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1961 Blackhawks Tribute
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2011 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Chicago Blackhawks capturing the Stanley Cup. And to celebrate this tremendous part of Chicago Sports history, David Spada & Elliott Harris look back on that winning team & season with NHL Hall of Famers Al Arbour, Glenn Hall & Pierre Pilote, and former Hawks Bill Hay and Eric Nesterenko
Episode Segments:
Bearly Legal: 1961 Blackhawks Tribute
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1961 Blackhawks Tribute: Al Arbour
Despite the turnover, Al thinks this year’s Blackhawks has a chance to repeat as Champs. He looks back on the 1961 squad, particularly the play of Hull, Mikita and Glenn Hall. Plus, who was better - Gordie Howe or Wayne Gretzky?
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1961 Blackhawks Tribute: Bill Hay & Glenn Hall
Bill Hay talks about his work with the Hall of Fame, shares his favorite memories of the 1961 team, and tells us why Glenn Hall was the best player on the squad. Then, Glenn Hall talks about his 502 game streak, not wearing a mask, and the thrill of winning the Stanley Cup
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1961 Blackhawks Tribute: Eric Nesterenko
We'll find out what led Eric from the rink to the slopes, and who he thought was the best player on the '61 team was. And believe it or not, he thought the Stanley Cup win was a letdown. Find out why!
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1961 Blackhawks Tribute: Pierre Pilote
Pierre compares the Towes / Kane combo to Mikita / Hull, and tells us why he thinks Glenn Hall was deserves most of the credit for the success of the 1961 team.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Pierre Pilote
His teammates and friends called him "Pete" and although he was a small man, he was one of the most feared defensemen of Original Six hockey in the NHL. Pierre Pilote was born in Kenogami, Quebec, but his family moved to Fort Erie, Ontario, when he was young. He learned to skate as a child, but between the ages 14 and 17 he never played at all because the local rink burned down and he had nowhere to go. As a result, Pilote didn't play his first game of organized hockey until he was 17, and even then he almost had to quit because of bad luck. He played parts of five seasons with the Buffalo Bisons, but during 1955-56 he was called up to the Black Hawks to try the NHL game. On his first shift, Tod Sloan of the Leafs walked around him for a great scoring chance, but his play improved steadily and by the next fall he was part of the team full-time. Pilote also became renowned as a tough guy who should be avoided, a reputation enhanced when he knocked both Henri and Maurice Richard out cold during the same mix-up. Pilote played the next 376 games in a row with Chicago, including five seasons without missing a game. His "iron man" streak finally ended when he dislocated a shoulder during the 1961-62 season. Pilote was a superb defenseman at both ends of the ice. In his own zone he blocked shots fearlessly, but he also wasn't afraid to join the rush and he was a first-rate passer. He teamed with Elmer "Moose" Vasko on the blue line, and together they formed the best duo in the league in the late 1950s. After the Hawks captured the Stanley Cup in the spring of 1961, Pilote was made captain in October 1961 on a team that also featured Bobby Hull and Stan mikita. He was named to the First or Second All-Star Team every year from 1960 to 1967 and played in eight consecutive All-Star games during that time. He won the Norris Trophy for three successive years, 1963 to 1965, and finished as one of Chicago's leading scorers from the blue line. In 1968 the Hawks traded their aging hero to Toronto for Jim Pappin, but Pilote played just one season with the Leafs before retiring. When he left the game, he made no apologies, shed no tears and didn't look back for a second. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975.

Pierre's Blackhawks Stats

Bill Hay
Bill Hay was a much honored member of the Colorado College hockey team: he was named to the WCHA First All-Star Team in 1957 and 1958, the NCAA First All-American Team in 1957 and 1958, and the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team in 1957. He turned pro with the Calgary Stampeders of the WHL, and made his first NHL appearance with the Chicago Black Hawks in 1959-60. In 70 games with the Hawks, he had 18 goals and 37 assists, and earned the Calder Memorial Trophy. He spent the rest of his NHL career in Chicago, helping his team win the Stanley Cup in 1960-61. He stayed with Chicago until 1967, consistently putting double digits in the point column. After retiring, he went into business out West and when Ian "Scotty" Morrison retired as Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Hay was hired to lead the Hall into the 21st century.

