Jul 012009

An excerpt from : “The Red Wings: Brian McFarlane’s Original Six”

On November 7, 1942, the Red Wings visited Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto for a game with the defending Stanley Cup champions. One of the best of the Leafs was winger Gaye Stewart, who was to win the Calder Trophy that season, outshining Montreal defenseman Glen Harmon and a future legend, Maurice “Rocket” Richard.
On defense for Detroit was the belligerent Jimmy Orlando, who was then playing his final season in the league. The Montreal-born Orlando was a tough guy who took great joy in leveling opposing forwards — especially brash newcomers like Stewart.
During this first meeting of the season between the archrivals, Stewart dashed down the boards, only to be dumped heavily into the corner by Orlando’s solid check. Stewart jumped to his feet and nailed Orlando with a two-handed slash with his stick. Orlando laughed as referee King Clancy blew his whistle and ordered Stewart to the penalty box.
Orlando describes what happened next. “There he is in the penalty box, fuming like an enraged bull. Stewart was so mad he couldn’t sit down. When play resumed I could hear him hollerin’ at me, so I hollered a few things back, and he didn’t like that one bit. Then — can you believe it? — he jumped out of the box and raced toward me. I’d never seen anything like it. The guy still had over a minute to serve in his penalty. Anyway, I saw him coming so I dropped my gloves and nailed him a good one, sending him sprawling to the ice. Clancy didn’t see this because he was way up the ice with everybody else. Then Stewart jumps up, takes his stick and smashes me right across the skull — a vicious blow that cut me for 23 stitches, I found out afterwards. I was in no man’s land for the next few minutes, so I never got to smack him back with my stick, much as I would have liked to.
“Clancy gave us both match penalties and the league fined us each $100. I was suspended from playing in Toronto the rest of the season and Stewart was banned from playing in Detroit, but somehow these suspensions were rescinded. By the way, somebody took a photo of me being led off the ice and it looks like I’d just been hit by a bus. Hockey was a tough game in those days.”

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