Sunday

Bingo Kampman

When Rudolph Kampman broke into the NHL, he immediately caught the attention of observers due to his unique stick abilities. He was ambidextrous.

“One of the most unusual of our present day stick wielders in the NHL is “Bingo” Kampman. He’s distinctly a two-handed performer, who wields his stick either from the left side or the right with equal effectiveness. One minute you cast your eye over the Toronto defense and over Kampman, and you find him playing right-handed. Suddenly there is a shift of the opposing attack to his left. Presto! Bango Bingo is playing left-handed,” once wrote the editor of the Toronto Star.

Kampman was a hard rock defenseman with Toronto in the 1940s, not afraid to throw big body checks or exchange pleasantries with NHL's toughest fighters. His penchant for the physical game apparently earned him his famous nickname.

Kampman was as strong as an ox. Sometimes the on-ice Hercules even used his strength for his benefit away from the rink. More than once Kampman engaged in parlor tricks, winning bar room bets with his teammates by lifting tables high off of the ground with nothing more than his teeth!

Kampman was a bit like a modern day Ed Jovanovski, although Kampman was not nearly as gifted in the skating department. Still, he liked to rush the puck out of his zone, rumbling through each zone in burly although sometimes aimless fashion. He didn't score all that often, as his 14 tallies in 189 career games suggests, but his rushes were described as exciting and memorable.

Dit Clapper, the great Boston Bruin, certainly remembered one rush in particular. As Kampman entered the zone Clapper engaged him along the wall in a routine play. The two fell to the ice. Kampman got up, but Clapper was left lying on the ice in a pool of his own blood. Kampman's skate accidentally sliced Clapper's achillies tendon.

Kampman helped the Leafs with the Stanley Cup in 1942, but that would be the last he would play with them. He was enlisted in Canada's military efforts in World War II, serving in Ottawa and Nova Scotia while continuing to play senior hockey.

Upon his discharge Kampman, like so many Leafs of the early 40s, found his old roster spot taken by a younger player. Kampman continued to play on in various minor and senior leagues until 1950.

3 comments:

Anonymous,  7:02 PM  

Bingo is my great uncle! Go Leafs Go!

Graham Clayton 7:26 PM  

Kampman was given the name "Bingo" due to the sound that was made from one of his bodychecks.

Ian Hopkins 6:39 PM  

Also known for his hip checks according my dad

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