(Written by Rad Joseph)



Quadruple Sport Athlete opts to become

a Hall of Fame Lacrosse Player



Dave “The Dude” Durante was born in 1951 in Burnaby, British Columbia. He was known for his superior level of athleticism playing baseball, soccer, hockey and lacrosse. Dave’s family has lacrosse roots as his father Joe had a 10-year Senior lacrosse career which concluded as a member of the 1958 New Westminster Mann Cup Champions. That aside, until age 18 - Dave’s exposure to playing lacrosse was largely limited to backyard pass and catch with his father.

With a delayed start to playing organized lacrosse, Dave Durante played three seasons of  Junior “A” lacrosse with the Richmond Roadrunners tallying 82 goals and 76 assists for a total of 158 points in 62 games. The highlight of Durante’s junior career was winning a Minto Cup in 1971 as Richmond defeated Peterborough in a series which went the full 7 games. Dave was also a 1st team Junior “A” All-Star selection in 1972.


Standing 5’ 9” and weighing 170 pounds during his prime, Dave Durante’s Senior lacrosse career included playing for the Coquitlam Adanacs and the New Westminster Salmonbellies of the Western Lacrosse Association. In addition, he played for the Quebec City Caribous in the first National Lacrosse (Pro) League in 1975.


Upon the conclusion of his junior career, Durante was a first-round draft pick of the Coquitlam Adanacs in 1973.  He won the WLA Rookie of the Year which he followed up in 1974,  (his second season of Senior lacrosse) leading the WLA scoring race.  In addition, Dave was also awarded the Maitland Trophy for sportsmanship.


Having played two seasons with Coquitlam, Durante played professional with the Quebec Caribous in 1975, scoring 103 goals with 139 assists for 242 points in 60 regular season and playoff games.  The Caribous won the NLL Nations Cup.


After the demise of the NLL, Dave returned to play four more seasons with the Coquitlam Adanacs from 1976 to 1979.  Durante was pick upped by New Westminster in 1976 helping the Salmonbellies win the Mann Cup.  Dave was so instrumental in victory; he won the Mann Cup MVP.


Dave Durante was eventually traded (in 1980) to New Westminster playing 12 seasons for the Bellies.  He was a key component helping New Westminster win Mann Cups in 1981, 1986, 1989 and 1991.


Over the course of his career, Dave Durante was selected five times as a Western Lacrosse Association All-star player (1974, 1976, 1982, 1983 and 1984). In total Durante played 612 Senior ‘A’ and pro games with Coquitlam, Quebec and New Westminster, scoring 712 goals and 1,059 assists for 1,771 total points. He also accumulated 354 penalty minutes. At the time of his retirement as a player, Dave Durante ranked third in all-time Western Lacrosse Association scoring.


Durante played in nine Mann Cups, winning five times. As already noted, he won the Mike Kelley Trophy as the Most Valuable Player in the 1976 Mann Cup.


An exceptionally talented and colourfully skilled player, Dave Durante was tagged with various nicknames during the course of his career.  These included “Dandy Dave”, “Dave the Magnificent” and “The Dude”.


Dave Durante was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in the Player category in 1997. He is one of only seven players to have had their New Westminster Salmonbellies Jersey number retired.  Number 10 hangs in the rafters at Queens Park Arena forever!  A fitting tribute to Dave Durante – a phenomenal Hall of Fame lacrosse player.


Questions for Dave Durante


1.When did you first play lacrosse (age, level)? 


I was a very late starter to the game. My first year of lacrosse was at the age of 18 (1970) for the South Vancouver Legionnaires Junior “B” and Junior “A” teams.


I played baseball in the summers up to that point. I was a very good baseball player and was scouted and offered professional contracts by both the Cleveland Indians and the San Francisco Giants. My dad was adamant on my attending university (I had just completed my first year) and neither team would provide college scholarships, so He/I made the decision not to play professional baseball.


