Jack Stewart (ice hockey)
|Hockey Hall of Fame, 1964|
Jack Stewart, while playing for the Detroit Red Wings
May 6, 1917|
Pilot Mound, MB, CAN
|Died||May 25, 1983
Troy, MI, USA
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)|
|Played for||Detroit Red Wings
Chicago Black Hawks
John Sherratt "Black Jack" Stewart (May 6, 1917 – May 25, 1983) was a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who played 12 National Hockey League (NHL) seasons for the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Black Hawks. He won two Stanley Cup championships with the Red Wings and was named for the NHL All-Star Team on five occasions: thrice on the first team and twice on the second. After completing his NHL career as captain of the Black Hawks, he went on to coach senior and junior professional teams for several years.
Stewart was regarded as the hardest hitting defenceman of his time, a reputation that earned him his nickname. His style of play routinely resulted in injuries and scars; he twice defied expectations, returning to the game after suffering a ruptured disc in his back and later a fractured skull. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1964, and is also honoured by the Manitoba Hockey and Sports Halls of Fame.
Stewart played junior hockey with the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League in 1935–36 and 1936–37, where he was discovered by a Winnipeg businessman who suggested that James Norris, owner of the Detroit Red Wings, sign him. He was sent to play his first season of professional hockey for the team's minor league affiliate, the Pittsburgh Hornets of the International-American Hockey League (IAHL) for the 1937–38 season.
Partway through his second season with the Hornets, the Red Wings recalled Stewart as part of a bid to shake up their team which has been struggling. He appeared in 32 games in his NHL rookie season, and immediately established his place on the team.
In his fifth season, 1942–43 Stewart was named to the NHL First All-Star Team on defence and helped lead the Red Wings to the NHL regular season title and the Stanley Cup championship. Stewart's NHL career was interrupted by World War II. He remained in Canada for the war, serving as a Leading Aircraftman in the Royal Canadian Air Force and playing hockey for the Montreal RCAF and Winnipeg RCAF teams between 1943 and 1945. Following his return to the NHL, he went on to earn four additional all-star selections: he was named to the second team in 1946 and 1947, and to the first team again in 1948 and 1949. Additionally, he played in the first four National Hockey League All-Star Games between 1947 and 1950. Stewart won his second Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 1950.
Following the championship, the Red Wings dealt Stewart to the Chicago Black Hawks as part of a nine-player trade that was, at the time, the largest in NHL history. Stewart, Harry Lumley, Al Dewsbury, Pete Babando and Don Morrison were sent to Chicago in exchange for Metro Prystai, Bob Goldham, Gaye Stewart and Jim Henry. The Black Hawks named Stewart team captain and assistant coach.
However, he missed the majority of the 1950–51 NHL season and his career was believed over after he suffered a serious spinal injury in a December 14, 1950, game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Doctors diagnosed his injury as a ruptured disc and urged him to retire. He was told following the injury that he was lucky he could still walk without a cane not to risk further damage on the ice. Instead, Stewart had the disc removed. After completing what Black Hawks' team doctors described as "most remarkable" recovery, he opted to continue his career and signed with Chicago for the 1951–52 season.
In his first game of the season, Stewart suffered a minor skull fracture after colliding with teammate Clare Martin, an injury that forced him out of the lineup for several weeks. He again shocked observers by returning to the ice, appearing in two games with Chicago following his injury. However, by mid February 1952, his injuries led Stewart to ask the Black Hawks for his release so that he could seek a minor league coaching position.
Stewart was considered as coach of the New Westminster Royals of the Pacific Coast Hockey League, but chose to take the reins of the senior A Chatham Maroons in the Ontario Hockey Association. He served as a player-coach, appearing in 45 games for the Maroons in 1952–53, scoring 2 goals and 29 points while accumulating 129 penalty minutes. Stewart played the final games of his career in 1953–54, finishing with 8 assists in 21 games.
The following seasons saw Stewart move between several teams as head coach. He left the Maroons to guide the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen in 1955–56, then the Windsor Bulldogs for two seasons between 1957 and 1959. At one point in 1957, he was rumoured to become the next coach of the Black Hawks, a job that went instead to Rudy Pilous. Stewart moved into the professional ranks in 1961, taking over as the coach of Chicago's Eastern Professional Hockey League affiliate, the Sault Thunderbirds. One year later, Stewart moved to the Pittsburgh Hornets, an American Hockey League affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. He was replaced after one season as Pittsburgh won only 18 games in 1962–63. Stewart retired following the dismissal.
During his career, Stewart was regarded as one of the hardest bodycheckers in the National Hockey League. He also carried the heaviest stick in the league, explaining that "I don't use it for scoring. I use it for breaking arms". Stewart was known for his large grin when hitting opponents; teammate Ted Lindsay noted "when he had that smile, it was time for the opposition to look out". He led the league with 73 penalty minutes in 1945–46, and in the late 1940s, his rivalry with Milt Schmidt of the Boston Bruins was so intense that their physical interactions occasionally overshadowed the games themselves.
