Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 12
The Stanley Cup Journal

Alvin, Landiak and the Beast. Three Stanley Cup champions born, raised and still residing in Winnipeg, Manitoba. You'll know them better as Ab McDonald, Pete Langelle and Bill Juzda.

* * *

Pete (Landiak) Langelle scored 22 goals and added 51 assists for 73 points in 136 regular season NHL games, all played with the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Imperial Oil-Turofsky/HHOF)
Born in Winnipeg in 1917, Pete Langelle was baptized 'Peter Landiak.' Like so many in the 'Peg, Pete is of Ukrainian descent. But while playing junior hockey, Pete was placed at centre on a line with two French-Canadian wingers -- Paul Rheault and Lucien Martel. Pete was convinced to change his name so that it sounded more French-Canadian, so it was altered to 'Langelle.' When Pete did so well in junior, scouts and hockey writers knew him as 'Pete Langelle,' so he used that name from then on. But he wants you to know he is a proud Ukrainian. 'Diboja.'

Langelle played two years of junior with the Winnipeg Monarchs, and in his final season, was on a Memorial Cup champion. Along with Pete, a couple of other boys reached the NHL, namely Alf Pike and Johnny McCreedy.

Signed as a free agent by the Toronto Maple Leafs in October 1937, Langelle spent two seasons with their minor league affiliate, the Syracuse Stars. Then, he got the call he had dreamed of. The Maple Leafs called up Langelle to play the final two games of the 1938-39 season. On March 18, 1939, Pete played his first game in the NHL, a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers at Maple Leaf Gardens. The next night, Pete was with the Leafs at Madison Square Garden, but on the wrong end of a 6-2 final.

The Leafs finished third that season, and faced the fourth place New York Americans in the first round of the playoffs. Pete centred a line with Pep Kelly and Nick Metz. With a goal and an assist in the two-game, total goal series, Langelle helped Toronto defeat the Americans and moved on to face the Detroit Red Wings in a best of three series. Pete contributed an assist to the cause as Toronto beat Detroit and earned the right to face the Boston Bruins for the Stanley Cup. The rookie's Leafs won four games to one as the Bruins earned Lord Stanley's prized trophy.

Langelle won a full-time spot on the Leafs roster in 1939-40. Again, Toronto finished third, but worked their way into the Stanley Cup final against the New York Rangers. Pete centred a line with Gus Marker and Hank Goldup. Yet again, Toronto was defeated in their quest for the Stanley Cup as the New York Rangers won hockey's biggest prize.

Would 1940-41 be the year for Langelle and the Leafs? Toronto finished second, but were unceremoniously dumped in the playoffs by the Bruins. In one glorious moment, on March 29, 1941, the Bruins and Leafs were tied at one apiece at the end of regulation time. Seventeen minutes in overtime, Pete Langelle emerged with the winning goal. It wouldn't be the last time he'd be a hockey hero.

Langelle's goal at 9:48 of the third period on April 18, 1942 proved to be the Stanley Cup-winning goal. It would be the biggest -- and last -- game of his NHL career.
(Dave Sandford/HHOF)
In the greatest rally in hockey history (read full details in Hank Goldup's Stanley Cup Journal), the Toronto Maple Leafs came back from a three game to none deficit to the Detroit Red Wings to win the series. In a momentous Game Seven, played at Maple Leaf Gardens, the Leafs roared back to win the Stanley Cup, with Pete Langelle scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal. His goal, Toronto's second in a 3-1 win, was scored at 9:48 of the third period, assisted by Bob Goldham and his old teammate with the Winnipeg Monarchs, Johnny McCreedy.

The whippet-fast Langelle had a lot of fans (especially the young girls) during his three seasons with the Maple Leafs, but there was one particular fan who was well-known to the regulars around Maple Leaf Gardens. John Arnott, the owner of a gas station on Eglinton West just east of Dufferin in Toronto, attended every Leaf game. When the crowd was quiet, usually just before a faceoff, Arnott would yell from the greens, 'COME ONNNNNNNNNNN, PETERRRRRRRRRR!' The crowd would go wild.

After the Stanley Cup win, Langelle joined the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. John Arnott missed his favourite player. Then one day, much to the amusement of the fans, during a lull in the action, Arnott hollered, 'C'MONNNNN TEEDERRRRRR!' Arnott adopted Ted 'Teeder' Kennedy as his new favourite.

While stationed in Winnipeg, Langelle played for the Winnipeg RCAF, who competed in senior competition. He saw active duty in 1945. On his return, Pete discovered that there was no longer room for him with the Leafs. They were extremely strong down the centre, boasting Syl Apps, Ted Kennedy and Max Bentley — all now Hall of Fame members. Pete was sent to Toronto's AHL affiliate, the Pittsburgh Hornets. He never played another game in the NHL.

