Sam Pollock 1925-2007.
Yesterday, an entire hockey era vanished with the passing of Sam Pollock, 81 years old. The legendary general manager of the Montreal Canadiens was known to be a tough negociator and a very wise man. Pollock contributed in a large part to the building of the Habs dynasty in the '60s and '70s.
''The godfather of hockey'' as he was often named, Sam Pollock succeeded to Frank J. Selke as General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens in 1964. In the following 14 years, Montreal won the Stanley Cup 9 times. Pollock's ability to evaluate a hockey talent was unmatched. He was one of the first general manager to understand that the best way to build a team was thru efficient drafting.
Pollock wisely pulled the strings in 1970-1971 in order to select Guy Lafleur with the first overall draft pick. Pollock traded minor players to the Oakland Golden Seals in return of the Seals first round draft pick with the intention to draft Guy Lafleur. But the Los Angeles Kings were doing worse than the Seals during the 1970 season so Pollock decided to trade a veteran player, Ralph Backstrom, to the Kings. Los Angeles finished in front of the Seals giving back the first overall pick to the Habs.
Sam Pollock was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame and was elected great Montrealer in 1978. My condolences goes to the Pollock family members.
(Picture: Sam Pollock and Clarence Campbell, CTVglobemedia publishing Inc.)