Carl Voss

Carl Voss was a well traveled hockey player, but he got his start as a Toronto Maple Leaf. In fact, he was the original Toronto Maple Leaf.

In 1926, Conn Smythe purchased the Toronto hockey club, then known as the St. Pats. Smythe immediately changed the team's name to the Maple Leafs. That same day Smythe, or more accurately Frank Selke, signed his first player, a 20-year-old centerman from Massachusetts named Carl Voss. For the sum of $1200 for the season, Voss became the first hockey player to become a Toronto Maple Leaf.

While that is a great trivia question, Voss, born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, is not known for being a Maple Leaf. In fact from 1926 until 1932 he would play only 14 games in a Leafs' uniform, otherwise spending his time in the minor leagues. He enjoyed his best minor league seasons in Buffalo with the IAHL's Bisons. His best season came in 1931-32 when he led that league in scoring with 41 points in 46 games.

That fine season earned Voss a second look at the NHL level. In 1932-33 he attended the New York Rangers training camp and made the team. Despite scoring 2 goals and 3 points, Voss was sold to the Detroit Red Wings after only 10 games. Carl finished the season with 20 points in 38 games. That was good enough to make Carl Voss the first winner of the Calder Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year.

Over the next two seasons Voss played in 36 games with the Wings before being traded to Ottawa. He played in only 40 games in Ottawa before the whole franchise moved to St. Louis in 1934, where he played a full 48 games. That season proved to be his best as he scored 13 goals and 31 points.

The St. Louis franchise folded after just one season and Voss was picked up by the New York Americans. He played there but struggled in 1935-36 before he joined the Montreal Maroons in 1936-37. He started the 1937-38 season in Montreal but ended it with the Chicago Black Hawks. That was a great move for Voss as the Hawks won the Stanley Cup that season. Voss chipped in with 3 goals and 5 point in 10 playoff games. His last goal was the Stanley Cup winner!

That goal proved to be his last in the NHL as he retired from active play after the playoffs. But hockey remained a huge part of his life. By 1950, Carl was named the NHL's first Referee-in-Chief. He did a thankless job of monitoring referee performance and development, and helped the NHL evolve into its glory years.

For his work in this field, Voss was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1974.


Anonymous,  11:24 PM  

I just posted this on wikipedia:

Few realize that Voss was also an excellent football player. While at university he played 4 seasons (1924 to 1927) with the Queen's Golden Gaels. This included a victory in the 1924 12th Grey Cup. Voss has his name engraved on the Grey Cup for this season.

This makes Voss, along with Lionel Conacher, one of only two players to have their name engraved on both the Stanley Cup and the Grey Cup.

Did you know that?

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