Monday, 24 March 2014 20:00

George Armstrong

George Armstrong was born on July 6, 1930 in Bowlands, Ontario. Nicknamed "Chief" due to his Irish-Algonquin heritage, Armstrong was put on the Maple Leafs protected list in 1946 when he was playing with the Copper Cliff Jr. Redmen of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA).

He played for the Toronto Marlboros and spent two seasons with the Leafs American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Pittsburgh Hornets.

He finally made the jump to the big club in 1951-52, playing in 20 games.

George Armstrong would go on to become a fixture at center for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was named as captain of the Maple Leafs in 1957 and was called "the best captain, as a captain, the Leafs have ever had", by Conn Smythe. Armstrong was an integral part of several successful Maple Leaf teams, winning four Stanley Cup championships.

He retired as a player in 1971 and went on to coach the Toronto Marlboros to Memorial Cup victories in 1972-73 and 1974-75.

George "Chief" Armstrong was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975.

He spent nine years as a scout for the Quebec Nordiques and came back to Toronto in 1988 for a short stint as assistant general manager and scout.


Published in 2010 Inductees
Sunday, 30 March 2014 20:00

George Hainsworth

George Hainsworth (June 26, 1895 – October 9, 1950) was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who played for the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs in the National Hockey League (NHL).

Hainsworth played for the Western Canada Hockey League's Saskatoon Crescents and Saskatoon Sheiks before arriving in Montreal. He replaced Georges Vezina, the Canadiens goaltender who had died of tuberculosis, and who had played every game in team history from the 1910–11 NHA season until the opening game of the 1925–26 NHL season, when the illness proved too much for him, inspiring the team to donate the Vezina Trophy for most valuable goaltender.

Hainsworth proved up to the challenge by winning the Trophy for the 1926–27, 1927–28 and 1928–29 NHL seasons. In 1928–29, he set an all-time record with 22 shutouts and a 0.92 goals against average while only playing 44 games. In 1930 he set an NHL record that still stands, going 270 minutes and 8 seconds without allowing a goal during the playoffs for the Canadiens. He backstopped the Canadiens to back to back Stanley Cups in 1930 and 1931. Hainsworth served as the Canadiens' captain during 1932–33, becoming the second of only eight goalies to serve as an NHL team's captain. He was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1933 and helped the Maple Leafs reach the Stanley Cup finals in 1935.

Post career

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961. In 1998, he was ranked number 46 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 greatest hockey players.

Hainsworth, at the age of 55, was killed in an auto accident on October 9, 1950.

  • He is the all-time leader in professional (including both NHL and WCHL/WHL) shutouts with 104.
  • His 94 career NHL shutouts are third on the NHL's all-time list behind Martin Brodeur's 101 and Terry Sawchuk's 103.
  • Has the second lowest career goals against average with 1.93 behind Alex Connell's 1.91.
  • Holds the single-season shutout record with 22 shutouts in 1928–29.
  • Holds the single-season goals against average record with 0.92 in 1928–29.
Published in 2004 Inductees
Sunday, 30 March 2014 20:00

Harvey Pulford

Harvey Pulford was a man for all seasons in Ottawa. They called him the Bytown Slugger, although he never gained fame in Ottawa on baseball or softball fields. Nonetheless, he was a world-class athlete before and after the turn of the 20th century and would have gained more stature in sports lore had it not been for a chap by the name of Lionel Conacher. Conacher was voted top Canadian athlete of the first half of the 20th century and Pulford wouldn’t have been far behind.

Pulford was born in Toronto but moved to Ottawa where he became a multi-faceted athlete. He was a jack of all trades (oops, sports) and master of all of them. What a 'résumé' he compiled. In a hockey uniform, he was known for being a defensive-minded but very physical defenceman, who loved to throw his 6-foot-1, 200-pound tank of a frame around. Not talented offensively or skating-wise, he kept the opposition honest with his punishing style – he was strictly on the ice to protect his own end and to protect goals from being scored against his team. Pulford started with the Ottawa Silver Seven in 1893-94 and remained a stellar contributor with the team through the 1904-05 season. Along the way, he captained the squad to three consecutive Stanley Cup titles. Pulford was a member of the Ottawa Rough Riders that won Canadian football championships from 1898-1900 and played on the Ottawa Capitals lacrosse squad that won national titles the last four years of the 19th century.

