Hockey Players on the Railway

                                HOCKEY RAILROADERS 

 

During WW II, the Canadian Pacific Railway reorganized its entire shop system for the war. Wartime shop production signaled the end of the Great Depression and offered jobs to many laid-off CPR employees and their offspring who wanted to contribute to the war effort. One such case was Onesime and Maurice Richard. Onesime was a carpenter for over 40 years with CPR in Montreal. Every morning he used to catch a train in the tough Bordeaux section of Montreal to ride to the Angus Shop, where he built freight cars. His son, Maurice “The Rocket” Richard earned $40 a week working as a machinist for CPR’s Munitions Department in 1942, making extra money in the winter playing for the Canadien Seniors of the QSHL. Although on leave most of the time, Maurice didn’t resign his secure CPR job until he was comfortable with his hockey career, a few weeks into the 1944-1945 hockey season, when he scored his record-setting 50 goals in 50 games. On October 19, 1957, Richard beat Glenn Hall of Chicago to become the first NHL player to score 500 regular-season goals. The historic tally was assisted by Jean Beliveau and fellow hockey railroader Dickie “Digger” Moore.

 

Howie “The Stratford Streak” Morenz followed his father & uncle into the Stratford GTR shops in 1919, apprenticing for his machinist ticket. In 1921 Howie played for both the junior Midgets and intermediate Indians, later joining the Grand Trunk Railway apprentices’ team. After a junior loss to Preston he had to have one of his skate boots literally cut off. He had dropped a metal block on his foot at work in the shops but refused to miss the game. Howie was proud of his accomplishments in the shops and in later years he often reminded people he was a machinist by profession. Cecil Hart, director of the Montreal Canadiens, attended a Stratford - Montreal C.N.R. Shops game at the Mount Royal Arena in Montreal one day early in 1923. He watched Howie play for only a few minutes, but that was enough. He signed Morenz to a Canadien’s contract the following August.

 

Eddie “The Edmonton Express” Shore was employed as a fireman with the CPR, when he played with the 1923-1924 Melville Millionaires of the SSHL. The records show Eddie was born in Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, on November 25, 1902. Once an editor decided to clear up a question of Shore's birthplace, the records had it in Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, but the editor had learned on good authority that Shore's folks were not living there at the time. Shore was perturbed at the problem, and denied that he was born there. The editor pleaded. "They were taking my mother from one town to another when it happened," he said. "We were plenty of miles from Fort Qu'Appelle." "But they were taking your mother there," the editor persisted. "Yes." "Then we'll apply the law of the sea," said the editor in triumph. "A child born on a ship is a citizen of the country for which the ship is sailing, and so remains until registry declares otherwise. For the records, you were born in Fort Qu'Appelle." (Nov.25, 1939 Liberty magazine) Eddie grew up on a horse ranch in Cupar, a small community in southern Saskatchewan. In 1911 his father, T.J. Shore, financed the building of the first indoor rink in Cupar and nine year old Eddie was given a key. Shore’s fiery saga began as a mere spark in 1919, when Eddie began playing with the Cupar Cubs, who fought for Provincial titles when the team went to the finals in their league three times. Twice, special trains were chartered to take the hockey team and their fans from Cupar to the final game, once to Moose Jaw and once to Saskatoon. Following his season with the Melville Millionaires Eddie Shore climbed down from the engine cab in 1924 and got a skating job with the Regina Capitals of the WCHL and went on to become “Fire on Ice”.

 

Bill “The Honest Brakeman” Juzda was a fireman in the off season for several years on the railroad in Manitoba. He eventually wrote his final examination to complete his apprenticeship as an engineer and retired on the CPR as a locomotive engineer. He frequently tells the following story. “When you are a small boy and you see a train go by, you want to be an engineer. When you see a plane fly overhead, you want to be a pilot. When you hear Foster Hewitt broadcasting a game from Maple Leaf Gardens you want to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs. I did all three. I was an engineer for the CPR, flew planes in World War II and played defense for the Maple Leafs.” Home at his railroad job at the end of the 1948 season, Bill picked up a newspaper one afternoon and learned the New York Rangers had traded him to Toronto. “I thought that was the end of the big time for me as the Maple Leafs had just won the Stanley Cup and had a pretty good defense,” Bill recalled. “I thought that was a black day for me but everything turned out better than my wildest dreams.” Bill told the Leafs he would play hockey for them as long as they wanted him, provided he could get his annual leave from the Canadian Pacific Railways.

