January 2 – Otto Breitenbach, former WCHA commissioner (1983-94), passed away in Madison, WI.
During his tenure the WCHA expanded from six to ten teams and an interlocking schedule with Hockey East was introduced. For the 2001-02 season the league’s distinguished service award was named in his honor.
January 3 - Earl “Dutch” Reibel was not one to be boisterous about his accomplishments. The NHL veteran has his name on the Stanley Cup twice with the Detroit Red Wings and upon the Lady Byng Trophy. Between Reibel and Gordie Howe, no other Red Wing led the club in scoring between 1951 and 1964. He worked for Brewers Retail following his playing career and died in Kitchener, ON.
January 4 - Joe “Eggs” Bukovich broke into the pro ranks in 1941 with Fort Worth. A stint on the west coast gave him his Hollywood screen debut in “Gay Blades” with Bukovich being one of the hockey players.
After his playing days ended in 1955, “Eggs” mentored young players around Houghton while working on road construction.
January 6 - Claude Robert was primarily a minor league player but did get the treasured call-up by the Canadiens during the 1950-51 season. Robert continued to bounce around leagues until 1955. He went from hockey to become a police officer in Montreal.
January 7 - Ronnie Fielding is known to Maritime hockey fans for his junior days with Halifax St. Marys and senior career with the Truro Bearcats. He earned greater local fame as a harness racing driver, trainer and owner on the Maritime circuit. Later on he was inducted to the Truro Sports Heritage Hall of Fame.
Fielding died in Truro, NS.
January 12 - Bob Fryday got two shots at the NHL, both with the Montreal Canadiens. In 1949-50 the club called upon Fryday for two games and the right winger responded by scoring his lone NHL goal. A knee injury eventually ended his playing career. Fryday then became a Toronto firefighter, where he remained for 21 years. Bob returned to hockey when he retired to Port Elgin and served as the local supervisor of OHA officials.
January 14 – Sigurd “Sigge” Bröms played on Sweden's first two World Champion teams in 1953 and 1957.
Bröms was also a member of the 1956 and 1960 Swedish teams at the Olympic Games. Before his death he was involved in organizing the 2007 IIHF World U20 Championship in Mora, Sweden – his hometown.
January 15 - Gord Scott achieved hockey success as a member of the 1946 Memorial Cup champion Winnipeg Monarchs. The team was inducted to the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. Scott was active in hockey, golf and curling circles for many years in the Ottawa Valley area. He passed away in Ottawa, ON.
January 16 - Gerry Heffernan was known for being part of the “Razzle Dazzle Line” with Buddy O’Connor and Pete Morin on the Montreal Canadiens of the early 1940s. Heffernan, who came up through the Montreal Royals and the British hockey league, stuck with the Canadiens through to their 1944 Stanley Cup win. An avid golfer, Gerry and his wife played nearly 700 different courses until he reached his mid-80s.
Heffernan resided in Moraga, CA at the time of his death.
[ Go To Top ]
January 24 - Martin Trudel was a defenseman with the Granby Bisons and Saint-Hyacinthe Laser (QMJHL) during the early 1990s. Following his junior career Trudel became a chiropractor. Unfortunately, cancer caught up to Trudel and he passed away in Boucherville, QB at the age of 33.
January 26 - Lorne “Gump” Worsley was among the most beloved goaltenders among hockey fans. Worsley’s inelegant style, small figure and quick humour belied one of hockey’s best clutch goaltenders. This ability came to the fore after he was traded to Montreal in 1963. Four times he backstopped the Canadiens to Stanley Cup victories. “Gump” finished out his career playing for the Minnesota North Stars. Lorne Worsley died of a heart attack in Beloeil, QB.
January 27 - Joe Bretto had a brief NHL career with the Chicago Blackhawks but the largest (and most
productive) part of his playing career was with the St. Paul Saints (AHA). When his playing days ended, Bretto ran his own mining equipment sales company. He also kept act by breeding show horses and auto racing.
Joe Bretto died in Hibbing, MN.
