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Eddie Shore

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Subject: Violence in ice hockey, Sports in Boston, Springfield Indians, Fort Worth Rangers, The Hockey News
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Eddie Shore

Eddie Shore
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1947
Shore with the Melville Millionaires.
Born (1902-11-25)November 25, 1902
Fort Qu'Appelle, NT, CAN
Died March 16, 1985(1985-03-16) (aged 82)
Springfield, MA, USA
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 194 lb (88 kg; 13 st 12 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Right
Played for Cupar Canucks
Regina Capitals
Edmonton Eskimos
Boston Bruins
New York Americans
Playing career 1926–1940
Ace Bailey (left) shakes the hand of Eddie Shore at the benefit All-Star Game held in honour of Bailey.

Edward William Shore (November 25, 1902 – March 16, 1985) was a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman, principally for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League, and the longtime owner of the Springfield Indians of the American Hockey League, iconic for his toughness and defensive skill.

Shore won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player four times, the most of any defenceman; only Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe have won it more often. After the league began naming NHL All-Star Teams at the end of each season, Shore was honoured as an All-Star in eight of his last nine seasons; in the other season he missed over half the schedule due to injury.[1] A bruiser known for his violence, Shore set a then-NHL record for 165 penalty minutes in his second season.

Playing career

Shore started his career with his hometown minor hockey team in Cupar, the Cupar Canucks.

Shore played with the Regina Capitals of the Western Canada Hockey League in 1925. His team finished last in the league and folded at the end of the season. Shore moved to the league champion Edmonton Eskimos in 1926, where he converted from forward to defence and was given the nickname "the Edmonton Express."

When the Western Hockey League (renamed from the WCHL) folded in 1926, Shore was sold to the Boston Bruins of the NHL. As a rookie, he scored 12 goals and six assists for a total of 18 points and accumulated 130 penalty minutes. Shore helped the Bruins win their first Stanley Cup in 1929.

In the 1925–26 season, Billy Coutu and Sprague Cleghorn of the Montreal Canadiens were traded to the Boston Bruins. During their first practice with the Bruins, Shore strutted back and forth in front of Coutu and Cleghorn. Coutu body-slammed, head-butted, elbowed and tried to torment Shore. Next Coutu picked up the puck and made a rush at Shore. The two players collided. Shore held his ground and Coutu flew through the air violently crashing to the ice. Shore's ear was almost ripped off but he barely noticed it. Coutu was out cold and was out of commission for a week. Shore visited several doctors who wanted to amputate the ear, but found one who sewed it back on. After refusing anesthetic, Shore used a mirror to watch the doctor sew the ear on. Shore claimed Coutu used his hockey stick to cut off the ear, and Coutu was fined $50. Shore later recanted and Coutu's money was refunded.

Another unusual incident involving Shore occurred in January 1930 when he was challenged to a boxing match by baseball player Art Shires.[2] While NHL President Frank Calder said that Shore's participation was up to Bruins' manager Art Ross to decide, baseball commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis vetoed Shires' participation, and the match was never held.[3] On January 24, 1933, during a game against Montreal, Shore accidentally punched NHL referee-in-chief Cooper Smeaton during a fight with Sylvio Mantha and was fined $100.

In Boston on December 12, 1933, Shore ended the career of Toronto Maple Leafs star Ace Bailey when he hit Bailey from behind. Shore had checked Bailey, apparently in retaliation for a hit that Shore had received from Bailey's teammate Red Horner moments earlier. When Bailey's head hit the ice he was knocked unconscious and went into convulsions. In retaliation, Leafs tough-guy Red Horner punched Shore, whose head hit the ice as he fell from the blow. Shore was knocked out and required seven stitches but wasn't seriously injured. Bailey was rushed to hospital in critical condition with a fractured skull, and was operated on for more than four hours and there were fears he could die. Following the incident, Shore was suspended for 16 games by the league. Shore apologized to Bailey after the game, and the two shook hands at centre ice before a benefit game at Maple Leaf Gardens in Bailey's honour on February 14, 1934.

Shore and the Bruins won their second Stanley Cup in 1939. Shore retired and bought the Ice Capades.[4]

Retirement and the Indians

Eddie Shore in Springfield.

Although Shore had played his last NHL game, he played two more seasons in Springfield. The Indians halted operations during World War II, and Shore moved his players to Buffalo where he coached the Buffalo Bisons of the AHL to the Calder Cup championship in 1943 and 1944. After the war, the Springfield Indians resumed play in 1946 and Shore returned.

