Ken Hodge

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Ken Hodge
Kenhodge.jpg
Born (1944-06-25) June 25, 1944 (age 70)
Birmingham, England, GBR
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 214 lb (97 kg; 15 st 4 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Right
Played for NHL
Chicago Black Hawks
Boston Bruins
New York Rangers
AHL
Buffalo Bisons
New Haven Nighthawks
Binghamton Dusters
Playing career 1964–1980

Kenneth Raymond Hodge, Sr. (born June 25, 1944) is a retired hockey player for the NHL Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks and New York Rangers. He was born in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom, but grew up in Toronto, Ontario.

Playing career[edit]

One of the few British-born players in NHL history, Ken Hodge was signed by the Black Hawks as a teenager, and had a stellar junior league career with the St. Catharines Black Hawks of the OHA, leading the league in goals and points in the 1965 season before being called up for good to Chicago the next year.

Stereotyped as a grinding policeman - at 6'2", 215 lbs, Hodge was one of the larger forwards of his era - the rangy right wing played two mediocre seasons with the Black Hawks before being sent to Boston in a blockbuster deal with teammates Phil Esposito and Fred Stanfield. The trade made the Bruins into a powerhouse, as Esposito centered Hodge and left wing Ron Murphy in the 1969 season to break the NHL record for points in a season by a forward line, and Hodge scored a spectacular 45 goals and 45 assists to compliment Esposito's record season of 126 points. His production fell off significantly the next season (although Boston won the Stanley Cup bolstered by Hodge's skilled play), but the 1971 season saw the Bruins launch the greatest offensive juggernaut the league had ever seen, breaking dozens of offensive records. In that flurry, on one of the most feared forward lines of the era (with linemates Esposito and Wayne Cashman), Hodge would break the league record for points in a season by a right winger with 105, and finish fourth in NHL scoring. Bruins Esposito, Bobby Orr, Johnny Bucyk and Hodge finished 1–2–3–4 in league scoring—the first time in NHL history such a feat was accomplished.

The 1972 season saw Hodge slowed down by injuries, although he recovered again in the playoffs to help the Bruins to their second Stanley Cup in three years. In 1974 he scored 50 goals and 105 points to place third in league scoring, and with Esposito, Orr and Cashman likewise finished 1–2–3–4 in league scoring for the only other time in NHL history such a feat was accomplished.

Thereafter his production declined, his goal scoring halving the next season and never recovering. Never at his best defensively skilled, he was traded to the Rangers in 1976 to join his former teammate Esposito, who had been dealt to the Rangers the year before (the Bruins received young star Rick Middleton, who scored nearly a thousand points in a Boston uniform).

Retirement[edit]

Hodge had only modest success in New York in the 1976–1977 season, and tailed off badly the following year before being sent down to the minor league New Haven Nighthawks. Hodge retired thereafter, but came out of retirement in 1979–1980 to play for the AHL Binghamton Dusters, which was his final professional season.

Hodge finished his NHL career with 881 games, 328 goals, 472 assists and 800 points. He still lives in the Boston area, and remains active with the Bruins' alumni team and in alumni affairs.

Most recently, Hodge has been working as a broadcaster in Boston. He served as the radio color commentator for the Boston College men's hockey team throughout their 2007–08 NCAA Championship season, working alongside play-by-play man Jon Rish on flagship station WTTT (1150AM).

Personal life[edit]

Hodge lived in Lynnfield, Massachusetts during his career with the Bruins;[citation needed] his home was instantly recognizable and well-known to local residents by its large swimming pool in the back yard in the shape of his Bruins' uniform number, 8.

Hodge's son, Ken Hodge, Jr., was also a professional hockey player from 1987 to 1998. Another son, Dan Hodge, was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the ninth round (194 overall) in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. His playing career included stints in the American Hockey League and International Hockey League, as well as winning the 2000 Kelly Cup championship in the East Coast Hockey League with the Peoria Rivermen. It concluded as the CHL's (Central Hockey League) Tulsa Oilers captain in 2005–06. He now coaches the Tulsa Oilers, whose roster includes his younger brother, Brendon Hodge who wears his father's number 8.

Achievements[edit]

  • Named a First Team All-Star in 1971 and 1974.
  • Played in the All-Star Game in 1971, 1973 and 1974.
  • Two time Stanley Cup champion (1970 and 1972)

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1961–62 St. Catharines Teepees OHA 31 4 3 7 0
1962–63 St. Catharines Black Hawks OHA 50 23 23 46 0
1963–64 St. Catharines Black Hawks OHA 56 37 51 88 0
1964–65 St. Catharines Black Hawks OHA 55 63 60 123 0
1964–65 Buffalo Bisons AHL 2 0 2 2 0
1964–65 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 1 0 0 0 2
1965–66 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 63 6 17 23 47 5 0 0 0 8
1966–67 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 68 10 25 35 59 6 0 0 0 4
1967–68 Boston Bruins NHL 74 25 31 56 31 4 3 0 3 2
1968–69 Boston Bruins NHL 75 45 45 90 75 10 5 7 12 4
1969–70 Boston Bruins NHL 72 25 29 54 87 14 3 10 13 17
1970–71 Boston Bruins NHL 78 43 62 105 113 7 2 5 7 6
1971–72 Boston Bruins NHL 60 16 40 56 81 15 9 8 17 62
1972–73 Boston Bruins NHL 73 37 44 81 58 5 1 0 1 7
1973–74 Boston Bruins NHL 76 50 55 105 43 16 6 10 16 16
1974–75 Boston Bruins NHL 72 23 43 66 90 3 1 1 2 0
1975–76 Boston Bruins NHL 72 25 36 61 42 12 4 6 10 4
1976–77 New York Rangers NHL 78 21 41 62 43
1977–78 New York Rangers NHL 18 2 4 6 8
1977–78 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 52 17 29 46 13 15 3 4 7 20
1979–80 Binghamton Dusters AHL 37 10 20 30 24
NHL totals 880 328 472 800 779 97 34 47 81 130

See also[edit]

External links[edit]