February 2 - Robert L. Wolfson, partnered with Sidney Salomon, Jr. and Sid Salomon III, brought the National Hockey League to St. Louis in 1967. Wolfson remained with the team until its sale in 1977. At one time he owned the GEM membership discount chain, several car dealership and numerous race horses
February 10 – Doug Orr was scouted by the Boston Bruins but chose to enlist in the Canadian Navy during World War II. The Bruins would have to wait until Doug’s son, Bobby, was available to play. Doug Orr worked at Canadian Industries Ltd and the Parry Sound Courthouse after his war service. In retirement he led visitors through the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame.
February 12 – Bill McMurtry began practicing law in 1960. His reputation for community activism and social causes led to his being commissioned by the Ontario government to study violence in amateur hockey. His 1974 report is widely regarded as having altered the direction of amateur programs since that time. McMurtry died after a two year battle with cancer.
February 18 - Frank Martin, like many of his era, played hockey in winter and other sports in the summer. Martin’s sport was baseball and it led him to getting an invite to the Brooklyn Dodgers camp, which he declined. Frank stuck with hockey and wound up playing nearly 300 NHL games for Boston and Chicago.
Martin completed his career in the American Hockey League. He died in St. Catharines, ON.
February 19 - Bobby Moy, nicknamed “Rabbit”, was the captain of his Grand Rapids Rockets (IHL) teams. Even though Moy got invitations to NHL camps it was likely his size at 145-pounds that held him back. After one too many stitches to his mouth he retired at 25 yrs.
old to co-own Moy-Keenan Car Lot. He remained in the Grand Rapids area up to his death.
March 4 - Ralph Wycherley was among the last New York/Brooklyn American players still among us.
Wycherley, a noted storyteller, served in World War II. He continued as a minor leaguer after the war. A successful career in business carried him through to his retirement. “Bus” passed away in Oakville, ON.
March 6 - Larry Derda, a Detroit Red Wings fan, had a short career with the Traverse City Bays. Following his hockey career, Derda went into real estate sales.
It was while playing hockey that Larry collapsed and died.
[ Go To Top ]
March 9 - Glen Harmon was a veteran of some 505 NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens including two Stanley Cup winning sides. Following his playing career Harmon operated Juliette, a hat store, and then moved into car and truck sales, where he lasted 31 years. He kept involved with the Canadiens through the Hab old-timers team. Harmon passed away in Mississauga, ON after suffering the effects of Alzheimer’s disease for 12 years.
March 13 – John F. Karr at one time was the President of the Cleveland Barons and Minnesota North Stars franchises in the National Hockey League. Karr later served as a consultant to the NHL for its 75th anniversary celebrations and the 100th anniversary of the Stanley Cup. In addition, he was an advisor to the Hobey Baker Foundation awards committee. Karr died in Naples, FL.
March 28 - Eddie Emberg’s passing brought little attention at the end of March. Emberg did make the NHL in 1945 when he was brought up by the Canadiens for the 1945 playoffs. He returned to the Quebec Senior league and was with the Ottawa Senators when they won the 1949 Allan Cup. Edwin Emberg died in Pointe Claire, QB.
March 30 - Anton Biersack achieved fame as a defenseman in Germany during the 1940s and 50s. Toni played with SC Rießersee and won three German championships with the club. Internationally, he represented his country for 39 games including the
1956 Olympics and 1953 World Championships (silver medal).
April 4 - Tony Zappia played his junior hockey with the Cornwall Royals. In university he skated for the St. Francis Xavier X-Men. Later he turned his hand to coaching and led the OHL’s Cornwall Royals. After coaching in Nepean and Milan, Zappia took an offer to head up the Lakeland Loggerheads (WHA2). He remained in Florida where he played on the state’s poker tour.
A severe stroke and later heart attack resulted in his death.
April 11 - Warren Strelow was a pioneer of goaltending coaching. Strelow’s accomplishments include mentoring the gold medal winning 1980 US Olympic hockey team and the silver medal winning 2002 team. He became the NHL’s first full-time goaltending coach in 1983 when he was hired by the Washington Capitals. Over the years he worked with New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur and San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov. Strelow died in Worcester, MA after suffering a stroke.
