Sunday, January 11, 2009

Scouts Notes, November-December 1974

It seems impossible to get good looking scans of photographs from microfilm, but I offer up a couple here anyway. Above is a photo of the Scouts' Lynn Powis, and below is a shot of the Montreal Canadiens skating in Kansas City. The guy getting sandwiched in the middle is none other than Glen Sather, current GM of the New York Rangers.

" 'That's a pretty good little hockey team,' offered Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion, the Flames' coach, without being asked. 'Bep's got his guys working. They were on top of us all night.' "
- from Jay Greenberg's wrap after the Flames beat the Scouts 1-0 on November 20, 1974

"(Goaltender Peter McDuffe) doesn't deserve to be pulled. Sunday night he's getting bombed like the second world war. I'm going to put him right back in. (Michel) Plasse will have his chance to get bombarded, too."
- Scouts coach Bep Guidolin after the Scouts were beaten 10-0 by the Flyers on December 1. Plasse wouldn't have to wait long for his chance to get bombarded - McDuffe allowed 6 goals in the first period of the next game, and Plasse replaced him for the second and third periods.

On December 6, the fans at Kemper were treated to the first fight in arena history when Lynn Powis of the Scouts battled Andre Dupont of the Flyers. Sounds like it was a doozy: "A fan got into the action, reaching over and grabbing (Flyer) Don Saleski's hair, and players from both the Scouts and Flyers were then waving sticks at the fans." - Jay Greenberg

That same night the Scouts managed the only point they would ever get from the Flyers in 10 meetings with a 3-3 tie.

When the Scouts showed up for a morning practice on December 9, they were greeted with some terrible news: their head trainer, Gordie Marchant, had committed suicide. Coach Guidolin decided to try to hold the practice after GM Sid Abel broke the news to the players, but it broke up after just half an hour. "I could see there was no enthusiasm for practice. I didn't have much enthusiasm to practice myself," he said.

The next night they had to attempt to focus on the formidable Boston Bruins coming to town, a team that featured John Bucyk, Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr. The Bruins disposed of them 6-2. After the game, Bobby Orr had this take on the Scouts: "If they get a guy who could score 30-40 goals for them, and get a few more draft choices, they'll be all right. It's a darn shame people don't come to see them."

One person who came to see them that night was Bob Frank, who was stationed in the visiting team's penalty box as the penalty time keeper. When Orr landed in the box, he asked Frank for a towel... "Frank gave it to him. Orr said, 'Thank you.' 'That's the first time that's happened to me in six years at the job,' said Frank, who also served as a penalty timekeeper for Kansas City Blues games in the old American Royal Arena."
- Ken Rudrick, Kansas City Star

December 14 brought a significant trade: Bart Crashley (D), Ted Snell (RW) and Larry Giroux (D) were shipped to Detroit in exchange for Guy Charron (C) and Claude Houde (D). Crashley and Charron were both in their respective teams' doghouses and had been getting next to zero ice time. "I feel very bad about playing so poorly for the fans in Kansas City. I was very happy to leave," said Crashley. Charron had put up 25 goals and 55 points the previous season, but for reasons that were unclear to him (most likely defensive liabilities), he had been riding the pine so far in the '74-'75 season, and had just one goal in 26 games at the time of the trade.

The debut of Charron and Houde as Scouts did not go well, as they were shutout 0-6 by the Kings. In their second game however, Charron led the way with three assists in a 4-4 tie with Pittsburgh. Charron would go on to score 42 points in 51 games with the Scouts in '74-'75, and 71 points in 78 games in '75-'76, making him the Scouts all-time leading scorer, and the only player to score 100 or more points in a Scouts uniform.

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