Friday, February 4, 2011
The second highest scoring player in NHL history born in Scotland, Adam Brown was born on this date in 1920 in Johnstone.
His family moved to Canada during his childhood and it was there he took up the game of hockey. He played senior hockey in the Ontario Hockey Association first with the Stratford Majors in 1938-39 and made his mark with the Guelph Indians in 1939-40 with 21 goals in 20 games.
He crossed the border to play of the Omaha Knights of the American Hockey Association in 1940-41 and the left winger made his NHL debut the following season with the Detroit Red Wings. He saw action in 28 games that season, scoring 6 goals and 9 assists for 15 points. He also played for the Indianapolis Capitals of the American Hockey League the other half of the season, where he averaged more than a point per game.
Brown spent the entire regular season with Indianapolis in 1942-43, but was called up by the Red Wings for the NHL post season. The Red Wings outlasted the Toronto Maple Leafs in six games and then swept the Boston Bruins in four straight to earn Brown his name on the Stanley Cup. During the playoffs he played in six of the Red Wings 10 games and contributed a goal and an assist.
Brown congratulated by Red Wings owner Jack Adams
Note the "Everybody Buy War Bonds" patch worn on the Red Wings sweaters during World War II in 1942-43 to 1944-45.
The next season Brown was a full time Red Wing, skating in 50 games where he scored a career high 24 goals as well as adding 18 assists for 42 points, good for sixth on the team.
Following that career year, Brown did not play professional hockey the following season at either the NHL or minor league level, owing to him performing military service due to World War II, but he did manage to play some senior hockey during his year away from the NHL.
Brown returned to the NHL in 1945-46 and picked up where he left off with a 20 goal season for Detroit which included a hat trick against Boston in the season opener. He returned to the Red Wings to begin the 1946-47 season, but after 22 games with Detroit, Brown was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks in early December. He played in 42 games for Chicago and scored 11 goals, falling just short of 20 for the season with a combined 19.
He was a member of the Black Hawks for five seasons in a defensive role before being involved in a trade that sent him to the Boston Bruins for the 1951-52 season. He split time between the Bruins (33 games) and Hershey Bears (30 games) of the AHL in what would prove to be his last NHL action.
He spent the entire 1952-53 season with Hershey and returned to Canada for the rest of his career. He played for the Quebec Aces in the Quebec Hockey League in 1953-54 and regained his scoring touch with 23 goals and 55 points, his highest point total in 11 years.
His final season playing hockey was spent in the Northern Ontario Hockey League with the Sudbury Wolves before he retired as a player. In ten NHL seasons, Brown totaled 104 goals and 113 assists for 217 points. It would take until 1991 for Steve Smith of the high scoring Edmonton Oilers to surpass Brown's status as the highest scoring NHL player from Scotland.
Sadly, Brown died in an auto accident just five years later at the age of 40.
His son Andy Brown later became a goaltender in both the NHL and WHA and was known as the last goaltender to play without a mask as late as 1977.
Today's featured jersey is a 1951-52 Boston Bruins Adam Brown jersey as worn during Brown's final NHL season. This attractive Bruins jersey was first used in 1949 and remained in use through 1955 and was the last Bruins jersey not to use the famous "spoked B" logo, which was introduced on the Bruins white home jerseys back in 1948.