A friendly warning to Bruins players: stay away from Grey Cup hotel parties

 

Grey Cup weekends always conjure up memories of this splendid event which, let's agree, not only delivers Canadian football at its exciting best, but also is high on the list of non-stop parties.

 
 
 
 
 

Grey Cup weekends always conjure up memories of this splendid event which, let's agree, not only delivers Canadian football at its exciting best, but also is high on the list of non-stop parties.

Don't ask me why, but tonight's visit of the Boston Bruins takes me back to another Grey Cup weekend linked with that team. It happened a lot of years ago when the Bruins were in Toronto for a Saturday night game against the Maple Leafs. Grey Cup headquarters was at the Royal York Hotel, which is where the Bruins and other teams always stayed in those years. As you'd expect, it's not the best place to put a team while Grey Cup parties are being held on every floor.

The next night, the Bruins were back home and surprise! the Bruins' best point-getter at that early stage of the season - a player who shall remain nameless - wasn't dressed for a game against the Canadiens.

"How come you're sitting in the press box?" I asked him during the pregame warmup. "Were you hurt last night against the Leafs?"

"Nope," he replied. "There's nothing wrong with me. I feel good. I don't know why I'm not playing tonight. Why don't you ask the coach?"

The coach was Milt Schmidt, one of the truly great players of his time ... a hard-bitten, no-nonsense guy who expected the best from his best players.

"Why isn't so-and-so dressed?" I asked Schmidt before the puck was dropped at the Garden. "I asked him about it a few minutes ago and he told me to ask you."

"He did, eh?" Schmidt asked.

"Yep."

"About 2 o'clock in the morning, I got a call from one of the Royal York's security people," Schmidt said. "He told me: 'Mr. Schmidt, we put your team in one corner of the hotel so that the players wouldn't be bothered by the noise from all those Grey Cup parties."

"So?"

"Now, all the noise is coming from one of your player's rooms!'

"What's the room number?" Schmidt snapped.

My friend Milt promptly called the room. His top scorer answered.

"What's going on up there?" Schmidt yelled into the phone. "What's all that noise?"

"We're having a heck of a party," he was told. "Why don't you come up here?"

Schmidt was there in a matter of only minutes. The party came to an abrupt end. And (sigh) it's why the Bruins' top point-getter wasn't dressed for the game the following night.

As it developed, the party boy didn't remain a Bruin too long after that, either.

Note to tonight's visitors: don't say I didn't warn you.

Go, Als, go!

 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Team Leaders