Former Canadiens defenceman Dollard St. Laurent in the classic team publicity shot of the 1950s.
David Bier, Gazette files
They’ll tell you that today’s NHL players are tough, and can play in pain. Yes, many of them can. But today’s player also has advances in medicine that his predecessor didn’t, and with only 120 jobs in the pre-expanded league, a skater or goalie had better not have missed miss more than a shift or two lest he be replaced, perhaps for good, by someone from the minors that were stocked with NHL-quality talent.
Which brings us to four-time Canadiens Stanley Cup champion Dollard St. Laurent, who’s on the mend following triple-bypass heart surgery a month ago. For the 78-year-old native Montrealer, this is just a flesh wound. You want a real injury? How about the time in 1962 that Dolly played a game with a broken leg, an injury detected only after the game when his Quebec Aces coach, Floyd Curry, saw a bone sticking out of his stocking?
From Monday’s Gazette: a great Canadien is on the mend.
(And then there’s Hall of Fame Punch Line centreman Elmer Lach, turning 90 in January, who couldn’t talk yesterday because he was hanging Christmas lights in the tall trees on his lawn – with a hairline fracture of his hip…)
Dollard St. Laurent outmuscles New York Rangers’ Danny Lewicki away from the puck in front of Canadiens goalie Jacques Plante in this mid-1950s photo.
St. Laurent (left) and Jean-Guy Talbot hoist Plante onto their shoulders to celebrate one of the Canadiens’ five consecutive Stanley Cups won between 1956-60.