Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Juillet par les Numéros de maillot n ° 3 vient de la province de Québec, Canada sous la forme de Les As de Québec.
The Québec Aces were founded as an amateur club back in 1928 as a member of the Quebec City Railway-Paper League, where they played until 1936. They joined the Quebec Amateur Hockey Association for the 1936-37 season, playing in the league for five seasons with a best finish of second in 1937-38.
Their next destination was the Quebec Senior Hockey League, beginning in 1941-42. They won the Allan Cup as champions of Canadian senior hockey in 1944.
The 1944 Allan Cup champion Québec Aces
Easily the most recognizable and famous of the Aces was future Montreal Canadiens captain Jean Béliveau, who played for the club for two seasons. He had refused to join the Canadiens, preferring to remain with Québec, in part due to the fact he was making double the average NHL salary at the time. Led by Béliveau, the Aces won the league title in 1952.
The most famous of all the Aces, Jean Béliveau
A series of behind the scenes dealings saw the league turn professional in 1953-54, which resulted in a name change to the Quebec Hockey League. The Aces continued to play in the QHL until it's demise in 1959, which prompted Québec to join the American Hockey League. while in the QSHL/QHL, the Aces had won regular season championships in 1944, 1945, 1952 and 1957, and playoff championships in 1942, 1954 and finally 1957, going on to defeat the champions of the Western Hockey League, the Brandon Regals, for the Edinburgh Trophy.
The Aces in 1948-49, surrounding their gorgeous center ice logo
The Aces found the going tough in their early days in the AHL, failing to make the playoffs during their first four seasons before reeling off three consecutive division championships in 1964, 1965 and 1966. They made the Calder Cup Finals in 1964, but lost to the Cleveland Barons.
The Calder Cup finalist 1963-64 Aces
The club became the minor league affiliate of the expansion Philadelphia Flyers in 1967-68, which saw them immediately return to the Calder Cup Finals in 1968 and 1969, unfortunately coming up short both times.
The Aces new winged logo, reflecting their affiliation with Philadelphia
The team would play two more seasons prior to the Flyers moving the franchise to Richmond, Virginia where they were renamed the Richmond Robins, brining an end to the Aces after 44 seasons.
Today's featured jersey is a 1951-52 Québec Aces Joe Crozier jersey worn during the period of time that Béliveau played for the club, guiding them to the 1952 league championship.
This classic wool sweater features a beautifully excited chenille crest with the #3 on the back in felt.
Crozier was a defenseman who played 8 seasons with the Aces as part of his 12 year career, which included reaching the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs for 5 games in 1959-60. He would then go into coaching, winning three Calder Cups with the Rochester Americans of the AHL in 1965, 1966 and 1968. He would eventually coach the Buffalo Sabres and Maple Leafs in the NHL as well as the Vancouver Blazers and Calgary Cowboys of the WHA in addition to the minor league and junior clubs he would command from 1961 to 1984.
Today's video segment is a look at the career of Jean Béliveau from the Legends of Hockey series.