Shorty Green

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Shorty Green
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1963
Shorty Green.jpg
Born (1896-07-17)July 17, 1896
Sudbury, ON, CAN
Died April 19, 1960(1960-04-19) (aged 63)
Sudbury, ON, CAN
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 152 lb (69 kg; 10 st 12 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Right
Played for Hamilton Tigers
New York Americans
Playing career 1923–1927

Wilfred Thomas "Shorty" Green (July 17, 1896 – April 19, 1960) was a Canadian professional ice hockey forward who played four seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Hamilton Tigers and New York Americans. As captain of the Tigers in 1925, he led the team on a strike with the demand that the players be paid an additional C$200 to participate in the playoffs. The league refused, suspended the team and sold the organization New York interests. As a member of the Americans, Green scored the first goal in Madison Square Garden history, and after two seasons as a player in New York, coached the team for one before coaching minor league teams for several years. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1963.[1]

Playing career[edit]

A native of Sudbury, Ontario, Green played senior hockey in his hometown and was a member of the team that won the Northern Ontario senior championship in 1915.[2] He joined the Canadian military in 1916, serving and playing with the 227th Battalion in the Ontario Hockey Association senior division in 1916–17.[3] Deployed overseas in 1917, Green fought in the Battle of Passchendaele where he was a victim of a gas attack.[4]

Discharged from the military in December 1918, Green returned to hockey. He joined the Hamilton Tigers senior team and led them to the 1919 Allan Cup championship before returning home to play four seasons with the Sudbury Wolves of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association.[2] He moved back to Hamilton in 1923 and began his professional career. He played on a line with his brother, "Red" Green, and Billy Burch for the last place Tigers.[4] Green was unanimously voted as team captain prior to the start of the 1924–25 NHL season and his skill and physical style in spite of his small stature made him a fan favourite.[5] The Tigers flourished on the ice, finishing as the top team in the NHL, and qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.[2]

"[We] would rather play to a Hamilton audience than to any other on the circuit. We would be more than pleased to represent Hamilton again in the NHL for the benefit of the fans who have so generously patronized our games, but this is final. We do intend to ever play again for the present management."
Green explains why the players went on strike in an open letter to the citizens of Hamilton[5]

When the players learned that team owners were making large profits on the Tigers despite ownership's claims the team was "suffering" financially,[6] Green and Burch led a player's strike against management, demanding a C$200 bonus each or the players would not participate in the playoffs.[4] Team management refused while NHL president Frank Calder warned that if the players did not relent, he would suspend the team and award the fourth-place Ottawa Senators Hamilton's place in the NHL final.[7] The players refused to give in, and as a result, Calder ultimately declared the Montreal Canadiens league champions after they defeated the Toronto St. Patricks in the semi-final and fined each player $200.[4] It was the first player's strike in NHL history.[8]

Additionally, the strike led to the demise of Hamilton's entry in the NHL as the team and players were sold and became the New York Americans for the 1925–26 season.[2] Many of the players received significant raises following the transfer to New York, including Green who saw his salary rise from $3,000 per season to $5,000.[9] On December 19, 1925, he scored the first goal in Madison Square Garden history before a crowd of 17,000 fans.[4] Late in his second season with the Americans, Green suffered a dislocated kidney during a game and was sent to hospital in critical condition.[10] He recovered, but the injury ended his playing career.[4]

The Americans named Green their head coach for the 1927–28 NHL season,[11] and finished the season outside of the playoffs with a record of 11–27–6.[12] He left the NHL to coach the Duluth Hornets of the American Hockey Association for three seasons between 1928 and 1931, appearing in three games, and with the Tulsa Oilers in 1931–32.[2]

He coached the Hamilton Tigers' senior team for one season in 1932–33 before returning to Sudbury where he first opened a men's clothing store and in 1937, founded the Sudbury Golf Club with two partners. He ran the club until his death of cancer in 1960.[4] Green was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1963.[1]


Playing career[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1914–15 Sudbury All-Stars Exhib. 12 19 3 22
1914–15 Sudbury All-Stars A-Cup 3 6 0 6
1915–16 Sudbury All-Stars Exhib.
1916–17 Hamilton 227th Battalion OHA-Sr. 8 17 0 17
1918–19 Hamilton Tigers OHA-Sr. 8 12 3 15 4 5 3 8
1918–19 Hamilton Tigers A-Cup 2 3 0 3
1919–20 Sudbury Wolves NOHA 6 23 4 27 16 7 13 4 17 8
1920–21 Sudbury Wolves NOHA 4 4 2 6 7
1921–22 Sudbury Wolves NOHA 9 5 4 9 9
1922–23 Sudbury Wolves NOHA 7 3 1 4 16 1 0 1 1 2
1923–24 Hamilton Tigers NHL 22 7 6 13 31
1924–25 Hamilton Tigers NHL 28 18 9 27 63
1925–26 New York Americans NHL 32 6 4 10 40
1926–27 New York Americans NHL 21 2 1 3 17
1928–29 Duluth Hornets AHA 1 1 2 47
1929–30 Duluth Hornets AHA 2 0 0 0 2
1930–31 Duluth Hornets AHA 1 0 0 0 8
NHL totals 103 33 20 53 151
NOHA totals 26 35 11 46 48 8 13 5 18 10

Coaching career[edit]

Season Team League G W L T Pts Division rank Result
1927–28 New York Americans NHL 44 11 27 6 28 5th Canadian Out of playoffs
1928–29 Duluth Hornets AHA 40 15 21 4 34
1929–30 Duluth Hornets AHA 48 18 13 17 53
1930–31 Duluth Hornets AHA 48 28 19 1 57
1931–32 Tulsa Oilers AHA 48 16 28 4 36
1932–33 Hamilton Tigers OHA Sr. 22 15 7 0 30
NHL totals 44 11 27 6 .318 points percentage


  • Hockey Hall of Fame (2003). Honoured Members: Hockey Hall of Fame. Bolton, Ontario: Fenn Publishing. ISBN 1-55168-239-7. 
  1. ^ a b Hockey Hall of Fame 2003, p. 55.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Shorty Green biography". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  3. ^ "Shorty Green statistics". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Podnieks, Andrew (2003). Players: The ultimate A–Z guide of everyone who has ever played in the NHL. Toronto: Doubleday Canada. p. 306. ISBN 0-385-25999-9. 
  5. ^ a b Henley, Brian (1994-01-22). "'Shorty' Green was one of Hamilton's sports heros". Hamilton Spectator. p. 13. 
  6. ^ McKinley, Michael (2006). Hockey: A People's History. McClelland & Stewart. p. 90. ISBN 0-7710-5769-5. 
  7. ^ "Hamilton "Pro" team demands more money". Toronto Globe. 1925-03-13. p. 8. 
  8. ^ Duplacey, James. Hockey's Book of Firsts. JG Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-57215-037-9. 
  9. ^ Fitzpatrick, Jamie. "Hockey history: The first NHL strike". Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  10. ^ "Green badly hurt in hockey game". The Pittsburgh Press. 1927-03-01. p. 31. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  11. ^ "Green is manager of N.Y. Americans". Montreal Gazette. 1927-08-17. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  12. ^ "William "Shorty" Green profile". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Newsy Lalonde
Head coach of the New York Americans
Succeeded by
Tommy Gorman