As an owner, Shore could be cantankerous and was often accused of treating players with little respect. He commonly had players who had been out of the lineup perform maintenance in the Eastern States Coliseum, the Indians' home, referring to them as "Black Aces." [5] Today, the term is commonly used to refer to extra players on the roster who train with the team in case of injury.[5] During the 1967 season, the entire Indians team refused to play after Shore suspended three players without pay, including future NHL star Bill White, for what he said was "indifferent play." When the team asked for an explanation, Shore suspended the two players who spoke for the team, one of whom was Brian Kilrea. Alan Eagleson, then a little-known lawyer and sometime politician, was brought in to negotiate with Shore on the players' behalf. The battle escalated for months, ending with Shore giving up day-to-day operations of the club; the genesis of the National Hockey League Players' Association stems from that incident. Shore continued to own the team until he sold it in 1976.

For his contributions to the game of hockey, Eddie Shore was awarded the vanity license plate "MR HOCKEY" by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

On February 28, 1985, Shore checked into a Springfield hospital because of a fatal lung infection, where he died on March 16, 1985, at age 82.

Shore was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1947. The Boston Bruins retired his number 2. The Eddie Shore Award is given annually to the AHL's best defenceman. In 1998, he was ranked number 10 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players, making him the highest-ranked pre-World War II player.

Cultural references

In the film Slap Shot, Eddie Shore's name, along with Toe Blake and Dit Clapper, is considered synonymous with "Old-time hockey." Shore is also featured in the Don Cherry biopic Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story.

Awards and achievements

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1923–24 Melville Millionaires S-SSHL 2 6 2 8 0
1923–24 Melville Millionaires Al-Cup 9 8 6 14 0
1924–25 Regina Capitals WCHL 24 6 0 6 75
1925–26 Edmonton Eskimos WHL 30 12 2 14 86 2 0 0 0 8
1926–27 Boston Bruins NHL 40 12 6 18 130 8 1 1 2 40
1927–28 Boston Bruins NHL 43 11 6 17 165 2 0 0 0 8
1928–29 Boston Bruins NHL 39 12 7 19 96 5 1 1 2 28
1929–30 Boston Bruins NHL 42 12 19 31 105 6 1 0 1 26
1930–31 Boston Bruins NHL 44 15 16 31 105 5 2 1 3 24
1931–32 Boston Bruins NHL 45 9 13 22 80
1932–33 Boston Bruins NHL 48 8 27 35 102 5 0 1 1 14
1933–34 Boston Bruins NHL 30 2 10 12 57
1934–35 Boston Bruins NHL 48 7 26 33 32 4 0 1 1 2
1935–36 Boston Bruins NHL 45 3 16 19 61 2 1 1 2 12
1936–37 Boston Bruins NHL 20 3 1 4 12
1937–38 Boston Bruins NHL 48 3 14 17 42 3 0 1 1 6
1938–39 Boston Bruins NHL 44 4 14 18 47 12 0 4 4 19
1939–40 Boston Bruins NHL 4 2 1 3 4
1939–40 New York Americans NHL 10 2 3 5 9 3 0 2 2 2
1939–40 Springfield Indians IAHL 15 1 14 15 18 2 0 1 1 0
1940–41 Springfield Indians AHL 56 4 13 17 66 3 0 0 0 2
1941–42 Springfield Indians AHL 35 5 12 17 61 5 0 3 3 6
1943–44 Buffalo Bisons AHL 1 0 0 0 0
NHL totals 550 105 179 284 1047 55 6 13 19 181
WCHL/WHL totals 54 18 2 20 161 2 0 0 0 8


  1. ^ Coleman, Charles (1969). Trail of the Stanley Cup II. Sherbrooke, PQ: Progressive Publications, Ltd. p. 292. 
  2. ^ "Eddie Shore Wants Shot At Art Shires". The Lewiston Daily Sun. Associated Press. 13 January 1930. p. 6. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Vautour 1997, p. 52.
  4. ^ Hamilton, F. F. , Jr. (1974). Ice Capades "years of entertainment". Washington, DC: Penchant Publishing Company, Ltd. 
  5. ^ a b Barbara Matson (9 June 2011). "Just in case, Caron was an Ace up the sleeve". Boston Globe. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 

External links

  • Eddie Shore's biography at Legends of Hockey
  • AHL Hall of Fame biography
  • Eddie Shore's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
  • "Shore's Latest Holdout Ends. N.H.L. maximum of $7,000 announced as his salary for 1938-9 season: No penalty for missing first four games" (digitised online by Google news). Windsor Daily Star. Nov 16, 1938. Retrieved 2012-07-03. 
Preceded by
Babe Siebert
Winner of the Hart Trophy
Succeeded by
Toe Blake
Preceded by
Aurel Joliat
Winner of the Hart Trophy
1935, 1936
Succeeded by
Babe Siebert
Preceded by
Howie Morenz
Winner of the Hart Trophy
Succeeded by
Aurel Joliat
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