My lacrosse, until I reached 18 was limited. My dad played in what is now the WLA until his retirement from the Salmonbellies in 1958 after winning the Mann Cup. My mom did not want my brother and I to play, so we were limited to little lessons in the back yard with dad, or occasionally taking one of his sticks up to the school to throw the ball against the wall. But at age 18, a hockey teammate of mine convinced me to try the game. As I mentioned both mom and dad did not really want me to play but I was able to sneak my dad’s old gear out of the basement and attended two practices. The coach thought I was good enough to play and told me to take home the playing form for mom and dad to sign. I knew they wouldn’t so I signed it for them. I again snuck the gear out of the house, played my first game and scored 4 goals. I decided I liked this game and desperately wanted to play more. I managed to work a deal out with my dad (who was my baseball coach) to continue the baseball season but he would allow me to play lacrosse as well. We had a very good Junior “B” team and the players decided to stay at this level rather than play Junior “A” full time, as the Canadian championships were in Halifax that year. I played my allowable 7 games of Junior “A”, while on a Junior “B” form. We lost the British Columbia finals in Junior “B” to Victoria - so much for that plan. From there the Junior “A” team relocated to Richmond and became the Roadrunners in 1971. It was our Junior “B” team roster mixed in with 3 players from the Junior “A” team the previous year. We won the Minto Cup (1971) versus the Peterborough PCO”s that year. I had a solid year finishing 6th in league scoring while not playing one minute on the power play. I was starting to progress, developing into a better player.


2. Who or what influenced your style of playing? 


There were definitely who’s and what’s that influenced my playing style. I was quick and very fast and had a good sense or feel for sports. From the What aspect, my extensive soccer background, my high school basketball experience and to a lesser degree my limited (at the time) hockey career shaped a lot of how I would play the game.


From soccer (I was good enough to be offered a professional contract to play in England at age 19) it was moving the ball, moving your feet to open spaces to receive a pass, give and go of the ball and defending in one-on-one situations. From high school basketball it was learning how to set a pick, moving the ball quickly, when and how to go one on one and foot work on how to play defence. This sport taught me that team defence was the way to go. Individual play was good but by playing as a group of 5 you could influence the game more both offensively and defensively. From hockey (Mickey Redmond was my model) that you needed to play both ends equally hard, be ready to take some hits without getting hurt and assists were almost as good as goals.


On the Who side it was players like Wayne Goss, Jim Giles, Ranjit Dillon and my dad. While I only vaguely remember watching my dad play it was other people talking about his play that had a profound influence on how I developed as a player. He was a 5-tool guy. Played solid defence, good scorer, could play both right hand and left hand, excellent face-off man and strong loose ball guy. That was my aspiration to be the best 5-tool guy. Wayne Goss was the same. He could do it all and watching him play for 3 or 4 years prior to me picking up the game it was easy to want to be like him. Jim Giles and Ranjit Dillon were very fast and they were able to make plays at top speed along with being the consummate team guys. They had speed and knew how and when to use it to their advantage which was speed all the time.


It was the Bobby Orr era in hockey and in watching how his speed dictated the pace and the play during a game was also a big influence on me. Again, being a late starter at hockey (started playing at midget level and developing into a player that was offered the opportunity to play pro by both Detroit and St. Louis) it was still easy to see that this speed could translate over to lacrosse. So, for me it was developing the skills to execute at high speed that was my main focus and goal. I think I achieved it.


3. What do you feel are the reasons why you had the remarkable individual success as you did? (Scoring over 700 goals and more than 1000 assists in just over 700 games at the WLA level) 


First off I was blessed with natural athletic talent. Speed, agility, balance, eye hand co-ordination, a mind for whatever game it was and being a student of the game no matter what sport, it was.


While the above played a significant part of my lacrosse career, I believe it was my self commitment to not only be good but to be really good at the game. I just really, really liked the game and wanted to excel. As noted I started late, so there was only one way to get better and that was practice. I spent literally hundreds of hours at our local arena, outdoor boxes (in the east they call them bowls) by myself, running, passing to myself off the boards, shooting, imaginary one on one duels, chasing loose balls, perfecting the Indian pick up. I had this burning desire to be at the highest level of the game and I had a belief if I committed myself to this goal I could achieve it. I had the internal confidence that I not only could, but would achieve my goal. While I wanted to be good I also had the instincts to be a good teammate and leader. I wanted everyone to succeed but I also figured if I became good everyone around me would benefit from it.


Also, I was willing to admit that I surely didn’t know everything and I took advice, sought out aspects of the game from other players. I wanted to know what players thoughts were so I talked to defenders, offensive guys and goalies both teammates and foes. I figured that if I could add that to my skill set it would make me even better. I was a real student of the game and attended every game I could when not playing or practicing. I watched what other players especially goalies did and built my mental book.


Further to that even when I was injured I attended practices, stick in my hand always so I could be sharp when it was time to play.


