working at the carbo wash

Colour Me Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge: No, we were never going to build a treehouse with Mats Naslund, cast a fly with Claude Lemieux or a soapy brush with Guy Carbonneau, saddle up with Larry Robinson. But a kid’s gotta dream, no? In the mid-1980s, the Montreal Canadiens helped out with a series of slim colouring books.

hired to be fired

George Karn played some hockey in his day, for a scattering of Minnesota minor-league teams in the 1950s, Jerseys and Millers and Saints. As a commercial cartoonist, he’s claimed by history for having created what the Vintage Minnesota Hockey Hall of Fame (of which he’s an honoured member) calls cereal icons: the Trix rabbit, the Lucky Charms leprechaun, and Count Chocula. When the Minnesota North Stars joined the NHL in 1967, the team looked to Karn to design both the starred N logo they proudly wore and the uniforms it adorned. In 1969, he added My Very Own Hockey Colouring Book to his oeuvre. Handed out for free to prospective Minnesota ticket-buyers, the 30-page pamphlet goes for the broad and occasionally bawdy laughs and maybe it got some of those, in 1969.

Featured here — no special reason, any resemblance to actual situations, living or dead, or real events that might or might not have unfolded this afternoon, is purely coincidental — Karn’s take on the changeable fortunes of hockey coaches.

“If you do not understand the game of ice hockey,” Karn wrote on the title page, “you will not understand this book. If you do understand the game of ice hockey, you will not understand this book. If you do understand this book … you need help.”

keon for crayon

Pen and Rink: Long before Dave Keon was declared the Greatest Ever Leaf, he was just another hardworking centre for the 1964 Stanley Cup champions whose (sort of) likeness showed up in that year’s commemorative Toronto Maple Leafs * Hockey Action * Colouring Book, available to fans of all ages for just 49 cents, crayons and coloured pencils sold separately.