Defenseman Guidolin discovered this one morning during a practice. He had just completed what he considered a perfect pass that resulted in a goal. What's more, he had skated at top speed while doing it. Then he heard the whistle and saw Shore motion to him. "Mister Guidolin," said Shore. "Do you know what you did wrong?"
"The pass was perfect," said Guidolin. "I was in the sitting position. My hands were on the stick. What more do you want?"
"Mis-ter Guidolin," Shore replied, "your legs were two inches too far apart."
Outlandish as Shore's ideas may at first appear, they are all grounded in pseudoscientific theory developed and harbored in his encyclopedic mind. "Studying under Shore is like getting your doctorate in hockey science," says Toronto Defenseman Kent Douglas. "The Old Man taught me things about the game nobody else ever mentioned. He showed me you don't have to hit a man real hard—just get a piece of him. He showed me how to maneuver a man till he's off balance. Then you take the puck away from him."
When Douglas complained about being overweight, Shore stayed up nights analyzing the problem. Finally he had the solution. "You're drinking too much water," Eddie said with finality. Douglas eliminated excess water from his diet, lost weight, gained speed and stamina and won the league trophy as outstanding defenseman.
Eddie could see nothing to be surprised at when he ordered Guidolin and a dozen other players to study a number of dance routines. "Tap dancing," he explains, "improves balance, and balance is the foundation of an athlete's ability. From balance you get power and maneuverability. I want a player who can move forward, backward, one side or the other without actually taking a step, just shifting his balance. Add those up each time he has to make a move during a game and he's saving himself a tremendous amount of energy."
When any of Eddie's players were out of the lineup due to injury, illness or simply Shore's desire to bench them, they often had. to work considerably harder than regular members of the team. These unfortunates were known as the Black Aces. Ex-Black Aces say they were forced to do such odd jobs as painting arena seats, selling programs, making popcorn and blowing up hundreds of balloons before ice shows. But Eddie never makes anyone do a job he wouldn't do himself. Once he was changing light bulbs in the Coliseum's high ceiling. To do this, he had to climb a platform that the players on the ice pushed from bulb to bulb. At one point Shore was hanging on to an overhead cable with one hand and screwing in a bulb with the other when one of the Aces "accidentally" pushed the tower from under him. "He was just hanging there from the cables, but the fellows finally got around to pushing the platform back so he could get down," remembers one of them with satisfaction.
Over the years Shore has managed to antagonize almost every coach and manager in the American League but none more than Cleveland's Jackie Gordon, who is now the Rangers' assistant manager. In a February 1960 game with Cleveland, Shore suffered a fit of pique when Referee Lou Farelli disallowed a Springfield goal, although Goal Judge Bill Tebone had flashed the red light signifying the point. Gordon couldn't believe it when Eddie reacted by removing Tebone from his post behind the net. Shore said if the referee could overrule the goal judge, there was no point in having one. Gordon insisted the least Shore could do was appoint a new judge. Farelli ordered Shore to comply, but Eddie wouldn't hear of it. The referee resumed the game—minus one very important official.
"I did not pull out the goal judge," Shore says today. "He saw the puck go in and put the light on. When the referee would not take his decision, he said, 'If they think I'm a liar, I don't want the job,' and he walked away.
"The referee asked me to put in another judge. I said, 'This man is honest. If L put in another judge, it would be like calling the first one a liar and a cheat.' I told the referee, 'Either he goes back in there or else you won't have a goal judge.' "