SAMMY MCMANUS

A forward from between the wars, Sammy McManus played only briefly with the Montreal Maroons and the Boston Bruins in a career that consisted of mostly minor-league play. Although he was born in Ireland, he was raised in Canada and helped Montreal’s “English” team win the Stanley Cup in his only full season, 1934-35. Besides that, and one game with the Bruins, McManus played in the AHL and its predecessors, the CAHL and IAHL (the former standing for Can-Am, the latter International-American Hockey League).

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If the number 13 still holds superstitious value in the twenty-first century, it’s difficult to imagine just how obsessive people were about the number seventy years ago when talismans and religious values were far more ingrained in the communal psyche. Indeed, McManus dreaded the number so much that he would never go on the ice behind a player who wore a sweater number that, combined with his own, added up to thirteen. Now that’s caution.

QUICK SHOT GILLES MELOCHE

Gilles Meloche was an NHL goalie for seventeen years (1971-88), albeit often with dreadful teams (California Golden Seals, Cleveland Barons). He later became the number-one man for the Minnesota North Stars for seven years (1978-85), making the playoffs all but the first season. Wherever he played he was consistent in one regard: he always wore a headband during games. He changed it after every period in which he played poorly and kept it on if he had played well.

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