April 12 – Bobby “Mr. Ace” Merritt was hockey for many fans in Reno, Nevada. For six years he was the backbone for the sport in the area and the reason why people showed up at the arena. While he may have earned his trade as a machinist for Viking Metallurgical, it was the love of the game that energized this transplanted Canadian. His death in Bradenton, Florida came just before he was to play in an old-timers tournament.
April 14 - Eugene Robillard hit his highest level of hockey in the Canadian university system with the McGill University Redmen. Robillard had his greatest fame though in football as a quarterback for the BC Lions. He died in Ottawa, ON.
April 16 - Gaetan Duchesne played 14 season in the NHL including a run with his hometown Quebec Nordiques.
Duchesne reached the Stanley Cup finals once with Minnesota in 1991. In later years he was an assistant coach for the Quebec Rafales (IHL) and the Quebec Remparts (QMJHL). Duchesne suffered a heart attack while exercising at a Quebec City gym.
April 26 - Jos Lepine could be called the definitive minor leaguer of his era. Known as “Joltin Joe” by the fans, Lepine patrolled minor league bluelines from Halifax to Victoria throughout his career. It was winning the 1958 Allan Cup with the Belleville McFarlands that finally capped his career. Seagram’s hired him in 1960 and he remained in liquor sales until 1987. Maurice (Jos) Lepine passed away from cancer in Ottawa, ON.
April 29 - Ed Kryzanowski was one of the few NHL players of his time to have a degree before joining the big league. Kryzanowski turned pro in 1948 and enjoyed a solid hockey career with Boston and Chicago.
His accomplishments landed him Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame and the University of Toronto Hall of Fame. He became a teacher after his playing career and stayed in that profession until retiring in 1979.
Kryzanowski died in Atikokan, ON.
[ Go To Top ]
May 2 - Duncan Grant was a fixture around Calgary throughout his life. First came his playing career which helped bring the Allan Cup to Calgary in 1946.
His curling ability brought Canadian Legion titles to the city in 1964, 1967, 1975 and 1976. Grant also served in sports facility management for the Stampede Corral, Saddledome and the Big Four Building (curling). Dunc Grant died in Calgary, AB.
May 7 - Johnnie Bobenic may not have been the best player of his era but he did enjoy some success. His
1952 Johnstown Jets did win the US Senior championship and personally he reached the American Hockey League a few seasons later. Bobenic settled in North Bay, ON, where he ran the Red Line Inn. In 1976 he traveled to Amsterdam to play in the first World Old-timer Championship, winning a gold medal for his efforts.
May 8 - Lloyd Ailsby may only be credited with playing three games for the NY Rangers in 1951-52 but that doesn’t compare to the 20+ seasons he toiled in minor league hockey. Ailsby played from New York to Seattle over his career. His highlight, though, was being on the board of directors for the Swift Current Broncos when they won the 1989 Memorial Cup Championship.
Lloyd Ailsby, farmer, passed away in Swift Current, SK.
May 12 - Aldo Palazzari used his hockey skills to land a college education at the University of Illinois.
Shortly after graduating, Palazzari joined the NHL with the Bruins and Rangers for 1943-44. An eye injury during training with New York ended his promising professional career. Aldo returned to Eveleth, MN, where he worked for US Steel as a cost analyst. It was in Eveleth, his hometown, that he died.
May 13 – Ryan Birmingham was just 24 years old when he was killed in a motor vehicle accident. Birmingham was establishing his career as a professional hockey official in the ECHA. Since 2003, he had worked his way through the NAHL, USHL, CSHL, SPHL, CHL, and UHL before being hired as an ECHL linesman. “Big Birm”
was on his way to Snellville, GA when the accident occurred.
May 20 – Annis Stukus is known among hockey fans as the, Winnipeg Jets (WHA) GM who signed Bobby Hull to an unprecedented $1 million contract. For Canadian football fans Stukus is a legend as a player, coach, general manager and promoter. He is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Stukus died in Canmore, AB.
May 29 - Dave Balon began on his road to hockey fame by hitchhiking. At 17 years old he caught a ride to earn a berth with the Mintos and an uninvited tryout.
