Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Although not as well known as his older brother "Tiny" Thompson, who played goaltender for the Boston Bruins, Paul Thompson was the one who made history on this day in 1937 by becoming the first player in NHL history to score a goal against his own brother at 19:31 of the third period of the Black Hawks game against the Bruins in Boston. Tiny got the last laugh however, as the Bruins won the contest 2-1.
The Boston Bruins Tiny Thompson, brother of Paul Thompson
Paul first played junior hockey for the Calgary Canadians back in 1924 and was a member of the Canadians Memorial Cup championship team in 1926 when he contributed 12 goals in nine playoff games.
He joined the New York Rangers the following season as a role player. The left winger averaged 14 points a season during his five years with the Rangers, which included a Stanley Cup championship in 1928.
The 1927-28 Stanley Cup champion New York Rangers
The following season they faced off against each other in the Stanley Cup Finals, with Tiny's Bruins winning bragging rights over Paul at the family dinner table 2 games to none over the Rangers.
He was traded to Chicago for the 1931-32 season and showed more of his offensive game, immediately setting a career best with 22 points, which continued to climb each of the next four seasons, from 33 in 1933 to his first 20 goal season in 1933-34 when he scored 36 points as well as seven more in eight playoff games as the Black Hawks captured their first Stanely Cup, the second of Thompson's career.
Thompson wearing the second style of Black Hawks jersey he wore from 1931 to 1934
After his 39 point season in 1935, he had his first 40 point campaign in 1935-36. He rebounded nicely from his first drop in production, to 35 points the following season, by setting career highs in 1937-38 with 22 goals, including the one he scored against his brother on this day in 1937, and and equal number of assists for 44 total points. Four goals and seven points followed in the playoffs as the Black Hawks again captured the Stanley Cup, their second in four years.
Thompson would play 33 games of the following season's schedule before retiring mid-season to become head coach of the Black Hawks, a job he would retain until 1944.
His final NHL totals were 582 games played, 153 goals and 179 assists for 332 points and three Stanley Cup championships.
While there have been other sets of brothers in the NHL, such as the Bentleys (the first brothers to play on a line together), Sutters, Staals, Drydens (the first brothers to face each other in goal), Mahovlichs, Richards, Sedins, the Redmonds, Hunters and Primeaus (who have all fought each other!) the Hulls, Stastnys, Plagers and several generations of Patricks, it's not too often one becomes a goaltender while the others are skaters, but it has happened a few times.
Brian Smith of the Los Angeles Kings, who was later memorialized on the Ottawa Senators jerseys with the "Smitty" patch, scored twice on his brother Gary Smith of the Oakland Seals shortly after the NHL expanded on December 19, 1967. Phil Esposito rudely welcomed his brother Tony Esposito to the NHL by scoring on him twice during Tony's NHL debut on November 3, 1968 and Mathieu Biron of the Florida Panthers scored a game winner on sibling Martin Biron of the Buffalo Sabres on November 24, 2003, the first time in 23 years a brother scored against his brother following Phil Esposito's final goal against Tony on November 5, 1980.
Today's featured jersey is a 1937-38 Chicago Black Hawks Paul Thompson jersey. This was the first season for the Black Hawks new "barberpole" style of red and black jerseys, which would later be revived by Chicago for the 1991-92 season when the Original 6 teams all wore a throwback jersey from their past.