My principal goal was to be a balanced offensive player (equal goals and assists) and be a good defensive player, maintain that 5-tool mentality. Up until about 1982 I was that. Something changed in me mentally after that. I wanted to be the best set up man in the game. I think I wanted to be the epitome of my former teammate Gaylord Powless. My goal was to make a play so that my teammate was going to get a pass that allowed him to score an easy goal. I started shooting less and became more of a playmaker. I could still score but that was not my focus.


4. Best (most skilled) players you played with? Why? 


Wayne Goss - the best and most complete player ever to play in the west. Compares to all the great scorers no matter what league or their geographic location.


Kevin Alexander - the best ever pure offensive player in the game. Quickest hands, pure shooter and a true student of the game and allowed him to excel in both box and field.


Gaylord Powless - just had a unique quality of a leader, skill and understanding of the game. Relished in making it easier for all the players around him.


Brian Tasker - most complete player that I played with. Speed, fitness, stick skills, checker, loose balls, antagonist, scorer, set up player.


Danny Wilson best player without the ball. Highly intelligent player, could shoot with the best.


JJ Johnston - just a player who enjoyed antagonizing as much as he enjoyed scoring. Underrated shooter, most confident player.


Mike French - good box player but outstanding field lacrosse player. Excellent stick skills and superb footwork in taking defenders on one on one.


Stan Cockerton - very good box player but outstanding field player. True shooter and he had so much confidence in his abilities.


5. Best (most skilled) players you played against? Why? 


John Davis - his nickname is “Shooter” for a good reason. Tremendous offensive talent and his scoring prowess and statistics speak for themselves.


Ron MacNeil - could run and do it all. Gifted offensively and very underrated defensively.


Kevin Alexander - see above. Simply the best at pure offensive ability and one of the smartest players to ever play the game.


John Grant Sr.- stick skills were second to none. Could read the game as well as most and he just had this fantastic ability to make a pass when and where it was supposed to be.


John Tavares - he was a rookie my last year of playing but he had tremendous offensive talent at the start of his senior career. Gifted athlete, excellent stick skills and a very intelligent player and the balance of his career speak for itself. Pro’s pro.


Gary and Paul Gait - best crossover players in the game of lacrosse. Among the best ever at both field and box. Just superstar athletes.


Eamon Macaneny - best pure goal scorer I played against in field lacrosse. Tough as nails and super dodge and stick skills.


Frank Urso - best middy field player that I played against. Could score either right or left, gifted athlete and was who I looked at in becoming a field player. One caveat he did not adapt to the box game as well as might have been expected.


6. Who are the toughest players you ever played with


Gordie Osinchuck, Kevin Parsons, Andy Ogilvie, Russ George, Rick Bisson, Ron Pinder, Steve Manning and Lyle Robinson.


7. Who are toughest players you ever played against


Gordie Osinchuck, Larry McCormack, Lenny Powers, Carm Collins, Al Lewthwaite, Rick Dudley, Scotty McMichael, Mike Smith, Ward Sanderson.


8. Who is the player you most admire? Why? 


While there are many whom I admire, two come to mind right away. Wayne Goss and Bobby Allan.


Wayne was arguably the best player ever. His scoring totals, his face off totals and championship record speak for themselves. He played the game hard, he took a beating, looked after himself and was an outstanding teammate and person. A 6-tool guy. He was who I aspired to be.


Bobby Allan was one of the most talented players ever to grace the game. Like Wayne he could score, grab loose balls, take face-offs, could shoot equally well both hands, speed, played in both the east and west and excelled in both leagues, he was a brilliant tactician and student of the game. Equally importantly it is Bobby the person. His giving back to the game as a coach and mentor to literally thousands of players.


9. Best team you ever played on? Why? 


It is a tough decision considering the Cinderella story of the 1971 Richmond Roadrunners, the 1978 World Field Lacrosse Championship* team, but I believe it was the 1975 NLL champion Quebec Caribous. There was just something about that team that stands out aside from winning it all.


The NLL in 1975 was the best league on the planet with every superstar of the time in except Wayne Goss and Ron “Groucho” MacNeill. It was fast, I mean really fast, physical and tough. It was truly pro as we practiced virtually every day, played 2 and 3 games per week. Two exhibition games, 48 regular season and in our case 12 post season games. I am very proud of the fact that I was the only player to play in everyone of them and did not miss one practice.


The team was not blessed with the best roster (Durante - 206 season points, Pat Differ - 149 regular season points, Brian Evans 146 regular season points, Travis Cook - 139, Brian Wilson 62 regular season goals, Murray Cawker 60 regular season goals), the best coach, the best management group or executive group. The thing that stands out the most is that it was the best “team” that I played on.


