Garry Blaine

Gerry Blaine was a nice junior hockey player. He played in the Manitoba Junior League with St. Boniface, a junior team sponsored by the Montreal Canadiens. That junior team almost captured junior hockey's most cherished prize, the Memorial Cup, in 1953, but fell short to the Barrie Flyers. The Flyers boasted the likes of Don McKenney, Doug Mohns, and a young Don Cherry!

A very interesting incident occurred between Blaine and Cherry. Cherry of course went onto a career as minor league tough guy and later coach and broadcaster who controversially promoted fighting and rough hockey.

Well, in game 5 of the Memorial Cup final in 1953, Blaine became very angry at one of the Barrie players, and began chasing him around the ice in order to fight him, but the player ran away scared and unwilling to drop the gloves.

Hal Sigurdson of the Winnipeg Free Press remembered the story in a 1996 article, and claimed it was Cherry who had cowardly hid.

"Blaine's teammate, Ab McDonald....says it was Cherry. So does former provinicial cabinet minister Larry Desjardins, who was general manager of Blaine's St. Boniface Canadiens at the time."

Gerry Blaine himself isn't sure.

"To be honest, I'm not sure," he said. "Orval Tessier had just slashed our goaltender, Hal Dalkie and I drilled him. When he went down I tried to pick him up, but he turtled. I'd never seen a guy do that before. Anyways, I heard another of their players chirping so I went after him. he took off and I chased him. When I asked our guys who it was they told me his name was Don Cherry."

Like Cherry, Blaine would only go on to play one game in the National Hockey League. Total Hockey suggests the once promising winger fell victim to the "Demon Rum"..


Dennis 3:48 PM  

Thanks for this, Joe. Really fun and interesting read.

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