Edward William "Eddie" Shore (November 25, 1902 – March 16, 1985) was a Canadian professional ice hockey defender in the National Hockey League, principally for the Boston Bruins, and the longtime owner of the Springfield Indians of the American Hockey League, iconic for his toughness and defensive skill.
Named to the NHL All-Star team for eight of the first nine seasons the league named such teams, Shore is the only NHL defenceman to win the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player four times. Only Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe have won the Hart Trophy more times than Shore. A bruiser known for NHL violence, Shore set a then-NHL record for 165 penalty minutes in his second season.
Playing Career[edit | edit source]
Born in Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, 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.
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 twelve 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 Shore, head-butted, elbowed, and tried to torment Shore. 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 anaesthetic, 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. 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.thumb|right|400px|AHL Hall of Fame induction video for Eddie Shore, Class of 2006.
In Boston on December 13 1933, Shore ended the career of Toronto Maple Leafs star Ace Bailey when he charged Bailey from behind. 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. He was operated on for more than four hours and there were fears he could die. Shore apologized to Bailey after the game. Shore and Bailey shook hands at centre ice before a benefit game in Bailey's honour on February 14 1934.
Shore and the Bruins won their second Stanley Cup in 1939. Shore retired and bought the Springfield Indians of the American Hockey League, where he was player-owner in 1939–40. He was persuaded to rejoin the Bruins and played four games for the team before being traded to the New York Americans on January 25 1940. He stayed with the Americans through their elimination from the playoffs, and was simultaneously playing with the Indians in their playoff games.
Retirement and the Indians[edit | edit source]
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. During the 1967 season, the entire Indians team refused to play after Shore suspended without pay three players, 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 be owner until he sold the team in 1976.
For his contributions to the game of hockey, Eddie Shore was awarded the vanity license plate "MR HOCKEY" by the State of Massachusetts.
On February 28, 1985, Shore checked into a Springfield hospital. His condition gradually deteriorated, and 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[edit | edit source]
In the film Slap Shot, Eddie Shore's name, along with Toe Blake and Dit Clapper, is considered synonymous with "Old-time hockey".
Awards and Achievements[edit | edit source]
- Stanley Cup champion - 1929, 1939
- Hart Memorial Trophy – 1932–33, 1934–35, 1935–36, 1937–38
- Lester B. Patrick Award – 1970
- Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1947
- Inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1975
- Named to the WHL First All-Star Team 1925-26
- Named to the NHL First All-Star Team 7 times
- Named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1934
- In 1998, he was ranked #10 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
- His number, 2, was retired by the Boston Bruins in 1947.
Career Statistics[edit | edit source]
|1939–40||New York Americans||NHL||10||2||3||5||9||3||0||2||2||2|