You had executives who were totally new to the game as the team had moved from Syracuse under new ownership. They were reliant on others and while they maintained a tight control of the purse strings, they allowed management to run the team. The management group were not the who’s who of the lacrosse world but worked tirelessly to try to build a cohesive team while keeping the business side on the rails. They were willing to listen to what the coach and players had to say. The coaches were again not the heralded Jim Bishop or Morley Kells, or Bobby Allan. They had a sound understanding of the game but they were challenged with what they had from a players group and how to incorporate them into a cohesive working group. The players were a real mishmash as a group. Mostly easterners who had not jelled as a group. I was the first player picked in the draft, so the executive had some expectations of me, but I was a westerner and only a few players even knew who I was. Thankfully the accepted me right from the get go.


But something magical happened early in the year. No slight to the original group of players selected as we all got along very well but….. The executives allowed management to make 2 trades that changed the complexion and the chemistry of the team. They traded The Gaylord Powless, Fred Greenwood and Bobby Tasker to Montreal for Gord Osinchuck (toughness, glue guy and good 2-way player), Jim Gow (good 2-way player) and Robert Bleu (unknown skills but a native Quebecer). Then made a trade bringing in from Long Island Brian Wilson (goal scorer), Rick Bisson (toughness and glue guy) and Roger Dubyna (defensive guy) for Bruce Todman, Billy Hope and Art Seekamp.


All of a sudden we had 3 strong lines, proven winners, all with specific attributes and roles and a bunch of guys that enjoyed each other both on and off the floor. Equally importantly our two goaltenders Larry Smeltzer and Rick Palla were best pals and were prepared to share the net with each other.


The Green line of Bruce Murdoch, Jim Higgs, Brian Wilson, Pat Differ and Rick Bisson were well balanced and solid defensively.


The blue line with Dave Durante, Jim Miller, Brian Evans, Murray Gawker and a mixture of Robert Bleu and Gord Osinchuck had every ingredient needed to play any style or team.


The Brown Line with Travis Cook, Terry Sanderson, Russ George, Jim Gow, Glen Mueller and Bucko Macdonald, Ken Alexander or Mike Smith were the most abrasive group of players in the league. We hated practicing against them so it is no wonder the opposing teams did not like playing against them.


We barely scraped into the playoffs finishing fourth by winning our last regular season game, 9 of our last 10 and the Philadelphia Wings lost their last 7 in a row. Yes they did Jimmy Wasson!!!


We played the defending champion Tomahawks in the semi-finals and beat them 4 games to 2 in an amazing upset. Nobody but us believed we could beat them as we just flat out outworked them with everyone on the roster contributing in one way or another from goals, assists and answering the bell or ringing the bell.


We then played and beat our Quebec rivals the Montreal Quebecois led by John “Shooter” Davis 4 games to 2. It was billed as “The Battle of Quebec”. We were on a roll and truly believed we could not be beaten. Once again the full lineup contributed to the series win over every aspect of the game. Players gutted it out with a couple of guys playing with their foot fully frozen due to injuries. Now that my friends - is giving it your all, for the “team”.


*The 1978 World Field Lacrosse Championship team is of note. While winning the championship seemed improbable (we won) the team really only came together as a group over the last 2 games of the championship. Bobby Allan put together a pretty much hand-picked roster of 22 or so guys that he thought could meld in to a strong and cohesive group. It took a long time for the whole group to find that “team” aspect so it only gets honourable mention without downplaying the significance of the victory to Canadian Lacrosse especially the field game.


10. Best team you ever played against? Why?


Two teams come to mind. 1972 Peterborough PCO’s Junior and the 1975 Long Island Tomahawks - NLL pro league. In 1972 Peterborough beat our Richmond Roadrunners in the Minto Cup Final. They had a 28-win 0 loss season. Their roster was a who’s who of the future stars of the game - Jim and Bob Wasson, Lenny Powers, Jan McGee, JJ Johnston, John Grant Sr., Paul Evans, Jim Gow, Mark Vitarelli, Steve Plunkett, Randy Bryan, Greg Thomas, Ben Floyd as coach. They spanked us winning the series 4 straight outscoring us 66 to 34. While we lost, it is with fond memories of these guys, many of whom I am still in touch with. “Wass” (Jim Wasson) will never let me forget it. This group were the core that went on to a formidable run of Minto Cup wins - 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975.


