The love of hockey is strong in Nova Scotia, its no wonder we have so many Stanley Cup winners

Published 20 January 13 06:37 PM | Merv Edinger 

Stanley Cup Winners from Nova Scotia - birthplace of hockey

If any of you were lucky enough to have had tickets to the IIHF World Juniors when they were hosted by Halifax back in Dec 2002-January 2003, you know that Haligonians & Nova Scotians as a whole are die hard hockey fans who enjoy trashing each others teams with a smile & shared laugh.

Dartmouth lawyer Martin Jones provides the true facts concerning the origin of our national game in his book, Hockey's Home: Halifax - Dartmouth - The Origin of Canada's Game (Nimbus Publishing ISBN 1-55109-408-8). Hockey great Paul Henderson writes in the foreword: "Martin Jones has provided a compelling case that ice hockey originated in Dartmouth and Halifax...Hockey's Home is a great Book to enlarge read that every hockey enthusiast will thoroughly enjoy." Jones provides evidence of the first games which were played on Lake Banook and the North West Arm. Significantly, the first modern hockey skate was also invented and produced two blocks from Lake Banook at the Starr Manufacturing Company in Dartmouth in the 1860's. From 1863 to 1939, over 11 million skates were shipped around the world by Starr.
Unlike many other hockey histories, Hockey's Home provides full endnotes and bibliographic references for all of the information contained in the book. The Toronto Globe & Mail has described Hockey's Home as a "convincing case" that ice hockey originated in Dartmouth and Halifax. In a separate article, it was highlighted as one of three "special hockey books". Hockey's bible, The Hockey News, has written that Hockey's Home is a "fascinating history" with "strong of the top hockey books." In its April/May of 2003 issue, The Beaver - Canada's History Magazine, agreed that Jones "presents a convincing argument " that hockey was born in Halifax-Dartmouth. The Vancouver Public Library agrees. In a recent review, they wrote: " Martin Jones has produced an excellent history of the start of hockey in Canada. The timeline, archival photos and commentary following hockey from 1700's to the present is well presented and no doubt will cause some major arguments as to hockey's true birthplace - Montreal or Halifax? Martin Jones has the answer." In his book, Martin Jones points out the weaknesses of the claims of Windsor and Montreal as the birthplace of hockey. Relying on a fictional reference from Haliburton in the 1840's to the lacrosse-like game of hurley, Windsor supporters incorrectly argue that this confirms hockey originated there in 1800. Montreal's claim of the first game in 1875 neglects to advise that Halifax's J.G.A. Creighton moved to Montreal and suggested to his friends that they play a game of hockey using Halifax rules and hockey sticks. Clearly, the game of ice hockey was invented and well established in Dartmouth and Halifax before being introduced to Montreal, Windsor, Kingston and other areas of Canada and the world.
Lake to enlarge Dartmouth and Halifax's unique geography provided ideal conditions for the development of the game of ice hockey. This photo illustrates the close proximity of the various factors which played important roles in the development of the new sport. The soldiers of the Halifax Citadel and the sailors of the port were only a short ferry ride to Dartmouth's First Lake (Banook) and its perfect ice surface in winter months. The first lock of the Shubenacadie Canal entered Lake Banook from the adjacent Sullivan's Pond. The construction of the canal provided young immigrant craftsmen eager to participate in the new sport. One block from the pond was the most important skate factory in the world - The Starr Manufacturing Company. At Mi'kmaw encampments at nearby Tuft's Cove and on both Lake Banook and the adjacent Lake MicMac, the Mi'kmaq played their own ice game and perfected the skill of stick-making. With these perfect conditions, ice hockey was soon being played on Lake Banook and the North West Arm for the first time.
Of course, noone will argue the fact that some very talented & now infamous hockey players have come from Nova Scotia. Just take a stroll through the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame.
Al MacNeil Sydney, NS : Won the Stanley Cup in 1971, 1978, & 1979 with the Montreal Canadians & again in 1989 as Assistant GM with the Calgary Flames.
Allan MacInnis Port Hood, NS : In 1989 won the most prized possession in hockey, the Stanley Cup, with the Calgary Flames. That year he was also awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy in recognition of his outstanding performance during the Playoffs (31 points in 22 games making him the first NHL defenseman to record more points than anyone else). Al has also represented Canada as part of the 1990 World Championships, 1991 Canada Cup Championships in which Canada won gold, 1998 Winter Olympic Team, and the 2002 Gold Medal Olympic Team (Al was the first Nova Scotian to win gold at a Winter Olympics). The St. Louis Blues retired Al’s Jersey in 2006 and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007. Al has also done a lot for his local community of Port Hood by contributing time and money to the renovations of the local rink.
Colin White won the Cup in 2000 & 2003 with the New Jersey Devils.
Allister McNeil played in the National Hockey League with the Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Blackhawks, Rangers, and Penguins. His 1964-65 Chicago team reached the Stanley Cup finals, only to be turned back by the Montreal Canadiens. He is better known for his accomplishments as a coach & GM. He coached the Habs to the Stanley Cup win in 1970-71; captured 3 Calder Cups ( 1972, 1976, & 1977 ); in 1972 & 1977, MacNeil was also named coach of the year in the AHL & was also named one of the coaches in the Canada Cup in 1976.
Bill Dunphy N.Sydney, NS : 1914 with the Sydney Millionaires
Dunphy,_Bill.jpg Stuart,_Bill.jpg
Bill " Red " Stuart Stuart's family moved to NS from Sackville, NB shortly after his birth. He was one of 3 Nova Scotians on Toronto's 1922 Stanley Cup winning team.

Mike McPhee In 1986, mcPhee won the Cup with the Montreal Canadians. he had 3 goals & 4 assists in 20 play-off games.
McPhee,_Mike.jpg Jackson,_Stanton.jpg
Paul Boutillier Sydney, NS : Won while playing with the Islanders

Stanton Jackson Amherst, NS : Played for the Toronto Pats from 1921-1924 & was part of the Stanley Cup victory in his first season.

Wendell Young Halifax, NS : Two-time Cup winner, he is the only hockey player to ever win all 4 major North American hockey championships ( IHL Turner Cup, AHL Calder Cup, CHL Memorial Cup, & the NHL Stanley Cup ).

Brad Marchand Hammonds Plains, NS : During the 2011 playoffs, Marchand scored 19 points over 25 games, helping the Bruins to a Stanley Cup championship. His 11 goals tied Jeremy Roenick for the second most by a rookie in the NHL.

Sydney Crosby Cole Harbour, NS :
In his first NHL season, Crosby finished sixth in league scoring with 102 points (39 goals, 63 assists) and was a runner-up for the Calder Memorial Trophy In his 2nd season, he led the NHL with 120 points (36 goals, 84 assists) to capture the Art Ross Trophy, becoming the youngest player & the only teenager to win a scoring title in any major North American sports league. That same season, Crosby also won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the Professional Hockey Writers Association's choice for most valuable player and the Lester B. Pearson Award as the NHL Players Association's choice for most outstanding player, becoming the seventh player in NHL history to earn all three awards in one year. Crosby started the 2007–08 season with the team's captaincy and subsequently led them to the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals, where they were defeated by the Detroit Red Wings in six games. The Penguins returned to the Finals against Detroit the following year and won in seven games; Crosby became the youngest captain in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup. One of his most famous appearances was that on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno demonstrating his skill of shooting pucks into the family's clothes dryer.

There have been many other Nova Scotians who have played in the NHL & have left a mark on hockey's history & I am sure the number will grow in the years to come. Who will be the next Nova Scotia phenom?

Crosby's appearance on The Tonight Show


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