By the time of his hockey retirement in 1974, Balon’s name was on twice engraved on the Stanley Cup and he was among the alumni of the Rangers, Canadiens, North Stars and Canucks. Unfortunately, he was soon diagnosed with multiple sclerosis – a condition he battled for the next 30 years.
May 30 - Evgeni Mishakov played for CSKA Moscow from
1963-74 in national competitions. Mishakov also won gold at two Olympics and four IIHF championships with the Soviet national team. Many fans will recall that he and Rod Gilbert engaged in the only fight of the
1972 Summit Series. Thirty years after the Series reporters found him living on a meager pension and unable to afford surgery on his damaged knees. He was 66-years-old when he passed away.
June 4 - Don O'Donoghue was a professional hockey player for nine seasons. With limited ice time in Oakland, O’Donoghue jumped to the World Hockey Association when it opened in 1972. After his 1978 retirement from the pro ranks, Dan opened a number of restaurants before establishing O.D.’s Kitchen in Gilroy, CA. He took hardly a day off until cancer finally struck him down.
June 9 - Lorne Carr was another former New York American that passed away in 2007. Carr originally played for the Rangers in 1933-34 but a trade proved his real opportunity to stick in the NHL. He remained with the Americans to 1941. Another trade sent him to the Maple Leafs, where he skated on two Stanley Cup winning teams. Carr operated the Amylorne Motel, which featured an 18-hole golf course and driving range, in south Calgary.
[ Go To Top ]
June 11 - Bob Beaton played primarily in the Maritimes and Britain during the 1930s and 1940s. Aside from hockey Beaton boxed professionally during the early part of his career, amassing a 12-0 record. The amazing thing is that he did this without the sight in his left eye. Beaton was inducted in 1980 to the NS Sports Hall of Fame.
June 18 - Alexei Savin was a native Russian but gained Belarus citizenship to play for that country. Savin competed internationally for Belarus at the 2005 IIHF World U20 Championship and in the 2005 and 2006 IIHF World Championships. The young player died in a traffic accident in Chelyabinsk, Russia.
June 23 – Bob Utecht’s “Let’s Play Hockey” call at the start of Minnesota North Star and Wild games was just part of his commitment to the game. Under that moniker, Utecht founded a weekly hockey newspaper which has run for some 36 seasons. Bob’s help also got rinks built and youth programs established in Minnesota.
July 3 – Heinrich “Hanggi” Boller was a legendary Swiss defenseman during the 1940s and 1950s. His international highlights included a bronze medal at the 1948 Olympic Games and coaching the national team from 1953-58. Boller played his club hockey in Zürich, winning the Swiss and Spengler Cup in 1949.
He remained active off-ice with Schweizer Eishockeyfreunde.
July 10 - Doug Baldwin was a player on the 1941 Memorial Cup winning Winnipeg Rangers, which was later inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
Bladwin eventually made it to the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs but suffered an emergency appendectomy after playing just 15 games. He recovered but spent the bulk of his career in the minor leagues.
Baldwin’s most infamous post-hockey venture was the Gimli Golf & Country Club.
July 11 - Jimmy Skinner is considered to be a tradition starter. In 1955 Skinner, after having led the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup, kissed the revered mug. While Jimmy never made it to the NHL as a player, he did as a coach in the 1950s. Illness forced him to move to the Red Wings front office where he worked as their Director of Scouting and Assistant General Manager. Skinner died in Windsor, ON following complications from surgery.
July 13 – Warren Fansher co-founded the Milwaukee Wings in 1969 with Paul Doud. The underfinanced club struggled through their debut season before being sold to a new group. The club was renamed the Admirals – since one of the partners sold Admiral appliances.
Fansher remained with the team, first as its General Manager and later as a scout. He is credited with founding the Southern Hockey Association of Wisconsin (SHAW).
July 14 - John Ferguson could be described as having one motto – hit first, period. The tough left winger went only 12 seconds into his NHL career before drawing a fighting major, and became the first player in NHL history to draw a triple minor in 1967. After his playing career ended Ferguson became a respected NHL executive. Outside of hockey he served on the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame selection committee. Ferguson passed away from cancer in Windsor, ON.