 

Angus “Gus” Galbraith had several part time jobs while he pursued his dream of becoming a professional hockey player. Born in South Porcupine, Ontario in 1932, Gus was a coal bagger, sawmill worker, miner and worked on the railway track gangs for the ONR, (Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway until 1945). “I shoveled out switches in blizzards at 40 below, at night, and occasionally performed hockey player jobs like piling ties along the tracks.” Gus Galbraith, Dean Prentice and Murray Costello led the 1949-50 South Porcupine Tee-Pees in capturing the All-Ontario Juvenile Championship when they defeated the St. Catherines Lions. The 1950-51 season saw Gus playing with the South Porcupine Buzzers when they were crowned NOHA Jr. B champions and were awarded the Colin Campbell Trophy. During the 1951-52 season Gus played for the Quebec Citadelle of the QJHL, with future hockey stars Henry “The Eel” Camille, Gord “Red” Haworth, Bruce Cline and goalie Marcel Paille. The next season Gus played for the South Porcupine Gold Diggers and at the end of the season Pete Gazzola, Graham Savard and Gus Galbraith joined the Timmins Combines of the NOJHA and went on to the Memorial Cup Play Downs. Gus and the Combines defeated the Ottawa St. Pats, went on to the Maritimes and beat a hockey team from Sydney, then were defeated by his former team, the Quebec Citadelle. “The Eel and Marcel Paille were too much for us”. Galbraith’s hockey career came to an abrupt end when he lost a leg in a hockey accident while playing with the 1953-54 Paisley Pirates of the Scottish National League. Not easily deterred, four years later Gus graduated from Paisley Tech with a chemistry degree and then moved back to Canada, working 20 years as an Industrial Chemist for Suncor in Alberta. Gus began soapstone carving in the late 1960’s and following his retirement from the Tar Sands, moved to British Columbia to become a full time sculptor. This now, world renowned sculptor’s list of clients is impressive. His art is displayed in the Alcan Art Collection of B.C., the Law Courts Building in Edmonton, Alta., the Alberta Legislative Buildings and the Timmins Museum in South Porcupine, as well as in Central Park, Lake Cowichan, B.C. His work can also be found in private collections from British Columbia to Britain and Japan, and from New York to California.

 

During the 1940's Walter Babe "Honest Switchman" Pratt was a switchman in Toronto for the Canadian Pacific Railway in the off season. Walter played his minor, juvenile and senior hockey in Manitoba. In 1933 he played for 5 teams in his area - high school, church league, juvenile, a senior league squad and the commercial league. Amazingly, every team won a championship. Pratt began his NHL career in New York in 1935, playing with the Rangers for 7 seasons and winning a Stanley Cup in 1940. Babe Pratt was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 27, 1942. During the memorable 1942-43 season, Pratt was named to the first All-Star team, became the first defenseman to assist on 6 goals in one game and won the Hart Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player. Walter scored the winning goal for the Maple Leafs in the seventh game of the 1945 Stanley Cup final against the Detroit Red Wings. In February of 1946, Major Conn Smythe, manager of the Maple Leafs, denied a Boston report that Walter Pratt would be immediately sold to the Boston Bruins, "That's only somebody's dream," Smythe said. On June 19, 1946 Walter was traded to the Bruins by Toronto for Eric Pogue and cash. Pratt's final year playing in the NHL was with the Boston Bruins in 1946-47, followed by 2 seasons playing in the AHL and 3 seasons in the PCHL as player/coach of the New Westminster Royals. The Honest Switchman was inducted into the Hockey Hall of fame in 1966 and remained active in hockey as an analyst and colour commentator for Vancouver Canucks broadcasts of Hockey Night in Canada in the 1970's.   

 

Joe “Bad Joe” Hall was a brakeman during the off season for the railroad in Brandon, Manitoba. Joe was born in Staffordshire, England in 1882, but moved to Manitoba as a young child. He had a long and illustrious hockey career, lasting from 1900 until the time of his death in Seattle in 1919. Hall saved his money and working on the railway, combined with his hockey earnings enabled Joe to purchase extensive properties in Brandon. In 1904 Joe was a defenseman for the Winnipeg Rowing Club when the team traveled to Ottawa to play the Silver Seven for the Stanley Cup. Hall won the Stanley Cup with the Kenora Thistles in 1907 and the NHA’s Quebec Bulldogs in 1912 and 1913. Hall joined the Montreal Canadiens in 1917 and in 1919 the Habitants won the NHL title. The team journeyed west, advancing to play the Seattle Metropolitans of the PCHA for the Stanley Cup. The contest was eventually cancelled after several players from both teams contracted the Spanish Influenza. Hall would eventually succumb to pneumonia in Seattle’s Columbus sanitorium on April 5, 1919. The remaining players recovered rapidly and traveled back to Vancouver to begin their cross country train trek back home, with a stop over in Brandon for Joe Hall’s funeral.

 

Danny "Dashin Danny" Lewicki worked in the Stratford Shops for the Canadian National Railways in the late 1940’s while playing with the Stratford Kroehlers of the JOHA. Lewicki is the only player to have won a Memorial Cup, Allan Cup and Stanley Cup while still a junior. Danny scored the series winning goal, leading the Port Arthur Bruins to the 1948 Memorial Cup Championship. He was the top scorer in the playoffs, scoring 21 goals and 19 assists in 17 games. In 1950 Lewicki led the Toronto Marlboros to the Allan Cup Championship, scoring 22 goals and 20 assists in 17 games and named MVP for the series. Dashin Danny was a champ again in his first season playing in the NHL when the Toronto Maple Leafs won the 1950-51 Stanley Cup. Before becoming a professional, Lewicki was at the center of a dispute over professional hockey signing practices. Danny wasn’t interested in joining the pro ranks until he had completed  his 5 year apprenticeship as a machinist in the railway shops. “I want to guarantee my future after my hockey days are over,” he said.  Lewicki refused to report to the Toronto Marlboros, not realizing he had signed a C Form shortly after his 16th birthday. In early October of 1949 Danny was suspended from organized hockey. Officials of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association said he did not carry out an undertaking he made when he signed a NHL C Form with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Lewicki decided to join the Marlboros and the C Form which Lewicki signed was abolished a few years later.

