Pete Muldoon

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Pete Muldoon
Pete Muldoon.jpg
Born Linton Muldoon Tracy
(1881-06-04)June 4, 1881
St. Marys, Ontario
Died March 13, 1929(1929-03-13) (aged 41)
Tacoma, Washington
Muldoon with the 1912 New Westminster Royals. The team moved to Portland in 1914 and became the Portland Rosebuds.

Linton Muldoon Tracy (June 4, 1881 – March 13, 1929), better known as Pete Muldoon was a Canadian ice hockey pioneer in the western United States, particularly known for bringing a Stanley Cup championship to Seattle, Washington. He is known best for reportedly putting a curse on the Chicago Black Hawks, as well as team owner Major Frederic McLaughlin, after Muldoon was fired at the end of the 1926-27 season;[1][2][3] however, it has been alleged that a Toronto sportswriter had come up with the "curse" due to a bout of writer's block in 1943.[4] Muldoon was the Black Hawks' first head coach.

Early life[edit]

Muldoon was born in Ontario, as Linton Muldoon Tracy. He played hockey in the OHA in the 1900s before moving to the Pacific coast in order to pursue a boxing career.[5] He changed his name to Pete Muldoon because the pursuit of a professional sports career was discouraged in Ontario at the time.[6] Muldoon won regional titles in both the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions while boxing.

Ice hockey career[edit]

Muldoon was accomplished at other sports, including lacrosse. He played professionally for a Vancouver club in 1911. He was also an ice dancer who was able to skate, as well as play hockey, while on stilts. In 1914, he took over as the coach and manager of the Portland Rosebuds. He led them to the PCHA championship, making Portland the first team from the United States to compete for the Stanley Cup. For the 1915 season, he changed teams, and went to Seattle to manage a new team in the PCHA, the Metropolitans. He spent eight seasons coaching in Seattle, and amassed a record of 115 wins, 105 losses, and four ties. The Metropolitans competed for the Stanley Cup. The Mets played for the Stanley Cup three times under his leadership, and winning it once in 1917 during their first trip. Muldoon was the first and, at age 30, youngest coach of a Stanley Cup Championship team based in the United States. In 1919, the Metropolitans made for the second time, but the series against the Montreal Canadiens was cancelled after 4 games due to a flu epidemic. Seattle lost in the Stanley Cup finals in the next year.[6]

The Seattle Metropolitans ceased operations in the spring of 1924. Muldoon returned to Portland, and moved on to the Chicago Black Hawks of the NHL in 1926. In Chicago, he was appointed the first head coach of the new team. He accepted the position because his wife Dorothy was a Chicago native and pregnant with the family's second child. After the Black Hawks ended the 1926–27 season with a playoff berth after finishing in third place in the American Division with a 19–22–3 record, he resigned because of constant meddling from team owner Major McLaughlin.[6]

After spending a year in Chicago, Muldoon returned to Seattle. He became involved in efforts to bring a professional team back to Seattle, as a new arena was constructed in 1928. Muldoon, with the help of a group of investors, established the Seattle Ice Skating and Hockey Association, while aiding to establish the PCHL. This new league had its first season in 1928, and the Seattle team was dubbed the Eskimos.

Curse of Muldoon[edit]

Muldoon was highly upset about being fired after only one season by owner Frederic McLaughlin. Muldoon was fired because Chicago had finished third in its division during the 1926–27 season, but McLaughlin felt the team should have finished first. Muldoon was then reported to have placed an Irish curse on the Hawks that would keep them out of 1st place forever. It is unknown if this actually happened, as it has been alleged that it was a hoax by a Toronto sportwriter,[4] yet other sources maintain that "41 years is plenty long enough for any "curse," real or imagined".[3]

Death[edit]

In the spring of 1929, Muldoon went to Tacoma with co-owner and local boxing promoter Nate Druxman to search for a location to build a new rink in order to establish a team. While in Tacoma, on March 13, 1929,[7] Muldoon died due to a heart attack. Without their coach, the Seattle Eskimos were able to win a playoff series against Portland, before losing to Vancouver in the league finals. The following season the Eskimos established the Pete Muldoon Trophy, presented to the player "deemed most inspirational by his teammates".[2] It was awarded for a few seasons, and disappeared from records during the Great Depression years.

Coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Division rank Result
CHI 1926–27 44 19 22 3 41 3rd in American Lost in first round
Total 44 19 22 3 41

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ "Chicago Blackhawks". couchpotatohockey.com. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  2. ^ a b "Pete Muldon". Seattle Hockey. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  3. ^ a b John Halligan. "The Chicago Blackhawks look to end a drought". NHL. Retrieved 2007-11-30. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b Dan Pollard (2004-10-22). "Curse it all anyway". TSN. Retrieved 2007-11-30. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Pete Muldoon". Boxrec.com. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  6. ^ a b c Holzman, Morey. "Blackhawks: Cursed, or Concoction?" The New York Times, Sunday, May 30, 2010.
  7. ^ https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N35S-T9J
Preceded by
Position created
Head coach of the Chicago Black Hawks
1926-27
Succeeded by
Barney Stanley