50 Years Ago in Hockey – Hull Wins Hart

The Golden Jet, Chicago Black Hawks superstar Bobby Hull, has been named the winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy, which is given to the most valuable player in the National Hockey League.

Bobby Hull with Hart Trophy
Bobby Hull with Hart Trophy

Hull topped the polls with 103 points, just seven ahead of second place Norm Ullman of Detroit.  Ullman’s team-mate Gordie Howe was a distant third.

The Hart is the second individual award for Hull this year.  He was earlier named the winner of the Lady Byng Trophy.  He was also named to the NHL First All-star team at left wing.

Hull’s first-half performance, where he scored 32 of his 39 goals, cemented his chance at the award.  Hull had opened a 68-point lead over Ullman after the first-half voting, and the Detroit centre had no way to close that gap.  Hull finished fourth in league scoring with 71 points.

Hull is the third Chicago player to win the award since it was first presented in 1923-24.  Max Bentley was the first Hawk to win it in 1945-46, followed by goalie Al Rollins in 1953-54.

Al Rollins
Al Rollins

The last left-winger to win the award was Tommy Anderson of the New York Americans in 1941-42.

Who is Ed Giacomin?

Many hockey fans are wondering just who is the goalkeeper with the funny name acquired from the Providence Reds by the New York Rangers last week.  The Toronto Star’s Jim Proudfoot unearthed some details on  Sudbury native Ed Giacomin (pronounced Jock-o-min).

Ed Giacomin:  Rangers traded four players for him.
Ed Giacomin: Rangers traded four players for him.

Giacomin as a perfect example of why young players should never give up the dream of playing big-league hockey.  At the age of 20, he was playing commercial league hockey in Sudbury, after finishing a Junior C career.  The Washington Lions of the Eastern Hockey League lost a goalkeeper due to injury and someone on that club who was from Sudbury remembered Ed Giacomin.  Ed finished the season in the EHL, splitting time between Washington and the Clinton Comets.

The following season he played for both Clinton and the New York Rovers and even was summoned to Providence for one AHL game.  Providence put his name on their AHL list and employed him as Gil Mayer’s understudy.  He took over as the Providence regular in 1963.

Giacomin almost didn’t get a chance to play hockey for anyone.  In the spring of 1959, his legs were badly burned in a grease fire.  The burns were so severe that he required extensive skin grafts and doctors doubted he would ever play hockey again.  By August he was back playing baseball, and he made it to training camp in the fall.


Boston Bruins have waived defenceman Tom Johnson out of the NHL.  He has been transferred to their Minneapolis (CPHL) roster and is being considered for the coaching job there.  Johnson suffered a severe leg cut late in the season and will not likely play again.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson – Bruins may give him a CPHL coaching job.
  • Bert Olmstead will likely take over coaching a New York Ranger farm team.  Vancouver is a possible destination.
  • Toronto offered Andy Bathgate back to the Rangers before trading him to Detroit.  The Rangers didn’t want him.  Ranger GM Emile Francis said, “I wouldn’t trade any of our young players for him.”
  • A proposal has been made to the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association to pick Canada’s national team from among members of the Armed Forces.
  • The CAHA has also made protective headgear mandatory for all players playing Juvenile and under in Canada.  Players who play junior, intermediate or senior will still have the option of wearing helmets.