Monday, June 14, 2010
John James "Jack" Adams was born on this date in 1895 began his professional career with the Toronto Arenas of the brand new National Hockey League in 1917-18. The club won the NHL playoffs over the Montreal Canadiens to win the O'Brien Cup and advance to the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, whom they defeated 3 games to 2 to take possession of the cup.
Adams played 17 games for the Arenas in 1918-19, which included scoring his first NHL goal when he totaled 3 goals and 3 assists over the course of the season. In December 1919 Adams was sold to the Vancouver Millionaires for the 1919-20 season and saw an immediate rise in his scoring output. 15 points in 22 games followed by a jump to 29 points in 1920-21, which included 17 goals, up from just 9 the season prior, to win the PCHL scoring title. Following the regular season, Vancouver defeated the Seattle Metropolitains to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals against the NHL champion Ottawa Senators, who won 3 games to 2 in five one-goal games in front of a record average of 10,000 spectators in Vancouver's Denman Arena. In the five games, Adams scored a pair of goals and an assist.
Adams really lit the lamp in the 1921-22 season with 26 goals, plus 4 assists, in 24 games. Vancouver again bested Seattle in the PCHA finals to move on to the Stanley Cup Finals versus the Toronto St. Patricks, another five game series which would go the way of the St. Patricks despite Adams 6 goals in the 5 games to lead all goal scorers.
The St. Patricks must have been impressed with Adams, as they made a deal to acquire the righthanded center for the 1922-23 season. He continued his scoring output with 19 goals and 28 points in 23 games followed by 18 points in 22 games in 1923-24.
He exceeded a point-per-game in 1924-25 with 21 goals and 31 points in 27 games. After another 21 goal season in 1925-26, Adams was sold to the Ottawa Senators in August of 1926, a move which saw him in a far different role which limited his offensive output to a meager 5 goals and 1 assist in 40 games. The payoff however was his second Stanley Cup championship, as the Senators beat the Montreal Canadiens 5 goals to 1 in a two-game series to earn the right to meet the Boston Bruins in an unusual best-of-three series which concluded with Ottawa taking the cup after 2 wins and a pair of ties - the last ties in Stanley Cup history as all games were played to a conclusion thereafter.
The 1927 Stanley Cup Champion Ottawa Senators - Adams is in the top row, second from the right.
With his playing days now over, Adams began a new chapter in his life in hockey when NHL president Frank Calder recommended Adams become the new coach and general manager of the Detroit Cougars, who had struggled financially and on the ice during their first NHL season. The team improved from 12 wins to 19 in their first season under Adams. After three seasons the club was renamed the Falcons for two seasons before finally becoming the Red Wings for the 1932-33 season after being purchased by James Norris, a year before Adams guided the club to their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals aided by Norris' financial backing.
Red Wings coach Jack Adams
Two seasons later the Red Wings reached the pinnacle, capturing their first championship in 1936.
The 1936 Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings successfully defended their championship by winning another Stanley Cup in 1937 and would return to the finals in 1941 for the first of three consecutive times, which concluded with another championship in 1943, Adams third as a coach. He remained behind the Red Wings bench until 1947 when he chose to concentrate in his general manager duties alone after 20 years behind the bench.
Adams celebrates the 1943 Stanley Cup championship with two of his players
Under Adams direction, the Red Wings had built a farm system which provided a steady stream of talent, including the core group of Alex Delvecchio, Terry Sawchuk, Ted Lindsay, Sid Abel and Gordie Howe. It was this group of players that led the Red Wings to seven consecutive first place finished from 1948 to 1955, during which they won four Stanley Cups, making Adams the first and only person to have his name on the cup as a player, coach and general manager. In all, his name appears on the cup nine different times.
He remained the Red Wings general manager until 1963, a 36 year run that remains the longest in NHL history. After leaving the Red Wings, Adams became the founding president of the Central Hockey League, a post he held until his death in 1968.
Adams was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a player in 1959 and named the winner of the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1966. In 1974, the NHL introduced the Jack Adams Award, given annually to the most outstanding coach each season.
Today's featured jersey is a 1921-22 Vancouver Millionaires Jack Adams jersey from the season Adams won the PCHL scoring title. No original Millionaires jerseys are known to exist and most Millionaires memorabilia was lost when Denman Arena burned down in 1936.
Bonus jersey: Today's Bonus jersey is a 2008-09 Vancouver Giants throwback 1915 Vancouver Millionaires jersey as worn on November 21, 2008 when the Giants held a "Stanley Cup Legends Night". The Millionaires won their only Stanley Cup in 1915 wearing the original version of this jersey.
Today's featured video is a departure from the norm, a music video featuring photos and archival footage of the Vancouver Millionaires as part of a music video for a song entitled "The Vancouver Millionaires".
Our next video is a report of the Canadian junior team the Vancouver Giants wearing throwback 1915 Millionaires jerseys, including cream colored hockey pants. Good stuff!
Finally a news report about a Vancouver Millionaires replica jersey being donated to the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame.