Monday, May 1, 2017

1951-52 Chicago Black Hawks Sid Finney Jersey

Born on this date in 1929 in Bainbridge, Northern Ireland, Sid Finney began playing organized hockey in 1947-48 with the Calgary Buffaloes of the Southern Alberta Junior Hockey League, where, in 15 games, he had 6 goals and 14 points as an 18 year old.

The club moved to the Western Canada Junior Hockey League for the 1948-49 season, and Finney led the team in goals with 27 and tied for the lead in points with 43.

He remained in Calgary for the 1949-50 season, but had aged out of junior hockey, which necessitated a move to the Calgary Stampeders of the Western Canada Senior Hockey League. He was limited to only 17 games that season, scoring 12 points.

"Slippery Sid" caught the eye of the hockey world with his 1950-51 season for the Stampeders, as he led the league in both goals (44) and points with 81 in 57 games played.

 photo 1950-51 Calgary Stampeders team.jpg
The 1950-51 Calgary Stampeders

That effort caught the eyes of the NHL scouts and Finney was signed by the Chicago Black Hawks for the 1951-52 season. He would play 35 games for Chicago, scoring 6 goals and 11 points, and play another 23 games for the St. Louis Flyers down in the American Hockey League with 8 goals and 13 points. A clean player, his penalty minute total for the season was 2.

While Finney did have an assist on Chicago's opening goal  and had the tying and winning goals in the third period in a 7-6 win over the New York Rangers to close out the season on March 23, 1952, his effort was overshadowed when Bill Mosienko set the NHL record for the fastest hat trick in league history at just 21 seconds!

1951-52 Chicago Blackhawks photo 1951-52 Chicago Blackhawks.jpg
The 1951-52 Chicago Black Hawks

The 1952-53 season saw Finny get into another 18 games for the Black Hawks, contributing 4 goals and 6 points. He would, however, spend the majority of his season back with the Stampeders where he averaged over a point per game with 25 goals and 44 points in 39 games. He was with Chicago for the playoffs, seeing action in 7 games.

Despite playing 20 games less than his Calgary teammates in 1953-54, Finny led the Stampeders in goals with 29 and was third on the team with points. For the third consecutive season, he also saw time on the ice in six games for Chicago. He was with the Stampeders for the playoffs, and helped the club win the Lester Patrick Cup as WHL champions with Finney scoring 15 goals and 20 points in 18 games.

 photo 1953-54 Calgary Stampeders team.jpg
1953-54 WHL champion Calgary Stampeders

Finney played exclusively for the Stampeders for the next eight seasons, starting with the 1954-55 season, when he set a new personal best with 35 goals and 77 points. He raised those numbers in 1955-56 with 43 goals and 79 points.

 photo Stampeders 1955-56 progam.jpg

He had a second consecutive 40 goal season in 1956-57 with 41 on his way to matching his 79 points from the year before.

Finney then had a career season in 1957-58 when he established career bests with 45 goals, 43 assists and 88 points to lead the Stampeders in scoring - all this despite missing 12 games! The club then made it to the league finals in the playoffs , as Finney tied for the team lead in postseason scoring.

 photo Finney Stampeders.jpg
Finney had the best season of his career in 1957-58

While his point totals returned to Earth for 1958-59, his 29 goals and 59 points were still at a point per game average over his 60 games played. His 1959-60 season was a virtual repeat, as he played in 59 games with 28 goals and 60 points.

 photo Stampeders 1959-60 progam.jpg
Finney was on the cover of the Stampeders program in 1959-60

For the 1960-61, the consistent Finney lit the lamp 26 times with 68 total points. His final season with the Stampeders saw him second on the team in goals with 35 as he finished with 67 points.

Just before the start of the 1962-83 season, Finney was traded to the rival Edmonton Flyers after 12 seasons with the Stampeders. His output was unaffected by the move to the Flyers, as he scored 23 goals and 65 points, his 11th season with 20 goals or more.

For the 1963-64 season, Finney was on the move again, as Edmonton traded him to the Portland Buckaroos. He would play in 39 games with 9 goals and 19 points.

 photo 1963-64 Portland Buckaroos team.jpg
The 1963-64 Portland Buckaroos

He would also travel east to play 13 games with the Cincinnati Wings of the Central Professional Hockey League, a tough situation as the team had relocated halfway through the season after a deadly explosion at their home rink in Indianapolis and played to small crowds in their new home while seldom winning a game.

After sitting out the 1964-65 season, the 36 year old Finney joined the Drumheller Miners of the Alberta Senior Hockey League, playing in 24 games with 34 points. The Miners would then go on to defeat the Sherbrooke Beavers to win the Allan Cup as senior champions of Canada in a six game series.

 photo 1965-66 Drumheller Miners team.png
The 1965-66 Allan Cup champion Drumheller Miners

Finney retired for four seasons but came back to lace up the skates one more time, playing the 1968-69 season with the Calgary Stampeders of the ASHL, scoring 7 goals and 19 points before hanging up his skates for good.

As a player in the Western Hockey League, Finney played in 694 games with 368 goals and 399 assists for 767 points, 13th all-time in the WHL.

Today's featured jersey is a 1951-52 Chicago Black Hawks Sid Finney jersey as worn by Finney during his first NHL season with Chicago, including the final day of the season when he had two goals and an assist, which was overshadowed by teammate Mosiekno's NHL record 21 second hat trick.

Chicago first wore this barberpole style for the 1937-38 season and continued to wear it through the 1954-55 season. For the first three seasons, it was their only uniform, as they did not wear a second, white jersey until 1940-41.

 photo Chicago Blackhawks 1951-52 F jersey 1.jpeg
 photo Chicago Blackhawks 1951-52 B jersey 2.jpeg

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