Friday, January 16, 2015

Seattle Seahawks, Hockey's Version

Frank Jerwa, Seattle Seahawks
As the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks prepare for a chance to repeat their Super Bowl title, let’s have a look at the original Seattle Seahawks…hockey’s version.

Goaltender, Emmett Vende
From 1933 to 1941 Seattle boasted a minor professional hockey team with that very name. Initially members of the North West Hockey League along with Vancouver, Portland, Edmonton and Calgary, they were subsequently a member of the fledgling Pacific Coast Hockey League. The Seahawks would regularly play before hometown crowds in excess of 4,000 and captured the NWHL title in 1935/36. Over the tenure of their existence many past and future NHLers would wear the Seahawks sweater.  The original coach and general manager of the Seattle Seahawks was none other than Hockey Hall of Famer, Frank Foyston.

The owner of the Seahawks was Phil Lycette who was a somewhat strange character. At different points in his ownership he was either trying to sell the team or purchasing entire other teams in the circuit. In the spring of 1937 Lycette was quoted, “I told Frank Patrick I was willing to dispose of the hockey franchise to anybody who made a reasonable offer.” Another time he accused his own players of "laying down" and not giving their best efforts.

One of the more notable NHLers that played at one time with the Seahawks was ex-Maple Leaf, Ken Doraty who put up 42 points in 48 games in the final season of his career, 1938/39. Gord Fraser played a season in Seattle after suiting up for 144 NHL matches, having scored 14 goals for Chicago Black Hawks in 1926/27. Art Gagne finished his career with the Seahawks in 1936 after 228 NHL games. He had scored 20 goals for Montreal Canadiens in '27/28 and 19 for the Ottawa Senators in '30/31. Veteran of 308 NHL games, Johnny Shepard would also wind down his career with two seasons in Seattle.

Dave Downie, he of 11 NHL games played with Toronto would prove to be the Seahawks most effective scorer over the five seasons of their PCHL stint. Downie played 207 games notching 222 points leading the loop in goals one year and points another. Defenceman Pat Egan suited up for the Seahawks as a 20 year old in 1938/39 (and led the league in PIMs with 185) before going on to a fine 554 game NHL career. 
Hal Tabor

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