March 6, 1904|
Glasgow, Scotland, GBR
|Died||October 21, 1968(aged 64)|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)|
|Weight||150 lb (68 kg; 10 st 10 lb)|
|Played for||New York Rangers|
Andrew Aitkenhead (March 6, 1904 in Glasgow, Scotland – October 21, 1968) was a Canadian ice hockey goaltender for the New York Rangers of the NHL. Born in Glasgow, Aitkenhead came to Canada as a young child with his family, and grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Andy Aitkenkead played ten years in various minor leagues in Western Canada, most notably appearing in the 1923 Memorial Cup with the Saskatoon Quakers. After turning pro, Aitkenhead took two teams to the Allan Cup finals, the Saskatoon Nationals and the Saskatoon Empires, in 1924 and 1926 respectively.
Originally taken by the Rangers in the Inter-league draft from the Saskatoon Shieks in 1928, his rights were sent back and forth between the Rangers and the Portland Buckaroos of the PCHL, until he finally signed with the Rangers as a free agent in 1931. He made his debut for the Rangers on November 10, 1932 at the Montreal Forum against the Montreal Maroons. He won the job as starting goaltender for the Rangers from John Ross Roach, who had twice led the team to the Stanley Cup Final. In his first two seasons in New York, Aitkenhead played in every single game for the Rangers, and he put up solid numbers. In his first season in New York, Aitkenhead was fourth in the league in goals against average, as well as fourth in wins. In that rookie season, he led the Rangers to the Stanley Cup, their second, in 1933. He posted a shutout in the clinching game, in overtime, against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The following season, Aitkenhead finished fifth overall in goals against, yet second in wins, and third in shutouts, however the Rangers were eliminated by the Maroons in the opening round of the playoffs. In 1935 Aitkenhead struggled, and eventually lost the starting job to Dave Kerr. He played only 10 games that season. Kerr later said that Aitkenhead's obsession with his game were what got to him, and led to his departure from the NHL. After 1935 Andy Aitkenhead was returned to the minor leagues. Aitkenhead spent 6 seasons with the Portland Buckaroos of the PCHL before retiring from hockey in 1941.
In the book 100 Ranger Greats (John Wiley & Sons, 2009) by Russ Cohen, John Halligan and Adam Raider, the authors ranked Aitkenhead No. 97 on the all-time list of New York Rangers. He was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.
Regular Season Career statistics
|1932-33||New York Rangers||NHL||48||23||17||8||2970||107||3||2.16|
|1933-34||New York Rangers||NHL||48||21||19||8||2990||113||7||2.27|
|1934-35||New York Rangers||NHL||10||3||7||0||610||37||1||3.64|
Playoff Career statistics
|1932-33||New York Rangers||NHL||8||6||1||1||488||13||2||1.60|
|1933-34||New York Rangers||NHL||2||0||1||1||120||2||1||1.00|
- "Andy Aitkenhead, The best goalie you've never heard of.". Nitzy's Hockey Den. October 12, 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- "Andy Aitkenhead". All Time Roster. New York Rangers. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- "Andy Aitkenhead". Hockey Reference.com. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- "John Ross Roach". All Time Roster. New York Rangers. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- "1932-33 NHL Season Leaders". Hockey Reference.com. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- "Andy Aitkenhead". Joe Pelletier's Greatest Hockey Legends.com. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- "1933-34 NHL Season Leaders". Hockey Reference.com. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- "1933-34 NHL Season Summary". Hockey Reference.com. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- "Andy Aitkenhead - Hockey". Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 15 February 2011.