In the March 18, 1950, Hockey News, Ken McKenzie* wrote about hearing Joe Crysdale call a Maple Leaf hockey game on CKEY Radio in his popular column, "Passing the Puck."
"Joe Crysdale’s dramatized Sunday night broadcasts of Toronto road games over Station CKEY in Toronto are so good that the studio is deluged with telephone calls and telegrams after the game inquiring as to Joe’s whereabouts...Is he in New York or Chicago or wherever the game happened to be played that night? All this despite the fact that Crysdale has been re-constructing these Sunday night games from wire reports for five years now. A combination of smooth mike-work, excellent sound effects and an imagination that knows no bounds, combine to make these Sunday hockey broadcasts by Joe one of the most popular sports features in Ontario..."
*The founder and publisher of
Hockey News Magazine
The Canadian Communications Foundation has the following entries for Joe Crysdale's broadcasting simulations of
baseball and hockey games.
Sportscaster Joe Crysdale would normally reconstruct out of town Maple Leaf baseball games from reports received by CN Telegraph from the ball parks. His job was a little more difficult for a time because of a major railway strike. He had the cooperation of stations WRNY Rochester and WEBR Buffalo during this time. He would hear their play-by-play via telephone and report it to CKEY listeners, about two plays behind. Lorne Greene was CKEY's featured news commentator.
Hockey broadcaster and CKFH owner Foster Hewitt charged that CKEY and its sportscasters had pirated broadcasts of hockey games on which he had exclusive rights. He said proof of the charge was contained in tape recordings of broadcasts made over both CKEY and CKFH. Hewitt said he had faked penalties in some of his broadcasts from rink-side of the Leaf's away from home Sunday night games...seconds later the fakes were heard over CKEY. The charge culminated a heated controversy over how Jack Cooke's CKEY and its two sportscasters - Joe Crysdale and Hal Kelly - were able to air reconstructed hockey games in distant NHL cities and got the details on the air only seconds after a rink-side broadcaster's version was heard. Cooke told the CBC Board of Governors that he and his men were prepared to swear they don't listen in on Hewitt's broadcasts and use his information. A bit of history of reconstructed hockey broadcasting in Toronto - CKEY started airing out of town Sunday night games of the Leafs in 1946. A Western Union telegrapher was hired to tap out the information from the arena which travelled by wire to a CN telegrapher at CKEY who then put the Morse code into English. Kelly would sort out these facts and pass them on to Crysdale, who coloured them up and put them on the air. Crowd noises would be simulated by a recording with the volume adjusted to fit the action. Things went along this way for seven years then the Western Union telegrapher was barred from most, and eventually all, NHL arenas because of a league ruling that barred wired reports. After that, it was said the sportscasters tried to reconstruct games from press reports coming over teletype from the U.S. news services. However, these reports ran up to 30 minutes behind the play, which was much too slow for CKEY because by then Hewitt was broadcasting over his own station - CKFH - a play-by-play direct from the arena.