Boston Bruins All Time Greats: Eddie "The Edmonton Express" Shore
Edward William Shore played for the "Spoked B” from 1926-1940 before being traded to the NY Americans. With hockey season right around the corner, we thought it would be appropriate to honor a Boston Bruins great.
Born in 1902, Eddie Shore didn’t embrace hockey until his latter teen years. Shore spent most of youth playing soccer and baseball. His brother motivated Eddie to play hockey because he said that he would never make it as a hockey player.
Shore took on the challenge and never looked back.
He began his career in the Western Canada Hockey League before the league folded in 1926. In 54 games with Regina and Edmonton, the defenseman scored 20 points.
The rights to the “Edmonton Express” were then sold to the Boston Bruins.
During his rookie campaign of ’26-’27, Eddie Shore posted 12 goals and added 6 assists in 40 games. He also had 130 penalty minutes in his first season in the NHL.
Shore’s rough and tumble style of play was his trademark. He hit everyone and everything in his path. He set the league record for penalty minutes with 165 in his sophomore season.
Shore was gifted in the hockey sense but sometimes his temper would get the best of him.
In a game versus the Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 12th, 1933, Shore hit Leafs' star Ace Bailey from behind. This hit was in retaliation for a hit that King Clancy laid on him moments earlier.
Unfortunately, Bailey was the focus of Shore’s rage and temper.
Bailey hit his head off the ice and was unconscious. He was also having convulsions due to the violent hit thrown by Shore. A melee broke out and Toronto player, Red Horner struck Shore putting him on the ice and causing a gash that required seven stitches to close.
Bailey was rushed to the hospital with a broken skull and some feared he would die. Shore was suspended 16 games.
Beside his physical play, Shore had the skills and leadership to lead the Bruins. He would play 50-55 minutes a game when he wasn’t in the sin bin. He led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup in the ’28-’29 season. He chipped in with a goal and an assist along with 28 PIM’s.
He would have his best offensive season in ’32-’33 at the age of 30. Shore scored 8 goals and had 27 assists in 48 games. Of course, he would also have his share of time in the box, by racking up 102 penalty minutes.
“The Edmonton Express” became a champion once again in the ’38-’39 season.
Shore would end this NHL career so he thought at the time with two Stanley Cup championships, seven all-star selections and four Hart trophies(awarded to the MVP of the NHL) on his resume.
Eddie Shore decided to retire after the season and went on to purchase the Springfield (MA) Indians of the AHL. He was a player/owner of the Indians during the ’39-’40 season where he registered 15 points in 15 games.
The Bruins asked Shore to come out retirement where played four games for Boston before being traded to the NY Americans. He would play 10 regular season and 3 playoff games before leaving the NHL for good.
Shore would play a few more seasons for Springfield (moved to Buffalo for two seasons due to WWII) and would later coach the Buffalo Bison to back to back Calder Cup championships. He would return the team back to Massachusetts for the ’46 season.
Eddie Shore ran the Indians like he played with the Bruins, with a mean streak. Many players felt disrespected by their fiery owner. Shore sold the Springfield Indians in 1976.
The state of Massachusetts honored Eddie Shore by issuing a “Mr. Hockey” vanity plate for his contributions to hockey in the Commonwealth.
Eddie Shore was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1947 and his #2 jersey has been retired by the Boston Bruins.
The other “Mr. Hockey” passed away in 1985 at the age of 82.
Joe Gill writes for Boston Sports Then And Now.
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