July 15 - Günter Schischefsky was a former player and coach in East Germany. Schischefsky joined the national team in the 1950s. After his retirement from playing he took over the coaching reigns and was an international fixture into the early 1970s.
Schischefsky died in Berlin.
July 18 - Gary Lupulwas was a popular player for the Vancouver Canucks both on and off the ice. It was away from the arena that Lupul’s love of partying nearly got the best of him. Eventually he found a way to control his alcohol addition and set out to establish a scouting career with the Canucks. A heart condition is believed to be responsible for his death in Burnaby, BC.
July 22 - Quido Adamec was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2005 as a referee. Adamec’s officiating career led him to work at seven World Championships.
In addition he served as chairman of the Czech Referee Committee and as a member of the IIHF Referee’s Committee for 25 years. Quido Adamec was 82 when he died.
July 26 - Vincent Javoric was a west coast goaltender prior to WW II. It is known that he played for the Portland Buckaroos and Seattle Olympics (PCHL) during 1940-41. Javoric passed away in Grants Pass, OR.
[ Go To Top ]
August 1 – Joe Morrisino was well known around Springfield as an on-ice official in several leagues and as the organizer of the West Mass. Hockey Officials Association. Morrisino could also be seen on the blueline of Springfield Indians games. Over the years Joe worked in machine repair and assembly for a number of firms. Morrisino passed away in Springfield, MA.
August 2 - Chris Worthy was and still is a record holder. Worthy’s junior goaltending record of consecutive shutout gamest and consecutive shutout minutes remain standing four decades after he set the WHL marks. After playing in the NHL for the Seals and in the WHA for the Oilers, Worthy went back to school and went on to direct his own private investment company. Chris passed away at his Vancouver home.
August 9 - Rudi Thanner was a member of the German Hockey Hall of Fame. From 1963-78 Thanner played for EV Füssen, winning six German championships with the club. On the international stage he appeared in 118 game which included three Olympic Games. His last Olympics, 1976, resulted in his being awarded a bronze medal.
August 15 – Sam Pollock is among the greatest General Managers in hockey. Pollock came up through the Canadiens ranks, beginning as a scout and working up to Director of Player Personnel. As GM of the Canadiens he put together nine Stanley Cup winning teams between 1964-78. In 1976 Pollock was charged with organizing the host entry in the first Canada Cup tournament which resulted in another winner.
August 22 - Jack Brewer, brother of NHLer Carl Brewer, had a fine minor league career in the IHL between 1967-72. The game also allowed him to go to Austria and Norway as a player before he settled into post-hockey life. Jack got into the restaurant business and his Chick n’Deli Restaurant remains a popular spot in midtown Toronto. Jack Brewer died in Toronto.
August 22 - Hans Bänninger is regarded as being among the finest Swiss goalertenders of the post-war era.
Bänninger backstopped the Swiss team to a gold medal at the 1950 World Championship and a bronze medal in the 1948 Olympic Games. He died in Zurich.
August 23 - Alvin “Buck” Jones got his NHL break during World War II as regular players were gradually enlisting in the war effort. Detroit called him up several times from the minors over four seasons but Jones never did stick as a regular. After a season with Toronto, he decided to join the war himself.
When he returned from service Jones resumed playing for 9 seasons before hanging the skates up for good.
He eventually settled in Tampa, FL, which is where he died.
August 25 - Dick Milford was a career minor leaguer, primarily with western teams. It wasn’t until after his service in World War II that he turned professional and played in the PCHL. When his career ended, Milford went through several jobs before working for the Tacoma News Tribune. Dick’s brother, Jake, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder. Dick Milford passed away in Tacoma, WA.
August 25 - Chad Peck was a QMJHL draftee of the Acadie-Bathurst but he never played for the team.
Peck drifted toward several low minor league clubs in the southern United States before turning to teaching as a career. Unfortunately, a diagnosis of a cancerous brain tumor cut short this promising profession. Peck had been teaching in Alymer, QB.
