Larry Jeffrey

Larry Jeffrey was a hard-nosed, defense- first left winger throughout the 1960s with Detroit, Toronto and NY Rangers. However he rarely came close to playing a full NHL season due to a series of knee injuries that first started in junior hockey.

While playing junior hockey with the Red Wings affiliate in Hamilton, Jeffrey suffered a severe charley horse that prevented him from even bending the joint.

"It just kept causing me problems every year after that. Probably because in those days they didn't have the equipment to look after severe injuries," suggested Jeffrey. "They had a shower and a hose and that was your whirlpool-type thing. You held the hose to cause stimulation to the charley horse."

Later, adhesions developed on his leg. The Wings brought Jeffrey to Detroit to have them primitively broken.

"One doctor got my shoulder and held me, the other got on my leg and just literally grabbed it and bent it with his weight. They gave me a mild sedative. I remember everything about it. When he gave my knee the pressure, it was just like breaking bones. It was very painful. I heard the cracking. I thought they broke my leg rather than the adhesions. I thought it was a rather cruel way of doing it."

When Jeffrey turned professional, he was shocked that the NHL teams had very little in the way of top sports medicine facilities. Instead he was tested for several different braces for his leg.

"I really look back now and I was like a guinea pig, trying out all these different braces, sending me to hospitals, having the knee drained and cortisone put in to go out and play that night."

Over the years Jeffrey would go under the knife 9 times, and his knee continued to give him problems throughout his life. He has no bad feelings for the game or the NHL though.

"I'm disappointed they didn't look after my knee properly, but I have no hard feelings. I have a lot of good memories of playing in the National Hockey League," he said. Most notably several winning seasons in Detroit and being part of Toronto's 1967 Stanley Cup winning team.

Ironically, Jeffrey came closest to playing a full season in his last year in the NHL. He appeared in 75 games in 1968-69, but clearly his best days were behind him. He had just one goal and 6 assists.

Jeffrey was released by the Rangers but the Cleveland Barons gave him a chance in the 1969-70 training camp. However the hard luck Jeffrey suffered another blow to the knee, forcing him to retire.

Larry Jeffrey returned to his 127 acre farm near his hometown of Goderich, Ontario upon the completion of his hockey career. There he raised cattle and a few racing horses. At different times he owned and operated a concession stand and a successful ad specialties business. He also did some scouting for NHL Central Scouting.


bigisle,  9:24 PM  

Larry Jeffrey will ALWAYS BE A GREAT MAPLE LEAF'S HERO in my mind...bad knees or not....he was a part of a GREAT CHAMPION MAPLE LEAF'S TEAM....TEAM IS EVERYTHING!!!! GOD BLESS LARRY JEFFREY!!!!! Dean Reinking 02-08-2012.

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