List of National Hockey League players born in the United Kingdom

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A black and white photograph of Joe Hall
Joe Hall, born in Staffordshire, won the Stanley Cup twice during the National Hockey Association era, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961.

The National Hockey League (NHL) is a major professional ice hockey league which operates in Canada and the United States. Since its inception in 1917–18, 51 players born within the current borders of the United Kingdom have taken part. None of them, however, were trained within the country.[1] Of the 49 players, 22 are from England, 21 from Scotland, 5 from Northern Ireland and 3 from Wales. Steve Thomas and Owen Nolan played over 1,000 regular season games, while Thomas and Steve Smith are the only ones to have appeared in over 100 playoff games. All three players finished their careers in the 21st century. Currently there are no hockey players born in the UK playing in the NHL following Nolan's departure from the league in 2010.

The modern form of ice hockey is generally considered to have began in the mid-19th century. One of the first games to use a puck was played by a group of Englishmen from the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment in Kingston, Ontario.[2] In the United Kingdom, a five team league was established in 1903, while Great Britain was one of the founding members of the International Ice Hockey Federation five years later. The game was first administrated by the British Ice Hockey Association, from 1914 until 1999, when Ice Hockey UK took over. In the early part of the 20th century the Great Britain national team enjoyed some success: they won gold at the 1936 Olympics,[2] improving on their result of bronze twelve years earlier; won medals at three World Championships (bronze in 1935, and silver in 1937 and 1938), and won the first European Championships in 1910.[2] The British team's heavy reliance on Canadian-trained players during its 1936 Olympic run was especially controversial, and prompted a protest from Canadian hockey officials.[3]

Two players born in the United Kingdom participated in the first season of the NHL. Ken Thompson had played the previous season for the Montreal Wanderers in the National Hockey Association (NHA), and played one game in the NHL before the Wanderers disbanded shortly after their home rink burnt down.[4] Joe Hall had also played in the NHA prior to the NHL: he spent eight years playing for the Montreal Shamrocks and the Quebec Bulldogs, and won the Stanley Cup twice with the latter side. He joined the Montreal Canadiens for the first season of the NHL. Hall competed in the 1919 Stanley Cup Finals which were cancelled when most of his league champion Canadiens contracted Spanish influenza, and Hall died from flu-induced pneumonia shortly after. In 1961, he became the second player born in the United Kingdom to have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.[n 1][8]

The first Hall of Famer born in the UK was Charlie Gardiner, inducted in 1945.[9] Described as "one of the game's preeminent goaltenders during the 1920s and 1930s,"[9] he played seven seasons in the NHL with the Chicago Black Hawks. He won the Vezina Trophy on two occasions, and was named team captain for the 1933–34 season, leading his team to win their first Stanley Cup.[9] It was the only time a goaltender had captained a Cup-winning side.[10] Just over two months after the Stanley Cup victory, Gardiner died of a brain hemorrhage.[9]

Players[edit]

