Hockey History

Hockey history is full of surprises, amazing stories and athletes who never cease to surprise. It is more than just stories about the NHL, it is tales from the minor leagues, the bush leagues, and much more. And, it is not just a Canadian story.


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The Great Lakes Raconteur

I have been researching and writing about hockey history for many years, actually several decades. Along the way I have not only made some interesting discoveries, but I have also had the honour of meeting and interviewing some of the people who have made hockey history. And, in the pages that follow, and will ultimately be listed below, you too, will be able to meet through their stories, hockey personalities such as Harry Lumley, "Ace" Bailey, "Buck" Jones, Jean Beliveau, Bill Gadsby, John Zeigler, and many more.

A Hockey History Surprise:
An Unexpected Interview

One of my great surprises during my career as a chronicler of hockey history occurred in November 1999. One night, former Boston Bruin Stanley Cup champion Pat McReavy telephoned me to say that Tommy Burlington would like me to interview him.

What was so special about an interview with Tommy Burlington? Well, to many hockey historians, Burlington is the greatest North American hockey player never to play in the NHL. And, the story about why he never skated with an NHL team is in itself a piece of hockey history. And, four almost four decades, Tommy had refused to give an interview to anyone. (His last published story appeared in the Toronto Star about 1960.)

Pat McReavy gave me Tommy's telephone number and told me to call him right away. When I called MR. Burlington he insisted that I come to his house the next night. Check below for the article that resulted from my interview with Tommy Burlington.

A hockey history story that I am sure that you will enjoy involves a unique league that involved only teams from one state of the United States, and, all of the teams played in the same arena. There are many interesting "firsts" for the hockey history books in this article, but perhaps the most interesting is how this league introduced "slow motion" to the game of hockey!

Another story features a hockey player who grew up in a small city in Ontario, but retired from hockey to work in Florida and raise his family. His biography has many twists and turns, including a trade that surprised him and his best friend.

One of my Childhood Hockey Heroes

Another hockey player you will meet, is the youngest goalie ever to suit up with an NHL hockey team. His Hockey Hall of Fame career took him from a Stanley Cup championship team in Detroit to Chicago, Toronto, and Boston. He even played one period of a hockey game for the New York Rangers. 

Whether you are a fan of hockey history, or a follower of your favourite team, you will find something that catches your attention in this section of

More Great Hockey History Stories

Syl Apps: A Maple Leafs Icon whose smooth skating HHoF talents make him one of the greatest All-Time hockey players in the history of the NHL. Ironically, before he became a Maple Leaf one NHL general manager decided not to sign him to a contract solely because Apps had aspirations of becoming a minister!

Jean Beliveau, an outstanding hockey player, baseball player, a nice guy who in Quebec City was known as the "Ice Cream Man".

Tommy Burlington: the Greatest North American Never to Play in the NHL captured scoring titles in every league that he played, bringing comparisons to NHL greats.

Alex Faulkner: NHL Pioneer only played one game as a Toronto Maple Leaf, but to hockey fans in Newfoundland it was an important hockey game!

Forbes Kennedy suited up for 13 regular season games and one playoff game as a Toronto Maple Leaf. But a lot can happen in 14 hockey games!

Ted "Teeder" Kennedy a Leafs Legend was almost a member of the Montreal Canadiens but a homesick 16 year-old changed that by leaving Canadiens training camp for home.

Hockey history: Florida details the one-year life of the Tropical Hockey League that entertained fans in the south Florida region in the late 1930s.

Larry Jeffrey started his career as a Red Wing, won a Stanley Cup with Toronto, had a short stint as a Ranger and then retired to the beach in Goderich, Ontario!

Rocket Richard, Montreal Canadiens superstar sniper was a goal-scoring nightmare for goalies especially for one NHL goaltender in particular.

Paul Henderson: A Canadian Hockey Hero, "I scored six really good goals and the garbage goal is the one that everyone remembers.”

W.O.A.A. - Western Ontario Athletic Association was the idea of one man that grew to successfully promote sports in western Ontario.

Hockey history is full of surprises, amazing stories and athletes who never cease to surprise. It is more than just stories about the NHL, it is tales from the minor leagues, the bush leagues, and much more. And, it is not just a Canadian story.

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