Cupar - Melville - Regina - Edmonton - Boston - Springfield
always said I was vicious. I wasn't. I just knew how
to hit. When did you ever see a hockey player who was
a good fighter? Never. And why? Because they carry their
weight forward when they skate. When they throw a punch,
they don't have their weight behind a punch. I skated
with my knees bent and with my weight behind me and
when I hit I put all my weight behind the swing. But
I was never vicious. I knew how to swing. I'm 71 years
old and I can still hit a golf ball 280 yards because
I know how to swing."
Eddie Shore, 1973
was inevitable that Eddie Shore would become a professional
hockey player and it was just as certain that he would become
one of the very best. Some believe Shore was the most accomplished
man to ever lace up a pair of skates (Beddoes, 1973). It is
unquestionable that Shore was one of the best, most durable
and most bizarre players ever to play in the N.H.L. Shore
began his life in Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, soon moving
to Cupar where he spent the rest of his early years. Shore
was first recruited to play in Melville with the Millionaires.
He then moved up to the professional ranks with the Regina
Capitals who folded, sending Shore to Edmonton. Soon after
his arrival in Edmonton, Shore was nicknamed the "Edmonton
Express". It was also here that Eddie met his wife, Kate
Macrae, of the famed Edmonton Grads basketball team. Shore
next moved to the N.H.L. with the Boston Bruins whom he played
with most of his career. Shore's accomplishments as a player
still stand as a testament to "The Babe Ruth of Hockey"
(Beddoes, 1973). Shore never stopped giving to hockey. After
his retirement as a player, he became owner and coach of the
Springfield Indians, giving the game of hockey back everything
he had gained from it. Shore died in 1985, but the memory
of the Bruins #2 racing down the ice in an attack on his opponent's
goalie will always live in the minds of hockey fans.
first rink in Cupar was an open air effort situated in Railway
dimensions were a mere 44 feet by 100 feet, but this rink
would be the first ice Eddie Shore would skate on (Ward, 1980).
Who could have guessed that a small sheet of ice in southern
Saskatchewan could produce such a hockey player?Eddie Shore
was born in Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, on November 25,
1902 (Werner, 1988). At the age of five Eddie's father T.J.Shore
acquired a lot of land in the Cupar District and moved his
family to the growing community (Turner, 1993).
Eddie started school in Cupar in 1909 and attended for a few
years. Eddie was never regarded as a scholar by his classmates.
Walter Turner sat in front of Eddie in fourth grade and was
in charge of correcting his spelling lessons. Walter recalls
that if the class was assigned 20 words to spell, Eddie would
misspell 18 of them. Eddie also skipped school quite often,
and spent the winter days playing hockey in the outdoor rink
when he should have been in class (Turner, 1994). The young
Shore also had several disagreements with his teacher and
was expelled from classes several times (Turner, 1994).
was not a child who had very much free time to learn the complex
skills needed for hockey. His father T.J. owned cattle and
raised horses on his farm southwest of Cupar (Werner, 1988).
Eddie was expected to do a lot of the work on the farm, with
his older brother Aubrey. Eddie's big break came in 1911 when
it was decided that a new enclosed rink would be built in
Cupar for four thousand dollars (Ward, 1980). T.J. Shore financed
the building of that first indoor rink and nine year old Eddie
was given a key (Werner, 1988).
The war of 1914 to 1918 played havoc with hockey teams of
that era. Eddie and his brother Aubrey still played with the
Cupar team through those tough times (Ward, 1980). The weather
also caused problems for the teams. In fact in the 1914-15
season, the first hockey game was not played until February
22 because of the warm weather (Ward, 1980).It was sometime
right after the end of World War One that Eddie went to Manitoba
to attend the Agricultural College. At this stage in his life
Eddie had still not acquired great skill at the game of hockey.
In fact, he did not even earn a place on the school's hockey
team when he was in the Agricultural College (Liss, 1972).
It was his time in Manitoba, however, that pushed him to take
up hockey seriously. It is not known whether it was his iron-willed
determination (Liss, 1972) or his older brother's taunts (McKinley,
1993) which caused him to dive head first into the game of
hockey. Whatever the reason, Shore took up the sport which
was to become his life and his passion. Shore never became
a beautiful skater, but what he lacked in grace he made up
for in his fiercely competitive and uncompromising nature
which was a reflection of his frugal prairie ethics (Saskatchewan
Sports Hall of Fame, undated).
From 1919 to 1923 Cupar had a very good Saskatchewan Intermediate
C hockey team with Shore at its center (Turner, 1993). This
team went to the finals in their league three times. Twice,
special trains were chartered to take the hockey team and
their fans from Cupar to the final game, once to Moose Jaw
and once to Saskatoon (Turner, 1993). The team's coach at
that time was Heeb Sellars. Heeb recounted a story of the
team's trip to Moose Jaw for the final game. Apparently throughout
the first period of the championship game Eddie Shore was
having trouble skating. He was continually tripping and falling
to the ice, rendering himself useless to the team. Many of
the fans and players believed Eddie was intoxicated and therefore
unable to play. However, Heeb states that he was with Eddie
that entire day and swears Shore did not touch a drop of alcohol..
It was later discovered that Shore's skates were sharpened
backwards by a man at the Moose Jaw rink. With no proof of
this action, the team went home after a loss to the Moose
Jaw team (Turner, 1993).
It was another such game against Melville that boosted Shore's
career as a hockey player. In 1922 Cupar won the Southern
Championships against Moose Jaw and went on to meet Melville
in the provincial final for the Henderson Cup. Many fans followed
the team and Shore put on quite a show for the hometown fans.
Many believe this is why Shore was asked to play for the Melville
Millionaires in the 1923-24 season (Ward, 198?).
