This book came from a passion for hockey that resides
deep in the souls of millions of Canadians.
In my case, it was a passion handed down from two men in my family: my maternal grandfather and my father, who came to Canada from Scotland as a teenager. My grandfather told many stories of playing in arenas in Quebec City in the early 20th century against the likes of Joe Malone and Paddy Moran, two of the early greats of the game. My father, despite never having played hockey, fell in love with the game and followed it all his adult life, becoming part of the passing parade of hockey history, as this book attests.
This book was written for my sons, James and Jack, one who learned to skate on ponds in rural Quebec, and the other who played with Swiss boys who envied him because he had a Montreal Canadiens sweater. And it is for all of us who love the game, everywhere.
The goalie cull consists of a decision made commonly by a middle-aged adult, normally male, otherwise known as “The Coach”. With the sharp eye of a trained anthropologist, he observes a group of seven-year-old boys or girls and decides who can and cannot skate, well enough to move at least a few metres in one or another direction. The result is that those players who do not measure up as skaters are put between the metal posts of a hockey goal. They are now goaltenders, goalies, netminders, puck-eaters. A species apart.
The Black Horse
So “Hooley” was not a character to meddle with. And yet Kenneth Dawes and “Hooley” were getting into a pretty intense discussion about the Maroons’ chances. It might have been the beer they were drinking, or it might have been a bit of male bravado but evidently, the conversation went something like this:
“Mr. Dawes, I am convinced we are going to win the Stanley Cup.”
“Well, Mr. Smith, I respect your ability but I cannot say that I agree with you.”
“Well, let us place a little wager on this,” said “Hooley” Smith.
“What do you propose?” responded Kenneth Dawes.
“Well, I have a little farm, and I could really use one of those beautiful black Percheron horses you have to pull your beer wagons. You know the ones – the symbols of Black Horse Ale.”
Kenneth Dawes was astonished. The Black Percheron Horses were known everywhere in Quebec as being the most valuable workhorses that existed. The Dawes family had a huge pasture near us in Lachine where the horses were bred and fed. The family took a great deal of pride in the black Percherons: they imported them into Canada years before, and had improved the breed over time.
He walked up the stairs to the door on the front gallery and knocked twice with the big iron ram’s head doorknocker. I heard my mother call, “Aunt Elga, there is a gentleman at the door for you.” She came to the door, looked up at the big man in the sunglasses and was a bit confused. Who was this? Why was he asking for her?
He removed the sunglasses and she could see it was her idol Jean Béliveau .
“I have been waiting a long time to do this,” he said as he bent down to her 5 foot 1 inch frame and kissed her on the cheek.
She was stunned. Too stunned to talk, in fact, except to say, “I cannot believe it! I cannot believe it!”
As le Gros Bill entered, my grandfather got up from reading the newspaper and gave him a hearty “Bonjour Jean!” to show he was welcome in our house. He stayed and chatted, and we gave him a tour of the old house. Aunt Elga regained her composure and began to chat about the Canadiens, about Quebec City and the old days at the Colisée. My grandfather talked about fishing and hunting, and even about his time as a hockey player in Quebec City, and his cousin who had won the Stanley Cup in the early 1900s. It was like old home week. And then, Jean had to go.
About the Author
Andrew Caddell has been a reporter and broadcaster in Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, St. John’s and Geneva, Switzerland and has been published in several Canadian newspapers. He has also worked for the UN in Europe and Asia and for the Government of Canada. He lives in Ottawa and Kamouraska, Quebec. He plays old-timers’ hockey twice a week, and is a sometime goaltender.
Dave Stubbs is a columnist/sports feature writer with the Montreal Gazette. He has been a sportswriter since 1976. Stubbs kept thick hockey scrapbooks filled with game summaries and Red Fisher’s Montreal Star stories, collected dozens of Bee Hive Corn Syrup photos and put a fortune of hockey cards through the spokes of his bikes. His fantasy is to travel back in time to the 1950s and watch the great Canadiens dynasty that won five consecutive Stanley Cups. Or a decade earlier, to watch Elmer Lach centre Rocket Richard and Toe Blake on the fearsome Punch Line. Until then, Stubbs is happy to tell the stories of the men behind the game, profiling the superstars of yesterday and today. Philip “Pip” Caddell (1913-2004) was a wonder-ful storyteller.
While he never played hockey, he loved the game. Born in Canada and raised in Scotland, he returned to this country as a teenaged immigrant. He enlisted for the Second World War in 1939, served in combat with the Royal Canadian Artillery and was promoted to Captain in the field. After the war, he worked as a brewmaster and personnel manager, and worked in dozens of community organizations.
Philip Caddell was a proud Canadian until the day he died. And for him, hockey was synonymous with his nationality.
The Goal, DVP’s latest release, is now available from several of our on-line vendors, starting with DVP at Createspace and Amazon. Please note that DVP at Createspace offers the most generous royalties for our authors. Click below to order from the on-line vendor of your choice and stay tuned as more on-line vendors carry The Goal.