In a much smaller arena, Pulford showed off some of that hockey meanness by winning the Eastern Canada light-heavyweight and heavyweight boxing titles.

On water, Pulford was a Canadian champion in both single and double-blade paddling and won international honours in the sport of rowing. He also won Ottawa squash titles in 1922-23. Pulford was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945, the first year of inductions.

Published in 2003 Inductees
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 20:00

Herb Carnegie

He was known as “one of the best ever players to never play pro-league hockey” during an era in the 1940s and 1950s when blacks were not welcome in the NHL.

Hockey great Herb Carnegie is an inductee of 2014 to the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.

“Sometimes it takes a while for the deeds that are so great in our lives to catch up to us,” said his daughter, Bernice Carnegie, who runs the Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces Foundation.

Herb Carnegie is a member of both the Order of Ontario and the country's highest civilian award, the Order of Canada. We are proud to include Herb Carnegie among the sports elite as a member of the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.

Published in 2014 Inductees
Monday, 24 March 2014 20:00

Howie Meeker

Howard “Howie” Meeker was born November 4, 1923 in Kitchener, Ontario.

Meeker missed the 1943 and 1944 seasons while serving in the Canadian Armed Forces during World War II, but returned to join the Toronto Maple Leafs where he won the Calder Memorial Trophy as outstanding rookie player for the 1946-47 season. During that remarkable first season he set the league record of five goals in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on January 8, 1947.

He played in three NHL All-Star games during his career of 346 games, and won 4 Stanley Cups in 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1951 all with Toronto.

He also coached the Maple Leafs, replacing King Clancy on April 11 1956, leading the Leafs to a 21–34–15 record.

Meeker also spent three years as a Progressive Conservative MP while playing for the Leafs. In June 1951, Meeker won the federal by election in the Ontario riding of Waterloo South.

He also ran a hockey school as summer camps in Canada and the US for 35 years.

Howie was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998 in the Broadcasters Category, following a 30 year career on Hockey Night in Canada, TSN, CTV and NBC.

Published in 2010 Inductees
Wednesday, 21 February 2018 14:28

Jack Bionda

Jack BiondaFor one Huntsville, ON native, mastering two sports that go “stick in hand” made him a dual sports star.

Jack Bionda was the first true superstar of Lacrosse in Canada and many observers consider him to be the finest player that sport has ever produced. Bionda's accomplishments, which have included several Mann Cup victories and multiple Most Valuable Player awards are made all the more impressive when you consider that he did all this while simultaneously pursing a professional hockey career.

On the ice, Bionda was a tough defenseman who led the AHL in penalty minutes the same year he made his NHL debut, in 1955-56. Bionda's big league career began with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but his time with them spanned just 13 games and the following season he was claimed by the Boston Bruins in the Intra-League draft.

Bionda spent parts of the next three seasons filling in on the Bruins blue line, suiting up for 80 games and providing three goals and eight assists.

His impressive lacrosse career spanned over two decades between 1945-1968. He spent most of those years on the west coast playing for senior lacrosse teams in Victoria, Nanaimo and Portland, Oregon. Bionda helped his teams win the Mann Cup symbolic of Canadian lacrosse superiority 5 times in 14 years

In total the multi-talented Bionda was able to accumulate twelve seasons of professional hockey, while at the same time re-writing lacrosse record books en route to his Hall of Fame career in the sport.

Bionda has been inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame (1974), Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (1982) and the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame (1998.)

Published in 2018 Inductees
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 20:00

Joe Nieuwendyk

It certainly didn’t take Joe Nieuwendyk long to make his mark in the National Hockey League and start his procession to the Hall of Fame.

A second-round draft pick, 27th overall, of the Calgary Flames in 1985 while he was playing at Cornell University, where he was a two-time All-American, he played his first full NHL season in 1987-88 and proceeded to score 51 goals and earn 92 points, which predictably earned him the Calder Trophy as the top rookie in the league.

To put his numbers into perspective, Nieuwendyk became just the second NHL player to score 50 goals in his first season. The only other to do it at the time was New York Islanders superstar Mike Bossy.