The Tomahawks again were in a class of their own in 1975 in the NLL. They scored 802 goals in 48 games. This compared to our 729. Their record was 31 wins, 17 losses. They had a bevy of stars and talent both offensively and defensively - Doug Hayes, JJ Johnston, Lenny Powers, Butch Keegan, Al Gordaneer, Paul Warden, Dave Wilfong, Larry McCormack, Ted Grieves, Jan McGee, Chuck Medhurst, Bill Foote, Merv Marshall and Morley Kells as coach. They could play any game necessary. You wanted to run and gun - then they were up for that with some outstanding athletes let alone lacrosse players. You want to whack a hack - lets go! Big tough athletic guys. Oh, and their goaltending duo of Merv Marshall and Tim Barrie was not bad either. Of note per above our Quebec Caribous team beat them in the semi-finals 4 games to 2.


11. What do you think (in general), your team mates thought/felt about you? 


I believe most of my teammates either thought highly of me or at the very least had a good deal of respect for who I was as a person and teammate. Mom and Dad and my whole extended family taught us and held us accountable to solid principals.


I think if you canvassed teammates they would all agree that I was a team first guy, While I had very good talent and playing qualities, I was always trying to be a leader and to foster the team first side of things. While I never wore the captains C after Junior “A”, mostly due to extenuating circumstances, I was always given an Assistant Captains letter. I was very much a cerebral player with good talent who understood what it took to win a game and a championship. In the later 4 to 5 years of my career, the coaches had me in a lesser role from a playing perspective, but still were reliant on me to continue galvanizing and moulding the group on a team first basis. I never put up a fuss over reduced playing time or role, just accepted my role and continued to try to lead the group. Interestingly when it came to crunch time during this period I was many times thrown back into a more prominent role or relied on to come up with a strategy. I continually worked with incoming players to make them better and make the team better in the long run.


12. Although you personally have played on a Minto Cup and five Mann Cup championship teams, what are your thoughts as to why the WLA has had such a long run in the past two decades without winning many Mann Cups against the MSL? (Since 2000, WLA has won the Mann Cup only four times). 


This is an interesting one for me. I played on the last 2 teams to win a Mann Cup in the east (1976 and 1986) it is surreal that in a 22-year span only 4 western winners - all at home.


There are a few factors at play on this one. Larger overall talent pool in the east. There are just more of the better players in the east. Not to diminish the players in the west but you just have a larger group to draw from in the east.


The most dominant factor I believe is that the east seems to find a way to pay their players be they from the east or the west. In so doing you have a concentration of top talent - typically moving between 3 teams. Peterborough, Six Nations and previously Brampton. When you can attract in essence an all-star team your odds of wining go up exponentially.


The one thing I must say about Peterborough is that they continually develop outstanding players and those players love to play in the “Boro”. As such they continually come home to play and their fan base is outstanding. When you average about 3,000 per game you can afford to pay your players providing strong incentive for them to come home to play.


In the west with the exception of Victoria and its strong fan base, the teams are all community owned. They also do not have the paying fan base to support paying players or at least a lot of good players. While you would think that with the size of Vancouver and area there would be some financial advantages - but unfortunately not.
While we have seen a couple of stacked western teams in the past several years it does not seem sustainable and the league has been dominated by Victoria, Langley and New West. This is not going to foster a well supported and strong league.


Also, both leagues have shenanigans that take place during the year. Allowing teams to load up at the end of a season with better players from other teams, or claiming teams as affiliates late in the season. The east seems to do this better than the west and results bear this out.


13. What do you think of today’s game in comparison to the game played during your career? How would David Durante do playing in the current style of WLA lacrosse? 


I am not a big fan of today’s game be it WLA or NLL even though I go to 2 to 4 games per year. Find many of them boring or as I say predictable. While the players are extremely good athletes, many are just average players with inflated visions of what they are as players. I’m not talking about the guy like Curtis Dickson, Dane Dobbie, Cody Jamieson, or the Thompsons. They could play at the highest level in any era. Just the overall player I do not believe has the skill sets to be considered top of the game. Most of the offensive guys just flog the ball. The so-called Transition guys while fast and athletic for the most part do not read the game well. The defenders while outstanding athletes typically cannot handle the ball, the coaches have very little trust in them with the ball and as such stifle the flow of the game. While the offence / defence system was brought in to accommodate the U.S. field lacrosse player (specifically the attack players) it has worked against the game. The games for the most part are not that exciting with low scoring and any real lack of transition scoring or scoring off of loose ball scrambles. It is much like a half court basketball game with less scoring because there is a shot clock.


