Dec 28, 2007

Hockey intermission entertainment in the 1960's

We're always looking for tidbits of info on the history of game entertainment, especially in hockey.

This weekend is the 40th anniversary of the first Ottawa 67's hockey game at the Ottawa Civic Centre. There was a great article earlier this week in the Ottawa Citizen that recapped the festivities and mayhem surrounding opening night.

Some highlights:

On the lighter side, a quintet of jazz musicians greeted fans in the concourse, Bobby Gimby and The Young Canadians strolled around the ice encouraging all 9,000 to join in on a rousing rendition of CA-NA-DA between periods, and people complained the scoreboard over centre ice obstructed their view because rink attendants experimented with keeping it low enough that southside spectators would see it from underneath the low roof.

It was an experiment doomed to failure and soon rectified.


By July 1, the team had its name through a contest by fans after the Gorman family refused to allow the use of the name "Senators." "Grenadiers" was a finalist among 2,000 entries, but it was thought players would not enjoy being called "diers" for short.

The 67's opened their first training camp Sept. 14 in Hull, clad in old Ottawa Montagnard jerseys. Some 80 hopefuls took the ice with Doyle among 10 goalies, Shawville's Bill and Terry Murray on defence, and Michel St. Jacques, Montrealer Pierre Jarry and Bill Clement, of Thurso, among the best of the forwards at "four-a-day" workouts.

Eight days in, they played their first exhibition in Hull versus Peterborough. Most notable was not the fact that only 1,666 showed up. More newsworthy was that the 67's "new" barber-pole sweaters didn't arrive until the end of the first period.

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