It was around this time that Eddie's father T.J. became involved
in a business deal in British Columbia. T.J. set up a bolt
company in B.C. which eventually went out of
business, costing T.J. and his investors a lot of money. At
that time T.J. returned to
Cupar. One day, right before a meeting with two of the investors
in the bolt company, T.J. hung himself (Turner,1993). It is
not known how this event affected Eddie or his brother and
Aubrey Shore, Eddie's older brother by two years, played hockey
with the Cupar team at the same time Eddie did. Many have
said that Aubrey was as good, if not a better hockey player
than Eddie. Aubrey went on to play with the Melville Millionaires
and the Regina Aces (Western Producer, 1980). Aubrey's drinking
problem is apparently what kept him from going on to an N.H.L.
career as his brother did (Shore, 1994).
the 1923-24 season Eddie Shore played for the Melville Millionaires.
This team was not professional, therefore Eddie had to work
as a fireman for the railway while he was there (Turner, 1994).
It was here that Eddie first had to prove himself as a force
to be reckoned with in hockey.During a championship game
against Winnipeg, the coach of the Millionaires instructed
Eddie not to take a penalty, no matter what. Eddie complied.
As the game progressed, the Winnipeg players figured out what
was going on and began to come at Shore from all angles. Eddie
played a full 50 minutes of the game, until he was rendered
insensate for the third time. He was carried unconscious into
the dressing room. He had a broken jaw, a broken nose and
had lost six teeth (Diamond, 1991).
At that game, the manager of the Saskatoon team, which was
in the same league as the Millionaires, was watching from
the stands, checking out the new talent of the Millionaires.
Throughout the game the manager noticed that Shore was not
retaliating when he was pushed and shoved by the opposing
team. The manager of the Saskatoon team assumed Eddie was
a coward and instructed his team to give Shore the works at
the next game (Liss, 1972). When Melville visited Saskatoon,
the manager told one of his best players, Bill Cook, to shove
Shore around. At the very first opportunity, Cook slammed
Eddie into the boards and was unexpectedly sent flying halfway
across the rink by Shore (Liss, 1972). After that episode,
Shore was greatly respected by his opponents. The following
season Shore turned professional, with the Regina Caps.
the same year the Boston Bruins first joined the N.H.L., Eddie
Shore, who would
later become one of their most famed players, joined his first
professional team. The Regina Caps were part of the Western
Hockey League along with teams from
Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon (The
Leader, Nov. 4, 1924).It was with this team that Eddie enjoyed
his first and last season playing as a forward. Eddie was
recruited by Wes Champ, the owner of the Capitals at that
time. Eddie was one of the only players to be brought onto
the Capitals team that year; most of the other players had
played with Regina the previous season (The Leader, Oct. 31,
Champ was pleased with Shore's performance in Regina and was
quoted as referring to Shore as, "not only a fast skater
but a flashy attacker as well, and he carries the weight to
make him a hard man to stop," (The Leader, Nov. 12, 1924,
The Regina Capitals pulled out of the Western Canada Hockey
League the next year with the players going to a new team
from Portland (Edmonton Journal, Nov. 6, 1925). Eddie was
then traded to Edmonton with two other players (Edmonton Journal,
Nov. 6, 1925).
November 3, 1925 edition of the Edmonton Journal carried an
article which talked of how Canada's great winter past-time
had reached the big money class. The article commented on
how hockey players were getting more money than any other
professional athletes were. This was the year that Eddie Shore
went to the Edmonton Eskimos, on his way to becoming one of
those "big money" players. Shore is lucky that the
opportunity to play in Edmonton was offered to him, for this
year would prove to be a fateful one. The team almost did
not play in Edmonton at all due to problems with the city
over a fair wage clause. The owner of the Eskimos, Kenny MacKenzie,
would not sign the agreement for lease of the Arena while
the fair wage clause was in it (Edmonton Journal, November
6, 1925). MacKenzie entered intonegotiations with Regina
over the possible transfer of the team. Regina's team, the
Capitals, withdrew from the league only the season before.
The rumors of the move spread throughout the city, and alternatives,
such as moving the Saskatoon Sheiks to Edmonton were looked
at (Edmonton Journal, Nov. 6, 1925). MacKenzie was reportedly
offered a very good price for the franchise by Regina, although
no details were released to the press. MacKenzie stated that
he was interested in Regina because of the fan support the
city had shown for the Capitals, which was lacking in Edmonton
in the 1923-24 season causing MacKenzie to lose approximately
$13,000 (Edmonton Journal, Nov. 10, 1925). The city of Edmonton
would not accept that the fate of its team lay in another
city. A Boosters' Committee was set up and set about attempting
to retain the Eskimos (Edmonton Journal, Nov. 13, 1925). The
Committee guaranteed to owner Mackenzie that $10,000 worth
of reservations would be sold. After meeting with the Committee
one Saturday night, the team owner decided to keep the team
in Edmonton on the promise that $10,000 of reservations would
be sold (Edmonton Journal, Nov. 16, 1925).
The fact that the city of Edmonton wanted to keep the Eskimos
was a lucky one for
Shore. Eddie played well in Alberta, where he donned the nickname
of the Edmonton Express. In one game against the Calgary Tigers
Shore played a particularly dazzling game despite the fact
that the ice was very heavy and that he and three of his team
mates were "bleeding profusely from gashed heads,"
(Edmonton Journal, Jan. 25, p.19). It was also here that Shore
played with the other star of the team, Duke Keats.
It was during this year in Edmonton that Shore met his future
wife, Kate Macrae.
Kate was a member of the famous Edmonton Grads Basketball
Team (Shore, 1994). Shore also bought a farm in Edmonton,
planning to stay in the city for a few years while playing
with the Eskimos (Turner, 1994).
