Hap Emms

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Hap Emms
Born (1905-01-12)January 12, 1905
Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Died October 23, 1988(1988-10-23) (aged 83)
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Left Wing/Defence
Shot Left
Played for Montreal Maroons
New York Americans
Detroit Falcons
Detroit Red Wings
Boston Bruins
Playing career 1926–1938

Leighton Alfred "Hap" Emms (January 12, 1905 – October 23, 1988) was a Canadian ice hockey player, coach, owner, general manager and pioneer of the game. Emms was as controversial as he was successful during his nearly 60 years in hockey. He played in the National Hockey League between 1926 and 1938 for the Montreal Maroons, New York Americans, Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings. A left wing and defenceman, he was a native of Barrie, Ontario. The left-handed shot was listed as 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and 190 pounds (86 kg) (13 stone, 8 pounds).

During his 12-season NHL career, Emms played in 320 games, scoring 36 goals and adding 53 assists for 89 total points. He was called for 311 minutes in penalties.

After retiring from playing, he was the owner and coach of the Barrie Flyers of the Ontario Hockey Association from 1945 to 1960. He coached his team to winning the Memorial Cup in 1951, with his son Paul and nephew Don on the roster and in 1953, with future Boston Bruins stars Doug Mohns and Don McKenney, among others. He later owned the Niagara Falls Flyers from 1960 to 1972 after moving the Barrie team. The Flyers in both Barrie and Niagara Falls were sponsored by the Bruins, until the direct NHL sponsorship of junior clubs halted in 1966–67.

General manager of Boston Bruins[edit]

During the 1965–66 and 1966–67 seasons—the last two years of the NHL's "Original Six" configuration—Emms was the general manager of the NHL Bruins, the third GM in the team's 41-year history to that point. He succeeded Lynn Patrick in the post, and brought such players as Bernie Parent, Pit Martin, John "Pie" McKenzie, Gerry Cheevers, Gilles Marotte and Gary Doak to the Bruins. He also promoted Harry Sinden to coach in 1966, and was the general manager during Bobby Orr's first season in the National Hockey League.

However, the Bruins were in the midst of an eight-year slump; they failed to make the playoffs during Emms' two seasons, and he was replaced by his assistant manager, all-time Boston great Milt Schmidt, in the spring of 1967. Emms then returned to Niagara Falls, to resume command of his junior hockey club. Schmidt, meanwhile, pulled off the blockbuster trade obtaining Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield (in a deal that included Martin and Marotte), surrounding Orr with the talent to make the Bruins a Stanley Cup contender. Still, Emms' OHA Flyers contributed materially to Boston's 1967–1972 success, with Don Awrey, Jim Lorentz, Don Marcotte, Derek Sanderson and Ed Westfall all having prepped for their NHL careers with Emms' junior team.

Return to the OHA[edit]

In 1972 the Emms family sold the Flyers and immediately bought the neighbouring St. Catharines Black Hawks. Emms later moved the Black Hawks to Niagara Falls in 1976, who became the second Niagara Falls Flyers franchise. After 50 years in hockey, Emms sold the Flyers to Reg Quinn in 1978. He died in 1988 in Niagara Falls at 83 from heart failure.

The Ontario Hockey League's Emms Division was named in his honour. The Emms Trophy is awarded to the team which wins the OHL Central Division, and formerly awarded to the Western Conference winner. The Emms Family Award is awarded annually to the OHL Rookie of the Year. The Hap Emms Memorial Trophy is awarded to the outstanding goaltender at the Memorial Cup tournament.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Lynn Patrick
General Manager of the Boston Bruins
Succeeded by
Milt Schmidt