Hartman: Mayasich a superb hockey player, great friend

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 14, 2014 - 12:12 AM

The legend, 80, will be honored by the Gophers on Friday.

On Friday night, the Gophers will honor the greatest hockey player without a doubt who ever put on the Maroon and Gold uniform in John Mayasich. He not only dominated high school hockey playing for Eveleth, sparking the Golden Bears to four state championships and a 69-0 record in his four years with the varsity, but went on to become one of the best collegiate players in history.

Mayasich, 80, will be on hand for a pregame program and then do a ceremonial puck drop before the Gophers’ game against Michigan.

Mayasich is still the Gophers’ career leading scorer with 144 goals and 298 points in 111 games over his four-year career from 1951-55. That gave Mayasich an astonishing 2.68 points-per-game average.

Still, the reason for the Gophers honoring him Friday isn’t his college career — he already is the only Gophers hockey player to have his jersey retired — but for his illustrious Olympic and international career with Team USA.

He was an eight-time member of the U.S. National Team, still a record, and he won an Olympic silver medal in 1956 and a gold medal in 1960.

Close, personal friend

Mayasich and I got to be close friends while he was with the Gophers. I attended his wedding in Eveleth to one great gal in Carol. And Mayasich’s closest friend on the hockey team was Stanley Hubbard, who Mayasich went to work for as general manager of one of the Hubbard families’ radio stations, a job he held for years.

As an indication of how close we were, I found a letter he wrote to me on Jan. 21, 1957, while he was in the Army. So today I will act the part of Dear Abby, the former columnist who appeared in the Star Tribune and tried to answer readers’ problems, and reprint that letter.

Dear Sid:

It was sure nice hearing from you. I thank you for the help you’ve given me in connection with my decision as to what I’m going to do when I get out of the Army next fall.

I was wondering what type of job this would be at Cargo Carriers Inc. [a branch of Cargill] if I were accepted.

Stan Hubbard wants me to get in over at KSTP, etc., as I told you earlier.

[Then-Gophers sports information director] Otis Dypwick wrote and asked if I were interested in a teaching and coaching position at St. Louis Park, so you can see where I’m still confused as to how to decide.

I guess I just feel I’m not qualified to do anything but teach and coach and that’s why I’m rather undecided when it comes to choosing between coaching and a job in the business world.

I’m quite sure Carol and I are going to have another addition to the family next fall. Unofficial as yet though. Our son is sure getting big. No skates for him this year though.

We leave for Europe Feb. 2nd. Expect to arrive back around March 25th. I believe I’ll be stationed around Boston till I get out in Oct.

I’ll keep you informed as to how we’re doing overseas, etc., and thanks again for helping me like this.

Sincerely, Johnny

Yes, in the days when everything wasn’t a conflict of interest, you could be friends with athletes in a way you can’t today. But I still have a close relationship with Mayasich, and it’s great to see the university honor him.

Jottings

• The University of Minnesota Board of Regents is expected to approve the agreement between the university and the Vikings for the NFL team to play two seasons at TCF Bank Stadium while the Vikings’ new stadium is being built. The agreement will make the stadium better by bringing in a heated field, 2,200 more seats in the open end of the stadium, a big improvement of the concessions stands and heat in the stadium concourses.

• Former Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith got his most impressive victory with Texas Tech when the Red Raiders upset Oklahoma 68-60 in Norman, Okla., on Wednesday. Oklahoma had only one other home loss this season, a 90-83 loss to Kansas in January. Smith and the Red Raiders have won three consecutive Big 12 Conference games and are now at 5-6 and seventh in the league. Smith will face former Timberwolves player and executive Fred Hoiberg and the No. 11 Iowa State Cyclones in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday.

• NewJersey.com ran an article on former Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson, who has transferred to Rutgers and spent time working out with former Rutgers coach Terry Shea, now a quarterback trainer in Phoenix. Shea said this about Nelson: “I really liked him. I liked his work ethic. He was bright, intelligent. He carries a 3.6 GPA out of high school and college, so he’s got that innate intelligence that you like. But he’s got a really good quarterback IQ. He knows and understands the game.”

