On the ice, the performance of the 1960-61 Buffalo Bisons was nothing to write home about. They finished fourth overall in the American Hockey League regular-season standings with a 35-34-3 record.
In the opening round of the AHL playoffs, they were bounced three games to one by the Hershey Bears.
However, for many players on the team’s roster that season, great things awaited. And for some, they arrived rather quickly.
It's Chicago Blackhawks Day! Here's a team photo of the 1960-61 Stanley Cup-winning squad. pic.twitter.com/Jsi3suS3Vf
— SportsPaper (@SportsPaperInfo) June 16, 2015
After Buffalo’s playoff ouster, several players were recalled to the Bisons’ parent club, the Chicago Blackhawks. Forwards Chico Maki and Wayne Hicks, defenseman Wayne Hillman and goalie Roy Edwards would all get their names inscribed on the Stanley Cup as the Blackhawks downed the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 in the Stanley Cup final.
Hillman, Maki and Hicks all saw game action in the Cup final series. Edwards served as spare goalie behind Glenn Hall.
1960 St Catharines Teepees beat Edmonton in a high scoring 6-game series with coach Max Kaminsky, stars Chico Maki, Pat Stapleton, and hometown hero Ray Cullen.
1 of 99 #MCMemorialCup champions and candidate for #CHL Team of the Century 💯
VOTE: https://t.co/iYGAX0JSCJ #MMC100 pic.twitter.com/wCcpMiAr0V
— CanadianHockeyLeague (@CHLHockey) April 20, 2018
Maki, who’d won a Memorial Cup with the 1959-60 St. Catharines Teepees, joined Ralph Backstrom (1957-58 Hull-Ottawa Junior Canadiens; 1958-59 Montreal Canadiens) as the only players in hockey history to win a Memorial Cup and Stanley Cup in successive seasons.
Forward Vic Hadfield would hit great heights in New York. In 1971-72, skating on the GAG (Goal-A-Game) Line with Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert, he became the first 50-goal scorer in New York Rangers history. The Rangers retired Hadfield’s No. 11 in 2018.
Vic Hadfield’s 11 officially joins the rest of the GAG Line in the rafters @TheGarden! pic.twitter.com/UQWA6JU2rn
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) December 2, 2018
Both Hadfield and defenseman Gary Bergman would be part of Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union.
Forward Larry Wilson and defenseman Doug Barkley would both serve stints as coach of the Detroit Red Wings.
Captain Phil Maloney would coach the Vancouver Canucks. In 1974-75, he guided the Canucks to their initial first-place finish in franchise history.