August 28 - Darryl Sly, early in his career, was a gold medalist at the 1960 Olympic Games as his Kitchener Dutchmen, representing Canada. A year later the color was gold at the IIHF World Championships and a professional career was begun. Sly’s teams did earn Calder Cups in the American Hockey League but that wasn’t enough to earn a real shot at the NHL. After just 77 NHL games and countless trips through minor league cities, Sly returned to live and work in Collingwood, ON.
[ Go To Top ]
August 31 - Billy McNeill played parts of six seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and a considerable amount of time with their old Western Hockey League farm club in Edmonton. McNeill’s proudest moment as a professional player came on November 30, 1963, when he fed a pass to Gordie Howe that resulted in Howe’s 545th NHL goal – breaking Maurice Richard’s record.
He died from cancer in Vancouver, BC.
August 31 – Dr. Herbert Kunze was a player for SC Berlin in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s. Kunze was a founding member of the German National Olympic Committee, the German Sports Federation and the German Skating Federation. Following World War II he became the president of the DEV and served as chef de mission for West German Olympic teams from 1952-64. Dr. Kunze died in Berlin at 98-years-old.
September 2 - Max McNab was a Stanley Cup winner with the Detroit Red Wings in 1950. It was back surgery that sidelined him for the 1951-52 season that forced McNab to re-evaluate his career. For the next seven campaigns he was a player/coach of the New Westminster Royals (WHL). A successful career in hockey management followed with NHL GM jobs in Washington and the notorious “Mickey Mouse” franchise in New Jersey.
McNab retired for good in 1994 to his home in Las Vegas, NV.
September 2 – Leonard Reeves was part of a group that bought the Johnstown Chiefs (ECHL) in 1993. Although the group sold their interest in 1995, Reeves continued to avidly follow the team. In 2005 he rejoined the ownership by purchasing a minority stake in the team. Up to the time he died Reeves could be located in the auxiliary press watching the team in action.
September 6 - Martin Cech played his junior hockey in the Czech Republic before going abroad. Cech journeyed to Finland for three seasons and Russia for a couple more before he returned to his homeland to skate for HC Pardubice. In his first off season with the club, Cech was suffered fatal injuries in a car accident near his Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic
home.24 - Bill Walsh
September 15 - Jules Swick played primarily for the Troy Bruins. In 1951 the club became the US Senior champions and the following season they joined the International Hockey League. Swick played center for three more seasons in Troy before joining the Indianapolis Chiefs.
September 18 - Thain Simon had a brief professional hockey career that was highlighted by his playing three games for the Detroit Red Wings in 1946-47.
Simon finished out his playing career with a trip to the eastern final for the Allan Cup in 1952.
September 23 - Ken Danby was known to hockey fans primarily for his painting entitled "At the Crease"
and other iconic Canadian hockey scenes. Danby made it clear in interviews after the goaltender painting appeared that it was not Canadiens netminder Ken Dryden. He served on numerous arts boards including the National Gallery of Canada. Danby passed away while on a canoe trip in Algonquin Park, ON.
September 24 - Bill Walsh, who grew up in Stratford, ON, mostly played senior hockey in that town. Walsh did get a number of AHL games under his belt with the Philadelphia Rockets in the late 1940s. Stratford did make it to the Allan Cup finals in 1952 but fell short of the title. Walsh died in Stratford, ON.
[ Go To Top ]
September 26 – Bill Wirtz was a throwback to the days of family run sports franchises. Love or hate them, the Wirtz family have controlled the Blackhawks franchise since 1954. Under Bill Wirtz the club was known as a penny-pinching operation that still managed to send $7.5 million to local charities. Witrz was also known for his refusal to locally televise team games because he believed they were an affront to season ticket holders.
September 26 – Ernie Trigg became an AHL regular with the St. Louis Flyers in the late 1940s. Trigg ended his playing career in 1951. For many years he was employed by Falstaff and Anheuser-Busch Breweries as an accounts manager. Trigg passed away in Redmond, OR.