• Linebacker Simoni Lawrence, who recently signed with the Vikings, was defensive captain of the Gophers in 2009 and a real leader. He played for the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats last year and had 52 tackles and a team-leading three interceptions.

• While there has been some criticism of the Timberwolves’ 2013 draft, President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders has contended from the time he drafted UCLA swingman Shabazz Muhammad — who scored 12 points in 17 minutes against Portland on Saturday — that maybe if Muhammad gets a chance to play, he will contribute. ”There was a good opportunity out there and it was a good opportunity for me,” Muhammad said.

• Former Minnesota Mr. Basketball Kevin Noreen, who broke the state scoring record with an unofficial total of 4,086 points at Minnesota Transitions, is averaging only 2.1 points and 2.6 rebounds per game for West Virginia.

• The Positive Coaching Alliance Minnesota will have a “Breakfast with the Champions” event Feb. 19 at 7:30 a.m. at the Metropolitan Club at Target Field. Gophers football coach Jerry Kill, Eden Prairie football coach Mike Grant and Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve will take part in a panel discussion.

• Look for Melvin Holland Jr. from Briar Woods High School in Ashburn, Va., to fill some of the holes the Gophers have had at wide receiver. The 6-3, 190-pounder led his team to a 13-2 record and, while his team lost the state title game to L.C. Bird High School, Holland caught five passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns in the game.

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Video: SidCast: Pekovic and Love crucial for Wolves success

    Thursday February 13, 2014

    Injuries and coaching uncertainty continue to dog the team

  • Senior defenseman Parenteau gives Gophers a big leg up

    Friday February 14, 2014

    Senior defenseman Jake Parenteau missed 2 ½ months with an injury.

  • Series preview: Michigan at Gophers hockey

    Thursday February 13, 2014

    SERIES PREVIEW: NO. 10 MICHIGAN AT NO. 2 GOPHERS8:04 p.m. Friday, 7:10 p.m. Saturday at Mariucci ArenaTV/radio/live stream: BTN...

