Wednesday, October 13, 2010
While there had been three benefit and memorial games held throughout the 1930's, the first official NHL All-Star Game took place on this date in 1947 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.
From 1947 through 1965 the game took place just prior to the start of the season, rather than it's current mid-season location adopted in 1967. The original format for the game, which featured the defending Stanley Cup champions taking on a team comprised of players from the other five clubs, was necessitated by the limited number of teams in the NHL at the time.
In honor of the occasion, the wire fencing surrounding the rink was replaced by glass and a new tradition was started where they defending champions were showered with gifts from sponsors and given lifetime passes to Maple Leaf Gardens. It didn't hurt that the defending champions that season were the Maple Leafs!
The 1947 Stanley Cup Champion Toronto Maple Leafs
The All-Stars were comprised of four members of the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens and three each from the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Black Hawks and New York Rangers
The 1947 NHL All-Star Team
Harry Watson of Toronto opened the scoring at 12:29 of the first period and Bill Ezinicki extended their lead to 2-0 with assists from Syl Apps and Watson at 1:03 of the second.
Chicago's Max Bentley kept the All-Stars in the game with a response at 4:39 from Ken Reardon of Montreal only to have Apps restore the two goal margin just 22 seconds later on Watson's second assist of the period. Grant Warwick of the Rangers took the Toronto lead down to one when he scored at 9:25 of the second from Rangers teammate Edgar Laprade and Reardon.
The Canadiens' Maurice Richard's unassisted goal just 28 seconds into the third evened the score at 3-3 before Max Bentley's brother Doug Bentley, also from Chicago, put the All-Stars ahead to stay with his goal from Boston's Milt Schmidt and Richard at the 1:26 mark.
The remainder of the game would be played scoreless, giving Frank Brimsek of the Bruin's the win in goal while Turk Broda took the loss for the Maple Leafs in front of 14,169 fans.
The reunion of the original All-Star Game players in 2000 at
the 50th NHL All-Star Game, also held in Toronto
Today's featured jersey is a 1947 NHL All-Star Edgar Laprade jersey. The All-Stars wore these red sweaters while Toronto wore their white ones. This style of All-Star jersey would remain in use through 1954 until a change in NHL policy saw the home teams now wearing their dark jerseys, which led to a change to a white version of this jersey for the All-Stars until a new design was finally adopted in 1960. This style jersey was revived for the 1993 NHL All-Star Game in Philadelphia during the NHL's 75th Anniversary season.
Laprade spent his entire NHL career with the Rangers from 1945 to 1955, which included winning the Calder Trophy in 1946 and the Lady Byng Trophy in 1950. His career highs were 22 goals in 1949-50 and 34 assists and 47 points in 1947-48. His 34 assists were third in the league that season. He led the Rangers in scoring in 1949-50 and was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.