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  Prairie Gold:
Sports Heroes From Saskatchewan
 
 
Photo 1 of 10. | | |

Sid Abel

Melville's Sid Abel began his career in the National Hockey League with the 1938-39 Detroit Red Wings. In 1937, he had tried out with Detroit, but returned to Saskatchewan to play one season with the 1938 Saskatchewan Senior Hockey Champion Flin Flon Bombers. By Abel was appointed Detroit's captain and led the team to a Stanley Cup victory. He played on two of the NHL's better known 1943, lines skating first on the "Liniment Line" with Don Grosso and Eddie Wares and later on the "Production Line" with Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay. In 1949, he led the NHL in scoring and was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy. During his career, he was placed on the NHL's first all-star team two times. In 1952, Abel became the Red Wings' highest point maker to-date in the team's history.

Later that year, Abel began an NHL coaching career that extended to over 15 seasons. For the 1952 53 season, the Chicago Black Hawks named Abel their first ever player/coach and The Hockey News awarded Abel Coach-of-the-Year honours. In 1954, he retired as a player/coach, but the Red wings lured him back to coach their 1957-58 team. In Detroit, he eventually became the NHL's second person to be appointed general manager/coach. Under Abel's leadership, the Red Wings visited the Stanley Cup Finals four times. In 1963, he was named coach of the NHL All-Star Team. Before retiring, Abel took on coaching and general manager duties in St. Louis and was later appointed general manager of the Kansas City Scouts.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on June 19, 1993.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 2 of 10. | | |

Maxwell Bentley

This member of a very famous sporting family was born in Saskatchewan at Delisle, in 1920. As a teenager he joined the well-known Saskatoon Wesley's Junior hockey team for the 1935-36 season.

Max played for the Drumheller Miners for the 1937-38 and 1939 seasons. At one time during this period there were five members of the Bentley family associated with the Miners.

In the 1940-41 season he tried out with Chicago of the N.H.L. went to Providence and then re-joined his brother, Doug, as a member of the Chicago Black Hawks.

With Chicago, Max centered the famous "Pony Line" composed of his brother, Doug, and Bill Mosienko. The fabulous quality of this line is possibly best indicated by the fact that all three members of the line have been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame - Max having been elected in 1966. In fact, the members of the line were so successful that the Toronto Maple Leafs gave up five players in a trade which gave them Max Bentley and another player. As a Maple Leaf, Max was instrumental in the Leafs continuation as the Stanley Cup champions in 1948 and 1949. Additionally, Max Bentley was a member of the first N.H.L. All Star team. He won the Lady Byng trophy in 1942-43 and the Hart trophy in 1945-46. During his career he scored 245 goals and 299 assists in league play. His totals for playoff games are 18 goals and 27 assists.

Installed in the Hall of Fame on May 22, 1967.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

Date: 1983.

Photographer: Marjan, Richard (Star Phoenix)

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Photo 3 of 10. | | |

Russell Crawford

Rusty Crawford was billed as one of the greatest hockey players of his time.

During a career of over 21 seasons in professional hockey, Rusty never missed a game due to an injury. He was a member of three Stanley Cup Championship Teams - twice with the Quebec Bulldogs and once with the Toronto Arenas.

His greatest single accomplishment was the climax to his 1912-13 season with the Bulldogs. In the final game of the series against Toronto, a game that lasted 112 minutes, Rusty not only scored the winning goal but was on the ice for the entire duration of the game.

Rusty Crawford ended his career, at the age of 43, with Minneapolis.

In 1961, Rusty, a veteran of many old time hockey seasons, was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame, under the category of "Old Timer".

At time of installation citation read March 26, 1977.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 4 of 10. | | |

Bob Dawes

Bob Dawes, who played with the Toronto Maple Leafs when the team won the Stanley Cup in 1949, poses in front of mementos as he reminisces about his career in hockey.

Date: May 10, 1986.

Photographer: Berger, Glen (Star-Phoenix staff)

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Photo 5 of 10. | | |

Elmer Lach

Elmer Lach was born in Nokomis, Saskatchewan, in 1918. He played amateur hockey in the province with the Regina Abbotts Junior team in 1935-36; he then played for the Weyburn Beavers, and finally with the Moose Jaw Millers. Elmer Lach then turned pro with the Montreal Canadiens of the N.H.L. in the 1940-41 season. He remained with that team for fourteen years until retiring after the 1953-54 playoffs.

In his years in the N.H.L., Elmer ran up an enviable record of achievement - playing in 664 regular schedule games and 76 playoff games. In league play he amassed a total of 215 goals and 408 assists, adding 19 more goals and 45 assists in playoffs. He was a winner of the Hart Trophy in 1944-45 and of the Art Ross Trophy in 1947-48. His outstanding ability was recognized by his three selections to the N.H.L. All-Star team in 1944-45, in 1947-48 and in 1951-52. He was a member of the second N.H.L. All-Star team in 1943-44 and in 1945-46. As a member of the Canadiens he was on a Stanley Cup championship team in 1944-46 and in 1953.

