Bruins Alumni: Happy Birthday Jack Crawford

(Photo Credit: Not in the Hall of Fame | notinthehalloffame.com)

By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter! @andrewlindrothh

Jack Crawford was born on October 26th, 1916, in Dublin, Ontario, Canada. Jack began taking hockey seriously as a teenager and committed to playing in the OHA-Jr. League for the St. Michael’s Majors and the West Toronto Nationals from 1934-1936. At 19-years-old, Jack also played as a defenseman in the TIHL in 1936, suiting up for the Toronto McColl-Fronteacs. The following season, Jack entered his age-out year as a junior hockey player, and the 20-year-old aimed to impress the scouts to land his pro-hockey contract.

Jack took his talents to the Kirkland Lake Blue Devils (GBHL) for his final junior hockey year, dominated the league as a shut-down defenseman, and showed off his offensive abilities by scoring an impressive six goals and ten points in nine games. After a successful break-out year, on October 26th, 1937, the Boston Bruins went on to sign Jack Crawford to his first professional hockey contract and was set to report to the Providence Reds (IAHL) for the 1937-1938 campaign.

(Photo Credit: Not in the Hall of Fame | notinthehalloffame.com)

Jack suited up in 46 contests during the 1937-1938 season and after impressing the coaching staff he was awarded his first two appearances in the National Hockey League with the Boston Bruins before the end of the season. The following year, Jack had several strong performances during training camp and earned a promotion to the Bruins blueline for the 1938-1939 campaign. The 5’11, 190-pound defender went on to have a magical freshman year in the NHL as he appeared in all 48 games that season, and went on to win the Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 1939.

He continued to earn his spot on the roster the next year and went on to having yet another magical season in his career during the 1940-1941 season, claiming his second Stanley Cup Championship in 1941 with the Bruins. Jack continued his NHL success and was relied on as one of the most vital pieces of the Bruins blueline during this time, suiting up for the team until 1950.

During his career, he went on to not only winning the Stanley Cup twice, but was also voted to the NHL All-Star Team twice in 1942-1943 and again in 1945-1946. He also served as captain of the Boston Bruins from 1946-1950 which helped create part of the locker-room culture the Bruins have kept alive today.

In 1950, the 33-year-old veteran defenseman finds himself in a different role as a player-coach role in the AHL for the Hershey Bears after not agreeing to future terms with the Bruins. He served as a player-coach for the Bears for two seasons, and eventually retired from playing professional hockey in 1952 at 35-years-old.

(Photo Credit: Puck Struck | puckstruck.com)

Following his professional playing career, Jack went on to become the Head Coach for the Providence Reds (AHL) in 1955, and ended up winning the Calder Cup Championships later that season in 1956. He continued to coach in Providence until joining the Rochester Americans as Head Coach in 1961-1962, and as a Head Coach for the Baltimore Clippers from 1964-1966. He went on to retire from the pro hockey world and enjoyed his retirement back in his hometown of Dublin, Ontario, Canada.

During his 13-year NHL tenure, Jack Crawford scored 38 goals and 170 points in 539 appearances, is a two-time Stanley Cup champion and a former two-time NHL All-Star. Jack passed away on January 19th, 1973, in Barnstable, Massachusetts.

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