Shore came to the forefront of hockey in that year in Edmonton.
reported him as having become a star since leaving Regina
(Edmonton Journal, March 4, 1926). It was with Shore, that
the Edmonton Eskimos went on to place first in the final league
standings, earning them a bye into the final playoff series
(Edmonton Journal, March 11, 1926). It was in this playoff
series in which Shore obtained one of his first major injuries.
In one of the first games of the series Shore suffered a severe
cut to his leg which required 14 stitches to close (The Story
of Hockey, undated). It was not thought that he would play
in the final game of the series, especially when he arrived
in Vancouver on crutches before the game (The Story of Hockey,
undated). It is reported that some of Shore's teammates kidded
him about faking the injury to his leg, so to prove them wrong
he went out and played (The Story of Hockey, undated). During
the course of the game the stitches in his leg came out and
blood seeped into his skate, yet Shore was the most brilliant
player on the ice that night (The Story of Hockey, undated).
In fact, in the Edmonton Journal the next day Shore was described
as having made the "Vancouver fans rise on their hind
legs and yell as he hurtled down the ice on rush after rush,"
(Edmonton Journal, March 25, 1926, p.15). Unfortunately the
Eskimos were unable to defeat the Victorians who won the playoff
and went on to lose to the Maroons in the Stanley Cup (Diamond,
1991).Shore was described as not looking absolutely fit when
he stepped off the train from Vancouver (Edmonton Journal,
March 25, 1926).
Throughout the 1925-26 season rumors of the collapse of the
Western Canada Hockey League loomed. It was thought that the
League would disband before the next season, with the Vancouver,
Portland and Victoria clubs being kept intact as a Pacific
Coast League (Edmonton Journal, Jan. 11, 1926). The main reason
given for the disbandment was the lack of profitability found
in the western cities for the hockey teams. It was thought
that one of the teams of Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary would
be sold to New York as its second club to operate in the National
Hockey League (Edmonton Journal, Jan. 11, 1926).
This was a time when the game of hockey was trying to establish
itself in the United
States. New American teams needed colorful, exciting players
to attract crowds to the game (The Story of Hockey, undated).
The rumors came into reality as the League ran aground and
the directors of the League, Frank and Lester Patrick were
auctioning off some excellent players at reduced prices. Adams,
the Bruin owner at the time had $50,000 to purchase Shore
and Keats in a seven man package (Saskatchewan Sports Hall
of Fame, undated).
has been said that the first hockey dynasty was born when
Shore pulled on the gold, white and black jersey. From that
moment onward the Bruin adjective was tough (Saskatchewan
Sports Hall of Fame, undated). Shore has been called the "Babe
Ruth of Hockey" and whether one believes this analogy
or not, one thing is for certain,Shore became a big drawing
card in the United States, helping to set up a game that was,
until that time, struggling (Beddoes, 1973).
Shore crashed into the fairly new National Hockey League team
leaving his reputation for playing good hard hockey behind
him in Western Canada. In fact, the manager of the Bruins
Art Ross was not even sure if Eddie could make it as a hockey
player in Boston. His fears were soon put to rest as Eddie
got in his first fight with his own team mate at training
camp (Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, undated). Billy Coutu
was a Bruin player who was not impressed by Shore's arrogant
and icy manner. Coutu wanted to put Shore in his place. One
day at training camp Coutu saw his opportunity. Billy skated
as hard as he could at Shore, who was standing in front of
the net. Shore saw Coutu coming and braced himself for the
impact. Crouching low, Shore was able to remain standing as
Coutu went crashing to the ice (de le Hay, Nov. 26, 1991).
Shore's delight at having proven himself once again in a new
city didn't last long. Shore discovered that he had not come
out of the confrontation unscathed, his ear was mashed beyond
recognition. The doctors told Shore he would have to have
his ear removed but Shore, having his own brand of medical
knowledge, would not accept this. He searched all day for
a doctor that would reattach his ear. When he finally found
one, the doctor asked him what type of anesthetic Eddie would
like for the pain. Shore requested only a hand mirror, so
he could watch the doctors stitching. Shore reportedly made
the doctor change the very last stitch preventing a scar from
forming (Beddoes,1973). Shore is quoted as telling the doctor
that he was, "Just a prairie boy who did not want his
looks messed up" (Beddoes, 1973).
In the first two seasons the Bruins were in the League they
finished fourth and sixth
respectively. In Eddie Shore's first season with Boston the
team finished second in the American Division (de le Hay,
Nov. 19, 1991).
Eddie's first season was characterized by clashes, especially
with the Montreal
Maroons. At one point in time several Maroons decided they
were fed up with Shore manhandling them so much. During one
game one player tore open Eddie's cheek with his stick and
another sliced his chin. Throughout the whole game Maroons
hammered Shore. In the last minutes of the game a clout to
the mouth knocked out several of Shore's teeth and left him
unconscious on the ice for 14 minutes (Saskatchewan Sports
Hall of Fame, undated). In that one game Shore accumulated
more wounds than most players do in a lifetime. He had a broken
nose, three broken teeth, two black eyes, a gashed cheekbone,
and a two inch cut above his left eye (Saskatchewan Sports
Hall of Fame, undated). Eddie returned to play in the very
next Bruins game, stating, "This is all part of hockey,
I'll pay off," (Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, undated).
And indeed he did. Eddie's revenge came in the 1927 playoff
series against the Maroons. Eddie skated and played like a
mad man. He took on one player at a time, getting into two
fist fights. He practically chased Montreal off the ice. Boston
fans saw Shore as a hero as the Bruins went on to the semi-final
against the Rangers (Liss, 1972).
Bruins beat the Rangers handily, going on to the Stanley Cup
against Ottawa. At the end of the series, Ottawa ended up
on top winning the Cup for the fourth time (Hewitt, 1950).
