QUOTES FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE: 1976-77
Folks throughout the league are now buzzing about the IHL All-Star team for this mid-season break. The team was chosen by the players and coach of each club, so there shouldn't be any beefs about who is playing. This time it's the media people who are screaming. After checking the selections, Fort Wayne News Sentinel Sports Editor Bud Gallmeier was heard to proclaim . . . "where are a couple more of our players... like Zanussi and Tudor.
. . . the players can't pick any better than the writers and broadcasters.
Carl Robertson, the P. R. Director of the Flint Generals, the host club for the ''Star" game was thoroughly upset with the handling of the team release. The notification was sent out a day ahead of the release date... so all clubs knew which of their players made the "dream team." On the agreed release date Robertson planned a press luncheon to announce the Flint players and the
overall team. The only rub was . . . Saginaw, just 45 miles to the north decided to make their own announcement ... one day before ... so Robertson's press had already been given the names. Furthermore, the Detroit Newspapers had run a story, naming the IHL Stars in their Wednesday Morning edition . . . which is distributed in Flint. To add insult to injury, a special release was sent to the National Hockey League teams and front office by the IHL league commissioner . . . and in the release it indicated that the game had already been a sellout. That was not the case, as about 800 good seats were left at that time. Needless to say, that also found its way into print. To sub it all up ... Robertson stated . . . "Look ... in the National Hockey League, the league stages the All Star Game . . . maybe we'd better let the league office handle it in this league too."
The Flint Generals office is responsible for drawing up the IHL schedule each year. Frank Gallagher is rather expert at it. One problem has arisen though . . . Doug Carpenter, the Generals Coach is tired of playing in Toledo .. . as he noted the other day. "Every game we are scheduled in Toledo is a dime beer night. It's bad enough there on normal nights, but wow . . . my laundry bill is really mounting. How can we be so unlucky to make every dime beer night in Toledo . . . and I don't drink.
Everybody sees various incidents in their own light. Regarding the controversial stick fight Christmas night in Muskegon between Len Ircandia and Ed Pizunski, the Kzoo folks told the story of how Pizunski goaded Ircandia into the stick fight by always keeping his stick around his ears . . . and the Muskegon folks tell of how Ircandia attacked Pizunski from behind, hitting him with two blows over the head before the Muskegon player could protect himself. After watching both players in several games in their own arenas, it must be six of one and a half dozen of the other. Pizunski is one of the chip- piest players seen in a long time . . . and with that steel mask he is wearing to protect a broken nose he is a positive agitator. He is also one of the worst cheap shot artists seen in this league in a long time. Ircandia is also a good "Stick Man". When the two of them meet, it's like fire and gasoline . . . bound to explode.
QUOTES FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE:
A distinct variety of quotes has come to our attention during the past week or so ... regarding a multitude of items concerning the International Hockey League. The opener for this column is both humorous and thought provoking . . . and came from IHL Commissioner Bill Beagan during an interview with Dean Pantazzi of Channel 21 Sports. Stated Mr. Beagan, when asked about the quality of officiating ... "I realize
that the officials in the IHL produce more boo's than all the distilleries in Canada. Notwithstanding ... I feel the quality of officiating is excellent.. . we have worked very hard to maintain a high level of excellence, and there will never be a higher level of refereeing excellence than there is today."
The possible acceptance of Louisville, KY, as a South Division IHL franchise has stirred some conversation,
especially in the North Division. They generally feel Louisville is geographically out of the question . . . saying that once we got rid of Des Moines, let's not start overnight road trips again. For Muskegon and Port Huron, it would be an especially long road trip. For all South Division clubs it would be an excellent move. Morris Snider, G.M. of the Port Huron Flags indicated that one more dollar of expense could spell the demise of the Flags franchise. The addition of Louisville would certainly provide the South Division with a worthy addition, and make travel less, with divisional play a more pronounced activity. It would also give the IHL ten teams. That would make even scheduling, so every club would play every weekend night, instead of one club always being idle as they are now.
The announcement that the league would possibly contract 18 year olds to play in the IHL next season also has provided a great deal of conversation for players and press alike. Commissioner Beagan felt that the news has been distorted, and overemphasized. He indicated that there are not that many players in that age bracket who will necessarily qualify to play in the league. It basically is stated that now there would be a place for them to play, if they have the talent to make it. A case in point is the young defenseman from Kalamazoo Behn Wilson, who was suspended by his junior club in Windsor, Ontario for "indifferent play." Wilson was given a chance to try out for Kalamazoo ... he made the club . . . and even though legal action was initiated to suspend him, it didn't' work. His case has been publicized all over Canada, and the reaction has been excellent, in favor of the IHL. Such publicity, and such positive action by our league will generate an awareness of the IHL . . . and a more favorable climate for talented juniors to be recruited to play here. Remember ... if they did not have the talent they still couldn't make the team ... it's as simple as that. Canadian press has tabbed the IHL as a "progressive group with an eye to the future of the game." A league operated by "hockey men", dedicated to the development of talent for the games pro clubs.