back home, back in hockey

Sept. 10 1957 Sawchuk camp

Terry Sawchuk wasn’t happy to leave Detroit in the summer of 1955, having just helped the team win the Stanley Cup, but GM Jack Adams decided it was time: he had a young goaltender by the name of Glenn Hall waiting in the minor-league wings. So Sawchuk went to Boston, where he got sick, came back too soon, suffered in the net and, in December of 1956, retired from hockey: done.

Until he returned. In June of 1957, Adams traded Johnny Bucyk to the Bruins to get Sawchuk back for the Red Wings. (A month later, he shed Hall and Ted Lindsay to Chicago.)

“I’m very happy to be back home and back in hockey,” said Sawchuk, who was 27. By early September, he was on his way (above) to the Red Wings’ training camp in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. In early workouts there, defenceman Red Kelly impressed with his, quote, vitality. Gordie Howe and Metro Prystai were also reported to be extremely peppy. The Canadian Press noted that Sawchuk felt that his reflexes were just as quick as ever following his short retirement. “The only thing he noticed was that his legs didn’t have as much bounce.”

Sawchuk would play every one of the 70 Red Wings’ regular-season games that year, and all the playoffs. It wasn’t 1955 anymore: playing Montreal in ’58, Detroit went out in four.

the shape you’re in

shaping up

Summer ends, eventually, and that’s when the hockey starts. If the months before that happens seem to go on forever, what can you do but keep yourself trim? That’s Leo Bourgault, above, on the rowing machine, at Alberta’s Jasper Park Lodge in July of 1931. Born in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, he’d started his NHL career in Toronto in 1926 before moving on to the New York Rangers for five seasons. He played the 1930-31 season for the Ottawa Senators; later he joined Montreal’s Canadiens. Spotting him, golf club in hand, is Bud Cook, brother of the Rangers’ famous Bun and Bill. He’d spent the previous season starring at left wing for the Providence Reds before Boston manager Art Ross came calling to buy him for the Bruins. He only lasted a season there. His other NHL stints were in Ottawa and St. Louis before he settled in to a lengthy career with the farm-league Cleveland Barons.