Gus Bodnar

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Gus Bodnar
Red Dutton, 1944.jpg
NHL president Red Dutton shown presenting the Calder Memorial Trophy to Bodnar in 1944.
Born (1923-04-24)April 24, 1923
Fort William, ON, CAN
Died July 1, 2005(2005-07-01) (aged 82)
Oshawa, ON, CAN
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 160 lb (73 kg; 11 st 6 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Right
Played for Toronto Maple Leafs
Chicago Black Hawks
Boston Bruins
Playing career 1943–1955

August Bodnar (April 24, 1923 – July 1, 2005) was a Canadian professional ice hockey centre who played 12 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Black Hawks and Boston Bruins.

Playing career[edit]

A native of Fort William, Ontario, Bodnar started his career with the local Fort William Rangers of the Thunder Bay Junior A Hockey League. He played for the Rangers for three seasons from 1941–43 and competed for the Memorial Cup twice in 1941–42 and 1942–43.

After leading the TBJHL in points in 1942–43, Bodnar joined the Toronto Maple Leafs. On October 30, 1943, Bodnar scored his first ever NHL goal 15 seconds in his first NHL game, setting the record for fastest goal by a player in his first NHL game. Bodnar scored 62 points during the regular season, a career best, and he beat Montreal Canadiens rookie goaltender Bill Durnan in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1942–43. He spent four more seasons with the Maple Leafs and won two Stanley Cups in 1944–45 and 1946–47.

In 1947–48, Bodnar and fellow linemates Gaye Stewart, Ernie Dickens, Bud Poile and Bob Goldham were traded to the Chicago Black Hawks in exchange for Max Bentley and Cy Thomas. Bodnar remained in Chicago for seven seasons from 1947 to 1954. He also played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1950–51. On March 23, 1952, Bodnar set another NHL record by recording three assists in 21 seconds. With that record, he also helped teammate Bill Mosienko set the record for fastest hat-trick in NHL history. In 1953–54, Bodnar was traded to the Boston Bruins midway through the season. He would remain with the Bruins for one more season in 1954–55, before retiring.

Coaching career[edit]

Bodnar retired from playing hockey in 1955, but later came back to coach. Bodnar was the coach and manager of the Toronto Marlboros from 1967 to 1968. He coached the Marlboros to a Memorial Cup championship in 1966–67. In 1970, Bodnar was named head coach of the Salt Lake Golden Eagles in the WHL. He remained there for two seasons before signing on as head coach of the Oshawa Generals in the OHA from 1971 to 1976. He was the recipient of the OHA Coach of the Year Award in 1971–72

Legacy[edit]

Bodnar was elected to the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1983, and the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame in 1995. On July 1, 2005, Bodnar died at the Lakeridge Health Unit in Oshawa, Ontario.

Awards and achievements[edit]

Records[edit]

  • On October 30, 1943, in his first game, Bodnar scored a goal 15 seconds into the game, setting the record for fastest goal by a player in his first NHL game.
  • On March 23, 1952, Bodnar set a NHL record for recording 3 assists in 21 seconds.

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1940–41 Fort William Rangers TBJHL 18 13 8 21 12 2 0 0 0 0
1941–42 Fort William Rangers TBJHL 16 20 16 36 22 3 5 4 9 2
1941–42 Fort William Rangers M-Cup 3 2 5 7 16
1942–43 Fort William Rangers TBJHL 9 10 29 39 9 3 2 3 5 2
1942–43 Fort William Rangers M-Cup 3 2 1 3 2
1943–44 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 50 22 40 62 18 5 0 0 0 0
1944–45 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 49 8 36 44 18 13 3 1 4 4
1945–46 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 49 14 23 37 14
1946–47 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 39 4 6 10 10 1 0 0 0 0
1946–47 Pittsburgh Hornets AHL 15 10 9 19 10 9 2 2 4 4
1947–48 Pittsburgh Hornets AHL 6 2 3 5 0
1947–48 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 46 13 22 35 23
1948–49 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 59 19 26 45 14
1949–50 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 11 28 39 6
1950–51 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 44 8 12 20 8
1951–52 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 69 14 26 40 26
1952–53 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 66 16 13 29 26 7 1 1 2 2
1953–54 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 45 6 15 21 20
1953–54 Boston Bruins NHL 14 3 3 6 10 1 0 0 0 0
1954–55 Boston Bruins NHL 67 4 4 8 14 5 0 1 1 4
NHL totals 667 142 254 396 207 32 4 3 7 10

Transactions[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gaye Stewart
Winner of the Calder Trophy
1944
Succeeded by
Frank McCool