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Blasts from the Past

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As I See It ...
By Reyn Davis, Winnipeg Free Press

The harsh realities of hockey are ganging up on Teddy Green.

Try as he might, he can't unlock the mysteries of his knees and the common infliction that affects all of us - escaping youth.

Now 38, he is winding up a career that has spanned 20 seasons, graced with the rewards of two Stanley Cups and three Avco Cups.

No one in the seven-year history of the World Hockey Association has played on as many championship teams as the man they call "Syd", after a Manitoba politician of the same name.

He was the captain of the first Avco Cup championship team - the 1972-73 New England Whalers, then based in Boston and the famed Boston Garden, where he frolicked as a Bruin for 10 years, charming the Gallery Gods with his intensive, punishing hockey.

To the Boston hockey community, and the Bruins, he proved that Teddy Green was far from finished. Though his style had mellowed somewhat following the near-fatal head injury he suffered in a stick-swinging incident with a Vancouver Canucks' rookie, Wayne Maki, in September of 1969, he still had the strength, speed, enthusiasm and intelligence to begin a new career in a new league he wanted to pioneer.

Seven winters later, he's solidly entrenched in the province from whence he came.

Ted Green has been a successful hockey player who has earned and enjoyed the fortunes available to anyone who could demand and deliver during the bonanza years.

It's none of my business, but I doubt he owes a dime to anyone and his interests are considerable.

His newest venture is the Carman Motor Inn. It's a classy little place, they tell me, and, knowing Ted, the possibilities must be enormous.

In this building he's helped the Jets capture two Avco Cups, and, in both cases, he played significant roles.

He was the defence partner of Thommie Bergman when the Jets won their first championship in the spring of 1976. They were close friends, and, under Bobby Kromm's command, they played on the No. 2 shift with forward line of Willy Lindstrom, Veli-Pekka Ketola and Peter Sullivan.

Green was an authority on the playoffs, confronting such physical and intense leaders as Ken Baird of Edmonton Oilers and Terry Ruskowski of Houston Aeros. Strangely enough, both Baird and Ruskowski would someday be his teammates.

Thirteen were all the Jets required to finish off three best-of-seven series against Edmonton, Calgary and Houston. But the day before the 13th and final game Green was standing innocently in a corner waiting for a linen rush when Willy Lindstrom came storming around the net. Suddenly, Lindstrom lost his footing and crashed into the corner, colliding with Green and breaking his ankle.

But he came back from that injury, too. Then, two seasons later, he helped bring another Avco Cup to Winnipeg, performing with a late-season acquisition, Mike Amodeo on a shift with the foot soldiers - Bill Lesuk, Lyle Moffat and Bobby Guindon.

Winning eight of their nine games the Jets crushed Birmingham Bulls and New England Whalers, and, in the final analysis, the shift that made the greatest difference in the stretch was Green's.

Now, more months later, a great career seems about to end. But don't be too sure. Ted Green loves to laugh in the face of adversity.