August 25, 2006

Hockey history: The Black Ice Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame conference starts today in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

George Fosty, co-author of Black Ice and Splendid is the Sun, has studied the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes: "There’s 300 (black) players that played serious hockey prior to 1958 that nobody knows about. It’s time to say, ‘Hey, we’ve missed something here.’"

posted by Amateur to hockey at 05:15 AM - 17 comments

A fine post, amateur. Much like the Negro League ballplayers, these guys should be recognized and given due consideration for higher honors, perhaps.

posted by mjkredliner at 08:34 AM on August 25, 2006

We've totally missed something. I had no idea this league even existed and I eat sleep and breathe hockey. Occassionally I burp baseball. Some of these cats sound like they could have had a shot at the big time, and 300 is a huge number. given that there are only about 700 dudes in the NHL now.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:21 AM on August 25, 2006

Holy... umm.. What??? I had no clue this was out there....

posted by myshtigo at 09:48 AM on August 25, 2006

Thanks, Amateur. I'm a Hockey neophyte and this just intrigues me even more about the sport.

posted by yzelda4045 at 10:08 AM on August 25, 2006

I have to reitterate what Weedy and myshtigo said; I had absolutely no idea such a league ever existed. The recognition these guys are finally receiving is WAY past due. Thanks for the post, Amateur.

posted by willthrill72 at 11:12 AM on August 25, 2006


posted by Desert Dog at 11:14 AM on August 25, 2006

Nice links Amateur. I had no idea such a league was ever around. Just curious anyone know the first black NHL player? I know Grant Fuhr is the first black hall of famer. Does anyone have a theroy as to why there aren't more African-American skill players in the NHL? Besides Anson Carter i can't thnk of one (Weeks and the Sens goalie with the badass attitude are excluded from this discussion) Sorry for the digression.

posted by HATER 187 at 11:39 AM on August 25, 2006

I too eat and breathe hockey and had no clue. Very facinating post. I just might go and see what I might possibly dig up on here and the library to learn more.

posted by Psycho at 12:02 PM on August 25, 2006

I'd heard about this (I interviewed Herb Carnegie once when I was in high school and he'd spoken about this a bit, and Willie O'Ree makes a point of bringing this stuff up when he can), but I didn't realize how much of a going concern it really was. Hater, in answer to your question, I think it's as much socio-economic as anything. Growing up in North Toronto, the league makeup wasn't lily-white. Pretty much every kid at least tried hockey, and the leagues reflected what I always saw as the actual ethnic breakdown of the area. But I was a kid at the time, so I could be totally wrong. But the vast majority of Canada is way whiter than Toronto, and that might have your answer. There are pockets of non-Anglo culture outside the cities (the Maritimes is a big one, though there are others), but if you're drawing your talent (as the NHL mostly did, in a relatively narrow way, up until about 20 years ago) from the established channels in the Canadian heartland, you're going to get a lot of white dudes, and very few Tony McKegneys & Jarome Iginlas. This seems to have changed, probably and hopefully forever, and I hope and expect the NHL will only do a better job of reflecting the growing diversity of the people who pay to see the games. It's happening. Thanks for the links, Amateur.

posted by chicobangs at 12:27 PM on August 25, 2006

This is completely new to me, and I can't wait to read more about it. I wish he hadn't mentioned the midget goaltender, though. Don't get me wrong, I love midgets and all, but for some reason mentioning midget goaltenders automatically lessens the import of an article.

posted by Samsonov14 at 01:00 PM on August 25, 2006

Cats and dudes? Cool, mo fo.

posted by joromu at 01:17 PM on August 25, 2006

>Just curious anyone know the first black NHL player? Willie O'Ree, Boston Bruins, 1950s. (Someone mentioned him, but I want to make sure you've got your answer.)

posted by Philfromhavelock at 01:35 PM on August 25, 2006

Is this imprtant just because they were black and were forgotten, or because they were black, played really good hockey, and were forgotten?

posted by irunfromclones at 02:34 PM on August 25, 2006

A little from column A, a little from column B?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:43 PM on August 25, 2006

Thanks for the answer Phil.

posted by HATER 187 at 02:48 PM on August 25, 2006

Thrilled these men are getting some long overdue recognition. Excellent FPP Amateur, Thanks.

posted by skydivedad at 09:43 PM on August 25, 2006

That's what I thought Weedy. No matter which way you slice it, it's still a part of the history of the game, and should be told.

posted by irunfromclones at 03:41 PM on August 28, 2006

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