Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pro Hockey's First 100 Point Scorer

Most good hockey fans would know that the first 100 point season in the NHL was achieved by Phil Esposito. In 1968/69, Espo notched a then unheard-of 126 points. Sixteen years before this, Gordie Howe tallied 95 points in 1952/53 to come close to the magical century plateau.

Who was professional hockey's first ever 100 point scorer? Surprisingly, although not at the NHL level, the barrier was indeed broken well over a decade before Howe came close in the early 50's.

The top minor pro circuit American Hockey League had two 100 point men in 1947/48. Providence's Carl Liscombe scored 118 points and Cliff Simpson of Indianapolis notched 100 exactly.

The Pacific Coast League which would become the Western Hockey League produced it's first 100 point scorer two years before the AHL's first. Vancouver Canuck, Andy Clovechok scored 103 points in 54 games.

As for the lower minor professional leagues, it appears that the Eastern Hockey League produced pro-hockey's first ever 100 point man as early as the 1939/40 season. Ab Collings of the New York Rovers scored 42 goals, 59 assists and 101 points in 61 games.
Ab (Albert) Collings, pictured at top, was a 5'11", 180 lb Left Winger from Winnipeg who would move up to the AHL the year after his 100 point campaign. He played the next four seasons with Providence and Philadelphia in the AHL but would never score more than 45 points in a year. He also served in the Canadian military and played for Calgary RCAF Mustangs and Toronto RCAF. Collings ended his career in the PCHL in 1948/49 scoring 13 points in 21 games with three different teams. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 90.

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