 

Johnny “The China Wall” Bower was playing with the Prince Albert Black Hawks in 1945, when his old teammate, Bob Solinger, recommended him to the Cleveland Barons. Cleveland Scout Hub Wilson from Saskatoon then tried to sign him, but Johnny was working for the CNR as a boilermaker and didn’t want to give it up. Bower was then offered $50.00 to sign and he agreed to the deal spending eight years in Cleveland, from 1945 to 1953. Bower's big break came in the summer of 1958 when the Toronto Maple Leafs claimed him from Cleveland at the Intra-League Draft. He established himself as the Leafs number one goalie and played 12 years with Toronto from 1958 to 1970. Johnny was 45 years old when he played his final NHL game, followed by 14 more years as assistant coach and scout.

 

Clarence “Dolly” Dolson was a machinist for the Canadian National Railway in Stratford during the off season. He lived in Galt from 1903 to 1923 and was a resident of Stratford for more than fifty years. Dolson was an all-round athlete, specializing in hockey, baseball and soccer. As a goal keeper, he played several years for the Galt Junior and Intermediate OHA teams, served in the military from 1915-19 and starred with the Stratford Indians of the SOHA from 1923-26. Dolly remained in Stratford to play 2 seasons for the Nationals in the Canadian Professional Hockey League. Dolson back-stopped the Nationals to the league championship in 1927-28 and then was claimed by the Detroit Cougars in the Inter-League Draft in May of 1928. Dolly was among a group of at least 12 star players who were threatened with suspension if they didn't sign their contracts by October 31, 1928. Players from the New York Rangers, Pittsburg Pirates and Detroit Cougars were holding out for better deals. Dolly informed the Cougars that unless his terms were met he would remain in Stratford and work in the railway shops. Dolson and Detroit came to an agreement and he went on to play 93 games in the NHL with the Detroit Cougars and Falcons over the next 3 years. His hockey career ended after playing 2 seasons for the Cleveland Barons of the International Hockey League and retired following the 1932-33 season.

 

Howie Meeker worked for the CNR in the Stratford Shops in 1942. He was born in New Hamburg, Ont., a district that gave such stars as Milt Schmidt, Bobby Bauer, Porky Dumart, Earl Seibert and George Hainsworth to big-league hockey. As a kid Meeker starred with teams in Kitchener and Stratford. Then, while still in his teens, Howie went into the service, joining the Railway Corps during WW ll. One morning in England during training maneuvers, a live grenade exploded at Howie's feet, hurling him through the air and landed him in a military hospital for 5 months. Meeker battled back with the help of a strict physical fitness regime and played successful hockey in Britain against some of the best professionals over there. Howie got his big chance when the Toronto Maple Leafs invited him to their 1946-47 training camp. Conn Smythe and Hap Day decided to put Ted Kennedy, Vic Lynn and Howie Meeker together. Instantly, the three meshed and a new line was born – The K-L-M Kid Line. 

 

Frank “Mr. Zero” Brimsek of the 1938 Boston Bruins worked for the Duluth, Missabe and Winnipeg Railroad from the time of his retirement from hockey until the1980’s. When his good friend Dit Clapper retired from coaching the Bruins, Brimsek requested to be traded. An avid hunter and fisherman, Frank just wanted to be nearer to his Minnesota home. In September 1949, the Bruins sold Brimsek to the Chicago Black Hawks and he played all 70 games in the schedule, finally retiring after the team failed to qualify for the playoffs. According to reports from a 1957 newspaper, Frank hadn’t seen a hockey game or had his skates on since he retired from hockey. Before he left for his Virginia, Minn. home at the close of the 1949-50 season, he gave all his equipment to Red Hamill’s son. Frank was employed as a fireman/engineer on the railroad running between his home town and Fort Francis, Ont.

 

Doug “Richard” Brennan worked for about 40 years in the running trades for the Canadian Pacific Railway in Havelock and Peterborough, Ontario. He was employed as a brakeman in the mid-twenties and retired as a conductor in the 1960's. Doug's younger brother Charlie had 40 plus years of service with CPR and retired as number one on the District One Conductor/Trainman seniority list. After a season with the Peterborough Seniors of the SOHA in 1925-26, Doug played for the Winnipeg Maroons of the AHA, Kenora Thistles of the NOHA and the Vancouver Lions of the PCHL. Brennan was acquired by the New York Rangers for the 1931-32 season, when they bought his professional rights from Vancouver  He would play 123 games over 3 seasons for the team, winning a Stanley Cup in 1933 and then released following the 1934 season. Doug finished his career playing with the Philadelphia Arrows and Springfield Indians of the Can-Am league and retired from hockey in 1936.

