If you’re anything like me you must look at the speed, athleticism, and size of NHL players today and think that if they competed against NHL players 40-50 years ago there would be no contest. When I look back at vintage NHL video, I always wonder if they only look smaller and less athletic because of how little protective equipment they were wearing back then. Maybe they were just tougher though right?
Well when a friend of mine (not a leafs fan obviously) sent me this letter by email I just had to share it with The Puck Doctors readers. This is an actual copy of a Toronto Maple Leaf training camp invitation sent by Punch Imlach, to Jim Pappin, in 1962. I thought you would get a chuckle out of the 1962 conditioning requirements.
What sort of conditioning was necessary to be a paid professional athlete in 1962? 20 Push Ups, 20 Sit Ups, 30 Knee Bends, and some golfing and you’re good to go. Wow, when I look at the Leafs current win/loss record in 2009-10, maybe the problem is their expectations on player conditioning hasn’t quite evolved enough from 1962?