A black and white photograph of Charlie Gardiner
Charlie Gardiner, born in Edinburgh, won the Vezina Trophy in 1932 and 1934, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945.
A photograph of Owen Nolan
Owen Nolan, who was born in Northern Ireland, won Olympic gold for Canada.[11]
A photograph of Dan Taylor
Daniel Taylor appeared once in the NHL, for the Los Angeles Kings.
Key
Name City Country Pos Debut team Seasons
active
RS PO Ref
Birthplace Games played
Aitkenhead, AndyAndy Aitkenhead Glasgow Scotland G New York Rangers 1932–1935 106 10 [12]
Anderson, TomTom Anderson Edinburgh Scotland LW Detroit Red Wings 1934–1942 319 16 [13]
Beattie, RedRed Beattie Ibstock England LW Boston Bruins 1930–1939 334 24 [14]
Blair, ChuckChuck Blair Edinburgh Scotland RW Toronto Maple Leafs 1948–1949 1 0 [15]
Brown, AdamAdam Brown Johnstone Scotland LW Detroit Red Wings 1941–1952 391 26 [16]
Brown, KevinKevin Brown Birmingham England RW Los Angeles Kings 1994–2000 64 1 [17]
Carey, GeorgeGeorge Carey Glasgow Scotland RW Quebec Bulldogs 1919–1924 72 0 [18]
Clark, GordieGordie Clark Glasgow Scotland RW Boston Bruins 1974–1976 8 1 [19]
Conacher, JimJim Conacher Motherwell Scotland C Detroit Red Wings 1945–1953 328 19 [20]
Connors, BobbyBobby Connors Glasgow Scotland LW New York Americans 1926–1930 78 2 [21]
Cude, WilfWilf Cude Barry Wales G Philadelphia Quakers 1930–1941 282 19 [22]
Dafoe, ByronByron Dafoe Worthing England G Washington Capitals 1992–2004 415 27 [23]
Evans, JackJack Evans Morriston Wales D New York Rangers 1948–1963 752 56 [24]
Finney, SidSid Finney Banbridge Northern Ireland C Chicago Black Hawks 1951–1954 59 7 [25]
Fitzpatrick, SandySandy Fitzpatrick Paisley Scotland C New York Rangers 1964–1968 22 12 [26]
Frew, IrvIrv Frew Kilsyth Scotland D Montreal Maroons 1933–1936 96 4 [27]
Gardiner, CharlieCharlie Gardiner dagger Edinburgh Scotland G Chicago Black Hawks 1927–1934 316 21 [28]
Gray, AlexAlex Gray Glasgow Scotland RW New York Rangers 1927–1929 50 13 [29]
Grigor, GeorgeGeorge Grigor Edinburgh Scotland C Chicago Black Hawks 1943–1944 2 1 [30]
Hall, JoeJoe Hall dagger Staffordshire England D Montreal Canadiens 1917–1919 38 7 [31]
Hepple, AlanAlan Hepple Blaydon-on-Tyne England D New Jersey Devils 1983–1986 3 0 [32]
Hodge, KenKen Hodge Birmingham England RW Chicago Black Hawks 1964–1978 881 97 [33]
Holmes, LouLou Holmes Rushall England C Chicago Black Hawks 1931–1933 59 2 [34]
Jackson, WalterWalter Jackson Ibstock England LW New York Americans 1932–1936 84 0 [35]
Kirk, BobbyBobby Kirk Doagh Northern Ireland RW New York Rangers 1937–1938 39 0 [36]
Lee, PeterPeter Lee Ellesmere England RW Pittsburgh Penguins 1977–1983 431 19 [37]
Mann, NormanNorman Mann Bradford England RW Toronto Maple Leafs 1938–1941 31 2 [38]
McAdam, SamSam McAdam Stirling Scotland C New York Rangers 1930–1931 5 0 [39]
McFadden, JimJim McFadden Belfast Northern Ireland C Detroit Red Wings 1946–1954 412 49 [40]
McManus, SammySammy McManus Belfast Northern Ireland LW Montreal Maroons 1934–1937 26 1 [41]
Messier, PaulPaul Messier Nottingham England C Colorado Avalanche 1978–1979 9 0 [42]
Munro, DuncDunc Munro Moray Scotland D Montreal Maroons 1924–1932 239 21 [43]
Nolan, OwenOwen Nolan Belfast Northern Ireland RW Quebec Nordiques 1990–2010 1,200 65 [44]
Perry, BrianBrian Perry Aldershot England C Oakland Seals 1968–1971 96 8 [45]
Pettinger, EricEric Pettinger Bradford England LW Boston Bruins 1928–1931 98 4 [46]
Pettinger, GordGord Pettinger Harrogate England C New York Rangers 1932–1940 292 47 [47]
Pratt, JackJack Pratt Edinburgh Scotland C Boston Bruins 1930–1932 37 4 [48]
Riley, JackJack Riley Birchinlee England C Detroit Red Wings 1932–1936 104 4 [49]
Robertson, FredFred Robertson Carlisle England D Toronto Maple Leafs 1931–1934 34 7 [50]
Ross, JimJim Ross Edinburgh Scotland D New York Rangers 1951–1953 62 0 [51]
Smith, AlexAlex Smith Liverpool England D Ottawa Senators 1924–1935 443 19 [52]
Smith, SteveSteve Smith Glasgow Scotland D Edmonton Oilers 1984–2001 804 134 [53]
Taylor, DanielDaniel Taylor Plymouth England G Los Angeles Kings 2007–2008 1 0 [54]
Thomas, CyCy Thomas Dowlais Wales LW Chicago Black Hawks 1947–1948 14 0 [55]
Thomas, SteveSteve Thomas Stockport England RW Toronto Maple Leafs 1984–2004 1,235 174 [56]
Thompson, KenKen Thompson Oakengates England LW Montreal Wanderers 1917–1918 1 0 [4]
Thomson, BillBill Thomson Troon Scotland C Detroit Red Wings 1938–1944 9 2 [57]
Tomson, JackJack Tomson Uxbridge England D New York Americans 1939–1941 15 2 [58]
Whitelaw, BobBob Whitelaw Motherwell Scotland D Detroit Red Wings 1940–1942 32 8 [59]
Wood, AlexAlex Wood Falkirk Scotland G New York Americans 1936–1937 1 0 [60]
Worthy, ChrisChris Worthy Bristol England G Oakland Seals 1968–1971 26 0 [61]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ From the United Kingdom, only England and Scotland are represented in the Hockey Hall of Fame;[5] Joe Hall is the only player from England,[6] and Charlie Gardiner is the only player from Scotland.[7]