Pete, proudly wearing his new Toronto Maple Leafs sweater, welcomed the Stanley Cup along with his colleagues at his Winnipeg home in Rosewood Village.
(Mike Bolt/HHOF)
Pete Langelle is one of only three players to score the Stanley Cup-winning goal in his final NHL game. Carl Voss was the hero of the 1938 championship for the Chicago Blackhawks but hurt his knee so badly in training camp the next fall that he never played again. The third is Bill Barilko, who scored the heroic Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1951, then died in a plane crash while returning from a fishing trip in Northern Quebec.

The 1942 Stanley Cup hero, Pete Langelle, received the Stanley Cup on Tuesday, July 5 at his Winnipeg home. The retirement village where Langelle now lives is called Rosewood Village and is comprised of several houses with twelve residents per house.

The eighty-seven year old Langelle was so excited, he paced around the perimeter of Rosewood Village anticipating the Cup's arrival. The Stanley Cup was placed on a table in the common area of Dogwood House where Pete lives, with the proud recipient wearing a vintage-looking Toronto Maple Leafs sweater purchased earlier that day for him by the Rosewood staff. There were photocopied pictures of Langelle as a Toronto Maple Leaf, and Pete was pleased to sign them for visitors that day.

Following his hockey career, Pete worked for more than thirty years with a brewery. It was appropriate, therefore, that he sipped beer from the Stanley Cup to celebrate his goal of 63 years ago.
(Mike Bolt/HHOF)
"I don't think I ever got to touch it before," admitted Pete. Sixty-three years later, he was able to caress the Cup and laughed when he saw his name engraved on the historic trophy's barrel. "This sure is exciting!"

The staff poured a beer into the bowl of the Stanley Cup. "Go ahead, Pete. Take a celebration sip." The Cup was tilted and Pete was more than happy to drink from the Cup. "Y'know, it tastes even better when it comes from the Stanley Cup," he laughed, wiping the foam from his lips. The Rosewood Village staff laid out a wonderful array of cakes and served coffee to the visitors.

One other special guest arrived that afternoon. Terri Fordham, a huge Toronto Maple Leafs fan and a hockey player herself, arrived from Ochre River, Manitoba to see the Stanley Cup and the guest of honour -- her grandfather.

* * *

Ab McDonald played 762 regular season NHL games, scoring 182 goals and adding 248 assists for 430 points. He also registered 29 goals and 41 assists during 147 regular season games in the World Hockey Association.
(Imperial Oil-Turofsky/HHOF)
Wednesday, July 6 started with a visit to one of the firehalls in Winnipeg. The Stanley Cup was lifted onto one of the gleaming firetrucks and the firefighters took pictures of the prized trophy. One of the boys, Kelly Boyko, stepped forward and said, "Did you know that my brother played in the NHL?" It turns out Darren Boyko, who was a junior star in Winnipeg, played with the Winnipeg Jets in 1988-89 after a distinguished career in Finland. The firefighters had invited family and friends to see the Stanley Cup, and Kelly brought his Dad, Larry, a former fire chief himself, over to get his picture taken with Lord Stanley's Cup. A school group touring the firehall shrieked with delight when they got a bonus with their outing — photos with the Stanley Cup.

Winnipeg has not witnessed a Stanley Cup winner since January 1902, when the Victorias won second of two consecutive championships. But few fans are as rabid about hockey as those in the 'Peg. The trophy was taken to Winnipeg's brand new arena, the MTS Centre — home of the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose — and was situated in the concourse of the food court. The Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame had arranged for several Stanley Cup winners to appear with the trophy that now bears their name.

Randy Gilhen, although born in West Germany, is a proud Winnipeger and played with the Jets on two occasions. Randy won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991. Chuck Lefley spent most of the 1970-71 season in the American Hockey League, but played one game during the regular season and another in the playoffs and got his name engraved on the Stanley Cup for that season. His contributions were much more substantial in 1972-73 when, still officially a rookie, he won the Cup for a second time. Pete Langelle decided to drop by to support his colleagues as well.

Incredulously, Ab McDonald was part of a Stanley Cup championship in each of his first four years in the NHL -- 1958, '59 and '60 with the Montreal Canadiens and, in one of the great surprises in hockey history, 1961 with the Chicago Blackhawks. (Dave Sandford/HHOF)
Alvin McDonald has gone by Ab as long as anyone can remember. After starring as a junior first with the St. Boniface Canadiens and later with the St. Catharines Teepees, Ab joined the Montreal Canadiens for two playoff games in 1957-58. With Dollard St. Laurent nursing a broken cheekbone, Bernard Geoffrion recovering from a perforated bowel, Dickie Moore playing with his wrist in a cast and Claude Provost bruised and bloodied by a high stick in the previous game, Ab McDonald made his NHL debut on April 13, 1958 in a 3-0 shutout against the Boston Bruins. Ab got his name in the paper — he took a hooking penalty in the second period. He played the next game too — a 3-1 Hab loss. The Canadiens went on to win the Stanley Cup, and McDonald has his name engraved on the trophy for his contributions.