Many of the Boston players were upset at the officiating in
the game, promoting Coutu to hit referee Jerry Laflamme. Calder,
the League president, expelled Coutu from the League for life
over this incident (Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, undated).
his second season with Boston Shore accumulated a League record
of 166 penalty minutes in only 43 games (Simpson, March 8,
1988). The next season was a bright one for Shore and the
Bruins. Boston advanced into the Stanley Cup final against
the defending Champions, the New York Rangers. The Bruins
Thompson played brilliantly, chalking up three shut outs in
the total five game
series (McFarlane, 1976). With this player's amazing performance
as well as
Shore's, the Bruins won their first Stanley Cup in 1929. Shore
the victory by stating, "It seemed a fitting way to end
the decade," (McFarlane, 1992,( p.67).
was noted for things other than his playing ability. Eddie
was quite a character off the ice as well as on. One of the
most remembered and recited Shore stories happened on January
3, 1929. Richard Beddoes recounts the story in his book Hockey!.
The Bruins had a game scheduled against the Maroons in the
Montreal Forum. The custom in those days was for teams to
take a train to their playing destination, usually leaving
the night before the game was to be played. On January 2,
all the Boston players were gathered outside Pullman, in North
Station ready to depart, all except Shore. It turned out Shore
was stuck in traffic in downtown Boston and missed the train
to the game. Shore was quite a determined man, and, under
the circumstances, had few alternatives if he wanted to make
the game, plane or automobile. When Shore attempted to arrange
for a flight to Montreal he was informed that all flights
were canceled because of a severe sleet storm which wasdeveloping.
Shore finally got hold of a wealthy friend who offered him
his limousine and chauffeur. At ll:30 p.m. Shore and the chauffeur
finally left Boston amid a sleet storm that had taken full
force. The weary chauffeur drove along at a creeping pace
until the car skidded into the ditch. Shore insisted the chauffeur
let him drive which he gladly did. Shore soon came upon an
all night gas station where he purchased a set of tire chains
before continuing northward. By this time the sleet storm
had turned into a blizzard reducing visibility to virtually
nothing. Soon the wiper blade froze to the window, prompting
the stubborn Shore to remove the top half of the windshield
exposing himself and the chauffeur to the icy wind. At about
5 a.m. the tire chains gave out just as Eddie rounded a curve,
spotting a gas station ahead. Shore had to awaken the attendant
to purchase a new set of tire chains and some gas before heading
out again into the storm. The car slid off the road four more
times before the pair reached the Canadian border, but each
time the two were able to get the car free. At 3 the following
afternoon Shore was near exhaustion handing the wheel over
to the chauffeur, telling him to drive in the middle of the
road at 12 miles per hour. No sooner had Eddie fallen asleep
than the car was in the ditch. Luckily there was a farmhouse
a mile away. Eddie went to the farm and paid eight dollars
for a team of horses which he harnessed and used to pull the
car out of the ditch. At 5:30 p.m. Shore drove up to the Windsor
Hotel and staggered into the lobby. Art Ross knew he was in
no shape to play hockey. Shore ate the traditional pre-game
meal of steak with the rest of the team and retired for a
short nap before the game. It took several glasses of cold
water on Shore's face before he awoke. Ignoring protests from
Ross, Shore dressed and played in the game. At 8:20 in the
second period, Shore scored the only goal of the game. The
Bruins won the game because of Shore's treacherous journey.
Shore and the team made history again in its playoff games
against Toronto in 1933. This
series went the full five games with four of them going into
The last and deciding game of the series began on April 3,
1933 and went well into
April 4 (McFarlane, 1976). The game finally ended in the sixth
overtime period when
Toronto intercepted one of Eddie's passes and scored on the
Bruin goal tender.
Toronto had little time to celebrate, however, as they had
advanced onto the finals and had another game against the
Rangers that very same day. Toronto was exhausted from the
game against Boston and the Rangers won the game and the Cup
handily (McFarlane, 1976).
Shore is remembered for another incident which occurred on
the ice. Unfortunately
this incident was not one that is recalled in jest. Shore
was known for his hard hitting
hockey style. Most of Shore's hits were clean ones, those
being devastating enough to an opposing player (Beddoes, 1973).
The hit Shore is famous for was one most recall as being on
the other side of the rules. It happened on December 12, 1933
in the Boston Gardens as the Bruins played Toronto. Shore
had been suffering a slump prior to the game. The New York
Times of December 13, 1933 called the game a rough one with
both teams being guilty of almost every crime in the hockey
code. It was midway in the second period when Toronto was
down two men because of overlapping penalties (de le Hay,
Dec. 3, 1991). Shore had the puck and was heading out of his
own end when Clancy's stick hit Shore's skate causing him
to fall and lose the puck (Beddoes, 1973). Shore got up and
headed straight for Ace Bailey, who haddropped back into
Clancy's position. It is not known whether this was mistaken
retaliation or if it was a random act on the closest Leaf,
with Bailey happening to be the unlucky one (Beddoes, 1973).
Shore hit Bailey across the kidneys with his right shoulder
causing Bailey to do a backward somersault landing on his
head with a resounding crack (Beddoes, 1973). Bailey lay there
with his head turned sideways, as if his neck were broken,
and his knees bent and twitching ominously. Shore retreated
to his defensive position as if nothing had happened. Horner,
who was on the ice at the time of the incident, went up to
Shore asking him why he had done that. Shore, not yet knowing
the gravity of the situation simply smiled, infuriating Horner
him with a right uppercut. Shore fell to the ice and split
his head open and was soon
surrounded by a pool of his own blood (Beddoes, 1973). Both
players were carried
off the ice.
