Had a good hockey day yesterday, where I talked to a bunch of retired players and set up some interviews with others for the coming days.
While it is great to talk to someone like Dan Daoust, who I watched a ton when he played for the Maple Leafs in the 1980s, man, I love the stories from the past.
To that end, there aren’t many left from the era of Tod Sloan and, golly gee, Howie Meeker.
Meeker is the most amazing 90-year-old ex-player I have ever talked to, with an amazing memory and, naturally, a great talent for telling stories.
As for Sloan, the great right winger for the Leafs and Hawks of the 1960s, he’s 86 and still pretty sharp even if he joked, “I’m a little old, a little senile.”
Where he really lit up though was when we started talking about his brother, Joe Sloan, who I certainly had never known about.
Armed with the amazing Society for International Hockey Research database when I talk to these guys, I was able to find his file, which was pretty empty. With Tod’s help, we will be filling it in a bit in the coming days, I think.
If anything, it’s an example of the Second World War disrupting a promising future.
“He went into the army and still had a couple of years of junior left,” Sloan told me. “He got wounded in Holland, he got shot in the leg, and he never played junior. He never played anything after that.”
Both Sloans got into hockey in Sudbury / Falconbridge, and Joe Sloan played for the 1942-1943 Brantford Lions in OHA-Jr. A.
“He signed a C Form with the Leafs. He was an outstanding hockey player. He just had a short season down there in Brantford,” said his younger brother. “If you look up the Brantford Lions, you’ll find him in the scoring, because I can remember seeing him when I was a kid, getting the paper, the Toronto Star, seeing where he got two goals and that.”
Closing the circle? Who played on that 1942-43 team in Brantford, but just for the playoffs?