 

Irvin “Ace” Bailey received his nickname while traveling on a train. A favorite card game of hockey players on the long train trips was Gin Rummy. Toronto Maple Leafs trainer Tim Daly usually took charge of the Gin Rummy game on their train rides and it wasn’t very often that he came out a loser. During one trip, Daly would have good cards, but time and again, Bailey would flash an ace and come out a winner. Finally in exasperation, Tim threw down his cards and exclaimed, “Well Bailey, You’re certainly the Ace of this game.”

Hib “Hibby” Milks worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway in Ottawa as a ticket agent, following his hockey career. Milks made his NHL debut in 1924-25 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and led the team in points in each of their first four seasons. He remained with the franchise when it relocated to Philadelphia in 1930-31 and once again captain Hib led the team, with 17 goals. The next season Hib signed with the New York Rangers, where he played in the 1931-32 Stanley Cup finals and retired on December 29, 1932, after playing 16 games for the Ottawa Senators.

Aurel “Little Giant” Joliat was employed as an agent for the Canadian National Railway in Ottawa, following his retirement from hockey after the 1937-38 season. His other occupations included running a grocery store and working for the Quebec Liquor Commission. A native of Ottawa, Ontario, he played for the Ottawa Aberdeens and New Edinburghs from 1916-20, Iroquois Falls of the NOHA for 2 seasons and then 16 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens from 1922 to 1938. In 1985, Joliat skated around the Montreal Forum to a huge ovation as a special treat for the fans. Despite falling twice, he quickly stood up and finished his skate, the tiny cap he wore back in his playing days jauntily held in his hand, his white hair flying. Joliat continued to skate along Ottawa's Rideau Canada well into his 80s and died at the age of 84 in 1986; after seeing his beloved Canadiens win their 23rd Stanley Cup earlier that year. In 1976 he was interviewed by George Gamester of the Toronto Star and was quoted as saying, "A couple of years ago, on a mild night about two in the morning, I skated the whole canal in Ottawa, which is over five miles in length. I'm expecting a call from the WHA any day now."

Moe “Maurice” Croghan moved to the Sherbrooke, Quebec area following his retirement from hockey and worked for CNR as a locomotive engineer. His amateur hockey began with the1934-35 Montreal Royals and 1935-36 Verdun Maple Leafs. Croghan had an impressive season with the senior Quebec Aces in 1936-37 and signed a contract with the Montreal Maroons for the next season. He played 16 games on the Maroons defense in 1937-38, then returned to senior hockey and the American Hockey League, retiring at the end of the 1940-41 season    

Eddie “Everard” Carpenter moved to Port Arthur, Ontario in 1909 to work for the Canadian Northern Railway. Eddie won the Stanley Cup with the 1916-17 Seattle Metropolitans, playing along side fellow hockey railroader, Jack Walker, and then spent the next two years in the military during WW I. Carpenter returned to the NHL in 1919-20 with the Quebec Bulldogs and retired after completing the next season with the Hamilton Tigers. In 1921 he began coaching the Port Arthur Hockey Club of the MNSHL, leading the team to Allan Cup victories in 1925 and 1926. Eddie moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba around 1944 and worked as a locomotive engineer until he retired in 1954. (1890-1963)

Len “Cecil” Grosvenor worked his whole life for the railroad and played hockey in and around that career. Len joined the Ottawa Senators in 1927-28 after playing two years with the Ottawa Rideaus of the OCHL. Grosvenor played with the Senators for 4 years and was claimed by the New York Americans in the dispersal draft for the 1931-32 season. The next year Len was signed by the Montreal Canadiens, but retired after playing only 4 games with them.

Rosie “Lolo” Couture returned to Winnipeg, Manitoba after retiring from hockey and worked on the railway for CNR. He had an 8 year NHL career that began in 1928-29 with the Chicago Black Hawks. Rosie played 7 seasons with Chicago, winning a Stanley Cup in 1933-34 and retired following the 1935-36 season, where he played 10 games with the Montreal Canadiens.

 

Harry Taylor was employed as a machinist apprentice in 1949 at the CPR lots in St. James, Manitoba. Born in St. James, a Winnipeg suburb, on March 28, 1926, Harry played all his early hockey around his home town with the Canadians through midget, juvenile and junior ranks. He became a Winnipeg Monarch late in the 1944-45 season and the following year was a big success when he sparked his team to junior supremacy, winning the Memorial Cup. The 1946-47 season saw Harry perform with three clubs, Pittsburg Hornets of the AHL, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tulsa Oilers of the USHL. He played until mid November of 1948 with the Hornets and then was recalled to the parent Leaf club.

 

Jack “Phillip” Walker was a railway brakeman in the off season. Walker won the Stanley Cup three times with three different teams in three different leagues. He led the league with 16 assists in 20 games in 1913-14 and that year won the Stanley Cup with the Toronto Blueshirts of the NHA. He played on his second Stanley Cup champion team in 1916-17 with the PCHA’s Seattle Metropolitans, as they became the first United States based team to win the Cup. Jack won his third Stanley Cup with the 1924-25 Victoria Cougars of the WCHL, when they defeated the Montreal Canadiens three games to one.

