You’re OLD!


This is Larry Cahan. He is famous in NHL history for two very unique things:

1. He was one of the players who checked Bill Masterton when Masterton became NHL’s first and only on ice fatality
January, 15, 1968.

2. He scored on the day of NHL’s first and only doubleheader (at Philadelphia 1-1) March 3, 1968.

Cahan has other little things that make his career interesting. He turned pro at 20, made the NHL at 21 (he’d be about 21 in the photo here) and played at close to NHL level through the 1973-74.

He played in 666 NHL games, 369 WHL games, 170 AHL games and 78 WHA games from 1953-1974. That’s a total of 1,283 games.

He kept getting drafted by one team or another. His transaction history includes being drafted by New York Rangers from Toronto Maple Leafs in NHL Intra-League Draft, June 6, 1956; Loaned to Vancouver (WHL) by New York Rangers for the loan of Milan Marcetta, Jan. 10, 1959; Claimed by Oakland Seals from New York Rangers in NHL Expansion Draft, June 6, 1967; Claimed by Montreal Canadiens from Oakland Seals in NHL Intra-League Draft, June 12, 1968; Traded to Los Angeles Kings by Montreal Canadiens for Brian D. Smith and Yves Locas, July 1, 1968.

That Intra-League draft item that involves the Oakland Seals was in exchange for Carol Vadnais. The Seals had first pick in the IL draft that year and chose Vadnais, dropped Cahan and Montreal picked him up. There were also draft picks involved.

He was a minor league All-Star: WHL Second All-Star Team (1960, 1966), WHL First All-Star Team (1961, 1967). He won the Hal Laycoe Cup (WHL Top Defenseman) (1967).

After he retired, he was a Prudential Life Insurance of America agent for 15 years.

He died in Coquitlam, B.C. in the early 1990s, age 58.

The reason I’m writing about him tonight is that Cahan is a good example of the “old-timey” aging process. As mentioned, in the photo above he was 21 and in the one to the left he was 33 (this is a training camp photo for the Seals, he would turn 34 on Christmas Day 1967, 21 days before the Masterton death).

Is it the haircut? Did he smoke? This isn’t picking on Cahan or anything, pretty much all of the men who played in the 1960s looked old (by our standards) by mid-30s.

Maybe they just worked too hard.

Or maybe it was the Seals.

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9 Responses to "You’re OLD!"

  1. Slipper says:

    The guy looks older than me in the first picture and I’ve nearly ogt a decade on him.

    Maybe it’s the preservatives in the food?

    Thank-you food science!

  2. Tyler says:

    Hockey players all look old. I’m not sure what it is but half of those kids on the WJC team look older than me.

    Incidentally, I found the proofs for my law school grad pics, taken two years ago. Jesus Christ I’ve aged.

  3. PunjabiOil says:

    He got married. That’s what happened.

  4. James Mirtle says:

    Kids, probably, too.

  5. Black Dog says:

    Meh, I’m married and have kids and except for a few greys I look like I’m in my early thirties.

    Of course, I’m 18.

    I keed.

    Its just the old time hockey guy thing.

    Crewcuts, smokes, booze, pressure of trying to keep a job from the AHL kids who wanted it.

    Plus the black and white thing.

    Seriously look at pics from either war. The majority of the soldiers, airmen etc were under 25, a lot were teenagers. Even in pics from their training (before the stress of trying not to get killed got to them) you have 18 year olds and they look 30.

  6. Dennis says:

    Drinking, whoring, smoking and lack of sleep.

    All of these things go together.

    I thought this was gonna be a thread about guys who started playing when they were super young and thus you can never get a handle on their age.

    Like say Luke Richardson used to be and just the other day I read where Redden’s still only 30 and it blew my mind that he was born two years AFTER me.

  7. doritogrande says:

    Speaking of old, check out Team USA’s roster of 17 players released today, Oilers Tom Gilbert and Matt Greene among them. Average age? 23.9 years young.

  8. Bruce says:

    Sweet opportunity for Gilbert and Greene, ought to be a good experience for both.

    I was frankly a little disappointed Team Canada didn’t add their traditional spate of Oilers, I was hoping guys like Penner, Cogliano and Gagner might get a chance to develop on the international stage. But with the tourney at home this year they seem to be going with an older line-up. And while I’m pulling for Staios to add to his medal collection, I don’t see this tournament as being a stepping stone in his development the way it often is for youngsters. But it’s not Europe, it’s not big ice, and priorities are different for Hockey Canada and players alike.

  9. A. Reader says:

    Actually the guy doesn’t look old. He is squared-jawed and athletic-looking and looks just fine. Looks like a hockey player. Doesn’t look older than his years. It’s just the black and white photo thingy fooling you good folks.

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