanley Cup seated in his Corvette, so George carried Lord Stanley's mug out to the car for a photo. Just before 2 am, the happy group thanked George and Betty for the opportunity and the revelers made their way home. As the Cup was packed away, George and Betty Armstrong also pulled away after a memorable day.

* * *

Danny Lewicki grew up in a rough part of Fort William, Ontario (Fort William amalgamated with Port Arthur to form the City of Thunder Bay). Hockey likely saved him from being involved with the 'wrong crowd.' Even as a 15-year old, Lewicki was the leading scorer on the Fort William Knights of Columbus junior team. In 1947-48, he joined the Port Arthur West End Bruins, who faced the Barrie Flyers for the Memorial Cup. Danny scored the tournament-winning goal in overtime to give his team the junior championship of Canada. Danny collected 40 points in 17 playoff games to lead his Bruins to victory.

In 1949-50, Lewicki joined the Toronto Marlboros of the junior loop. That spring, he graduated to the senior Marlboros, who were competing for the Allan Cup as the senior champions of Canada. In 17 games, Danny led in every offensive category available, collecting 22 goals and 22 assists for 42 points to lead the Marlies to an Allan Cup victory in 1950.

With two hockey championships already under his teenaged belt, Danny Lewicki became a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1950-51. As a 19-year old rookie leftwinger, Lewicki notched 16 goals and 18 assists and celebrated his twentieth birthday as the Leafs prepared to challenge for the Stanley Cup.

Game 1 of the semi-final between Toronto and Boston was a tough 2-0 win for the Bruins. But if Game 1 was a battle, then Game 2 was a war. Toronto's Fleming Mackell and Boston's Pete Horeck served fighting majors in the first period that spawned a brouhaha in the second. Milt Schmidt, captain of the Bruins, highsticked his Toronto counterpart, leaving Ted Kennedy with a 5-stitch cut. Bill Barilko came to the rescue of his captain and was given a ten-minute misconduct. Johnny Peirson slashed a Leaf and was rewarded with a broken cheekbone that eliminated him from the rest of the playoffs. Horeck and Jimmy Thomson of Toronto tussled later in the period. Ed Sandford challenged Thomson in the third, and both were penalized. Ted Kennedy went after Sandford later in the period and the two were given the gate. With the score tied 1-1, the contest went into overtime and the fighting didn't even stop then. Bill Barilko of the Leafs took Dunc Fisher into the boards so hard, he split his head for 12 stitches. Pete Horeck then went toe to toe with 'Bashin' Bill' and both were sent off, with Horeck sporting a 10-stitch gash over his left eye. Boston's Murray Henderson and Joe Klukay of Toronto each took 4 stitches after bumping heads.

And then the game ended. In Toronto at that time, there was a curfew that prohibited hockey from being played past 11:45 pm. For the final time in NHL history, a playoff contest went into the history books as a tie game. Although the final score was 1-1, there were clearly other scores that needed to be settled.

Game 3 continued in the same vein as its predecessor. Former Leaf Bill Ezinicki, along with Bruins teammate Steve Kraftcheck, wrestled with the Leafs' Jimmy Thomson and Ray Timgren. When Kraftcheck stepped out of the penalty box, Bill Juzda stepped up to bat and proceeded to land a haymaker that sent Kraftcheck reeling. When the dust (and few accounts) settled, the Maple Leafs had shut out the Bruins 3-0.

Lewicki didn't play in Game 4, a tamer game that finished with a 3-1 Leaf win, and only made one brief appearance in Game 5's 4-1 win for Toronto. The Maple Leafs finished off the Bruins decisively with a 6-0 spanking.

The Stanley Cup final pitted Toronto against the Montreal Canadiens. Danny didn't play in Game 1, a 3-2 overtime win for Toronto with Sid Smith scoring the deciding goal. The Canadiens reversed the fortunes in Game 2 winning 3-2 on an overtime tally from Maurice Richard.

Game 3 also went into overtime, as did Game 4. In the former, Toronto won 2-1 on a Ted Kennedy goal while the Leafs also won the latter on a Harry Watson marker.

