Bill Tobin (ice hockey)

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Bill Tobin
Bill Tobin, Edmonton Eskimos.jpg
Tobin with the Edmonton Eskimos in the 1921–22 season.
Born (1895-05-20)May 20, 1895
Ottawa, ON, CAN
Died May 8, 1963(1963-05-08) (aged 67)
Chicago, IL, USA
Height 5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
Weight 150 lb (68 kg; 10 st 10 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for Edmonton Eskimos
Playing career 1922–1925

William John "Bill" Tobin (May 20, 1895 – May 8, 1963) was a Canadian ice hockey player, executive and head coach. He was the founding general manager of the Chicago Black Hawks, serving also as its coach in several seasons, and later became its president. From 1946 to 1950, he was also a part-owner of the team, as part of the Norris syndicate which controlled the team. His older brother Charles Tobin was also a professional ice hockey player.

Personal information[edit]

Tobin was born in Ottawa, Ontario. Tobin died in Chicago's Mercy Hospital of emphysema. He was survived by his wife Muriel, son Donald W. and daughter Mrs. Elaine Bovard, all of Chicago, and two sisters, Mrs. Maude Sunderland and Mrs. Gertrude Ash, both of Ottawa.[1]

Ice hockey career[edit]

Tobin was a goaltender for several senior hockey teams of the Ottawa City Hockey League before signing with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Big-4 League in Alberta. His signing provoked a controversy that helped to end the league. Tobin's eligibility to play for the Eskimos was questioned and an inquiry was held. The Calgary Tigers, upset with the makeup of the panel which investigated Tobin's status, refused to accept the decision and refused to play the league championship against Edmonton.[2] Calgary broke from league affairs along with other Calgary teams, leading to the league to fold.[3] Tobin played from the 1920–21 season until 1924–25 with Edmonton, which moved to the Western Canada Hockey League.

In 1926, Tobin helped found the new Chicago Black Hawks organization.[1] Tobin, out of hockey, sought a job in ice hockey and he travelled to Chicago to seek work with the new Black Hawks organization. New owner Major McLaughlin ran the team, and Tobin was his assistant. Tobin was head coach of the Black Hawks for two seasons, 1929–30 and 1931–32. He was promoted to president of the club in 1938. He was included on the Stanley Cup team picture with Chicago as executive in 1934 and 1938. However, his name was only included on the Cup in 1938. He retained the title of president until 1950, when James D. Norris and Arthur Wirtz took over and he held the title of vice-president and head of hockey operations until 1954 when Tommy Ivan was named to the post of head of hockey operations.

In 1941, Tobin took over the independent Kansas City Americans of the American Hockey Association, later in the United States Hockey League. Tobin operated the team until 1951, when it became part of the Black Hawks' organization.[4]

From 1946, Tobin was part-owner of the Black Hawks, head of the syndicate which owned the Black Hawks, backed by Detroit Red Wings owner James E. Norris, who had helped Tobin put together a syndicate to buy the team from the estate of founding Black Hawks owner Frederic McLaughlin. Norris had been the Black Hawks' landlord since 1936, when he bought Chicago Stadium. While NHL rules prohibited the ownership of multiple teams by one owner, the arrangement allowed Norris to control the two teams. In 1950, Tobin sold his share of the Chicago Black Hawks to James D. Norris and Arthur Wirtz.[1] He retained the title of vice-president of the team after the sale, until his death in 1963.[4]

Coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Division rank Result
CHI 1929–30 23 11 10 2 24 2nd in American Lost in first round
CHI 1931–32 48 18 19 11 47 2nd in American Lost in first round
Total 71 29 29 13 71

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Hawks' Bill Tobin Dies, 68". Ottawa Citizen. May 9, 1963. p. 19. 
  2. ^ "Disruption threatened in Alta. Big Four as result of protest decision". Calgary Herald. 1921-02-22. p. 17. 
  3. ^ "Big Four Hockey League has collapsed". Calgary Herald. 1921-02-25. p. 24. 
  4. ^ a b "William J. Tobin, Hawks' VP Dies". Ottawa Journal. May 9, 1963. p. 19. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
first GM
General Manager of the Chicago Black Hawks
1926–54
Succeeded by
Tommy Ivan
Preceded by
Tom Shaughnessy
Dick Irvin
Head coach of the Chicago Black Hawks
1930
1931–32
Succeeded by
Dick Irvin
Emil Iverson