Elmer Lach's contribution to hockey was recognized by his selection to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Installed in the Hall of Fame on May 22, 1967.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 6 of 10. | | |

Nick Metz

Nick Metz was born in Wilcox, Saskatchewan on February 16, 1914, and he started his hockey career under Father Athol Murray at Notre Dame College. He went to St. Michaels College in Toronto in 1931, and was on the team which won the Dominion Championship in 1934, after going unbeaten through the whole season, including the play-offs.

In the fall of 1934 he went to the Toronto Maple Leafs. After a stint with Syracuse, a farm team, he was back in Toronto for the play-offs. In twelve seasons with the Leafs, Nick scored 131 goals, and had 119 assists, playing centre and left wing. He played nine out of twelve years in Stanley Cup finals, and was a member of the winning Leafs in 1942, 1945, 1947, and 1948.

In the 1941 Stanley Cup semi-finals Nick was credited with a record three assists in one period of play against Boston. In the 1942 final against Detroit, the Leafs lost the first three games and then battled back to win the series.

While in the army, Nick played on the Victoria Army team in the Allan Cup finals, losing to Ottawa.

Nick Metz was also known as a curler, and as a baseball and lacrosse player.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on June 11, 1983.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 7 of 10. | | |

Eddie Shore

After playing senior hockey for the Melville Millionaires, Eddie Shore turned professional with a Regina team in the Western Canada Hockey League. In 1926 he was traded to the Boston Bruins.

Shore was the most exciting rushing defenseman of his day. He played on two Stanley Cup teams, won the Hart Trophy four times and was named to the first All-Star Team seven times.

After 13 years with the Bruins he was traded to the New York Americans.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 8 of 10. | | |

Bob Turner

Bob Turner honed his hockey skills on the outdoor rinks of Regina and played all of his minor hockey in the Queen City. In 1950, he was a member of the Regina Pat midget team that won the Provincial Championship. He made the jump to the junior ranks the next year with the Regina Pats of the Western Junior Hockey League (WJHL), who came second to the Guelph Biltmores at the Memorial Cup in 1952. Bob played with the Pats for three years, was Captain of the team during the 1953-54 season and named MVP of the WJHL the same year.

Turner began his "pro" career in the fall of 1954 by joining the Shawinigan Fall Cataracts of the Quebec League, who won the Duke of Edinburgh Trophy that year, the highest prize in the minor professional league in Canada. Bob was called up to their parent club, the Montreal Canadiens, for the 1955-56 season. Bob Turner was a skilled defenceman and fierce competitor for the Canadiens for five seasons - 1956 through 1960 - winning the Stanley Cup in each of those years. Bob Turner is one of only twelve players to be a member of five consecutive Stanley Cup championship teams. Bob played three seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks - 1961 to 1963 - and finished his career with the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 1964. Turner played in five NHL All-Star games during his professional career.

Bob did not leave hockey after his retirement. He returned home to become coach of the Regina Pats of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in 1965. In nine successful years as head coach between 1965 and 1976, Turner led the Regina Pats to the Memorial Cup twice, finishing second in 1969 and winning the tournament in 1974.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on June 18, 1994.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 9 of 10. | | |

Harry Watson

A product of Saskatoon's minor hockey system, Harry played with the Saskatoon Quakers in 1940-41 and advanced to the Abbott Cup final, losing out to the Winnipeg Rangers. In the fall of 1941, Watson turned professional with the Brooklyn Americans. He was traded to the Detroit Red Wings for the 1942-43 season, then entered the service.

He rejoined the Red Wings in the fall of 1945 and stayed with them for one year before joining the Toronto Maple Leafs. He ended his career playing with the Chicago Black Hawks from 1955 to 1957. In 809 games, he scored 236 goals and added 207 assists. He was on five Stanley Cup teams and was selected to play in seven all- star games. When he retired from the game he turned to coaching, leading the Windsor Bulldogs to the Allan Cup in 1963. He played 20 years with the NHL old-timers and spends a great deal of time in fund-raising events across Canada.

In 1986 he was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and the Saskatoon Hall of Fame.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers

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Photo 10 of 10. | | |

We hope that you have enjoyed reading about some of Saskatchewan's sports heroes.

If you have a photograph of someone or a team listed in Prairie Gold that we do not have a photo for and are willing to donate it, please contact us.

Due to their nature and sometimes ambiguous origin the photographs seen here and those on file at the Local History Room are continuously being updated with new information. Some of this information comes from dedicated research done by Local History staff. However some of the biggest 'breaks' have come from the public... Those that remember the people, places and events in the photo are our biggest informational resource and we ask that if you have any information about the photos to contact the Local History Room at lhstaff@saskatoonlibrary.ca or phone (306) 975-7578.

Come and visit the Local History Room the next time you are at the Frances Morrison Library.

Thank you.

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