  • Profile of John Mayasich, now 80, one of the most prolific amateur hockey players in Minnesota during his playing days in the 1940's and 50's. He has retired to Eveleth, his hometown of hockey fame. John Mayasich with memorabilia from his Minnesota Gophers hockey team playing days on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia 24 FINAL
Washington 27
San Diego 38 FINAL
San Francisco 35
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Phoenix 99 FINAL
New York 90
Portland 114 FINAL
New Orleans 88
Utah 86 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Atlanta 104 FINAL
Houston 97
San Antonio 93 FINAL
Dallas 99
Indiana 73 FINAL
Denver 76
Milwaukee 87 4th Qtr 9:10
LA Clippers 88
Arizona 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Colorado 5 FINAL
Buffalo 1
Philadelphia 7 FINAL
Toronto 4
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Montreal 4
Washington 4 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Tampa Bay 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Florida 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
NY Rangers 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Chicago 2 FINAL(SO)
Columbus 3
Nashville 6 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 5
Calgary 2 3rd Prd 5:36
Vancouver 2
St. Louis 2 3rd Prd
San Jose 1
VA Commonwealth 68 FINAL
Cincinnati 47
Charlotte 78 FINAL
Georgetown 81
SMU 62 FINAL
Michigan 51
Louisville 76 FINAL
Western Ky 67
Mount St Marys 45 FINAL
American Univ 46
Abilene Christian 33 FINAL
Boise State 77
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Duquesne 79
South Alabama 65 FINAL
IUPUI 71
Ohio State 74 FINAL
North Carolina 82
Massachusetts 65 FINAL
Providence 85
Syracuse 77 FINAL
Villanova 82
Citadel 61 FINAL
Virginia Tech 64
Belmont 73 FINAL
Fairfield 61
St Bonaventure 69 FINAL
Binghamton 51
Montreat 64 FINAL
Campbell 90
Delaware 74 FINAL
Fair-Dickinson 76
South Florida 62 FINAL
Florida State 75
Vanderbilt 60 FINAL
Georgia Tech 65
SC State 71 FINAL
Houston 63
Missouri 59 FINAL
Illinois 62
Truett-McConnell 55 FINAL
Jacksonville 84
Toledo 83 FINAL
McNeese State 69
Elon 71 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 64
Drexel 68 FINAL
Penn State 73
St Francis-PA 73 FINAL
Rutgers 68
Albany 64 FINAL
Yale 60
PSU-Beaver 74 FINAL
Longwood 106
Eastern Ill 60 FINAL
Indiana State 56
Indiana 82 FINAL
Butler 73
Marshall 58 FINAL
Arkansas State 67
Lafayette 69 FINAL
Kansas 96
Oral Roberts 63 FINAL
Memphis 78
Western Mich 61 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Delaware State 70 FINAL
Oregon 83
Fla Atlantic 56 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
Arkansas Tech 57 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 94
Howard Payne 50 FINAL
Texas-Arlington 89
UMBC 66 FINAL
Kennesaw St 53
St Josephs (IN) 54 FINAL
Chicago State 77
Eastern Mich 77 FINAL
Missouri State 65
UCLA 44 FINAL
Kentucky 83
UC Davis 81 FINAL
Air Force 75
Houston Baptist 67 FINAL
UC Riverside 78
Davidson 80 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 68
USC Upstate 53 FINAL
Miss State 51
NC Central 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 60
Illinois State 77 FINAL
Murray State 89
Louisiana 85 FINAL
Northwestern St 89
Oakland 77 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
Detroit 55 FINAL
Rhode Island 69
Presbyterian 60 FINAL
UT Martin 77
Monmouth 74 FINAL
Wagner 66
Southern U 39 FINAL
Wyoming 57
Iowa State 83 FINAL
Drake 54
Wake Forest 50 FINAL
Florida 63
High Point 80 FINAL
James Madison 71
Texas Southern 71 FINAL
Michigan State 64
New Hampshire 60 FINAL
Sacred Heart 73
Northeastern 78 FINAL
Santa Clara 72
Huston-Tillotson 56 FINAL
Texas State 90
Purdue 63 FINAL
Notre Dame 94
Prairie View 44 FINAL
Sam Houston St 61
Xavier 88 FINAL
Auburn 89
Bluffton 53 FINAL
Akron 92
NJIT 84 FINAL
Central Conn St 76
Hofstra 77 FINAL
Columbia 82
Boston Univ 62 FINAL
Dayton 78
Iona 81 FINAL
George Mason 86
Valparaiso 75 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 72
Texas A&M 64 FINAL
Kansas State 71
Morgan State 69 FINAL
Manhattan 73
Saint Josephs 75 FINAL
Marist 58
East Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 66
Richmond 65 FINAL
Pepperdine 63
La Salle 67 FINAL
Towson 53
Incarnate Word 110 FINAL
UMKC 104
CS-Bakersfield 59 FINAL
Idaho State 50
Iowa 44 FINAL
Northern Iowa 56
Milwaukee 56 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 61
Long Beach State 68 FINAL
Texas 78
TX-San Antonio 57 FINAL
TCU 88
SE Missouri St 67 FINAL