Lorne “Chabotsky” Chabot moved to Brandon, Manitoba in 1921 to pursue his hockey career with the Wheat Kings of the MHLSr., while working full-time for the CPR. Lorne was a champion on every level, winning two Allan Cup championships with the Port Arthur Bearcats as the top senior amateur team in Canada, as well as two Stanley Cups, one with the New York Rangers in 1927-28, another with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1931-32. At age 16 Chabot enlisted in the Canadian Army, driving an ammunition wagon for the Royal Canadian Field Artillery in France, but when it was discovered that he was underage Lorne was sent home.

Joseph “The Silent One” Cattarinich was Leo Dandurand’s best friend and right-hand man, and had served as the Montreal Canadiens’ goaltender in 1910 before ceding his position to Georges Vézina. Originally a brakeman for the Canadian Pacific Railway, Cattarinich had met Dandurand in 1909 when he was part of the Montreal Lacrosse Club. The two would enjoy a long and prosperous partnership, working together in the tobacco and horse racing industries before achieving their greatest successes as owners of the Canadiens. Nicknamed “The Three Musketeers”, Dandurand, Cattarinich and promoter Louis Létourneau purchased the Montreal Canadians in 1921, leading the team to three Stanley Cups, in 1924, 1930 and 1931.

Percy “Warren” McGregor, born in Fort William in 1896, began his railroad career as a machinist's apprentice in 1912, transferred to yard service as switchman, then to main line service as a trainman and was promoted to conductor in 1929.  He was a conductor on the “Canadian" trans-continental passenger train and retired from the CPR in December 1961. In his earlier days he was very active in local sports and played senior hockey, coached and was a referee in Fort William, as well as Winnipeg and Minneapolis.  He saw Allan Cup playoff action with the local squad in 1915. Percy died in Fort William, aged 85 years on March 10, 1982.

Sam Pollock became a junior clerk for the railroad after graduating from high school.. In 1946, at the age of 21, Pollock left the railway to work for the Montreal Canadiens.

Dickie “Digger” Moore was working for the CPR in Montreal when general manager and coach, Sam Pollock, signed him to a contract to play for the 1949-50 Montreal Junior Canadiens. Dashing Dickie played 29 games with the Montreal Junior Royals in 1947-48 and became a full-time member the following year. In 1948-49, Moore and the Royals went on to become the first Memorial Cup champions from Quebec. The sandy-haired son of an English sailor, Dickie Moore didn’t cheer for the Canadiens when he was growing up in Montreal. As a young boy listening to Foster Hewitt’s radio broadcasts, Dickie idolized the Toronto Maple Leafs and one day hoped to play for them. Montreal Canadiens general manager Frank Selke called Dickie up one day asked if he could meet with him. “I was working at the CPR at the time and I said I couldn’t get away from work. I had a feeling why he wanted to see me and I was waiting for the Leafs to call me." Nonetheless, the Canadiens registered Dickie Moore as their property.

 

Herb Gardiner quit playing senior hockey in Winnipeg when he was 19 years old to work for the Canadian Pacific Railway as a surveyor. In 1918, after serving 3 years in the Canadian Army, Herb resumed his railway and hockey career in Calgary, losing to the Montreal Canadiens in the 1923-24 Stanley Cup finals. Gardiner joined the Canadiens in 1926 and in 1927, at the age of 36, won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player.

 

Ernie “Moose” Johnson was a brakeman for the Union Pacific Railway in Portland in the 1920’s. He was noted for using the longest stick in hockey and had a 99 inch reach. Moose would use his long stick to devastating effect and would poke the puck away from oncoming forwards. Johnson played 6 seasons with the Montreal Wanderers of the ECAHA and NHL from 1905-1911, winning 4 Stanley Cup championships along the way. When Moose moved out west in 1911 to join the PCHA, he was suspended for life in the East, for reneging on his contract with the Wanderers. Johnson played 11 seasons in the PCHA with the New Westminster Royals, Portland Rosebuds and Victoria Aristocrats, named to the first All-Star team 8 times and won another Stanley Cup. Moose managed only 13 games in 1921-22 with Victoria when events again took a turn for the worse. “Moose Johnson, the rand old fast freight of ice hockey, will not go roaring down the ice for the Rosebuds tomorrow night in any spectacular comeback against his ex-teammates of Victoria. Victoria has suspended him for life. It seems that the Moose and some of the Victoria players had an argument. The Moose was disciplined by the club, whereupon he picked up his skates and quit. Lester Patrick learned he had gone to Portland to take up a job as brakeman for the Union Pacific Railway. In retaliation, Patrick slapped on the terrific sentence of suspension for life. Under ice hockey he can keep the Moose out if he insists, enforce the sentence to the bitter letter.” (Calgary Herald January 28, 1926) Moose Johnson finished his hockey career in the minor leagues, playing in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland, Hollywood and San Francisco before retiring in 1931.