Shore required seven stitches to close the gash in his head
(New York Times, Dec. 13, 1933). Bailey was unconscious for
ten minutes while rescue workers tried to revive him. He was
said to have a cerebral concussion (de le Hay, Dec. 3, 1991).
The Leafs' manager Connie Smyth became involved in a fist
fight with several spectators outside the Toronto dressing
room as he was trying to get to Bailey. He allegedly hit one
fan, Leonard Kentworthy and injured his eye. Kentworthy charged
Smyth with assault (New York Times, Dec. 13, 1933). The Leafs
went on to win the game but were showered with debris when
they left the ice. At the end of the game, a bandaged Shore
made his way to Bailey's side saying, "Ace, I'm sorry,
I had no reason to do that to you. I hope you forgive me.
I didn't mean to hurt you," Bailey replied, "O.K.
Eddie. All part of the game," (Liss, 1972).
Many do not know that Bailey's father was listening to that
game on the radio at his home in Toronto. When he heard of
the accident he packed his bags for Boston, carrying a gun
with him. This man had every intention of shooting Shore upon
his arrival but quick planning on the part of the Leaf officials
stopped this from happening. The officials intercepted him
at the Boston airport and gave him a spiked drink before sending
the drowsy man back to Toronto on a train (McFarlane, 1991).
Bailey almost died from the head injury he sustained that
night. Many wanted Shore kicked out of the game of hockey,
while others wanted him brought up on murder charges should
Bailey had died (de le Hay, Dec. 3, 1991). Bailey did recover,
however, even though his funeral plans had been made and his
death had been announced three times (Beddoes, 1973). Bailey
never berated Shore for what occurred on that night, even
though Bailey never played hockey again (McFarlane, 1991).
The next year's All Star Game was turned into a benefit game
for Bailey, and when Eddie Shore asked to play on the team,
the Gardens sold out (de le Hay, Dec. 3, 1991). On February
14, 1934, Eddie Shore and Ace Bailey met at center ice at
the Maple Leaf Gardens. Shore and Bailey faced each other,
and as the silent crowd watched they shook hands as the crowd
cheered in a standing ovation (Beddoes, 1973). Elmer Ferguson
of the Montreal Herald wrote,
stood the two main actors in a drama that held a sports
world breathless with suspense and fear for days as a
gallant athlete fought for life with a tenacity and complete
disregard for all the sinister medical precedents that
amazed even the expert practitioners. The roaring crescendo
of welcome struck its peak, of course, as the two clasped
hands, but throughout the hockey battle that followed
as Shore played a typical rushing, effective game, there
was nothing but applause at his movements. It was a generous,
fine and sporting episode in a sporting city's history,"
(McFarlane, 1976 p.54).
a result of his actions Shore was suspended for 16 of 44 games,
which he spent in the hospital recovering from his own injuries
From that day on Shore wore an improvised helmet to protect
his head (de le Hay, Dec. 3, 1991). Bailey still has a metal
plate in his head from the incident (Hill, 1994).
Shore's playing style was not affected by this incident nor
was his bizarre character.
Shore had a flair for showmanship which the Bruins encouraged
in order to sell more tickets. One example of this behavior
occurred one night when the game was about to start and Shore
had not yet come onto the ice. At this time the band began
to play "Hail to the Chief" as Shore came out onto
the ice donning a matador's cape (de le Hay, Nov. 26, 1991).
Because or despite these outlandish acts, Shore was not liked
by many of his
team mates or opponents. Eddie earned himself nicknames such
as the "Iceman" and "The Machine on Skates"
because of his cold, arrogant attitude. Regardless of theplayers'
attitudes, fans paid money to see him play, making him a very
commodity for the Bruins (de le Hay, Nov 26, 1991). Shore
did have a special
relationship with one other player by the name of King Clancy.
Clancy was an
outstanding player for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He never failed
to irk Shore during a game. One incident occurred in 1936
in the Stanley Cup semi-final. Red Horner
scored a goal while standing at the edge of the crease, causing
much protest from the Bruin team. Clancy skated over to Shore
and said, "Lousy break Eddie. You've been robbed. Don't
let him get away with it," (Diamond, 1992). This prompted
Shore to shoot the puck at referee Odie Cleghorn, hitting
him, and drawing a two minute penalty. On route to the box,
Shore picked up the puck and threw it into the standscausing
him to receive a ten minute misconduct penalty as well (Diamond,
1992). Toronto went on to win the game and the series because
Shore rarely fought with Clancy because of the King's smooth
tongue. One game Clancy hit Eddie hard causing Shore to det
up dropping his gloves in preparation for a fight. As Shore
drew back his right hand, ready for a punch, Clancy grabbed
his right, shaking it warmly. "Hi Eddie, the family O.K.?"
he stated (Liss, 1972). Even the fiery Shore had to laugh
and shake his head as he skated away.
Shore, although being known for giving out many an injury,
was also known for taking quite a few (Turner, 1993). In his
career Shore accumulated 900 stitches on
his body, fractures of his back, hip and collarbone, had his
nose broken 14
times, his jaw cracked five times and every tooth in his mouth
knocked out (Beddoes, 1973). Most of the time these injuries
did not keep Shore from playing. At one game in Madison Square
Garden, Eddie collided with the goal post and broke three
ribs. The team was to leave for Montreal for a game the next
day and therefore Shore was entrusted to the care of a physician.
After dropping Eddie at a nearby hotel the doctor went to
sign up for a hospital bed. When he returned Shore and his
luggage were goneto Montreal! Shore arrived in time
to play in the game against the Canadians where he scored
two goals and got one assist (Saskatchewan Sports Hall of
One injury did keep Eddie out for over half of a season. It
was 1937 when Eddie
suffered a cracked vertebra after a collision with the boards
in New York. He was
out for the season after only 20 games (Diamond, 1991). The
next year Eddie
returned with a healed back and a vengeance. The Bruins won
the Stanley Cup thatyear against the Rangers (McFarlane,
1978). Eddie won his fourth Hart Trophy for
his playing that year (Diamond, 1991).
