1963 Hockey Inductees

With 23 players and 3 builders, the 1963 Hockey Hall of Fame Class was the largest ever. Many of the inductees were from the pre-NHL era likely in anticipation that the league would be expanding soon. This actually has drawn some criticism as the Hockey Hall has been accused of having too many “old time” players; many of which would come from this class. This is also where the standards of the Hall of Fame inductees began to come in question.
Angus Daniel Campbell was the founder of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association which helped to grow the sport in the region. He would branch it with the Ontario Hockey Association and he would serve as an executive with both organizations. Many future hockey players from the Northern Ontario region owe a debt to Campbell.
A very good, though not great Hockey player who starred in Western Canada, Barney Stanley was a part of the Vancouver Millionaires Stanley Cup win in 1915. Stanley would be a goal a game producer for various teams in the West, and his versatility to play multiple positions made him an asset on team’s benches. He would eventually make the NHL albeit for one game in…
A member of the famed Ottawa Silver Seven, Billy Gilmour was a multiple time Stanley Cup winner. Gilmour averaged nearly a goal a game, but was he a Hall of Famer? In that era, a goal a game was impressive (but somewhat common) and may not have been worthy of HOF credentials when looking around the league. Many players in that era entered the Hall without…
The top goal scoring Centre for the Rat Portage/Kenora Thistles, Billy McGimsie averaged nearly three goals a game for his small town club. He spent his entire six year career there and was a large part of the team winning their lone Stanley Cup in 1907. The Thistles story is a good one, and McGimsie was a top player there, but does this team have too…
An incredible athlete in the Ottawa area during the turn of the century (He was also an excellent Lacrosse Goaltender and he played Fullback for the Ottawa Rough Riders), Bouse Hutton was the Goalie of the legendary Ottawa Silver Seven and was part of their Stanley Cup dominance for a stretch. Hutton posted impressive Goals Against Averages in an era where a double digit scores were…
Another somewhat curious induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame massive class of ’63, “Bullet” Joe Simpson may have gotten in just based on his cool nickname. Simpson was christened the “Bullet” due to his speed and his end to end rushes were known throughout the sport. Newsy Lalonde called him the greatest player ever (this may have also helped his induction) and he was a…
Called the “Cannonball” because of his powerful shot, Didier Pitre was one of the more versatile and durable players of his or any time. The speedy skater started off as a Rover, later a Forward and as his skills naturally declined he transferred to Defence where his Hockey IQ was still serviceable in the professional ranks. Despite playing for multiple teams, Pitre was with the Habs…
A rugged stay at home star at Defence, Earl Seibert was named to a post season All Star team ten consecutive years. Had it not been for Eddie Shore, Seibert would have possibly been considered the best Defensemen of his era, but the tough Shore had confessed that Seibert was one player he was not fond of fighting. Seibert would win the Stanley Cup twice (once…
A career skater for the Detroit franchise, Ebbie Goodfellow was another in the long list of Hockey stars to come out of Ottawa. Goodfellow was at his best when he moved from Centre to Defense and won the Hart Trophy as the League’s Most Valuable Player in 1940. As one of the top defenseman in the National Hockey League in his day, Goodfellow earned his way…
Another of the class of 1963 that likely should not be in the Hockey Hall of Fame, Frederick Whitcroft’s lone Stanley Cup Appearance was aiding the Kenora Thistles defend the Stanley Cup against the team from Brandon, Manitoba. Whitcroft did have a decent touch for scoring goals, but realistically, his career was not a long one and his induction to the Hall of Fame is…
Considered the first player to develop a curved shot (with a straight stick no less!), Harry Cameron was a brilliant rushing Defenseman who won three Stanley Cups. Cameron would twice lead the league in assists and was credited for the first ever “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” in the NHL, which is indicative of scoring a goal, an assist and a getting into a fight. How this…
Although Harry Watson was a career amateur Hockey player, it was not because he did not have multiple and lucrative offers to play professionally. Watson was a two time Allan Cup winner and he led his team (the Toronto Granites) to an Olympic Gold for Canada in the 1924 Olympics where he scored 36 goals in five games. Watson not only made the Hockey Hall of…
Harry “Rat” Westwick always seemed to win wherever he went. A tenacious and consistent player, Westwick was a very good goal scorer for the Ottawa Silver Seven and was part of multiple Stanley Cup winners. As such, he was rewarded with a Hall of Fame induction the same of many of his Silver Seven teammates.
It has to be safe to say that Jack Darragh loved the city of Ottawa. He was born there, died there, and played his entire Hockey career with the Ottawa Senators. A very intelligent player with a wicked backhand shot, Darragh helped the Sens win four Stanley Cups. He was far from the best player on his team, but as a proven winner, he entered the…
Although he was born in Ontario, Jack Laviolette moved to Quebec at a young age and became one of the first true French Canadian stars in Hockey. His first taste of pro hockey was in Michigan, but he returned to Montreal and was a long time player with the Shamrocks and later the fabled Montreal Canadians. He was a decent Defenseman, a good leader and a…
A very good Left Winger, Jimmy Gardner won four Stanley Cups with two different Montreal teams. Gardner was one of those players who may have been good but was he the man who helped propel his squads to multiple championships? It may have been more of being at the right place at the right time.
A three time Assists champion in the National Hockey League, Joe Primeau was also one the game’s most classy players. Primeau won the Lady Byng Award in 1932, which was also the same season he won the Stanley Cup with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He would spend his entire professional playing career in Toronto and “Gentleman” Joe was considered one of those great playmakers who made…
In 1921, Leo Dandurand and his partners purchased the Montreal Canadians. For fourteen years, Dandurand not only owned the franchise, but served as the club’s General Manager and occasional Coach. Under his watch, Montreal captured three Stanley Cups in 1924, 1930 & 1931. Dandurand sold the team in 1935.
One of the few stars of the early Ottawa Senators, not to be born in Ottawa (he was from Kingston) Marty Walsh was a very good goal scorer for the team from the Capital City. Walsh may not have gotten as much attention as some of his teammates, but he was certainly a productive player on those championship teams.
Another career amateur Hockey Player, Phat Wilson was good enough to have gone professional (though likely not as a star). He was a good offensive minded Defenceman who led his Port Arthur team to three Allan Cups and was often the leading scorer in his Senior leagues. Phat Wilson’s induction shows how much respect the Hockey Hall of Fame had (and still has) for the amateur…