George “Max” Bell played football and hockey at McGill University before graduating with a Commerce degree in 1932. Max moved out west and worked a variety of jobs such as a labourer and prospector in British Columbia. Bell continued playing hockey and was a defenseman for the 1933-35 Kimberley Dynamiters of the Western Kootenay Senior Hockey League. In 1936 the Allan Cup went to British Columbia for the first time when Kimberley defeated the Sudbury Falcons in two consecutive games by scores of 2-0 and 4-3. The following season they embarked on a 62 game tour of Europe, ending up in London, England, the site of the 1937 World Ice Hockey Championships. The Dynamiters were unbeaten in 9 games at the tournament, outscoring their opponents by a margin of 60-4. Maxwell Bell secured a contract providing railway ties to the CPR and invested the profits in the Turner Valley Oil Company. Bell made his initial fortune in the 1947 oil boom and later became one of the original owners and developers of the Alberta Eastern Natural Gas Company. He also served as a Director of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Bank of Nova Scotia, Northern Electric and a number of other major Canadian corporations. A dedicated athlete and fitness enthusiast all his life, Bell’s other involvements in sports were part owner of the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL and the creation of Hockey Canada of which he was the first Chairman. (1912-1972)

 

George “Gerry” Geran was employed as a brakeman for the Boston Railway in 1920. Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1886, Geran was the first American born NHL player, starring with the Montreal Wanderers in the NHL’s inaugural season in 1917-18. Gerry played four games with them, before their home rink, the Montreal Arena, burned down on January 2, 1918 and the team was disbanded. He spent the greater part of the next 6 seasons playing in the USAHA, winning a silver medal in 1920, with the United States Olympic hockey team. Geran suited up in 1921-22 with the Paris Volants in Europe, scoring 52 goals in 8 games. Gerry played with the United States Olympic team again in 1923-24 and played his final season in the NHL in 1925, when he played 33 games with hometown Boston Bruins.

Clarence McCann of the Windsor Swastikas in the early 1900’s, was a trainman for the Dominion Atlantic Railway.

 

Gordon “Thomas” Lane was employed by the CPR in Brandon, Manitoba as a trainman during the off-season from 1975 to about 1978. His father also worked for the CPR as a conductor. Gord was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 9th round of the 1973 Amateur Draft, but never signed with Pittsburgh and after a stint in the IHL, signed on as a free agent with the Washington Capitals in 1975. Gord was traded to the New York Islanders for Mike Kaszycki in 1979 and became the teams most effective defender. His solid, stay-at-home style of playing hockey helped lead the Islanders to 4 straight Stanley Cups from 1980-83. Lane played 2 more seasons with New York and then retired to coach the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL. Gord spent the next 2 years as player-coach for the Springfield Indians of the AHL, before retiring from hockey for good in 1988. He returned to school and graduated from the University of Maryland with an accounting degree, going on to form his own company, GT Lane Financial Group. This enabled Gord to become a financial planner for pro athletes, including members of the Washington Capitals and working with corporations on their employee benefits packages.

 

John Michael O’Brien left school while he was in grade 8 to work as a water boy on a railway construction site. He loved his work and eventually became a labourer, foreman and contractor. After settling in Renfrew, Ont., in 1879, O’Brien won a contract to build the Kingston and Pembroke Railway. In 1909 he helped form the National Hockey Association and funded 4 of the 5 teams in the NHA league, including his own Renfrew Creamery Kings.

Joseph L.P. Cyr worked as a boilermaker with CNR for 30 years following his retirement from hockey. Born in Winnipeg, Cyr not only played semi-pro in his heyday, traveling around the US and Canada playing hockey, but was also a coach. Joe was a defenseman with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Winnipeg Barons of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League from 1953-55 and in 1955-56 played with the Johnstown Jets of the Eastern Hockey League. In 1956-57 Joe Cyr played with the Carmen Beavers of the Manitoba Big-6 Hockey League.

George “Edward” Carroll was a defenseman with the Moncton CNR Machinists of the Moncton City Senior Hockey League from 1912 to 1914. Born in Moncton, all his hockey was played in that city, except for the 1924-25 season when he played for the Montreal Maroons and Boston Bruins of the NHL. Carroll coached the Sunny Brae Rovers of the New Brunswick Central Senior Hockey League during the 1925-26 season. In 1939 George was injured in an accident at the Moncton Railway Shops and died six months later at the age of 42.

 

Denis “Dinny” Flanagan worked in the general foreman’s office in Stratford’s CNR shops from 1948 to 1958. Denny was a member of the famous Flick, Roth and Flanagan line who first came together with the 1950-51 Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen. The line joined the Lethbridge Maple Leafs in 1951 to represent Canada at the World Amateur Championships in Paris, France and won the gold medal. They then entered the Sir Winston Churchill Cup Competition and won another gold medal. During their European tour they played 62 games winning 51, tying 4 and losing 7. Dinny’s best year was with the 1951-52 Stratford Indians when he had 30 goals and 59 assists. During Stratford’s drive for the Allan Cup that year, Dinny led the team with 13 goals in 14 games. Flick, Roth and Flanagan played 6 seasons with the Springfield Indians of the SOHA and in 1951-52 the line led the team with 111 goals and 161 assists in 50 games.

