Winter in Sandy Hill’s history always included sports like tobogganing at Strathcona Park and at Dutchie’s Hole; even shovelling snow could turn into a snowball fight with kids of all ages. But hockey was always king and with several rinks in the community there was skating—even in the dark after the lights went out. Because of that Sandy Hill has had a history of developing many players that have made their mark in the hockey world.
“One Eyed” Frank Magee lost an eye to a puck but became one of the earliest players developing his skills in the neighbourhood. He went on to be a legend with the “Silver Seven.” He once scored 14 goals in a Stanley Cup game and eight times scored five or more in the 1903–1906 winning championships years. He was one of the first players inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Edwin “Eddie” Long, raised in Sandy Hill, played 801 professional hockey games in the International Hockey League with the Fort Wayne Komets from 1952 to 1966. Earlier this year he shared his memories of a childhood in Ottawa in the book The Boy Who Became Mr. Komet by author Wendy Luley.
Phil Maloney played for St. Pat’s High School after hours spent on the rink at Sandy Hill Park. He then spent over 29 years in professional hockey, first with the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears, then the Boston Bruins of the NHL where he finished second for the 1949–50 vote for rookie of the year. His career included time with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Black Hawks, then 14 years with the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Hockey League. Maloney served as an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL becoming head coach and General Manager from 1974–77. He is noted for coaching the team to a first-place finish in the 1974 Smythe Division and to the first playoff appearance in team history.
Vince Malette is a local boy who became an assistant coach with the Ottawa 67’s for nine years, winning a Memorial Cup in 1999. He was also the head coach of the Peterborough Petes. In 2011, he went to Europe to coach the “Eisbaren” in Berlin. His team competed in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) winning three championships.
I wonder how many others, both male and female, developed their skills on the local rinks?