Not a bad start and it only got better.

In his second season, the big centre, who was raised in Whitby, Ontario, once again scored 51 goals and capped the year off with the franchise’s only Stanley Cup win, coming against the Montreal Canadiens.

Nieuwendyk went on to become the Flames captain a few seasons later.

Knee injuries had an impact on his career at various stages. Contract issues ultimately led to him being traded in December 1995 to the Dallas Stars, for a package that included a future Flames captain named Jarome Iginla.

While he still battled injury issues with the Stars, the big centre still had his success in Dallas. Indeed, in 1999 he was a big reason why the Stars won their first Stanley Cup. With six game-winning goals in the post-season, Nieuwendyk was also named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner, as most valuable player.

A third Stanley Cup win would come a few seasons later, in 2003, this time with the New Jersey Devils, though he was injured again during the final.

Nieuwendyk played a season with the Toronto Maple Leafs and parts of two seasons with the Florida Panthers before health problems forced him to retire.

But the final numbers were impressive: three Stanley Cup wins, 564 goals and 562 assists in 1,257 regular-season games. He added another 66 goals and 116 points in 158 playoff games. Talk about a big-game player.

He was also a member of Canada’s gold-medal winning team in the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Post playing days, he served as a front-office adviser with the Leafs and Panthers and was general manager of the Stars from 2009 to 2013. Just recently he was hired by the Carolina Hurricanes as a pro scout and adviser.

In 2011, Nieuwendyk was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Last March, Nieuwendyk had his number 25 raised in Calgary as a member of the Forever-a-Flame club.

“When I tell (my kids) about playing for the Flames and living in Calgary it’s simple: I tell them they were some of the best years of my life,” he said that special night. “Obviously, winning that Cup (in 1989) was special, but bigger than that was the feeling we had in this city, in this organization…it was a really neat feeling.”

In addition to being a superb hockey player, as a kid he was also one of the top lacrosse players in the country.

Published in 2014 Inductees
Monday, 31 March 2014 20:00

Johnny Bower

John William "Johnny" Bower (born John Kiszkan on November 8, 1924 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan), nicknamed "The China Wall", is a Hockey Hall of Fame goalie.

Born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Bower served with the Canadian Army during World War II in England from 1940 to 1943 and was discharged due to rheumatoid arthritis. After the war, Bower returned to Prince Albert in 1943 to play junior hockey in Prince Albert and in the AHL — largely for the Cleveland Barons — for eleven seasons in the late 1940s and 1950s, and proved himself the star goaltender of the circuit, winning numerous awards and leading his teams to three Calder Cup championships.

During his first professional year of hockey, he changed his name from John Kishkan to Bower, to make it easier for sports writers.

He was finally picked up by the New York Rangers of the NHL for the 1953–54 season, but was sent back down to the minor leagues the following season. Bower would toil in the minors four more years in Providence (Reds 1945–1946, 1955–1956 and 1956–1957), Vancouver (Canucks 1954–1955), Cleveland (Barons 1945–1953 and 1957–1958) and then again with the Rangers in 1954–1955, before being claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1958 Inter-League Draft. He would play eleven full seasons in all with the Leafs, the remainder of his career.

The height of his NHL career came during the Maple Leafs' three consecutive Stanley Cup victories in the early 1960s — 1962, 1963 and 1964.

After the 1962 victory, Bower complained about Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks left winger and his hard slap shot, improved from that of Montreal Canadiens left-wing Bernie Geoffrion. Bower said, "He needs another shot like I need a hole in the head, which I may get."

His career would be hampered by poor eyesight, but despite that he remained a top-tier goaltender. He was known for his hard-nosed, scrappy playing style and would win another Stanley Cup in 1967 by tandeming with another Hall of Famer (Terry Sawchuk). He is the 2nd oldest goalie to play in the Stanley Cup Final at age 42 years, 5 months, 13 days. Bower claimed, "I wasn't all that glad to see the two-goalie system come in. I wanted to play as many games as I could." But Bower and Sawchuk shared the Vezina Trophy as best NHL netminder in 1964–65. His last full season was 1968–69. In 1969, Johnny became the oldest goaltender to appear in a Stanley Cup playoffs, at 44 years, 5 months, and 28 days. He played a final game in the fall of 1969 and on March 19, 1970, Johnny announced his official retirement - four months after his forty-fifth birthday. When asked, in light of his retirement, if he might reveal his true age, he replied "If you don't know by now, you never will".

