In the early 1950s, a generation before the advent of the assistant coach, a rough-hewed winger named Bert Olmstead would sit on the Montreal Canadiens bench beside Maurice Richard.
His job was to light the Rocket’s fuse.
“I’d always know how to get to Rock. If Irvin (Habs coach Dick Irvin) nodded, I’d get on him. If he didn’t, I’d leave him alone,” Olmstead told me 15 years ago.
When the cue was given, Olmstead ...