ice practice and p.t. on the field

First, they luncheoned.

In October of 1936, the Toronto Maple Leafs went west to ready themselves for the oncoming NHL season. There was a get-together first, though, at the Royal York Hotel, where they met the press and other guests for pre-season greetings and a meal. Missing were Manager Conn Smythe (at the NHL meetings in New York) and winger Busher Jackson (testifying in a court case in Detroit), but coach Dick Irvin and 32 Leaf hopefuls were on hand, along with a passel of the team’s directors. Ed Bickle was one of those, and in his speech announced that the Leafs would (quote) once again feature the spectacular and pleasing wide-open brand of hockey.

Among the guests was new Globe president and publisher C. George McCullagh, whose paper reported his having “expressed himself as being a strong supporter of the Maple Leafs.” He promised, too, that The Globe “would give hockey special attention.”

After lunch, Coach Dick Irvin led the team to Preston, Ontario, 100 kilometres to the west, where the team’s training camp was headquartered in what today is known as Cambridge. Vying for roster spots were George Hainsworth and Walter Broda in goal, along with a squad of skaters that included Red Horner, Joe Primeau, Sylvanus Apps, Buzz Boll, Nick Metz, and Charlie Conacher.

For ice they headed over to nearby Galt, where Irvin and Eddie Powers from minor-league Syracuse called the shots. On dry-land, the team was in the hands of Galt’s own Sergeant-Major Hatfield, the man charged with leading them in physical training.

The daily routine that Irvin posted read like this:

7.00 a.m. — Called.
7.30 a.m. — Breakfast.
8.15 a.m. to 9.30 — P.T. on the field.
10.00 a.m. to 12.00 — Golf.
12.30 p.m. — Lunch.
2.30 p.m. to 5.30 — Ice practice.
6.30 p.m. — Dinner.
11.00 p.m.— Retiring hour.
Golf tournament, Sunday, Oct. 25
All members must compete.
See bulletin board every day for your ice practice hour.