Society for International Hockey Research

Mystery Players
 
Despite reports that they played professional hockey, some even at the highest level, the following people's hockey exploits are unknown to the historians and statisticians of SIHR. Can you provide details about these people? [ Contact Us ]
Jim Grundy
The US Trotting Association ran an obit for Jim Grundy wherein it claimed:

"Mr. Grundy, a native of Manitoba, was born into a harness racing family, but developed a love for hockey. His skating skills saw him rise to the American Hockey League's Cleveland Barons, then one of the sport's top pro teams, but a knee injury in 1958 took him off the ice and put him into a sulky, full-time."

JOHN E. BESSLER
The obituary of John Edwin “JB” Bessler, 82, who passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, March 7, 2007, contained the following: " Some of John's highlights were playing professional hockey for the Chicago Blackhawks and refereeing hockey for the Pekin Stars and the Milwaukee Admirals." The obituary was published in the Orlando Sentinel on March 12, 2007.

Robert Kilburn (Bob) Martin
A death notice in The Hamilton Spectator of Saturday, June 9, 2006 lists the death of Robert Kilburn (Bob) Martin on Wednesday, June 6, 2006 in his 62nd year. It claims he played hockey for the Junior Canadiens and with the Boston Bruins and later became a WHA and OHA referee. Here is the clip: "Bob was always a sports enthusiast. He played hockey in Italy as a teenager; played for the Jr. Canadians and had a brief stint as a Boston Bruin. When Bob gave up playing the game he went on to referee in the WHA and Jr. A hockey. He achieved his level 5 in teaching and certifying referees."

The annual "We Remember" section of the Hamilton Spectator on December 27 stated the following:

"Martin was president of the Hamilton and Area Curling Association and was past president of the Burlington Curling Club. He was also one of the chief organizers of the 2007 Tim Hortons Brier, which was held at Copps Coliseum in March.

Martin also had a career in professional hockey. He played in Italy and in the Central Professional Hockey League and later became a referee in the World Hockey Association."

SIHR has records of two players named Robert Martin and one named Bob Martin, but the timelines with this person are not inline with the players listed in our database. No published hockey statistics source lists anyone by this name as having played for any of these teams, and Scott Surgent's book which lists WHA referees & linesmen makes no mention of him either.

Donald Edwin (Don) Mason
The Winnipeg Free Press and Regina Leader Post of Saturday, May 17th, 2008, both had an obituary for Donald Edwin (Don) Mason, 64, who passed away in Regina. It states that he played in the NHL, but there is no record of a Don Mason ever having played in the league.

It may be the Don Mason, who was born in Winnipeg (no birth date was provided in the obituary), and is shown in the SIHR database as having played goal for the Winnipeg Rangers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League from 1961-62 to 63-64.

Willard (Bill) Pickering
The Winnipeg Free Press of March 9th, 2007, had an obituary for Willard (Bill) Pickering born in Cobalt, Ont. in 1933, died March 5, 2008 in Winnipeg. It states that he grew up in Kirkland Lake and was a noted hockey player in the IHL with the Toledo Blades and Fort Wayne Komets. However, there is no listing of him in either the SIHR data base or the Internet Hockey player data base.

Donald "Bucky" Buchanan
An obituary in the Sacramento Bee on June 13, 2006, reads as follows:

(1931-2006) Don passed peacefully at home on June 10, 2006. A native Canadian, at 16 he immigrated to the United States to play professional hockey for the New York Rangers. After becoming a U.S. citizen, he served in the Korean War. An avid golfer, he lived many years in San Diego and played and worked at Torrey Pines Golf Course. He is survived by his beloved wife Joan and her family, his brother Jim and wife Jackie, and sister Lori and her husband Nibs. A real man's man, he had many male friends all over North America. He was a longtime member of the Elks and Lions Clubs. A devout Christian, he was an AA sponsor for many years. At his request, no funeral services will be held. A celebration of his life will be held in San Diego at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Salvation Army.

There was a Ralph "Bucky" Buchanan played for the Rangers in 1948-49, but was born in 1922 and died in 2005. A goalie named Bucky Buchanan played for the Ottawa RCAF team in 1950-51. Could this be him?

 
Solved Mysteries / False Identifications
The Montreal newspaper Le Samedi ran a photograph of the 1928-29 Pittsburgh Pirates of the NHL on February 23, 1929, which identified forward Harold Darragh as Arthur Lowndes. There has never been a player by that name, and this was simply an error.