Bill's Blackhawks Stats

Glenn Hall
Glenn Hall is renowned as the grandfather of the butterfly goalie. He was the first goalie to practice and perfect the now common butterfly stance, as he'd fall on knees, spread his legs to take away the bottom corners and five-hole and let his rapier-like arm reflexes take care of the top corners. Glenn would meet the shot with his feet wide but his knees close together to form an inverted Y. Instead of throwing his whole body to the ice in crises, he would go down momentarily to his knees, then bounce back to his feet, able to go in any direction. Practically every goalie in hockey today relies on the strategies he perfected. During his 18-year NHL career, which began in 1952 and ended in 1971, Glenn posted a 407-327-163 record, 2.51 goals-against-average and recorded 84 shutouts. He was a First Team All-Star seven times, won three Vezina Trophies, was voted the league's top rookie in 1955-56 and was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy in a losing cause in 1968. Despite his lengthy career, Glenn won his only Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 1961�the last time Chicago captured the title. Hall actually started his career buried in the Detroit Red Wings system in the early 1950s. With the great Terry Sawchuk established as the number one goalie, it seemed as though Hall would have to wait forever for his turn to get a chance at full-time play in the league. But Hall kept the pressure on Sawchuk, eventually leading to the surprising Sawchuk trade to the Boston Bruins in 1955. Hall took to the Red Wings crease, and turned in a memorable rookie season, coming within one shutout of Harry Lumley's modern record of 13 set two seasons previously. He allowed only 2.11 goals against as he played in each and every game and won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie.

Glenn's Career Stats

Eric Nesterenko
Eric played in the NHL from 1951 to 1972, playing center for the Toronto Maple Leafs until 1956 and for the Chicago Black Hawks thereafter. In 1973–74 he played for the Chicago Cougars of the World Hockey Association, after a year of coaching in Switzerland. He had 250 goals and 324 assists during his NHL career, and won a Stanley Cup championship with Chicago in 1961. The rangy right winger was a superb penalty killer, who also was known for using his elbows in the corners. Nesterenko was born in Flin Flon, Manitoba to immigrants from the Ukraine. He attended high school at North Toronto Collegiate Institute. In 1986, he played the father of character Dean Youngblood (played by Rob Lowe) in the movie Youngblood. He has also worked as a disk jockey, a stockbroker, a travel broker, a freelance writer, a university professor and a ski instructor. Near the end of his NHL career, he was interviewed for Studs Terkel's bestselling book, Working: What People do all Day and How They Feel About What They Do.

Eric's Blackhawks Stats

Al Arbour
Al started his playing career in 1957-58 NHL Season with the Detroit Red Wings. He would also play for the Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and St. Louis Blues (hockey)|St. Louis Blues. He would win four Stanley Cups in his playing career. Al's coaching career with St. Louis in 1973-74 NHL season|1973. After three years with the Blues, he headed to Long Island to lead a young New York Islanders team. All would lead the Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cups in the early 1980s. Al is currently second in wins and games coached behind Scotty Bowman in NHL history. Although Bowman is recognized as the greatest coach in NHL history because of his statistics, Arbour deserves special distinction because he worked with struggling teams to turn them into champions, whereas Bowman usually took over already well-established teams. A good example of Arbour's work was when he took the helm of the fading Islanders in 1988-89 NHL season|1988 and helped rebuilt it into a contender by 1992-93 NHL season. The most memorable moment came in 1993 with the matchup of the two best coaches in NHL history. Arbour's Islanders defeated Bowman's heavily favoured Pittsburgh Penguins in 7 games during the second round of the 1992-93 NHL season playoffs.

Al Arbour on Wikipedia