Friday, January 30, 2009

Little Known Hall of Famers, Duke Keats

Gordon Keats was nicknamed by his young friends "Duke" after a warship. His professional career began with the Toronto Blueshirts of the National Hockey Association in 1915 where he finished fifth in scoring with 22 goals in 24 games. His hockey career was delayed due to two years of military service during WWI. Upon returning he took his career out west joining the Edmonton Eskimos playing seven seasons with them mainly in the Western Canada Hockey League. He was named a first team All-Star for five straight seasons with Edmonton.
When the Western League folded in '26 he finally made the jump to the NHL, playing 3 seasons with the Boston Bruins, Detroit Cougars and Chicago Black Hawks. At the age of 33 he would join the Tulsa Oilers of the American Hockey Association leading that loop in scoring one season.
Lester Patrick once praised Keats for being "the brainiest pivot that ever strapped on a skate".
His career scoring totals of 393 games, 271 goals and 417 points would gain Keats election to the Hall in 1958.

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