Two-time Stanley cup winner and 9-time NHL All-Star Eddie Shore was an NHL stalwart in the early to mid-years of the 20th century. Known for his tough, all-around play with the Boston Bruins, Shore also played for the Regina Capitals and Edmonton Eskimos of the Western Canada Hockey League as well as the Springfield Indians and New York Americans of the NHL. He was a star defenseman and a bruiser who was known for his occasional on-ice altercations with opponents.
Shore’s early playing years were with the Cupar Canucks and Melville Millionaires in the Canadian junior leagues. With the Millionaires, he won the Saskatchewan junior championship in the 1923-24 season.
He was called up to the Regina Capitals for his first professional challenge and played as a forward for the Capitals in the Western Canada Hockey League’s 1925-26 season. In 1926, he moved on to the Edmonton Eskimos, the league champions, and made his name as one of hockey’s best defensemen.
His stay with the Eskimos was not for long, as the folding of the Western Canada Hockey League saw him sold to the Boston Bruins of the NHL in 1927. In his rookie NHL season, he led his team in scoring (12 goals) and with fearlessness and passion made his team serious championship contenders.
In his next season, 1928-29, the Bruins were the American Division winners. They then advanced unbeaten, all the way to the Stanley Cup final. In the finals, they fought off the New York Rangers in two games and won their first Stanley Cup.
In the years that followed, Shore was at his best. He was second in the NHL MVP voting in the 1930-31 season and went on to win the Hart (MVP) Trophy 4 times between 1933 and 1938. In 1939, he led the Bruins to their second Stanley Cup.
Entering the twilight of his 14-year NHL career, Shore purchased the Springfield Indians, a hockey franchise playing in the NHL’s developmental league, the American Hockey League, in 1940. With this purchase, Shore played as a player-owner for the Indians in the 1939–40 season while also playing for the Bruins and later the New York Americans.
The arrangement with the New York Americans would see him play for them in their home games and also play for the Indians in the minor league. Despite this double duty, Shore led the Americans to the NHL’s quarterfinal playoffs in 1940, only to lose to the Detroit Red Wings.
It was in 1940 too, that he hung up his skates, bringing an end to an illustrious 14-year career in the NHL. In the years that followed, Shore would play for his Springfield Indians side for two more seasons, in 1941 and 1942.
He made the switch into management and coaching in the years that followed and sold the Springfield Indians franchise in 1976.
Awards and trophies
In his 17-year career playing in both the professional and minor leagues, Eddie Shore made his name as a no-nonsense defender. Due to his defensive prowess, the American Hockey League’s best defenseman award, the Eddie Shore Trophy, is named after him. Shore was also an inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame (1947) and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (1975).
He won the Stanley Cup twice (1929 and 1939), was a Hart Memorial MVP Trophy winner four times (1938, 1936, 1935, and 1933). Shore was also a 9-time All-Star in the NHL (1931-1940). His contributions to ice hockey both as a player, a coach and a manager also saw him receive the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1970.
Even today, Eddie Shore is considered one of the finest defensemen to have ever graced hockey. The NHL has recognized him as one among the 100 Greatest NHL Players’ in hockey history, and his contribution to the game both on and off the ice have gone a long way in shaping how the game is played today.
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