Jack Evans (ice hockey)

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For other people named Jack Evans, see Jack Evans (disambiguation).

William John Trevor "Jack" Evans (April 21, 1928 – November 10, 1996) was a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman and coach who played 14 seasons in the National Hockey League for the New York Rangers and Chicago Black Hawks.

Early life[edit]

Evans was born in Garnant, Wales, but emigrated with his parents to Drumheller, Alberta in his youth. He spoke no English until he entered school, and later spoke the language with an elongated drawl; the similarities between Evans' manner of speaking and the traditional Southern accent led to him earning the nickname of "Tex" from teammates. Although he did not begin playing hockey until age 14, by age 20, a quick-learning Evans was a leading junior league defenceman and participated in the 1948 Memorial Cup. That same year, he signed a minor league contract with the Rangers. [1]

Professional career[edit]

Evans played five games over the next two seasons, while gaining experience in the American Hockey League. He would then spend the next four years as the Rangers' seventh defenceman, moving in and out of the lineup as needed and serving as a valuable defensive reserve. During the 1954–55 NHL season, Evans finally cracked the regular lineup and worked significant minutes for the next three years on the blue line.[2] In 1958, he was claimed by Chicago, where he would play in a similar role for his final four seasons. He was a member of the 1961 Stanley Cup winning team. In 1964, the Blackhawks released Evans, but the veteran continued to play in a variety of minor leagues until he finally retired in 1972 at the age of 44.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

In 1974, Evans was hired to coach the Salt Lake Golden Eagles of the WHL. After one season that included coach of the year honors, he was promoted to the parent club California Golden Seals. He coached the anemic franchise in its final year in the Bay Area and its two seasons as the Cleveland Barons before the financially troubled organization merged with the Minnesota North Stars in 1978 (only later to be reincarnated as the San Jose Sharks).[4]

Evans returned to the ECHL bench before being hired by the Hartford Whalers in 1983. In his third season with the club, he earned a playoff berth, and in 1987, he led the club to a division title. A poor performance the following year resulted in Evans being fired midseason.

Death[edit]

Evans died of prostate cancer at his Manchester, Connecticut home in 1996 at the age of 68.[1]

NHL Coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Finish Result
California Golden Seals 1975-76 80 27 42 11 65 4th in Adams Missed Playoffs
Cleveland Barons 1976-77 80 25 42 13 63 4th in Adams Missed Playoffs
Cleveland Barons 1977-78 80 22 45 13 57 4th in Adams Missed Playoffs
Hartford Whalers 1983-84 80 28 42 10 66 5th in Adams Missed Playoffs
Hartford Whalers 1984-85 80 30 41 9 69 4th in Adams Missed Playoffs
Hartford Whalers 1985-86 80 40 36 4 84 4th in Adams Lost in 2nd Round
Hartford Whalers 1986-87 80 43 30 7 93 1st in Adams Lost in 1st Round
Hartford Whalers 1987-88 54 22 25 7 (77) 4th in Adams (fired)
Total 614 237 303 74

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bill McCreary, Sr.
Head coach of the California Golden Seals / Cleveland Barons
197578
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
John Cunniff
Larry Pleau
Head coach of the Hartford Whalers
1983–87
1987–89
Succeeded by
Larry Pleau