Mel Hill, a man from Saskatoon, came upon the scene in Boston
in 1939. At this
time, he recalls Eddie being treated like royalty by the team.
Eddie took his own taxi
to games, always had a private room on road trips, and had
the trainer set out his
clothes before each game (Hill, 1993). Despite this great
treatment, it was in the
1939-40 season that Art Ross began looking into trading Shore.
At this same time
Eddie was expanding his focus to include the possibility of
owning and operating his own hockey team. Shore bought the
Springfield Indians in 1939 for $42,000. Ross, upon finding
out, was very angry and tried to humiliate Shore in the local
media (Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, undated). The two
came to an agreement that Shore would play in Boston in emergencies
after December 15. Ross tried to get Eddie to come back before
this date, stating the team had already experienced an emergency
(Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, undated). Eddie played
in three games, scoring his final goal as a Bruin on December
5, 1939. Shore grew tired of Ross's games and refused to play
for the team. Ross then traded Shore to New York for one player
and some cash (Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, undated).
The Shore era in Boston was over.
In his 15 years with Boston, Shore had never signed a contract
out for more money (The Story of Hockey, undated). This frugalness
over into his coaching career. The Bruins had Eddie Shore
to thank for the 129
goals and 191 assists which he scored over his years with
them (Leader Post, June 15, 1990). In total Eddie received
the Hart Trophy four times (1933, 1935, 1936, 1938), was placed
on the first All Star team six times (1931, 1933, 1935, 1936,
1938, 1939), and the second All Star team once (1934) (Saskatchewan
Sports Hall of Fame).
Shore is described by those who knew him as a hard rock player
Many of today's defense men outscore him but none are tougher
or more courageous. Liss quotes an old man at an Americans'
game in 1940 in his book Hockey's Greatest All- Stars as saying,
"He's the last of the breed. When he's gone, there won't
more like him." Liss sums up his chapter on Shore by
stating, "In hockey's Hall of
Fame, when someone says the word defense man', the next
words uttered are Eddie Shore'."
a short time with the New York Americans Eddie hung up his
skates and took to coaching his Springfield Indians full-time.
Eddie soon became the most unusual
owner hockey has ever seen. Shore was known to open training
camps by having his players tap dance in the lobby of a hotel,
to have his players do ballet steps on the ice, tape players'
hands to their sticks if they were in the improper position,
and lock a referee out of his dressing room as punishment
for poor officiating (Beddoes, 1973).
The players who served under Shore have many stories to tell
about the ex-Bruin.
Don Johns recalled an incident when Shore attempted to tell
him why he was not a
better hockey player. Eddie told Johns that he would improve
if he parted his hair on
the other side and that it would help him because he would
have something else to
think about (Beddoes, 1973). Johns also recalled an incident
with a rookie when
Shore wanted him to skate with his legs closer together. To
accomplish this Shoretook a piece of cord and tied the player's
legs together and told him to skate (Beddoes, 1973). Shore
had exact ideas about technique in the game of hockey. Eddie
believed that a player's hands had to be two feet apart on
the stick, the legs had to be 11 inches apart and that skating
should be done in a sort of sitting position (Beddoes, 1973).
One practice this point was brought home to Guidolin who had
just made a perfect pass to another player who scored a goal.
Shore called Guidolin over, asking him what he thought he
had done wrong. Guidolin, in complete confusion, told Shore
he thought it had been a good play. Shore replied, "Mister
Guidolin, your legs were two inches too far apart," (Beddoes,
1973). Another such incident occurred when Don Cherry was
playing under Shore. Cherry recalls that after goalie Claude
Evans once turned in a 5-0 shutout, Shore marched into the
dressing room and fined Evans 50 dollars because he did not
bend his knees (Cherry, 1982).
However strange Shore's tactics may have appeared, it has
now been shown that they are well-grounded in physiological
theory. Kent Douglas once commented that
studying under Shore was like getting your doctorate in hockey
1973). Shore also defended his rule that his players take
tap dancing lessons. He
explained that dancing improves balance, and balance is the
foundation of any athlete's ability (Beddoes, 1973). Perhaps
a down point to Shore's coaching was his expectations that
players would be as tough as he was in their hockey playing
style. One player by the name of Kilrea related a story of
Shore's unrealistic expectations. Kilrea had suffered a double
fracture of the jaw in one game. While he was in the hospital,
he received a phone call from Shore telling him to go back
to the rink. Kilrea thought Shore was being a concerned owner,
and so went back to the rink.Shore ordered Kilrea and Eagan,
the assistant coach at the time, to go and get dressed in
full equipment. Eddie then told the two to go to opposite
ends of the rink and skate "like hell" at each other
and butt heads. Shore was trying to find out how much pain
Kilrea could take to decide whether to put him in the next
game (Guay, Feb. 5, 1989).
Shore was also known for his antics during games. Once he
was so enraged by a
referee's call, he took his entire team off the ice for one
play. The goalie was left to
fend for himself and managed to fall on the puck before the
other team scored. Shorethen conceded to put his players back
on the ice (Beddoes, 1973). Another time Shore directed his
anger toward a player on the opposing team. After manhandling
a few Springfield players, the Baltimorian was sent to the
penalty box which was beside the Indians' bench. Shore walked
down the bench and yelled to the player that if he were a
few years younger, he would knock the dickens out of him (Beddoes,
1973). That did not satisfy Eddie, however. When Baltimore
went on to win the game Eddie ran to the announcer's box and
began calling the referee every name he could think of to
protest the loss (Beddoes, 1973).