September 27 - Darcy Robinson died suddenly during an Italian league game for HC Asiago. The defenseman simply collapsed early in the first period and could not be revived. Robinson was a member of the 2001 Red
Deer Rebels club that won the Memorial Cup. He went
on to join the Pittsburgh Penguins organization (1999
draftee) but stayed with their AHL club throughout his contract with the team.
September 30 - Len Wharton is known to hockey fans as a one-game wonder for his appearance in a lone NHL contest. Wharton joined the NY Rangers for just one game in 1944-45 and then returned to a minor league career. In 1952 he joined the fledging Fort Wayne Komets, where he finished out his career and permanently settled. Wharton went to work for Slater Steel until 1991.
October 3 - Bill Warwick may have had a short NHL career (14 games) but it was on a larger stage that his name became legend. Warwick was a player for the Penticton Vees when they were selected to represent Canada at the 1955 IIHF World Championship. The Vees recovered the tournament’s silver cup from the Soviet, who won it in 1954. Warwick arranged for the cup to be secretly replaced with a silver-plated copy. For years the deception went unnoticed – all in an attempt to keep the Soviets from the original cup. Bill died of heart failure in Edmonton, AB.
October 4 - Bob Scarlett reached his pinnacle as a player went he appeared in two USHL games in 1946-47.
A hockey scholarship brought Scarlettt to Colorado College in 1939 and he resided in state throughout his life. As a manager he was involved with the Amarillo Ice Arena, the Denver Mavericks and the Denver Invaders hockey operations. Scarlett worked for Sportsfan as a sales associate up to his death.
October 5 - Bob Owen was a member of the 1960 US Olympic team that upset the hockey world by winning the gold medal. Owen joined the national team after a successful college career with Harvard University. He went back to university to obtain a master’s degree and taught for ten years at Washburn University.
Owen’s body was found in a burning car near Topeka, KS. Investigators believe his car ignited the dry grass in the field he was driving through.
October 8 - Chick Zamick was born in Winnipeg but made his name in hockey in England. Zamick was drawn to the English league after World War II and was a longtime star with the Nottingham Panthers. Chick operated a series of businesses in Nottingham following his playing days. In 2005 a plaque was unveiled in his honor at the Nottingham Ice Centre.
October 13 - Irwin Gross played regularly for twenty seasons in Canadian senior and minor-pro leagues.
Gross ventured across the border once to play a season for the Clinton Comets (EHL). His best senior year was 1963, when he led the Windsor Bulldogs to the Allan Cup.
[ Go To Top ]
October 18 – Ronny Van Gompel may not be known to most of the hockey world but it was his efforts in youth coaching that kept the sport alive in Southern California from the late 1950s. Van Gompel was also the LA Kings timekeeper up to 1997. Over that time he recruited various Kings players to help push the game forward and provide much-needed equipment to young players. He died at his Sun Valley, CA home.
November 16 - Don Metz played his entire professional hockey career in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, where his brother Nick also played. Don was brought up through the Toronto junior and senior teams before joining the Leafs. He remained under contract with the Leafs to 1949 before hanging the skates up.
Post-hockey he returned to the family farm in Wilcox, SK, which he operated until 1989. Don Metz died in a Regina hospital.
November 21 - Tom Johnson enjoyed enormous success in professional hockey. He has his name on the Stanley Cup – six as a player with the Canadiens and two more times with the Bruins and their assistant GM and coach. Individually, Johnson was honored to receive the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman in 1959. He stayed with the Bruins in an administrative capacity. Johnson died in Falmouth, MA.
November 24 – Bob Ferriter, former IHL player, died on this date in Scituate, MA. Ferriter was a 1975 draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens but did not play for them. He achieved college fame with the Boston College Eagles before embarking on a career in the IHL with Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.
November 25 - Buster Harvey was a 1970 draft pick of the Minnesota North Star and debuted with the club the following fall. Harvey went on to play for Atlanta, Kansas City and Detroit, earning him a berth in the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame. In business he was a partner in Fredericton Sports Investments LTD.
Buster died in Fredericton after a battle with cancer.
