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A man never forgotten
With the city buzzing with enthusiasm over the upcoming Windsor Spitfire hockey season, time was taken out last week to honor a man who wore the Spitfire uniform before all the present day ice warriors were born.
Gord Haidy, a dynamo player in the mid forties was honored with a roast dinner at the Fireside Inn last Wednesday with over 350 friends and well wishers in attendance.
An all around baseball and hockey player, Haidy is well remembered for his playoff performance in ’47 when he lead the Spits to the Turner Cup Championship over Detroit Bright’s Goodyears in three straight games. The Turner Cup, by the way was given in honor of Joe Turner, a Windsor goaltender who starred in the Border Cities League.
The Spits played a total of six playoff games that year and Haidy set a mark yet to be matched as he blistered the opposing nets for 19 goals.
The closest anyone came to bettering the record was in 75 when Saginaw’s Dennis DesRoisers scored 23 goals in 19 games over three series.
Haidy turned down a half dozen baseball contracts to turn pro with the Detroit Red Wings system in the National Hockey League.
Haidy was on his way up, having caught favor with hard nosed Jack Adams, and when hockey’s great Gordy Howe fell to injury in the 49-50 playoffs, Gord was called up to the big team from the Indianapolis farm club.
However, his stay was short lived, playing in one of three games before being forced back to Indianapolis, under league rules.
Another Red Wing farm club Omaha-had been knocked out of playoff action and since Haidy’s team was still in, he had to go back to Indianapolis won the Calder Cup that year as the red Wings went on to win the Stanley Cup. Haidy is probably the only player to play on a Stanley and Turner Cup in the same year.
Haidy’s Comet to hockey stardom was burst a short time later when Gord and Jack Adams clashed in a debate over personal freedom. Adams was supposed to be so enflamed that he threatened to ship Gord to such well known teams as the Timbucktoo Sandlanders or the Anchorage Hockeyettes. Gord, known sometimes to streaks of stubborness, replied no way, or words to that effect and never did make it back to
the big leagues– despite a two year effort by the Chicago Black Hawks to buy his playing rights.
Gord came back to Windsor playing local ball right up to six years ago when he hung up the spikes after playing for Branch 143 in the Civic League.
Bothered by back problems, Gord has had to put up with pain and inconveniences over the past few years, which was the reason behind the roast, as grateful fans and friends tried to repay the man for past memories.
But Gord is a far cry from pasture greens yet; in fact the same Red Wings club that turned their back on him thirty years ago, may be taking him into the organization now.
Ted Lindsay is to meet with Gord in Kalamazoo to discuss the possibility of a scouting position.
There’s nothing I’d like better to do than scouting,” Gord says. “It would be better on my back.”
In regards to the roast, “I think it’s the most wonderful thing that’s happened. The turnout was tremendous and there’s been nothing but compliments ever since.”
Hockey heavies Alex Delveccio and Johnny Wilson agree, as they told Gord that it was, “The best roast I’ve ever been to.”
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