The Chin Brothers  Dominance Drew Attention From  NHL Teams

The Chin Brothers dominated in their hockey league which drew attention from the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.


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The sports headline of the Stratford Beacon-Herald on April 6, 1943 read "Wellesley Will See A Lot of Chins on Stratford Ice Tonight". This banner referred to the deciding game of the WOAA Intermediate Hockey championships being played that night in Stratford between teams from Wellesley and Lucknow.

The town of Lucknow has had famous hockey sons. In the 1960s, Lucknow native Paul Henderson began his professional career with the Detroit Red Wings. In 1972, he would score what many consider to be the most famous goal in the history of hockey when he notched the goal that gave Canada the series victory over the Russians in the first ever Canada-Russia hockey showdown. 

Later, it would be defenseman David Farrish, who would play in the NHL. His rock-solid defensive skills would once again stir the community pride of the citizens of Lucknow. In the 1940s, hockey pride in Lucknow was directed towards one unique hockey family. 

The three Chin brothers formed a potent scoring line to lead Lucknow to hockey success in the WOAA Intermediate Hockey League. 

Brothers playing on the same team is unusual but not extremely rare. The NHL has seen the Plagers, Cooks, Bentleys, Richards, Hunters, and many other brother combinations. However, the Lucknow team had a truly unique brother act. 

Bill, Albert and George Chin were Chinese Canadians. All but Albert were born in Canada. He was born in Hong Kong while his parents were on vacation in their homeland. 

They led their Lucknow team to an undefeated season in 1942-43, in their WOAA group, which featured teams from Goderich, Kincardine and Wingham. In 10 games the brothers accounted for 67 of the 117 goals scored by the Lucknow team. That season the Lucknow Maple Leafs accumulated 280 scoring points and the Chins tallied more than one half of that amount amassing 155 points among them. The prophesy of the Stratford newspaper can be understood when these numbers are considered. 

The Chin brothers were not only a source of community pride in Lucknow, but they were a huge attraction wherever they played. Their hockey skills were known far and wide. Their Asian origin, without a doubt, added to the interest in watching them play hockey. 

The brothers attracted attention from Toronto Maple Leafs coach and former Owen Sounder "Hap" Day and Toronto's archrival, Jack Adams of the Detroit Red Wings. The Chins were invited to attend the Toronto training camp held in Owen Sound. 

The Milverton Sun announced the Chins had signed contracts with the Detroit Red Wings in what that paper claimed was the "biggest box office" attraction in recent hockey history. It was not expected that the brothers would play for the Red Wings or their farm club in Indianapolis, but that they would probably end up playing for the Detroit's OHA junior clubs in either Galt or Woodstock. 

Whether Jack Adams ever expected the Chins to make it to the NHL is not known. But the wily promoter knew a box office attraction when he saw one. He planned to have the brothers play on farm clubs in the United States in exhibition games. Their well-publicized presence would probably ensure a large attendance.

Canada's 1972 Canada - Russia Series Hero, Paul Henderson credits the Chin family with introducing him to hockey and giving him his first hockey lessons. In a 1997 interview he said to me, "If it wasn't for a Chinese Canadian family, I would never have scored the most important goal in Canadian hockey history!

Versions of this article, "The Chin Brothers Were Dominant in Hockey Drawing Attention From  NHL Teams," originally appeared in my Local History column in the Owen Sound Sun Times and in my 1997 book, the Hockey Scrapbook: Hockey Memories of the Bruce County & Owen Sound Region.

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About Owen Sound Hockey History

The 1920s Owen Sound Hockey Stars made there mark in amateur ranks and then many of them went on to careers in the NHL and other professional hockey leagues.

The 1927 Owen Sound Greys with a priest serving as coach named Jack Spratt and not one experienced defenseman were an unlikely Canadian National Hockey Championship team.

Benny Grant: Memorial Cup Champ grew up in Owen Sound and enjoyed a hockey career, which included a surprising turn of events that led to a stint in the NHL.

"Buck" Jones, like most Canadian boys, dreamed of playing in the NHL. Little did he realize that one day he would wear the sweater of an NHL club and would be the idol of youngsters like himself!

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Ralph "Cooney" Weiland skated from a Memorial Cup championship in Owen Sound, to a Stanley Cup in Boston to fame as a U.S. college hockey coach.

The Crescent Club has a long history of sponsoring sports teams and leagues in Owen Sound providing consistent management and financial assistance to athletics.

"Cyclone" Taylor was hockey's first superstar. Born in Tara Ontario, he was involved in a controversy in Ottawa which still has not been resolved.

Doug Brindley: From Maple Draft Choice to a role in Slap Shot: a Memorial Cup champ; coached by Don Cherry; and he played in the WHA; what more could a Walkerton Ontario native ask for in a hockey career?

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Goalie "Red" Henry: An All-Star Netminder: Another great Owen Sound goalie who played for the love of the game.

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Norm Locking Chicago Black Hawks & Former Owen Sound Grey was known for his hard and deadly shot in Al Capone's Chicago.

Harry Lumley spent his Hall of Fame hockey career tending the nets for four NHL clubs and he spent one period of a hockey game goaltending for a fifth NHL team.

Henry Kelso: Owen Sound Sports Legend not only contributed to the sporting life of his students, he also had a significant influence on the rest of their lives.

Junior Hockey Commentary: Should there be controversy about the use of non-local hockey players? This article was written in 1998 in response to a letter to the editor in the Owen Sound Sun Times.

Meaford Knights Hockey: The 1953-54 Championship Knights' line-up had of several pairs of brothers. Many felt that the brothers made a winning difference.

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Owen Sound Hockey's early history some references suggest started in the 1880s. However there are records of organized hockey teams beginning in the early 1900s.

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The 1959-60 Owen Sound Greys: A Tough Act to Follow: Tragedy struck this hockey team of young men, yet they persevered.

The 1960s Owen Sound Greys Stars who went on to NHL action including Brian Perry, Doug Brindley, Jim Schoenfeld, and Jack Lynch brought Owen Sound a reputation as a hockey hotbed!

Owen Sound Attack: The arrival of this new OHL team is the latest chapter in the Owen Sound region's rich hockey history.

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Owen Sound Hockey Heritage stretches from rural farmhouses on Saturday night to backyard rinks to cheering for local hockey successes and hockey heroes.

Owen Sound Junior Hockey History began almost one hundred and twenty years ago and is rich with championship teams, great players, and dedicated fans. 

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Owen Sound Platers: Ray McKelvie the quiet and knowledgeable leader behind the success of the 1999 hockey team.

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Paul MacDermid, born in Chesley Ontario, through hard work and determination enjoyed a 12 year NHL career, before keeping junior hockey alive in Owen Sound by working with a group citizens to purchase the Attack OHL franchise.

"Red" Armstrong, a fiery spirited hockey player, known more for his fierce checking than his scoring prowess surprised even himself on his first NHL shift.

Red Leckie was more than a good hockey player. He played for the team, not for himself. Outside hockey, he responded when he saw a need in his community.

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Owen Sound Hockey History is rich with stories of championship teams, star hockey players, and community support.

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