|Hockey Hall of Fame, 1958|
February 25, 1903|
Ottawa, ON, CAN
|Died||November 10, 1986
Toronto, ON, CAN
|Height||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)|
|Weight||155 lb (70 kg; 11 st 1 lb)|
|Played for||Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs
Francis Michael "King" Clancy (February 25, 1903 – November 10, 1986) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player, referee, coach and executive. Clancy played 16 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs. He was a member of three Stanley Cup championship teams and won All-Star honours. After he retired in 1937, he remained in hockey, becoming a coach for the Montreal Maroons. Clancy next worked as a referee for the NHL. He joined the Maple Leafs organization and worked in the organization as a coach and team executive until his death in 1986.
Clancy's nickname "King" originates from his father, who was the first 'King Clancy' and played football for Ottawa. At the time the football was not snapped as is done today, but was 'heeled' back from the line. Frank's father was very good at this and was named 'King of the Heelers' or 'King' for short. This nickname was eventually transferred to Frank.
Clancy played for junior teams in the Ottawa area and began his NHL career in his hometown playing for the Senators, where he would establish himself as among the league's top players and help the Senators to Stanley Cup wins in 1923 and 1927. Although he was one of the smallest defencemen of his era, he was tough and fast and would not back down. According to Brian McFarlane, it was said that King Clancy started a thousand fights and never won one.
During a March 31, 1923, Stanley Cup game against the Edmonton Eskimos, Clancy became the first hockey player to play all six positions during one game. In the third period, goaltender Clint Benedict was given a two-minute penalty. At the time, goalies served their own penalties. Not wanting to leave the net open, Clancy played goal for the two minutes Benedict was gone.
On October 11, 1930, coming off the most productive season of his career, with 17 goals and 40 points in 44 games with the Senators, Clancy was traded to the Maple Leafs, with Toronto manager Conn Smythe giving up $35,000 and two players for him. In his second season with the Leafs, Clancy helped his team win the Stanley Cup.
After a sluggish start to the 1936–37 season, Clancy announced his retirement six games into the season. He retired as the top scoring defenceman in NHL history, with 136 career goals. In Clancy's last game, he represented the Montreal Maroons at the Howie Morenz Memorial Game in 1937.
The season after his retirement as a player, Clancy briefly coached the Montreal Maroons before beginning an 11-year stint as an NHL referee. In 1949, the Montreal Canadiens hired Clancy to coach their American Hockey League farm team, the Cincinnati Mohawks. He was released after two losing seasons, and rejoined the Maple Leaf family as coach of the Leafs' AHL affiliate, the Pittsburgh Hornets. The Hornets had two outstanding seasons under Clancy, winning the Calder Cup as league champions in 1951–52, and nearly repeating the following year, before losing the cup final in seven games.
On the strength of that performance, Clancy was made coach of the Maple Leafs for the 1953–54 season. He held the job for three years, but the team struggled, with each season worse than the one before it. He was then given the title assistant general manager by his friend, Conn Smythe, but his responsibilities often involved public relations at least as much as building a hockey team. Clancy was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958.
He remained assistant general manager-coach through the 1960s, working under Punch Imlach. When Imlach was fired in 1969, Clancy initially said that he'd leave with him, but he was persuaded to stay with the Leafs and was made vice-president (a decision that did not go over well with Imlach, although the two later reconciled).
After Harold Ballard took control of the Leafs during the 1971–72 season, Clancy and Ballard became inseparable friends. Former Leafs player, coach, and assistant general manager Hap Day would say that Clancy was paid to do nothing by both Smythe and Ballard.
He was the last surviving member of the 1922–23 Stanley Cup championship team (Ottawa Senators).
Clancy remained in the Leafs' front office for the rest of his life. In 1986, he had an operation to remove his gallbladder. Infection from the gallbladder seeped into his body during the operation, and he went into septic shock. He died November 10, 1986, at age 83 and is buried in Mount Hope Catholic Cemetery in Toronto, Ontario. He was associated with professional hockey for 65 years at the time of his death, the longest such tenure in NHL history (a record since equaled by Marcel Pronovost).
Awards and honours
- Named to NHL First All-Star Team in 1931 and 1934.
- Named to NHL Second All-Star Team in 1932 and 1933.
- Stanley Cup champion (as a player) – 1923, 1927 (with Ottawa), 1932 (with Toronto)
- Stanley Cup champion (as an assistant manager-coach) 1962, 1964, 1967 (with Toronto)
- Calder Cup (AHL Champions) (as a coach) – 1952 (Pittsburgh Hornets)
- Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame – 1958
- Inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame – 1975
- In 1998, he was ranked number 52 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
The King Clancy Memorial Trophy was named in his honour and is awarded annually to the NHL player who demonstrates leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made exceptional humanitarian contributions in the community. In popular culture he is referred to in the TV series How I Met Your Mother in the episode of Old King Clancy.
|1930–31||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||44||7||14||21||63||2||1||0||1||0|
|1931–32||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||48||10||9||19||61||7||2||1||3||14|
|1932–33||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||48||13||12||25||79||9||0||3||3||14|
|1933–34||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||46||11||17||28||62||3||0||0||0||8|
|1934–35||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||47||5||16||21||53||7||1||0||1||8|
|1935–36||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||47||5||10||15||61||9||2||2||4||10|
|1936–37||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||6||1||0||1||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|MTLM||1937–38||18||6||11||1||(30)||4th in Canadian||(fired)|
|TOR||1953–54||70||32||24||14||78||3rd in NHL||Lost in first round|
|TOR||1954–55||70||24||24||22||70||3rd in NHL||Lost in first round|
|TOR||1955–56||70||24||33||13||61||4th in NHL||Lost in first round|
His son, Terry Clancy participated in ice hockey at the 1964 Winter Olympics and later played for the Toronto Maple Leafs. His great granddaughter, Laura Stacey won the silver medal at the 2011 IIHF Under 18 women’s hockey championships and was a member of the Canadian National Under 18 team that participated in a three game series vs. the USA in August 2011. She would go on to claim a gold medal for the Under 18 team at the 2012 IIHF Under 18 championships.
- McFarlane, pg. 20
- McFarlane, pg. 12
- Conner, pg. 162
- Ballard: A Portrait of Canada's Most Controversial Sports Figure," William Houston, Summerhill Press, 1984, p. 86.
- McFarlane, Brian; Clancy, King (1968,1998). Clancy, the King's Story. McGraw Hill. ISBN 1-55022-332-1.
- Conner, Floyd (2002). Hockey's Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Wicked Slapshots, Bruising Goons, and Ice Oddities. Brassey's. ISBN 978-1-57488-364-0.
- King Clancy's biography at Legends of Hockey
- King Clancy's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- King Clancy, History by the Minute
|Head coach of the Montreal Maroons
|Head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs
|Ottawa Senators captain