December 2, 1911|
Aurora, Minnesota, U.S.
May 2, 1992 (aged 81)|
Wakefield Township, Minnesota, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||147 lb (67 kg; 10 st 7 lb)|
|Played for||Chicago Black Hawks|
Michael George Karakas (December 2, 1911 – May 2, 1992) was an American professional ice hockey goaltender in the National Hockey League (NHL) who was the league's first American-born and trained goaltender. Karakas played six full seasons and parts of two others with the Chicago Black Hawks. He appeared in two Stanley Cup Finals, winning once. In 1938, Karakas led Chicago, who had a .411 winning percentage in the regular season, to a second Stanley Cup, playing with a steel-toed boot on one foot in the last two games of the Finals after he had broken it in the last game of the Semi-finals. Karakas is one of the original members of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
Born in Aurora, Minnesota, he grew up in nearby Eveleth. Growing up, Karakas and Frank Brimsek, who also became a goaltender in the NHL, were battery mates for their high school baseball team, with Karakas catching.
Karakas played six full seasons for the Chicago Black Hawks between 1936 and 1945. In his first season with the Black Hawks, Karakas was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy after posting a 1.85 goals-against-average with nine shutouts in 48 games. Karakas was only invited to play for the Black Hawks because their regular goaltender, Lorne Chabot, was injured. After posting four wins in four games, with three shutouts, the Black Hawks made Karakas their starting goaltender; Chabot was later traded to the Montreal Maroons.
Karakas won the Stanley Cup in the 1937–38 season, playing for the first out of two teams which won the Cup with a losing record. For the 1937-38 Chicago Black Hawks season, their owner, Major Frederic McLaughlin, order his general manager to "ice [him] a team of all American players." After losing five of its six first games with an all-American roster, some Canadian players were added; however, the team finished the season with a 14–25–9 record for a .411 winning percentage.
In the playoffs, Karakas suffered a broken toe just before the start of the Stanley Cup final against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Black Hawks were forced to substitute Alfie Moore for Karakas in the first game. After the first game, Moore was ruled ineligible, and the Black Hawks lost the next game. Karakas returned with a steel-toed boot and won the next two games, leading the Black Hawks to their second Stanley Cup win. Overall in that playoff run, Karakas had a 6–2 record, with two shutouts and a 1.71 goals-against-average. Karakas also surrendered an overtime goal clinching a Stanley Cup by Toe Blake in the 1944 Stanley Cup Finals.
After helping Chicago win the Stanley Cup in 1938, Karakas asked the team's owners for a US$500 raise. The owners refused the raise, and for the next five seasons Karakas played three full seasons in the American Hockey League (AHL), and split two between the AHL and the NHL.
Karakas had 28 shutouts in the regular season, and another three in the playoffs in his six seasons in the NHL. In each of the six full seasons in which Karakas appeared, he played all 48 games. In 1973, Karakas was named as an original member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, located in his hometown of Eveleth.
Awards and achievements
- Selected to the AHA First All-Star Team in 1935.
- Calder Memorial Trophy winner in 1936.
- Stanley Cup champion in 1938.
- Calder Cup champion in 1940.
- Selected to the AHL First All-Star Team in 1941.
- Selected to the AHL Second All-Star Team in 1943.
- Selected to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1945.
- Inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1973.
|1932–33||St. Louis Flyers||AHA||43||23||19||1||2702||85||5||1.89|
|1935–36||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||48||21||19||8||2990||92||9||1.85|
|1936–37||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||48||14||27||7||2978||131||5||2.64|
|1937–38||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||48||14||25||9||2980||139||1||2.80|
|1938–39||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||48||12||28||8||2988||132||5||2.65|
|1939–40||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||17||7||9||1||1050||58||0||3.31|
|1941–42||New Haven Eagles||AHL||1||0||1||0||60||7||0||7.00|
|1943–44||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||26||12||9||5||1560||79||3||3.04|
|1944–45||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||48||12||29||7||2880||187||4||3.90|
|1945–46||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||48||22||19||7||2880||166||1||3.46|
|1932–33||St. Louis Flyers||AHA||4||2||2||—||284||6||1||1.27|
|1935–36||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||2||1||1||0||120||7||0||3.50|
|1937–38||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||8||6||2||—||525||15||2||1.71|
|1943–44||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||9||4||5||—||549||24||1||2.62|
|1945–46||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||4||0||4||—||240||26||0||6.50|
- Allen, Kevin; Duff, Bob (2002). Without Fear: Hockey's 50 greatest goaltenders. Chicago: Triumph Books. p. 223. ISBN 1-57243-484-8.
- Allen, Kevin; Duff, Bob (2002). Without Fear: Hockey's 50 greatest goaltenders. Chicago: Triumph Books. p. 224. ISBN 1-57243-484-8.
- Pincus, Arthur (2006). The Official Illustrated NHL History. Montreal: Reader's Digest. p. 52. ISBN 0-88850-800-X.
- Pincus, Arthur (2006). The Official Illustrated NHL History. Montreal: Reader's Digest. p. 53. ISBN 0-88850-800-X.
- Allen, Kevin; Duff, Bob (2002). Without Fear: Hockey's 50 greatest goaltenders. Chicago: Triumph Books. p. 225. ISBN 1-57243-484-8.
- "Mike Karakas (1935-1946)". hockeygoalies.org. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
- "Mike Karakas". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
| NHL Rookie of the Year