 

Bill “William” Flick was a boilermaker in the CNR’s Stratford shops. Bill led the Stratford Indians with 47 goals in 48 games during the 1952-53 season. The majority of his career was spent in Stratford with the Kroehlers and Indians, and with the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen. Flick was an Allan Cup finalist with the Dutchman in 1951-52 and the Chatham Maroons in 1955-56. When the Dutchman returned to Kitchener following the 1960 Winter Olympics, the Flick, Roth and Flanagan line was reunited to play an exhibition game against Czechoslovak during the national teams 6-game tour of eastern Canada. Flick and Flanagan each scored a goal to lead the Dutchman to a 6-5 victory.

 

William “Babe” Elliott worked part time for the Northern Pacific Railway while he was playing hockey. Born in Winnipeg on November 28, 1899, Babe was a goaltender for the St. Paul Athletic Club of the USAHA from 1921-22 through 1924-25. He led them to the Fellowes Cup finals against the Boston Westminister in 1921-22 and again in 1922-23 against the Boston Athletic Association. Elliott’s best season was in 1922-23 when he had 11 shutouts in 22 games. After retiring from hockey following the 1924-25 season, Babe worked full time for Northern Pacific. After working in the passenger department in Detroit and Chicago, he was appointed City Passenger and Freight Agent at Butte in 1927 and promoted to General Agent in 1932. (1899-1950) 

 

Marcel “Ching” Dheere worked in the rail yards as a switchman for 30 years following his retirement from hockey in 1953. Born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, Marcel was traded to Montreal by the Portland Buckaroos of the PCHL on December 25, 1940. Dheere split the 1942-43 season with the Montreal Canadiens and the Senior Canadiens of the QSHL. The next year he played hockey for Montreal Canada Car and Montreal RCAF, taking the 1944-45 season off to serve in the military. When Marcel returned to the game, he played from 1946-50 in the USHL and then with the Tacoma Rockets of PCHL for 2 seasons. His last 2 seasons were with the Vernon Canadiens of the OSHL and the Melville Millionaires of the SSHL. (1920-2002) 

 

Vincent “Manny” McIntyre worked at CNR as a porter after retiring from hockey and baseball. Born in Gagetown, New Brunswick, Manny learned to play hockey on the St. John River. In 1937-38 McIntyre led his Fredericton High School team when they were crowned Maritime High School champs. In 1941 McIntyre joined the Carnegie brothers with the Timmins Buffalo Ankerites of the Georgian Bay Hockey League. Manny, Herb and Ossie became the first all African-Canadian line in professional hockey – The Black Aces. In their first two seasons together, the trio led the Ankerite’s to consecutive provincial Allan Cup finals. Manny played for the 1942-43 Halifax Army team and the next season with the Pictou Shipbuilders, joining the Truro Bearcats for their final 8 games of the regular season. On the Bearcats run for the Allan Cup in 1943-44, Manny had 6 goals, 8 assists and 10 penalty minutes in 12 games. The Black Aces were reunited with the 1944-45 Shawinigan Cataracts and remained together over the next 2 seasons with the Sherbrooke Randies and Saints of the QPHL. “Manny worked left wing with the same discipline that Ossie showed on the right. He was a fine positional player, good in the corners and willing to mix it up with any challenger. A big man, McIntyre could hold his own when the going got rough; which sure was often in the Provincial league. If Manny had a weakness it was to pass instead of shoot. He was a good passer and playmaker and had twice as many assists as goals. His talents completed the Carnegie brothers perfectly.” (Sherbrooke Daily Record). When Manny signed on with the Sherbrooke Canadians to play baseball in 1946, he became the first black Canadian to play professional baseball, one year before Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier. McIntyre and Ossie Carnegie played in France during the 1947-48 season with the Racing Club de Paris. The Racing Club played teams from all over Europe, winning 54 games, lost 4 and tied 2. Manny and Ossie returned to Canada and joined Herb Carnegie on the 1948-49 Sherbrooke Saints of the QSHL, in what was the last time the Black Aces would play together. The next season Manny moved back to the Maritimes and played with the Moncton Hawks of the MSHL, scoring 36 goals and 35 assists in 59 games. A wrist injury limited Manny to 39 games with the St. John Beavers during the 1950-51 season. McIntyre switched to defense and played with the Port Alfred Elans, Rimouski Renards and St. Hyacinthe Gaulois before retiring from hockey after the 1954-55 season.  

