‘The Happy-go-lucky Goalie’

From the Sports Illustrated Vault, a 1962 feature by Gilbert Rogin on a portly journeyman Bruins goalie named Bobby Perreault who once was a prizefighter in his native Quebec under the name of Kid Flamingo:

The long-retired Kid Flamingo made a brief comeback on NHL ice when the Bruins played Toronto in their second game of this season. Perreault’s teammate Ted Green caught him a swipe with a hockey stick and almost knocked him out. “Greenie swing at [Eddie] Shack—two hands!—miss and hit me. I thought I had a broken jaw,” said Bobby. Boston took a 10-minute timeout; Perreault had only cut his tongue. “Bobby, we going to win this game with you in the nets tonight?” Watson asked him. “Sure,” said Perreault, bloody but unbowed. Watson told the rest of the Bruins: “He wants to play.” “The Kid Flamingo took it on the button,” Perreault announced, “but the Kid Flamingo didn’t go down.”

Another of Perreault’s escapades involved a monkey called Chief, a straw hat and a pipe. As Bobby tells it: “We got the monkey in Florida. We were four guy, went for a little ride and decide to get a monkey. That was in 1953. We bring it into boarding house and hide it under blanket so no one know we got it in there. That monkey, he stoned all the time. He drink a whole bottle of beer, then look in the bottle like this.” Perreault squinted disconsolately into an imaginary beer bottle. “But no one want to keep him—smell.

“One day when I was playing for Shawinigan Falls against Three Rivers I bring Chief out on the ice with me. I wear straw hat, too, smoke pipe. I tie him to the top of the net and get ready to play. I thought that would be good for the people. Not bad, eh? Oh, yeah, the people really enjoyed it. But the referee say to me, ‘Take that monkey out of there, we want no monkey business.’ I don’t know. I say there no rule against it. They spanked me for a while, but there was nothing in the rule book about that. There was a new rule next year: a goalie can wear nothing but his equipment. In juniors I was worse. I smoke pipe all the game, keep the straw hat on all the game. That monkey he in the Grand Mère zoo now.

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