all the maurice richards in red, white, and blue

So I was obliged to wear the Maple Leafs sweater. When I arrived on the rink, all the Maurice Richards in red, white, and blue came up, one by one, to take a look. When the referee blew his whistle I went to take my usual position. The captain came and warned me I’d be better to stay on the forward line. A few minutes later the second line was called; I jumped onto the ice. The Maple Leafs sweater weighed on my shoulders like a mountain. The captain came and told me to wait; he’d need me later, on defence. By the third period I still hadn’t played; one of the defencemen was hit in the nose with a stick and it was bleeding. I jumped on the ice; my moment had come! The referee blew his whistle; he gave me a penalty. He claimed I’d jumped on the ice when there were already five players. That was too much! It was unfair! It was persecution! It was because of my blue sweater! I struck my stick against the ice so hard it broke.

• from Roch Carrier’s “The Hockey Sweater,” The Hockey Sweater and Other Stories (1979)

(Images: The Hockey Sweater sculpture (c. 1989) by Jean Matras, from the collection of Library and Archives Canada, was part of the Canadian Museum of History’s 2017 exhibition “Hockey in Canada: More Than Just a Game.”)

j.p. parise, 1941-2015

parise 1972Duel Citizens: Canada’s J.P. Parise found himself in disagreement with Soviet captain Viktor Kuzkin in the second period of the seventh game of the Summit Series in Moscow on September 26, 1972. Both men got two-minute roughing penalties for their efforts; Canada ended up prevailing, 4-3. It was in the next and final game that Parise was ejected for almost (but not quite) pole-axing German referee Josef Kompalla. “Maybe sometimes you don’t understand who you are,” Parise mused in a 1992 documentary, Summit On Ice. “Never would I have realized that I would become such an enraged man for two weeks.”

Parise died in Minnesota on Wednesday, of lung cancer. He was 73.

(Photo: Frank Lennon. Library and Archives Canada, e010933347)