Thursday, February 6, 2014

Olympic Hockey Card of the Day, Team Canada 1928

These are actual cards from my collection that were issued for various Winter Olympic games either as souvenirs or as premiums in cigarette packages. The rear of this card is translated;

"Hockey is the fastest fighting game in the world. In no other sport, the other situations as lightning, is required of players next greatest skill and presence of mind so precise technique.
Canada is the motherland of this game. His team accomplished miracles services was not only Olympic champion, but was not beaten in the whole of Europe by any opponent."

The University of Toronto Grads coached by soon-to-be legendary Conn Smythe represented Canada in the 1928 Olympic Games of St.Moritz, Switzerland.  After taking the Allan Cup title in 1927 beating Fort William 2-1-1 in a best of three final, the Grads steamrolled through Europe on the way to Olympic gold. Undefeated in their 12 game Euro tour in conjunction with the Olympics, they were led by Left Wing Dave Trottier and Centre Hugh Plaxton. In the exhibition tour Trottier collected 43 points, Plaxton 30 in the 12 games. In the three Olympic games Trottier had 17 points and Plaxton 15. Granted a bye through the preliminary rounds, Canada needed only beat Sweden, Great Britain and Switzerland to take the gold, which they did by scores of 11-0, 14-0 and 13-0 respectively. 

The picture in true card shows Canada playing the Swiss in that last game of the tournament played February 19, 1928. It's difficult to identify the players without numbers visible, but the Swiss goaltender was likely Arnold Martignoni. It's certain true Canadian player skating in the middle of the scene is not Plaxton or Trottier as both of them shot left-handed. 

Most of the Varsity Grads played little or no high-level hockey after the 1928 Olympics. Dave Trottier was the notable exception as he joined the NHL's Montreal Maroons the following autumn and played 446 NHL games before retiring in 1939. He scored 121 goals and 234 points in his career and played in the first NHL All-Star game of 1937. Hugh Plaxton retired to his law career after the Olympics only to join return to the game in 1932. He joined Trottier on the Maroons for 15 games in 1932/33 scoring a goal and 3 points. Interestingly, he also played on game in net for the Maroons allowing five goals in a loss. 

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