Leaf Training Camp Requirements in 1962

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?