His Career statistics include: 552 games played, 250 wins, 195 losses, 90 ties, 37 shutouts, and a 2.51 GAA. In addition, he remains the AHL career shutout leader. Bower was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976, and the AHL Hall of Fame in 2006. In 1998, he was ranked number 87 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players. He was assistant coach for the Leafs from 1976–1978. Bower is also a member of the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame since 1994. In January 2004, Bower was featured on a postage stamp. As part of the NHL All-Stars Collection, Bower was immortalized along with five other All-Stars. In 2005, the Royal Canadian Mint featured Bower on a non-circulating fifty-cent coin, as part of its four-coin Legends of the Toronto Maple Leafs coin set. In 2007, it was announced that Bower would receive a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.

Published in 1999 Inductees
Sunday, 23 March 2014 20:00

Ken Dryden

Kenneth Wayne "Ken" Dryden, PC, (born August 8, 1947) is a Canadian politician, lawyer, businessman, author, and former NHL goaltender. Dryden is married with two children and four grandchildren and is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was a Liberal Member of Parliament from 2004-2011.

Dryden pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree at Cornell University, where he also played hockey until his graduation in 1969. At Cornell, Dryden led his team, the Cornell Big Red, to the 1967 National Collegiate Athletic Association championship and three consecutive ECAC tournament championships.

Dryden made his NHL debut in 1971 for the Canadiens, playing only six regular-season games after a late-season call-up but sporting a minuscule 1.65 goals-against average. This earned him the number 1 goalie job for the playoffs and the Canadiens rode their hot young goalie to win the Stanley Cup. He then became the backbone of 5 more Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979.

During that first playoff season, Dryden won the Conn Smythe Trophy (1971), as the playoffs' most valuable player. The following year Dryden won the Calder Trophy, 1972, as the Rookie of the year. In the autumn of 1972 Dryden played for Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet national ice hockey team.

His regular season totals include a .790 winning percentage, a 2.24 goals against average, and, most incredibly, winning 258 games and losing only 57 games while recording 46 shutouts in just 397 NHL games.

Dryden was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983. His #29 was retired by the Canadiens on January 29, 2007.

After retiring from hockey Dryden became a dedicated author for a time. His book The Game (1983, ISBN 0-470-83355-6) was a commercial and critical success, being nominated for a Governor General's Award.

Published in 2011 Inductees
Monday, 31 March 2014 20:00

King Clancy

Francis Michael "King" Clancy (25 February 1903 – 10 November 1986) was a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who played 16 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs before becoming a coach, referee, and team executive.

Clancy's nickname "King" originates from his father, who was the first 'King Clancy' and played football for Ottawa. At the time the football was not snapped as is done today, but was 'heeled' back from the line. Frank's father was very good at this and was named 'King of the Heelers' or 'King' for short. This nickname was eventually transferred to Frank.

Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Clancy played for junior teams in the Ottawa area and began his NHL career in his hometown playing for the Senators, where he would establish himself as among the league's top players and help the Senators to Stanley Cup wins in 1923 and 1927. Although he was one of the smallest defencemen of his era, he was tough and fast and would not back down. According to Brian McFarlane, it was said that King Clancy started a thousand fights and never won one.

During a 31 March, 1923 Stanley Cup game against the Edmonton Eskimos, Clancy became the first hockey player to play all six positions during one game. In the third period, goaltender Clint Benedict was given a two-minute penalty. At the time, goalies served their own penalties. Not wanting to leave the net open, Clancy played goal for the two minutes Benedict was gone.

On 11 October 1930, coming off what would be the most productive season of his career, with 17 goals and 40 points in 44 games with the Senators, Clancy was traded to the Maple Leafs, with Toronto manager Conn Smythe giving up $35,000 and two players for him. In his second season with the Leafs, Clancy helped his team win the Stanley Cup.

After a sluggish start to the 1936–37 season, Clancy announced his retirement just six games into the season. He retired as the top scoring defenceman in NHL history, with 136 career goals.

Published in 1998 Inductees
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