November 27 - Monty Reynolds was the quintessential backup goaltender. Most of Monty’s netminding was with the Windsor Bulldogs or Chatham Maroons but he did get picked up as a spare goaltender in Indianapolis (IHL) and Johnstown (EHL) on occasion.
His career highlight, though, was handing a touring Soviet team their only loss of a nine game tour in 1962-63.
November 29 - Edward Bartoli toiled in the International Hockey League for most of his fifteen professional seasons. Bartoli made stops in Louisville, Minneapolis, Columbus and Fort Wayne during those years. Post-hockey he worked in sales for Star Bottling Works.
November 30 - Doug Verity was among the few surviving players from the American Hockey Association, which folded in the early 1940s. Verity played for the Omaha Knights before enlisting in the Royal Canadian Air Force for World War II. For many years after the war he played with the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchman, including a successful Allan Cup run in 1953.
Afterward, Verity drifted into horse racing and remained active in the business for 20 years.
[ Go To Top ]
November 30 – Evel Knievel may not be thought of as having a hockey connection but the famous daredevil was offered a hockey scholarship for the University of North Dakota (he declined it). In addition, Knievel had tryouts with Seattle and Charlotte, NC. Knievel got out of hockey after his Butte Bombers played the 1960 Czechoslovakian Olympic team. Due to a low turnout the Czechs could not be paid their expense money and Knievel tried to escape through an engine room. His father eventually paid the expense money.
December 1 – Andrew Jackson, a Perdue University player, was killed en route to a game when the van he was in slide off the icy road and rolled. A.J. was just 18-years-old.
December 6 – Tony Malo earned a hockey scholarship in
1947 with Brown University, where he played for the next four seasons. Malo played another season in England before going into the plumbing and heating wholesale business. For over fifty years he was theowner ans president of Nelco Inc.
December 10 - Roy Ikola was a national college champion goalie with Colorado College in 1950. His biggest honor was being selected to the 1948 US Olympic team. His brother, Williard, enjoyed a similar honor in 1956. It is believed they are the only goaltending brothers to have that Olympic distinction. Roy died at his Sun City West, AZ home.
December 10 – Mabel Boyd was often called the “grandmother” of organized women’s hockey. Boyd was instrumental in forming the Mississauga Girls’ Hockey League in spite of opposition in the traditional hockey establishment. She toured Finland, Sweden, Germany, England, Holland and, surprisingly, Hawaii in her promotion of the sport.
December 12 - Pat Hannigan had a fifteen season professional hockey career that spanned 1956-71.
Hannigan played 193 NHL games for Detroit, New York and Philadelphia. He logged even more miles traveling through the AHL and WHL. He joined the Buffalo Sabres broadcast crew for a decade before campaigning for social justice. With Casa El Norte in Fort Erie Hannigan assisted many refugees that arrived at the Canadian border in their attempts to resettle.
December 19 – Barry Watson was another import into the Toronto junior hockey business of the early 1960s.
The Winnipeg native graduated to a minor league career in 1966. Injuries finally forced Watson from the game in 1971, whereupon be became a restaurateur. He passed away in Myrtle Beach, SC.
December 21 - Lorne Davis came up through the Regina hockey system. His professional career got under way in 1951. In 1953 Davis contributed to the Montreal Canadiens run to the Stanley Cup by filling in during
the playoffs. He also play 22 games for Detroit in
their successful 1955 campaign. After hockey he scouted for the Houston Aeros (WHA), New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers. Successes with the later included drafting Grant Fuhr, Kelly Buchberger and Ryan Smyth.
December 22 – Chris Stevens was a 2006 draft pick of the Rimouski Oceanic. Stevens, a defenseman, was part of the Easter Door team that won the 2007 Aboriginal National Canadian Championship. He died in Eskasoni, NS.
December 26 – Stu Nahan was a goaltender for McGill University but it was in broadcasting that he found his calling. Nahan served as the original TV play-by-play announcer for Flyers (1967-71) before moving westward to join the LA Kings broadcast crew.
He remained active in sports reporting in the Los Angeles area up to his retirement in 1999. Stu Nahan died of lymphoma at his Studio City, CA home
[ Go To Top ]