Ab, playing full-time with Montreal in 1958-59, won the Stanley Cup again, then added a third in a row in 1959-60. Montreal was so dominant at the time that they won five Stanley Cups championships in succession between 1956 and 1960. Ab's teammates included an unprecedented number of players who would go on to be honoured by induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame -- Jean Beliveau, Bernard Geoffrion, Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Dickie Moore, Bert Olmstead, Jacques Plante, Henri Richard and captain Maurice Richard.

During the summer of 1960, the 6'3" winger was disappointed to be traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. Bob Courcy, Reg Fleming and Cecil Hoekstra were sent to the Hawks with Ab, while Montreal received Bob Bailey, Lorne Ferguson, Terry Gray, Danny Lewicki and Glen Skov. But the new season turned into nothing short of a miracle. Chicago, who hadn't won the Stanley Cup since 1938 and who had missed the playoffs fourteen times during that span, halted the Montreal Canadiens' dynasty. Chicago faced Montreal in the semi-final and sent them packing in six games. Ab had suffered a skin infection and didn't get into the series until Game Five, but quickly made his presence known. Playing on a line with Ken Wharram and Stan Mikita, McDonald picked up a goal and an assist in his playoff return.

The Blackhawks then faced the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup final. In Game Six, Ab scored at 18:49 of the second period — a tally that turned out to be the Stanley Cup-winning goal. Chicago won that game 5-1.

Unbelievably, Ab McDonald had won his fourth consecutive Stanley Cup. And with two different teams!

* * *

They called him 'the Beast.' He was rough, tough and a fierce competitor. In 398 regular season NHL games, Bill Juzda collected 398 penalty minutes from his blueline post. Bill also scored 14
goals, 54 assists and 68 points.
(Imperial Oil-Turofsky/HHOF)
Bill Juzda, a compact but rugged 5'9", 200 pounds, debuted in the NHL with the New York Rangers in 1940-41. After playing parts of five seasons with the Rangers, 'The Beast' was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 26, 1948 with Cal Gardner, Frank Mathers, Ray McMurray and Rene Trudel. Orval Lavell, Elwyn Morris and Wally Stanowski joined New York in the trade.

It was a fortuitous move for Juzda. That season, the Maple Leafs won their third of three Stanley Cup championships in a row, and Juzda's muscle on the blueline played an integral role in the successive victories. Bill wasn't afraid of the rough stuff, and in the semi-final versus Boston, alternating with stalwarts Bill Barilko and Garth Boesch, threw his weight around substantially. Toronto met the Red Wings in the final and were all over them like a stray dog on a soupbone. The Maple Leafs dumped Detroit in four straight games, and Bill Juzda finally had his name on the Stanley Cup.

'The Beast' (also known as the 'Honest Brakeman' because of his off-season job with the Canadian Pacific Railway) won his second Stanley Cup championship in 1951. Facing the Bruins in the semi-final, the series turned into a bloodbath, but Toronto triumphed with four wins against one loss. Curiously, the second game in this series was terminated while still in progress at 11:45 pm because of a Toronto city curfew, resulting in the last tie game (1-1) in NHL playoff history.

Between 1946 and 1951, the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup four times. Bill Juzda was a prime contributor to the championships of 1949 and 1951. (Dave Sandford/HHOF)   Winnipeg's beautiful MTS Centre hosted an autograph signing with some of their homegrown champions. From left to right, Chuck Lefley (Cup winner with Montreal in 1971 and 1973), Ab McDonald, Randy Gilhen (Cup winner with Pittsburgh in 1991) and Bill Juzda. (Mike Bolt/HHOF)
The Montreal-Toronto final was a classic. Each of the five games was decided in overtime — the only time that has happened in NHL play. Bill Juzda was paired with Bill Barilko for most of the series, although Fernie Flaman spelled off Juzda from time to time. It was a hard-fought battle, but at 2:53 of overtime in Game Five, Toronto's number five, Bill Barilko, scored on a backhand while diving in from his post on the blueline. The Toronto Maple Leafs had won their fourth championship in five years. Bill Juzda won his second and last Stanley Cup championship.

* * *

More than two hundred fans converged on the MTS Centre to meet 84-year old Bill Juzda, Ab McDonald, Pete Langelle and more recent Cup winners Randy Gilhen and Chuck Lefley. The boys signed autographs and had their pictures taken for an hour. These five boys brought back a flood of memories to Winnipeg hockey fans. After so many years, they were able to see their names inscribed on the Stanley Cup for eternity.

Winnipeg had reason to be very proud.

* * *

On Tuesday, come back for another slice of hockey history as the Stanley Cup visits Yorkton, Saskatchewan as the guest of Metro Prystai. We'll give you every detail here on the Stanley Cup Journal.

Kevin Shea is the Hockey Hall of Fame's Manager of 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