Tuesday

Alex Levinsky


Born in Syracuse, New York, Levinsky had a most interesting nickname - "Mine Boy." No, he never worked in any mines. Nor did his father, but it was he who inadvertantly gave his son the life long moniker. The proud poppa used to yell from the stands "That's mine boy!"

I have not been able to confirm it just yet, but Alex Levinsky may have been the first Jewish hockey player in NHL history.

Levinsky was a two time Stanley Cup champion who split his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Chicago Blackhawks, and played ever so briefly with the New York Rangers. He won a Cup title both as a Leaf and as a Hawk: in Toronto in 1932 and in Chicago in 1938.

Levinsky, who grew up in Toronto, was a solid, stay-at-home defenseman, who rarely scored. He was a strong skater blessed with speed, as he had played a lot of forward as a youth. Smythe had signed him and his junior partner Bob Gracie right out of the Toronto Marlies junior team, though Levinsky would find himself soon partnered with Hap Day.

The Leafs moved Levinsky to the Rangers for the 1934-35 campaign, but after just 20 games with the Blueshirts Levinsky moved on to Chicago. He would play the next five years with the Hawks before being suspended by the team. The Hawks had traded Levinsky, the oldest player on their blue line, down to the minor leagues for Joe Cooper of the Philadelphia Ramblers. Levinsky balked at the move to Philly, and was suspended indefinitely. He eventually reported Philadelphia, but only after assurances from New York Rangers boss Lester Patrick that he would soon return to the NHL as the Rangers wanted him back. That never did happen though. Levinsky would play two years with the Ramblers, serving as team captain.

In 367 NHL games Levinsky scored 19 goals and 49 assists for 68 career points. He added another 2 goals and 1 assist in 37 playoff games.

After hockey he returned hom to Toronto and owned his own car dealership and ran a bowling alley. He died on September 1st, 1990.

2 comments:

Anonymous,  5:27 PM  

I'm Alex Levinsky's Great Grandson Jake Levinsky. Very nice Article. I can confirm that he was the first Jewish NHL Player. I have cards from the 30's that say so.

Anonymous,  7:48 AM  

Hi im Justin Levinsky, My Grandfather is Lloyd who is Alex Levinsky's son. Alex is my great grandfather. i am doing a school project on family and chose him. Thanks for the info.

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