1966 Hockey Inductees

 We are going to maintain the theory that Hockey Hall of Fame was looking to induct as many “old school” stars before the NHL expansion which would happen the following year. However, unlike last year’s IPW (just when we said we were not going to use that acronym on a regular basis), this class features some outstanding entries that would almost be an embarrassment of riches with Toe Blake, Ted Kennedy and Ted Lindsay all entering (and other former Hart Trophy winners), and yes scores a much higher IPW. Hmmmm…..now do we start assigning an official numeric statistic to the IPW? Wheels are turning….
The winner of the 1944 Hart Trophy (albeit in a depleted NHL due to World War II) Babe Pratt was a offensive minded defenceman who was as tough on the ice as he was jovial off of it. Pratt was part of two Stanley Cup winning teams (New York in 1940 and Toronto in 1945) and was always considered one of the team leaders regardless of…
Although Emile “Butch” Bouchard was mostly a stay-at-home Defenceman, his well timed and accurate passing skills were often the catalyst for the Montreal Canadians expert offensive rushes. Bouchard brought a strong physical presence to the Habs defense which the squad desperately needed. His bodychecks became legendary in the NHL, and despite his immense strength and physical play, he rarely got into fights. Bouchard would help Montreal win…
Initially a referee in the National Hockey League (who was assigned to referee some very important games), Clarence Campbell was moved to the office and was groomed to be the heir apparent to take over the Presidency of the NHL. The plan was temporarily derailed as Campbell joined the Canadian military to serve in World War II (in which he rose from Private to Lt. Colonel)…
When Elmer Lach retired from professional hockey in 1954, he was the leading scorer in NHL history. This feat was especially impressive considered how injury prone Lach was. The career long Montreal Canadian may have been known for getting injured, but he was revered in the league for his tenacious will to recover quickly from those trips to the hospital. Lach centered the Habs famed “Punch…
With the very cool nickname of “Mr. Zero” Frank Brimsek was a two time Vezina Trophy winner and is one of the greatest American Goalies of all time. Brimsek was consistently named to Post Season All Star teams and was a two time Stanley Cup champion with the Boston Bruins. Fittingly, Brimsek was inducted into the first class of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame…
Ken Reardon was out of the National Hockey League before the age of thirty due to injuries catching up to him. It is actually surprising that it did not happen sooner based on Reardon’s fearless style of play that was as punishing to his opponents as it was to himself. 
The youngest of the Bentley brothers, Max Bentley may have been the most fun to watch. He was one of the best skaters and stickhandlers of his era, and he would often make opponents look foolish with his “dipsy doodle” like play.  Bentley would twice win the NHL scoring title twice while a member of the Chicago Blackhawks and won the Hart Trophy in 1943. Chicago…
The first Hockey player to win the Stanley Cup as a player five times, Ted Kennedy made the most of all of his abilities. He was a dynamic faceoff artist and skilled forechecker. He was not the best skater in the league, but he was able to put himself in perfect positions to get by his opponents effortlessly. Kennedy was praised throughout for his incredible work…
Unarguably the best Left Wing of the 1950’s, Ted Lindsay was admitted right away to the Hockey Hall of Fame without having to wait the mandatory three year period after retirement. (Though, it should be noted that Lindsay retired once in 1960 and could have gone in before he returned in ’64) “Terrible” Ted was considered one of the toughest players in the NHL and spent…
Considered a legend in coaching, it is forgotten just how good a Hockey player that Toe Blake was. He broke in with the Montreal Maroons, but after only playing a handful of games there, he joined the cross town Montreal Canadians and slowly worked his way up the ladder to stardom. Toe’s skills improved and he was rewarded with the Hart Trophy in 1939 and that…