Friday

Vic Lynn

Vic Lynn is the only player in NHL history to skate for all of the Original Six teams. Lynn played one game for the New York Rangers in 1943. He was picked up by the Detroit Red Wings and played just three games. He played another two with the Montreal Canadiens in 1945 before joining the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1946. Lynn won three Stanley Cups over five seasons in Toronto. Lynn would also go on to play a few dozen games with both the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks as well.

While Lynn was an important member of the 1940s Toronto Maple Leafs teams, much of his professional career was spent in the minor leagues. He toiled in cities like Indianapolis, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Providence and Cleveland. But he never minded.

"I spent five years in the minors before I got my first real chance," he recalled. "But I got to see the world."

For all his stops, he is best known (at least outside of his native Saskatchewan) as a Toronto Maple Leaf. He played left wing on the KLM Line with Teeder Kennedy and Howie Meeker. But Lynn spent most of his hockey career actually playing as a defenseman.

"Defence had always been my position but when Conn Smythe and Hap Day brought me up, they moved me to left wing, and that's where I played for the next five years. Kennedy was outstanding at centre and that always helped, and Meeker was a speed demon, and the three of us always got along well together."

Lynn, more of a banger and crasher, also formed memorable penalty kill tandems with Joe Klukay and later Johnny McCormack.

Asked what his career highlight was, Lynn of course talked about the Stanley Cup wins.

"The Stanley Cup, that'd be the best one in the world. In 1947, 1948 and 1949. We felt like heroes, you know, everybody cheering you, everybody giving you a pat on the back, until you went back to training camp the next year, then you had to start all over again. We had a pretty good hockey team. It was pretty well equalized, everybody was the same, everybody got their turn to play and everybody played good. We had a good coach and we had good management, and that's what made it."

Vic Lynn was born in Saskatoon in 1925. He was a junior hockey star (as well as a football player) who was dubbed the "Saskatoon Streak." He was inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame in 1987, thanks in large part to his returning to the Saskatchewan city after his NHL days to play senior hockey for the Quakers hockey team. In a decade of senior hockey following his NHL days Lynn led the club to seven Saskatchewan championships and four Western Canada titles.

Lynn also owned and operated a hotel just north of Saskatoon until his mid 50s.

Special thanks to Jennifer Conway

2 comments:

Anonymous,  1:06 PM  

Vic Lynn passed away in Sasaktoon today, December 6, 2010 at the age of 85. He will be missed.

Anonymous,  7:11 AM  

Vic Lynn was my Mother's second cousin on the Kilpatrick side of the family and I was raised wanting to be a Hockey Player just like him. We only met once when I was 4 or 5 yrs. old and Vic was visiting my Grandfather Kilpatrick's home in Detroit MI. His impression has been with me for 65 yrs. I never made it past indoor ice league, but, his memory
and the love of the game are with me always.
Bill Taylor

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