First hockey superstar
Born: 21 June 1902 in Mitchell, Ontario
Died: 8 March 1937 in Montreal, Quebec
Howard William ‘Howie’ Morenz was known for his amazing speed and intense concentration. Dubbed ‘The Mitchell Meteor’ and ‘The Stratford Streak’, he played for the Mitchell Juveniles for the 1917-18 season and then in Stratford, Ontario for the next five years. In 1923, Morenz was offered a place on the Montreal Canadiens and, in his very first season there, he finished eighth in league scoring and helped the team win a Stanley Cup.
Morenz spent fourteen seasons in the NHL, twelve with Montreal. He led the Canadiens in scoring for seven consecutive seasons, won three Stanley Cups, and scored 270 goals. He also won the Hart Trophy (most valuable player in the NHL) three times: in 1928, 1931, and 1932.
On 28 January 1937, Morenz was playing in a game at the Montreal Forum against the Chicago Blackhawks when he was checked into the boards by defenseman Earl Seibert. His skate blade caught in a crack in the boards and his leg twisted and snapped. After spending several weeks in the hospital, Morenz was about to be released when he took a turn for the worse. He died of a pulmonary embolism, six weeks after the original injury.
Howie Morenz was one of the first twelve men inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945 and he was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1955. The Canadian Press voted him the best hockey player of the half-century in 1950 and the Hockey News rated him the fifteenth best player of all-time in 1998.
In the 1929-30 season, Morenz scored forty goals in forty-four games with the Canadiens.
His funeral was held on 11 March 1937, at centre ice at the Montreal Forum with over 10,000 fans in attendance and an equal number outside the building.
The final game at the Forum was played 11 March 1996, exactly fifty- nine years after Morenz's funeral.
More information on:
|Howie Morenz: Hockey's First Superstar by Dean Robinson||Amazon.ca
Added 21 April 2002.