Galt Red Wings
|Galt Red Wings|
|League||Ontario Hockey Association|
|Home arena||Galt Arena Gardens|
|Parent club(s)||Detroit Red Wings|
|1944-47||Galt Red Wings|
|1949-55||Galt Black Hawks|
The Galt Jr. A Red Wings were a junior ice hockey team based in Galt, Ontario, now a part of the city of Cambridge. They played in the Ontario Hockey Association from 1944 to 1947 and were operated as an affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. Their home arena was the Galt Arena Gardens.
The team was previously the Galt Kist Canadians during the 1943-44 season. The team gained NHL sponsorship, becoming the Galt Jr. A Red Wings. The sponsorship lasted for three seasons, with Galt finishing near the top of the league each year. New ownership renamed the team the Galt Rockets in 1947. Much of the team's success was due to its coach, Al Murray, who guided the team during its first three years. Murray had played in the NHL with the New York Americans.
During the 1944-45 season, future Hockey Hall of Famer Gordie Howe suited up for the team, but only played in one regular-season game due to league rules. That game occurred in Galt, before 1,848 fans on Saturday, Nov. 18, 1944 against Hamilton; Howe scored three points. This has become somewhat of a historical footnote as Howe was deemed ineligible to play for the team following that game. Howe's only points in Galt were thrown out when Hamilton withdrew from the league. A day after that Hamilton game it was reported that both Howe and teammate Terry Cavanagh (later mayor of Edmonton) would he ineligible to play until further notice after their transfers were held up. Howe explained what happened next. "Terry got his (transfer) and I never did. Hamilton got thrown out of the league, and I did too."
Under coach Normie Himes, another former NHLer with the New York Americans, the Red Wings returned to the finals again in 1946-47, led by future Hall of Fame goaltender, Terry Sawchuk, but lost the finals again in four games to the Majors.
From the Galt Red Wings, fourteen players graduated to play in the National Hockey League.
|1943-44||Canadians||26||15||11||0||30||0.577||125||97||2nd Group 2|
|1944-45||Red Wings||20||12||8||0||24||0.600||83||91||2nd OHA (tie)|
|1945-46||Red Wings||28||22||6||0||44||0.786||187||96||2nd OHA|
|1946-47||Red Wings||36||27||9||0||54||0.750||232||99||3rd OHA|
- Rutherford, Kristina (2012). "Ice Aged". Sportsnet Magazine. 2 (6): 61–64.
- Rutherford 2012, p. 64.