As told to: Dave Bidini
In 1972 I was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens. Think of all the players on the team at that time; Ken Dryden, Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe, Jacques Lapierierre, Henri Richard, Guy Lafleur, Jacques Lemaire, Yvan Cournoyer.
The player that I was the most intimidated by though was Frank Mahovolich.
Remember now, I am a Toronto boy and remember the 3 Stanley Cups that the Leafs won in the 60’s and all the players; Johnny Bower, Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Red Kelly, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack , Dave Keon, George Armstrong.
But Frank, Frank was the player that everyone loved. When he was skating down the left wing , nobody could keep up with him. His slap shot would terrorize goalies throughout the league.
When Frank skated down the wing with the puck, I was mesmerised, watching the TV as he would wind up for one of his patented blistering shots that would rip into the net or if the goalie stopped the puck, leave him shaking or wincing.
So when I saw this photo I was thrilled – me and Frank in the same photo, how cool is this?
Everyone had boyhood idols and now I was playing with him.
So when I saw this photo I was thrilled — me and Frank in the same photo , how cool is this?
Then I start thinking, he’s a left winger—I am a left winger, what are we both doing on the ice together?
I didn’t say anything to Frank for a couple of years, then I showed him the photo and asked him what was wrong with this photo.
He looked at it, then straight at me and said “ You changed too early, you should have gotten a penalty.”
He then gave the photo back to me and walked away.
Well, it might be true, but I will remember this photo as the moment before I passed the puck to Frank as he was flying down the left wing and blasted a slap shot over the goalie’s shoulder.
DAVE BIDINI is the co-creator of ‘Slapshot Diaries’ as well as a writer/musician/columnist from Toronto and the author of 12 books.
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THE BEER COAT
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