Arkansas 84
Lehigh 84 FINAL
Arizona State 81
New Mexico 69 FINAL
New Mexico St 67
Oklahoma 67 FINAL
Washington 69
Utah Valley U 61 FINAL
Weber State 73
Jacksonville St 60 FINAL
Northern Colorado 69
St Edwards 55 FINAL
Grand Canyon 81
NC State 69 FINAL
West Virginia 83
TX A&M-CC 75 FINAL
CS-Northridge 68
Cal Poly 50 FINAL
Gonzaga 63
Fresno State 68 FINAL
Pacific 71
Montana State 60 FINAL
Portland 87
Ball State 57 FINAL
San Diego St 70
South Dakota St 68 FINAL
Utah State 65
Stanford 49 2nd Half 12:08
BYU 52
Utah 16 1st Half 4:50
UNLV 16
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 21 4th Qtr 10:58
Bowling Green 27
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Livingstone 77 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Dartmouth 70
Georgia Tech 65 FINAL
St Francis-NY 59
Auburn 49 FINAL
St Johns 56
East Tenn St 56 FINAL
Jacksonville St 57
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Detroit 57
Cal-Irvine 42 FINAL
Wright State 80
Gardner-Webb 47 FINAL
Kennesaw St 50
(7) Stanford 40 FINAL
(11) Tennessee 59
Alabama A&M 47 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Central Michigan 45 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 80
Nebraska Omaha 50 FINAL
Creighton 67
FIU 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 83
Houston 65 FINAL
Nicholls 47
St Thomas Aquinas 45 FINAL
Army 70
St Bonaventure 72 FINAL
Niagara 60
Texas State 57 FINAL
Stetson 75
George Mason 65 FINAL
ULM 53
Grambling 38 FINAL
Kansas State 61
Missouri 79 FINAL
Wake Forest 64
Robert Morris 59 FINAL
Cornell 70
Air Force 44 FINAL
Abilene Christian 80
Hampton 53 FINAL
James Madison 85
American Univ 64 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 52
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 68
Tenn Tech 49 FINAL
NC A&T 54
Presbyterian 45 FINAL
NC Central 33
Penn 58 FINAL
Drexel 67
Lipscomb 38 FINAL
Xavier 62
Vermont 40 FINAL
Green Bay 60
Charleston Southern 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 80
Ohio Christian 62 FINAL
Akron 97
Jacksonville 62 FINAL
Murray State 80
(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Iona 58
Indiana 88 FINAL
Oakland 61
Indiana State 64 FINAL
SMU 55
Denver 51 FINAL
Purdue 65
TX-San Antonio 48 FINAL
Texas Tech 64
UCF 57 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 79
Campbell 66 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 55
Florida A&M 67 FINAL
SE Louisiana 69
Northwestern St 61 FINAL
Jackson State 62
Lehigh 61 FINAL
Arizona State 81
Valparaiso 65 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 77
Liberty 60 FINAL
Minnesota 74
Wofford 60 FINAL
North Florida 68
Montana State 61 FINAL
Washington St 82
Marshall 56 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 69
Morgan State 40 FINAL
Chattanooga 55
Northeastern 65 FINAL
Harvard 67
Furman 51 FINAL
(15) Georgia 58
(18) Michigan State 65 FINAL
(9) Baylor 84
Ohio U 52 FINAL
Massachusetts 59
Prairie View 48 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 86
Toledo 64 FINAL
Southern Ill 48
High Point 57 FINAL
(12) Nebraska 83
Winthrop 20 FINAL
Wichita State 66
William Jewell 59 FINAL
UMKC 51
Louisiana Tech 52 FINAL
Utah 67
Southern Utah 51 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
Hawaii 85 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 76
San Jose St 62 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Northridge 65 FINAL
San Diego State 54
Norfolk State 36 FINAL
East Carolina 65
Saint Peters 49 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 59
Arizona 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 72
Northwestern 92 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 44
Oral Roberts 52 FINAL
Wisconsin 70
Florida Atlantic 44 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
La Salle 76 FINAL
Georgia State 68
(16) Oregon State 73 FINAL
Nevada 50
Sacred Heart 72 FINAL
Villanova 49
Delaware 59 FINAL
Cincinnati 67
Troy 75 FINAL
Tennessee St 71
Saint Louis 68 FINAL
Utah Valley U 66
Washington 74 FINAL
UC-Riverside 71
Pacific 43 FINAL
Long Beach St 53
Old Dominion 69 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 63
Austin Peay 62 FINAL
Montana 83
Lewis-Clark State 48 FINAL
Idaho 74
(21) Miss State 73 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 36
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

<
Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How much do you like the Gophers going to the Citrus Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close