Robert G. Reid Jr. was general superintendent of railway operations 1908-23, remaining active in the affairs of the Reid Newfoundland Company and a resident of St. John's until his death. R.G. Jr. was popular with railway employees, his duties bringing him the most contact with day-to-day management of the line. He also occupies a prominent place in the sports history of Newfoundland. Having become an avid hockey player and fan at McGill University, in 1898 he not only played for and recruited railway employees for one of the first organized teams, but also solicited support for the construction of the first proper hockey rink in St. John's, the Prince's Rink. (1875-1947)

Stan “Chook” Maxwell’s hockey career began in 1953 with the Quebec Citadels Junior Club and he rose to make his mark on the North American professional hockey circuit. He was also an outstanding baseball player who spent five years with the Truro Bearcats of the semi-pro Halifax and District League. After his retirement from hockey in 1971, he returned to his hometown of Truro where he became an employee of Via Rail for 21 years and co-owner of Apex Cleaning Services for over 30 years. Active in community affairs, Chook had a keen interest in his family, community, sports and stressed the importance of education. His many accomplishments included founder of the first Black Hockey School, co-founder of the Apex Golf Association, member of the Community Enhancement Association, Truro Rotary Club, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 26, Truro Sport Heritage Society and inductee into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame and the Truro Sports Wall of Fame. (1935-2005)

Ron Wilson, coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, first caught the technology bug at the age of 10 when his grandfather taught him to type. Those long summer days, spent in a Canadian Pacific Railway office where his grandfather repaired communications equipment, were a lot of fun once Wilson learned how to work that intriguing Teletype machine. A hockey career, first as a player and then a coach, has replaced his childhood interest, but Wilson’s enthusiasm to blend the two remains unparalleled. It was following an NHL playing career in which he played parts of seven seasons with Toronto and Minnesota (26 goals, 93 points in 177 games), and after spending parts of six others in Europe, that the former defenseman started to dabble with computer programs in an effort to store and analyze information about players. It was in the late 1980s, while playing in Switzerland, when a friend taught Wilson simple programming language for computers. Ron was a product of Providence College and his father, Larry, and uncle, Johnny, won Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings.

 

Victor “Stanley” Howe was a Canadian National Railway policeman for more than 30 years following his retirement from hockey. Eleven months younger than his brother, Gordie “Mr. Hockey” Howe, Vic played 33 games with the New York Rangers of the NHL between 1950 and 1955. New York fans can only dream about a brother combination that almost happened. In 1944 the Rangers held their training camp in Winnipeg and invited 15 year old Gordie to a tryout. Lester Patrick decided he wasn’t worth signing and a homesick Gordie Howe returned to the family home near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Gordie eventually signed with the Detroit Red Wings and embarked on a hockey career that spanned 6 decades. Vic Howe played 29 games with New York during the 1954-55 season and the next year landed in the WHL with the Brandon Regals and Nelson Maple Leafs. Vic traveled to Britain, joining the Harringay Racers for the 1956-57 season and then decided to retire from hockey. He played with the Moncton Beavers of the NSSHL in 1961-62 and then retired for good.

 

Carman E. Marshall retired from the railway in 1990 after forty years service with CNR and VIA. Born in 1929 in the Ottawa area, Carman played peewee and bantam hockey in Brockville, Ontario. Marshall played 3 years with the Maxville Millionaires and then spent the 1947-48 and 1948-49 seasons with the Inkerman Rockets of the Ottawa Valley Junior Hockey League. In his second season with the Rockets, defenseman Carman had 13 points during the Memorial Cup play offs as the Rockets defeated the Ottawa St. Pat’s and Halifax St. Mary’s, then were defeated by the Montreal Royals. Led by Dickie “Digger” Moore, Montreal went on to win their first Memorial Cup when they defeated the Brandon Wheat Kings in 8 games. Marshall played 3 seasons with the Hull Volants of the ECSHL from 1949 to 1952, accompanying the team on a successful European tour to England, Scotland, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Sweden and France. Carman played senior hockey for several seasons with the Cornwall Colts and retired from competitive hockey following the 1955-56 season with the Cornwall Chevies. 

 

Frank “One Eyed” McGee came by his nickname when he lost his left eye in 1901, while playing with his company team, the Canadian Pacific Railway hockey club. Frank received the injury when he was struck by a lifted puck. In those days it was common play, before icing rules, for the defense to shoot the puck up into the air into the other team’s end of the rink. “In addition to being a great hockey star, he was an outstanding Rugbyist with Ottawa College and Ottawa City, and a fine all-round sportsman. He played much of his hockey under the handicap of one eye only, the other having been lost when torn from its socket in a hockey game. The greater part of his career came, however, after this accident.” (NHL 1945-46 Annual) McGee’s most famous achievement came in 1905, when the Ottawa Silver Seven defeated the Dawson City Nuggets for the Stanley Cup, winning two games by the combined score of 32-4. In the second game Frank scored 14 of the 23 goals, eight in succession, a record that has never been approached. At the start of WW I, McGee, an active member of the 43rd regiment, was mobilized and on May 15, 1915, embarked for England as a Lieutenant in the 21st Infantry Battalion. It is a mystery how McGee got into the army with sight in only one eye. In the field for vision on Frank’s medical history certificate, the doctor wrote good for the right eye and nothing was recorded for the left eye. On December of 1915 Frank suffered an injury to his knee in France and was sent to England to recover. He returned to the 21st Battalion in August of 1916 and died from enemy shelling near Courcelette, France, a fatality of the Battle of the Somme on September 16, 1916.