Stewart hated his nickname of "Black Jack", believing it implied he was a dirty player. Hockey Hall of Fame defenceman King Clancy agreed he was not a dirty, but stated he was the "roughest son of a gun you'd ever want to meet." His style of play resulted in numerous injuries; Stewart had dozens of scars and required over 200 stitches to close various cuts during his career. One year saw him play the entire season with a broken hand.
Stewart showed good judgment as a defenceman, rarely taking himself out of position to throw a hit. His coach in Detroit, Jack Adams, called Stewart "one of the best blueliners in the game", and claimed he was the best defenceman in Red Wings history. He was regarded as a good skater, able to clear the puck out of his zone and who rarely turned it over to the other team.
Stewart was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1964, and is an honoured member of the Manitoba Hockey and Sports Halls of Fame. He was named to the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame's First All-Century Team in 2000.
Stewart was born May 6, 1917, in Pilot Mound, Manitoba, where he learned to play hockey on the community's outdoor rinks. He had three sisters. In the off-seasons, he returned to his family farm, work which was said to have given him the strength he displayed in the NHL.
An avid sportsman, Stewart was an active curler during his playing career, and played softball in the summer. Though he was regarded on the ice as one of toughest players in the game, he was also quiet. He was known as "Silent Jack" by his teammates, allowing his actions to speak for him. Upon leaving hockey in 1963, he focused on his career in harness racing. Stewart was introduced to the sport ten years earlier and was a judge with the Ontario Racing Commission for nearly 30 years where his reputation matched that of his playing days.
Stewart retired to Florida but returned to Michigan to undergo treatment for cancer. He died on May 6, 1983, at his home in Troy following a lengthy battle with the disease. He had two children, son Barclay and daughter Jaqueline.
|1938–39||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||32||0||1||1||18||—||—||—||—||—|
|1939–40||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||48||1||0||1||40||5||0||0||0||0|
|1940–41||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||47||2||6||8||56||9||1||2||3||8|
|1941–42||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||44||4||7||11||93||12||0||1||1||12|
|1942–43||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||44||2||9||11||68||10||1||2||3||35|
|1945–46||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||47||4||11||15||73||5||0||0||0||14|
|1946–47||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||55||5||9||14||83||5||0||1||1||12|
|1947–48||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||60||5||14||19||91||9||1||3||4||6|
|1948–49||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||60||4||11||15||96||11||1||1||2||32|
|1949–50||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||65||3||11||14||86||14||1||4||5||20|
|1950–51||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||26||0||2||2||49||—||—||—||—||—|
|1951–52||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||37||1||3||4||12||—||—||—||—||—|
- "Jack Stewart statistics". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- "Jack Stewart biography". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- "J.S. "Black Jack" Stewart". Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- "Wings puck line-up gets big shake-up". Milwaukee Journal. 1938-12-20. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- Duplacey, James; Zweig, Eric (2010). Official Guide to the Players of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Firefly Books. p. 489. ISBN 1-55407-662-5.
- Podnieks, Andrew (2003). Players: The ultimate A–Z guide of everyone who has ever played in the NHL. Toronto: Doubleday Canada. pp. 825–826. ISBN 0-385-25999-9.
- "9 players figure in big puck deal". Calgary Herald. 1950-07-14. p. 26. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- "Puck career of great Jack Stewart appears at end". Edmonton Journal. 1951-01-03. p. 11. Retrieved 2011-08-04.
- "Jack Stewart 1946–47". Detroit Red Wings Hockey Club. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- Fischler, Stan; Fischler, Shirley (2003). Who's Who in Hockey. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing. pp. 406–407. ISBN 0-7407-1904-1.
- "Jack Stewart to play for Hawks after all". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 1951-09-07. p. 24. Retrieved 2011-08-04.
- "Plenty of work". Calgary Herald. 1951-10-20. p. 24. Retrieved 2011-08-04.
- "Stewart suffers skull fracture". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. 1951-10-18. p. 19. Retrieved 2011-08-04.
- "Jack Stewart granted release by Black Hawks". Calgary Herald. 1952-02-13. p. 29. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- "B.C. owner seeks Stewart or Abel". Windsor Star. 1952-04-10. p. 27. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
- "Chicago job for Stewart?". Regina Leader-Post. 1957-06-07. p. 29. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
- "Rudy Pilous named coach of slumping Black Hawks". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. 1957-12-28. p. 15. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
- "Billy Reay Bisons' coach". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. 1961-09-28. p. 34. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
- Jordan, Jimmy (1962-09-10). "76 drill in Detroit ice camp". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 26. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
- "Vic Stasiuk player-coach". Jeannette News-Dispatch. 1963-08-09. p. 11. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
- Carroll, Dink (1952-02-14). "Retiring Hawks make history". Montreal Gazette. p. 14. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- "John (Black Jack) Stewart". Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- McKay, Jim (1983-05-26). "Jack Stewart was a doer, not a talker". Windsor Star. p. B2. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
|Chicago Black Hawks captain