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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

Times Have Changed in Hockey


By Fred Wallace

This could be an Internet hoax, but I doubt it.

My buddy Dave Carr e-mailed an attachment the other day, you may have seen it, a letter to former Leaf Jim Pappin from Toronto General manager George Imlach.

The letter on Maple Leaf Gardens stationary, is dated August 2nd, 1962 and informs Pappin, who was coming off a 28 goal season with the Rochester Americans in the American Hockey League, that the Leafs training camp would begin September 7th in Peterborough.

Along with the arrival and registration information, Pappin, who was 23 at the time, was instructed where and when to pick up his hockey equipment and most significantly, he was told to bring his golf clubs, as it was listed as a " must " for the players who would be playing at the Kawartha Golf Club.

The Leafs were the reigning Stanley Cup Champions in the Fall of 1962 and Pappin was informed in the letter they were intent on proving their championship form in the season ahead.

To that end, and this kills me, Pappin was expected to report in good physical condition and be able to do 20 pushups, 20 situps and 30 knee bends.

In today's era, with NHL Combine testing of prospects and year long training regimens, the Leaf requirements of 1962 seem laughable.

I checked Jim Pappin's career stats and he didn't make the Leafs that year.

One can only assume, he failed to do 30 knee bends or was lousy at golf.

I'm Fred Wallace


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