ARTICLE: Canadian Hockey Magazine Vol. II no. 3 1975-76; Game Insert
Lets Place It Where It Belongs
by Glyn Wilson of the Columbian
Do you know what I am going to do? I am going to march down to Queen's Park Arena and suggest to Ernie McLean that he demand the resignation of Regina Pats owner Del Wilson.
I've been sitting back here over the past month or so, taking an active disinterest in the hysterical shouting, backstabbing and charges revolving around violence in hockey.
I am the first to admit that the much maligned New Westminster Bruins play truly tough rough hockey. Also, the physical stature of the Bruins is such that whenever a big brute like Barry Beck or Harold Phillipoff hits somebody, it looks bad.
However, you can't legislate against a person just because he is big although the flacks at the prairie newspapers are certainly trying.
I also might add that in local lacrosse wars a certain junior league commissioner decided in his wisdom that a 6-3, 240 pound extremely talented member of the New Westminster team was too big for the league.
The commissioner screamed long and loud after this big fellow hit a player from Burnaby so hard that the Burnaby boy flew through the air and bounced off the boards 30 feet away.
At the age of 19 this New Westminster player was sent to the senior league with the blessings of the commissioner. Before that season, and since that time, a player stays in junior lacrosse until he is 21, no matter what.
At any rate, I have in my possession a column that appeared in the Regina Leader Post. The column called for Ernie McLean's job as coach of the Bruins saying that he should be banned from all coaching.
The column should have suggested perhaps that all of the Bruins scouts be fired, too, because it is the scouting system, not the coaching that supplies those giants you see wearing the New Westminster colors.
I am not about to charge Regina owner Del Wilson with deliberately planting a seed in the mind of the offending columnist but ironically, at a Western Canada Hockey League meeting shortly after the column appeared, Wilson did introduce a motion that league governors not be allowed to coach during the 1976-77 season.
That's kind of sneaky. Ernie McLean is a league governor. So is Paddy Ginnell in Victoria.
Since the Winnipeg game of Feb. 4 when Allan Fleck was suspended 10 games for beating up a Winnipeg player, the Bruins have played like altar boys.
The Regina Pats haven't. Twice since that time the Pats have been involved in wild brawls, the latest coming last Friday night in Regina when 10 major penalties were handed out for one incident with fighting continuing well after the game.
But the Regina Pats are just little guys and maybe Regina sportswriters don't feel that those little guys' punches pack much of a wallop or when they spear an opponent, it doesn't hurt. Humbug! The rules must apply to the havenots as well as the haves.
So I am going to march down to Queen's Park and demand that McLean put forth a motion at the next WCHL meeting that anybody who scouts for a National Hockey League team can not enjoy the dual position as a scout and team owner - general manager during the 1976-77 season.
That would mean good-bye Del because Mr. Wilson has enjoyed a long association with the Montreal Canadiens.
Naturally it doesn't make much sense to suspend a man for scouting for a National Hockey League team but equality nonsensical is the suggestion that a man be suspended because he has a big, hard hitting team that gets into two or three brawls a year. The Bruins don't scrap any more than any other team nor are they as chippy as, say, the Regina Pats. Phooey!
In summation (as Tom Fisher would say) let me ask you this: Look at the picture inserted on this page and ask yourself if the obvious offense shown is more apt to cause a player to retaliate than, say, a solid body check. I personally think so.
Maybe then we should crack down on this sort of thing as a way to stop brawling and leave the honest hart hitting hockey players alone.