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ Weiner, Evan (August 29, 2007). "London "Nuts" For The NHL". NHL.com. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "About Ice Hockey". Ice Hockey UK. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Duplacey, James (1998). Total Hockey: The official encyclopedia of the National Hockey League. Total Sports. pp. 459–61, 501, 510. ISBN 0-8362-7114-9. 
  4. ^ a b "NHL Profile: Ken Thompson". National Hockey League. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "The Legends: Players: Place of Birth". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "The Legends: Players: Place of Birth: England". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "The Legends: Players: Place of Birth: Scotland". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Players: Joe Hall: Biography". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Players: Chuck Gardiner: Biography". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Allen, Kevin; Duff, Bob; Bower, Johnny (2002). Without Fear: Hockey's 50 Greatest Goaltenders. Chicago: Triumph Books. pp. 199–201. ISBN 978-1-57243-484-4. 
  11. ^ "Owen Liam Nolan". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "NHL Profile: Andy Aitkenhead". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "NHL Profile: Tom Anderson". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "NHL Profile: Red Beattie". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  15. ^ "NHL Profile: Chuck Blair". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  16. ^ "NHL Profile: Adam Brown". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  17. ^ "NHL Profile: Kevin Brown". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  18. ^ "NHL Profile: George Carey". National Hockey League. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  19. ^ "NHL Profile: Gordon Clark". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  20. ^ "NHL Profile: Jimmy Conacher". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  21. ^ "NHL Profile: Bob Connors". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  22. ^ "NHL Profile: Wilf Cude". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  23. ^ "NHL Profile: Byron Dafoe". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  24. ^ "NHL Profile: Jack Evans". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  25. ^ "NHL Profile: Sid Finney". National Hockey League. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  26. ^ "NHL Profile: Sandy Fitzpatrick". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  27. ^ "NHL Profile: Irv Frew". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  28. ^ "NHL Profile: Charlie Gardiner". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  29. ^ "NHL Profile: Alex Gray". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  30. ^ "NHL Profile: George Grigor". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  31. ^ "NHL Profile: Joe Hall". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  32. ^ "NHL Profile: Alan Hepple". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  33. ^ "NHL Profile: Ken Hodge". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  34. ^ "NHL Profile: Lou Holmes". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  35. ^ "NHL Profile: Walter Jackson". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  36. ^ "NHL Profile: Bobby Kirk". National Hockey League. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  37. ^ "NHL Profile: Peter Lee". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  38. ^ "NHL Profile: Norm Mann". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  39. ^ "NHL Profile: Sam McAdam". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  40. ^ "NHL Profile: Jim McFadden". National Hockey League. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  41. ^ "NHL Profile: Sammy McManus". National Hockey League. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  42. ^ "NHL Profile: Paul Messier". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  43. ^ "NHL Profile: Dunc Munro". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  44. ^ "NHL Profile: Owen Nolan". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  45. ^ "NHL Profile: Brian Perry". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  46. ^ "NHL Profile: Eric Pettinger". National Hockey League. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  47. ^ "NHL Profile: Gord Pettinger". National Hockey League. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  48. ^ "NHL Profile: Jack Pratt". National Hockey League. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  49. ^ "NHL Profile: Jack Riley". National Hockey League. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  50. ^ "NHL Profile: Fred Robertson". National Hockey League. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  51. ^ "NHL Profile: Jim Ross". National Hockey League. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  52. ^ "NHL Profile: Alex Smith". National Hockey League. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  53. ^ "NHL Profile: James (Stephen) Smith". National Hockey League. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  54. ^ "NHL Profile: Daniel Taylor". National Hockey League. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  55. ^ "NHL Profile: Cy Thomas". National Hockey League. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  56. ^ "NHL Profile: Steve Thomas". National Hockey League. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  57. ^ "NHL Profile: Bill Thomson". National Hockey League. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  58. ^ "NHL Profile: Jack Tomson". National Hockey League. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  59. ^ "NHL Profile: Bob Whitelaw". National Hockey League. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  60. ^ "NHL Profile: Alex Wood". National Hockey League. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  61. ^ "NHL Profile: Chris Worthy". National Hockey League. Retrieved 27 December 2011.