Shore is also remembered as a very frugal coach. Billy McCreary
recalled how, when he played under Shore, that the players
were only allowed to tip the cab drivers 15 cents. Eventually
it got to the point where the Indians could not get a cab
ride because no driver would pick them up (Beddoes, 1973).
Shore also got out of many bonus contracts with players. If
any player was getting close to the 30 goal mark, at which
point they would get a bonus, Shore would bench them so the
mark could not be reached (Beddoes, 1973).
Shore used to keep players who were injured busy, despite
their inability to play
hockey. These players became known as Shore's Black Aces.
They were forced to do odd jobs such as paint arena seats,
sell programs, make popcorn, and blow up balloons (Beddoes,
1973). Shore also got extra work out of his coaches. The coaches
were not only required to do the same jobs as the Aces were,
one coach reportedly repaired Shore's house (Beddoes, 1973).
It was common knowledge, however, that Shore would never give
any player or coach a job he would not do himself. In fact,
when Shore first owned the Indians, he would sometimes play
for them when the team was short. Eddie would be seen out
parking cars ten minutes before the game started,making a
mad dash to change and make it on the ice for the drop of
the puck (Cherry,1982). One day the Black Aces took advantage
of Shore's frugalness to repay him for all the work they were
required to do. Shore was changing light bulbs in the arena's
ceiling. To do this Shore climbed up a platform and the players
pushed him from bulb to bulb. At one point Shore was screwing
in a light bulb with one hand and holding on to an overhead
cable with the other. One of the Aces pushed the platform
out from under Shore, leaving him hanging there from the cable.
The players did not see Shore scream and yell for help, instead
he calmly looked down and asked one of the players to return
the platform to its proper place (Cherry, 1982). Eventually
theAces pushed it back under him and he went on changing the
bulbs (Beddoes, 1973).
Eddie's trading tactics were also questioned at times by the
players. Once Shore
traded for a player named Smith. At the first practice Smith
came into the dressing
room and was immediately questioned by Shore about the whereabouts
of his goalie pads. Smith, confused, replied he was not a
goalie but a forward. Shore had tradedfor the wrong Smith
(McFarlane, 1991). Another time Shore traded player Jake Milford
to Buffalo for a pair of goal nets. He later commented he
had gotten a bad deal stating he had thought the nets were
newer (Duff, March 19, 1985).
Due to varying circumstances Shore was moved from the Indians
to the Buffalo
Bisons back to Springfield and then to the Syracuse Warriors.
Finally in 1954 he
returned to Springfield for good. Over his many years of coaching,
owning professional hockey teams, Shore, with various teams,
won the Calder Cup six times (Saskatchewan Sports Hall of
Shore's hard-nosed tactics did get him into hot water in 1966-67.
The players on his
team went on strike, protesting against his hard-nosed tactics.
They were represented by a lawyer named Alan Eagleson. This
development triggered the formation of the National Hockey
League Players Association, of which Eagleson became President
(Duff, March 9, 1985). Shore sold the Springfield players
to Los Angeles after the strike was over. This was one of
the few setbacks Shore ever experienced, and his prestige
suffered (Beddoes, 1973).
It was also in 1966 that the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame
was opened in Regina. It is thought that at this time Shore
was asked if he would let his name stand to be considered
and he refused (Tiefenbach, May 11, 1985). It may be possible
that the incident with the players' strike had injured Shore
to such an extent that he did not want to be recognized by
his home province.
Shore sold the Springfield Indians team in 1976 to George
Leary ( Edmonton Sun,
March 18, 1985).
was one of the first inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame
when he was
elected in 1947 (de le Hay, Nov. 19, 1991). He was also awarded
the Lester Patrick
Trophy in 1970 for outstanding service to hockey in the United
States (de le Hay,
1991). In 1990, Shore was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports
Hall of Fame
(Scott, July 17, 1990).
Shore kept in touch with his friends in Cupar, after leaving
in 1923. Brock Turner,
while serving as president of the hockey league in Cupar,
wrote Shore a letter,
requesting some plays which his teams could use. Shore responded
quickly with a
couple of plays which, Brock recalls, worked very well (Turner,
In the late 1980s N.H.L. managers and coaches were asked to
select a dream team
from any players in the history of the N.H.L. Most of the
players chosen were those
one would expect: Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Jean Beliveau,
Gordie Howe and so
on. One player was chosen from the League's formative era,
Eddie Shore (de le Hay, Nov. 19, 1991).
No matter what Shore did, it is known that hockey was always
his passion. Later in his life, Shore also became part owner
of the Ice Capades (Turner,1994). Perhaps he would spend any
amount of money to stay involved in skating.Eddie Shore died
in Springfield, Mass., on March 17, 1985 after being in the
hospitalfor a month ( Edmonton Sun, March 18, 1985). Shore
left a son Edward Jr. and four grandchildren, but was predeceased
by his wife (Leader Post, March 18, 1985). Funeral services
were held at 10 a.m. on March 21, 1985 at Christ Church Cathedral
in Springfield (Leader Post, March 18, 1985). Many were shocked
to hear of Shore's death, because, after surviving eight heart
attacks and surgery for cancer,many believed him to be invincible.
Shore may be gone, but he will never be
Shore was a player admired and respected by many, liked by
understood by very few. He was born in rural Saskatchewan
and grew up in the small town of Cupar which had only an outdoor
rink for him to skate on. His childhood was not easy, but
hockey was his release. He mastered the skills of the game
later in life, moving up through the ranks of Cupar, Melville,
Regina, Edmonton and eventually to the Boston Bruins. It was
in Boston where Shore made hockey history, revolutionizing
the role of the defense man. Shore was the first defense player
to take the puck into the offensive zone on attacks quite
frequently. Shore had an incredibly successful career as a
hockey player. His love for the game continued after he retired
as a player, when he became owner and coach of the Springfield
Indians. He was known as a tyrant at practice, but also taught
many players what they needed to know to make it to the N.H.L.