Danny Lewicki enjoyed his only Stanley Cup win as a highly-touted rookie in 1951. In 4 years with the Leafs, 4 in New York and one in Chicago, Danny scored 105 goals and 135 assists for 240 points in 461 regular season games. (DaveSandford/HHOF)
Game 5, played at Maple Leaf Gardens on April 21, 1951, looked like it was going to be a Montreal win as the Canadiens led 2-1 with less than a minute of play. But Tod Sloan stuffed home a puck off the goalpost at 19:28 to tie the contest.

The game went into overtime. Although fans paid for the whole seat, they were only using the edge when Bill Barilko galloped in from his post on the blueline to slap a backhand shot past Gerry McNeill, giving the Toronto Maple Leafs the win…and the Cup!

"It was such an unusual series in that all five games went into overtime," recalls Lewicki. "It was one of the highlights of my life."

The Stanley Cup was carried by Ted Kennedy into the Maple Leafs' dressing room. "They brought it in and then they whisked it out," Danny recalls. "We didn't even get the chance to touch it."

After the extraordinary rookie campaign, Danny Lewicki played portions of three more seasons with Toronto and then was sold to the New York Rangers during the summer of 1954. Although he was selected to the NHL's Second All-Star Team in 1955, Lewicki would never reach hockey nirvana after 1951. Four seasons on Broadway were followed by a season with Chicago.

* * *

Through the 1950's, Danny played four seasons in Toronto, four in New York and one in Chicago, but enjoyed his best team successes with the Maple Leafs.
(Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
It took 54 years, but Danny was finally able to touch the Stanley Cup when the trophy was taken to his Mississauga, Ontario home on Thursday, July 28.

Danny has enjoyed a 35-year friendship with a group of ten guys from the Skyline Health Club. For the past seven years, Danny has hosted an annual barbecue, so when he adjusted the date of the yearly get-together to coincide with his date with the Stanley Cup, the boys were only too happy to adjust their schedules.

The Stanley Cup arrived at 1:00 pm, and was carried into the backyard of Danny and his wife Shirley's lovely home. Most of the guests were already waiting and slowly, went over to examine the magnificent historical trophy. "Danny, where's your name," asked a close friend. Danny pointed to his spot on the 1951 Stanley Cup-winning Toronto Maple Leafs engraving, found on the uppermost band of the Cup.

Truth be told, Danny's name isn't truly on the Stanley Cup. On closer inspection, you'll note someone named 'Daniel Lewiski.' In fact, it was an engraving error. When the trophy was originally inscribed, it read 'Daniel Lewicki,' but in 1957, the bands were re-done and the silversmith made an error. And when working in silver, White-Out or backspacing just don't cut it.

One friend arrived wearing a Boston Bruins' sweater. "Hey, you can't wear that here," Danny laughed. "Someone get me my hockey stick!"

Danny entertained his pals from the Skyline Health Club with a barbecue at his Mississauga, Ontario home and a private viewing of the Stanley Cup that Lewicki won with the Leafs in 1951. (Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
Former Leaf Gary Collins was also at the Lewickis' Stanley Cup party. Although Gary played 2 playoff games with Toronto in 1959 and was in the Maple Leafs system for most of the 1950's, he and Danny became friends playing in the Canadiens' organization with the Quebec Aces in 1960-61.

Lewicki regaled the group with stories. "Tell us about 'Rocket' Richard," demanded one guest, almost like calling out requests to a bar band. "Rocket Richard. Hell of a player. Intense," started Danny. "We faced each other in the final in 1951. He looked over at me and asked, 'You related to Sid Smith?' I said, 'No, why would you ask?' He said, 'Because you both got big noses!'" The barbecue erupted in guffaws.

"Who was the best ever," asked someone else. "Gordie Howe," replied Lewicki. "He could do it all."

"Best leader?" "Ted Kennedy," answered Danny. "He led by example. You wanted to play harder when you watched the way he worked."

Danny continued telling stories — some funny and some sad. "I snapped at an NHL coach once and he benched me for 35 straight games," snarled the winger, remembering the incident. "Don Cherry called me one of the fastest skaters he ever saw but one year, I skated over a paperclip and tore my groin. I was never as fast after that."

Danny continued with the stories until someone suggested he write a book. "Beat you to it," Lewicki laughed. "Over the past couple of years, I worked away at it and it's all done. I hope to have it out in 2006."

* * *

Tuesday in the Stanley Cup Journal, you'll help Ted Lindsay blow out the candles at his 80th birthday party. Save room for a piece of cake and we'll see you then!

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