Thursday, March 12, 2009

Johnny Bower 639 professional wins

I am currently reading the new autobiography from Johnny Bower title China Wall. Early in the book it is stated that Bower had the most wins in pro hockey history, which for him would include an amazing 359 in the American League and another 30 in the old Western League. Seeing as Martin Brodeur is nearing Patrick Roy's NHL career mark, I decided to check for the most career wins including all the high professional circuits. Obviously I will include the World Hockey Assoc., the AHL and the WHL. In the 1950's and 60's the WHL along with the Quebec League were on near equal par with the AHL, and some have said the Portland Buckaroos, old Vancouver Canucks, Quebec Aces and the Cleveland Barons of that era would have been able to compete in the NHL of the time. I also included the International League which operated as an equal to the AHL for most of it's existence.

Johnny Bower is indeed the all-time leader in professional hockey wins. Brodeur, if he stays healthy and continues at the rate since his return from injury should catch him in two seasons. Marty's total includes 14 wins with the Utica Devils in 1992/93. Plante's total includes a somewhat suprising 51 AHL wins and 105 in the Quebec League. Glenn Hall chalked up 116 victories in the AHL and WHL. Even the mighty Terry Sawchuk needed two years of seasoning in the "A" winning a tidy 69 games. Gump Worsely won 45 WHL games to start his career and 79 AHL games near the end. Harry Lumley sandwiched his 330 NHL wins with 106 AHL and WHL wins. Ernie Wakely may have had the most eclectic win totals with 164 WHA wins, 41 in the NHL, 75 in the AHL, 73 in the Central and 18 in the Western League.

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