The offensive players have it much easier than during my career. I played in the wooden stick era and you truly got beat up. Slashes even if you didn’t have the ball, constant cross checking took its toll on you. Since I was fast this took a little of whack and hack out of my game but not much as you tended to get slashed a lot more. The goalies were much more athletic and I think better when I played, although there are still some that have this athleticism in today’s game. The goalies today in most instances look and act like the Michelin Man on steroids. They believe that with all the pads they have that they don’t have to move to make a save. Wrong! Take the upper body pads down to a conforming size, reduce the pants to true hockey goalie pant size and make the shin guards to a conforming size. None of the padding was designed to protect the goalie only to cover more of the net. Make the goalies athletes and thinkers again.


My good friend and former teammate Wayne Goss and I were discussing a couple of months back how we might have done in today’s game. We both came to the conclusion we would have excelled and set much higher marks for todays stars to chase scoring wise. We were both were good shooters. There are very few good shooters in today’s game. Most just flog the ball. Also, given our quickness and speed we would have done very well, but statistically we would have excelled. If you look at our point totals, especially Wayne’s - we would have been outstanding statistics wise. We both would have been the offensive guys. Sixty-minute game and a 30 second clock. This allows for 100 to 120 possessions per game. If you split it evenly that each team would get 50 to 60 possessions per game, 5 to 6 offensive guys per team, that gives each player 10 opportunities at goal. Now the better offensive guys are going to get probably 15 opportunities at goal. Given we both could score, were excellent passers, unselfish players, throw in larger goals, power plays, our numbers would have been ?


14. Your nickname “Dude”. Where did it originate?


In 1973 while playing for the Coquitlam Adanacs in the WLA our goalie “Diamond” Dave Wedlock gave it to me. I used to go to the games dressed in 3-piece suits, fedoras and Fox and Fluevog custom shoes. He gave me the moniker about 3 games into the season and it has stuck since. There are people around lacrosse circles that did not know my first name for a long time and most of my teammates still call me by this name.


15. If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do different.


I would do two things differently. I had chronic hamstring issues after the 1979 season. I was very good at rehabbing them but was not able to get a good diagnosis as to the root cause. In any event my teammate Geordie Dean was probably the first western player to use a personal trainer and multiple training disciplines for off season workouts. I truly wished I had followed his lead as my offseason consisted of playing hockey and soccer. I would have been far better served to have taken the blueprint of utilizing other sources to enhance my conditioning and prepping me for the next season. I tell this story to show the impact of the hamstring problem. After the 1980 season I truly only ran at an 85% to 90% speed rate because I was so afraid of pulling or tearing a hamstring. There was one exception and that was during the 1982 Mann Cup series in Peterborough. Bobby Wasson intercepted a pass while killing a penalty and he was off on a breakaway with a sizeable head start. I decided he wasn’t scoring on this one and I took off and caught him about 35 feet from our goal. I was known for my speed early in my career and just showed I still had it left in me. That is the last time I remember running at 100% of what I had left for speed.


Second thing I would like a do over on is making the decision to not play in the MILL or its other iterations in 1987 onward. I played in what we called the “Circus” series of Team USA versus Team Canada in 1985 / 1986 having made the Canadian squad. We were supposed to play a 17 games series in various targeted cities with the idea of forming a pro league the following year. The two individuals who were running this I came not to trust. The series was quickly whittled down to 7 games and while it was a Team Canada and the western players were supposed to be treated the same as the eastern based players. Did not happen that way. They decided that they would only bring out 3 westerners for each game limiting the number of games we could play. There were 10 guys who made the team from the west. We practiced twice a week knowing we might not be playing that weekend. Last game of the series was in Philly and they had an excellent crowd of over 13,000. One of the promoters tried to tell us that there were 17,900 at the game. I had played in Philly in 1975 and new what that amount looked liked in the Spectrum. In any event on the flight home, I made the decision that I wouldn’t play as the players would never be given straight goods. They would only take a limited number western based players in the early days due to cost cutting measures. They paid the players a pittance while calling it pro, pocketed as sizeable profit for themselves as they originally controlled all teams. To this end it resulted eventually in a players strike to try to get a decent contract which was still far below what the players should have been paid. I felt I could still play (played in the WLA till I retired in 1991.