Shore gave his life for hockey, yet was never fully compensated
for the millions of dollars he drew for the N.H.L. as a player.
Shore also invested more of his time instructing young players
than did all other hockey club owners combined. No owner could
match Shore's claim of putting every cent he got out of hockey
back into the sport. The stories now told about Shore are
reminders of the bizarre behavior and the expanse of knowledge
this man exhibited. Shore summed it up best himself saying,
"Most of us are a little crazy in one way or another,
some of us admit it. As for me, I'm not sorry about anything
I've done in my life." (Beddoes, 1973). The memory of
the boy from Cupar, the Edmonton Express, and the big bad
Bruin live on.
R. (1973). Hockey! The Story of the World's Fastest Sport.
MacMillan: New York.
D. (1982). Grapes: A Vintage View of Hockey. Prentice Hall
de le Hay, M. (Nov. 9, 1991). "Eddie Shore: Hockey's
First Superstar." The Fort
de le Hay, M. (Nov. 26, 1991). "Eddie Shore: The Original
Big Bad Bruin." The Fort
de le Hay, M. (Dec. 3, 1991). "Eddie Shore: The Ace Bailey
Incident." The Fort
Diamond, D. (1991). The Official National Hockey League 75th
Commemorative Book. McClelland and Stewart Inc.: Toronto.
Diamond, D. (1992). The Official N.H.L. Stanley Cup Centennial
and Stewart Inc.: Toronto.
Duff, B. (March 19, 1985). "Shore: Tough, Determined,
Successful." The Star Phoenix.
Edmonton Journal (Nov. 3, 1925). "Conacher reported to
get $7,500 salary, Joe Simpson
Edmonton Journal (Nov. 6, 1925). "Eskimos may go to Regina
Edmonton Journal (Nov. 6, 1925). "Winnipeg thinks outlook
for Western puck league is
anything but certain."
Edmonton Journal (Nov. 10, 1925). "Saskatchewan Capital
Offers Kenny MacKenzie
Edmonton Journal (Nov. 13, 1925). "Objective of Boosters
Committee to Retain Team Almost Achieved."
Edmonton Journal (Nov. 16, 1925). "Eskimos Hockey Team
will Play Here This Winter;
Decision Made Saturday."Edmonton Journal (Jan. 11, 1926).
"Report Prevails in East that
Prairie Cities will be dropped Next Year."
Journal (Jan. 25, 1926). "Tigers one goal lead looked
good until four minutes from full time."
Edmonton Journal (March 4, 1926). "Edmonton Back in
First Place as a Result of Last
Edmonton Journal (March 11, 1926). "Eskimos earn a
bye into final playoff. Beat Maroons 5-1 and lead the league."
Journal (March 25, 1926). "Esks held to 2-2 tie in Final
match; Victorians take playoff by 5-3 score."
Edmonton Journal (March 25, 1926). "Fine Reception for
Eskimos on Return from Coast Invasion."
Edmonton Sun (March 18, 1985). "Edmonton Express dead
Guay, R. (Feb. 5, 1989). "Recounting the old days in
hockey arenas." The Regina Sun.
Hewitt, F. (1950). Hello Canada! and Hockey Fans in the United
States. TH Best Printing Co. Ltd.: Toronto.
Hill, J. (March 3, 1994). Personal Interview done by Author.
Leader (Oct. 31, 1924). "Sport Comment."
Leader (Nov.4, 1924). "Capitals Play First Game at Hub
on Dec. 8."
Leader (Nov. 12, 1924). "Seven of Caps out for First
Leader Post (March 18, 1985). "Legendary Bruin dead at
Leader Post (June 15, 1990). "Athletes, Eddie Shore,
Liss, H. (1972). Hockey's Greatest All-Stars. Hawthorn Books
Inc.: New York.
McFarlane, B. (1976). 60 Years of Hockey. McGraw-Hill Ryerson
McFarlane, B. (1978). Stanley Cup Fever. Pagurian Press Ltd.:
McFarlane, B. (1991). It Happened in Hockey. Stoddart Publishing
Co. Ltd.: Toronto.
McFarlane, B. (1992). Stanley Cup Fever. Stoddart Publishing
Co. Ltd.: Toronto.
McKinley, M. (1993). Hockey Hall of Fame Legends. Viking Press/Opus
Productions Inc.: Toronto.
New York Times (Dec. 13, 1933). "Wild Scenes Mark Hockey
Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (undated). "Eddie Shore."
Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (undated). "Edward W.
Scott, L. (July 17, 1990). "Eddie Shore Inducted into
Hall of Fame." The Fort Qu'Appelle Times.
Shore, Allan (March 9, 1994). Personal Interview done by Author.
Simpson, W. (March 8, 1988). "Lobby is Started to Induct
Eddie." The Fort Qu'Appelle Times.
The Story of Hockey (undated). Obtained from the Saskatchewan
Sports Hall of Fame.
Swick, J. (March 13, 1994). Personal Interview done by Author.
Tiefenbach, A. (May 11, 1985). "Shore May Make Hall."
The Leader Post.
Turner, B. (Sept. 6, 1993). Personal Interview done by Author.
Turner, W. (March 9, 1994). Letter received by Author.
Werner, Henry, J. (April 12, 1988). "Shore Was Only Born
at Fort." The Local Exchange.
Western Producer (1980). Untitled. Obtained from the Saskatchewan
Sports Hall of Fame.
D. (1980). "Hockey in Cupar." Cupar and District
Taking Roots and Growing.
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