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Did You Know?
Douglas Gordon Young is one of
the more forgotten figures in Detroit
hockey history, yet his contributions
helped turn the young NHL franchise
from a doormat to a title winning
DID YOU KNOW that Doug Young
was the Captain of the first Red
Wings Stanley Cup Championship
club in 1936?
Young was an instant success
when he helped his Calgary Canadians
team win the 1926 Memorial Cup
(the amateur championship). He then
moved on to play minor pro hockey in
the Can-Pro League with the Kitchener
Millionaires and Toronto Millionaires
teams the next two seasons. From
there, Young moved up to the Cleveland
Indians for two years where he was named
to the IHL First All-Star team in 1930.
Young would be owned by five NHL teams, but would play for only two in his
ten year National Hockey League career.
The Philadelphia Quakers selected Young from Cleveland in the May, 1931
Inter-League Draft. However, the Philly franchise was about to fold, a victim of
the Great Depression. The New York Americans claimed Young in the Philadelphia
dispersal draft on September 17, 1931. One month and one day later, Young was
sent to Detroit, his third NHL club during the off-season.
In a one-for-one trade of rookie prospects, Detroit Coach/GM Jack Adams
sent Rt-Wing Ron Martin to the Amerks for Young. It turned out to be a steal
of a deal for Detroit. Martin played only two NHL seasons, both with New York.
Young would help anchor the Detroit blueline for the next eight seasons.
Not overly big or small at 5-foot-10, 178-lbs, Young (known as "The Giechen
Cowboy") used his positioning and puck-handling ability to patrol on defense.
His movements were so good he was even once used as a goalie injury replacement
by Detroit, yielding just one goal in his 21-mins for a 2.86-GAA.
Young joined Detroit when the team was known as the Falcons and scored
his NHL career-high of 10 goals in his rookie year. Young was one of the reasons
Detroit reached the playoffs at the end of the 1931-32 season for the first time
in three years and for only the second time in the six year history of the Detroit
With Young and other newcomers making a difference, the re-named Red
Wings finished in second place of the NHL's American Division in 1932-33 and in
first place in 1933-34. A fourth place, out-of-the-playoffs year in 1934-35 was
just a temporary backward step. The Red Wings were both division winners and
Stanley Cup Champions in back-to-back seasons of 1935-36 & 1936-37.
Young was in his first season as team Captain when the Wings won their first
S-Cup ever in 1936. Known more for his defense, Young scored five goals with
NHL career-highs of 12 assists and 17 points in 1935-36. He also had his second
highest NHL penalty total with 54-mins. Young managed to stay out of the box
during the playoffs and added two assists when the Wings won the Cup in seven
games including a 3-1 edge in the Best-of-5 Finals over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Although the Red Wings became the first US-based team to win back-to-back
Stanley Cups in 1937, it was a subdued celebration for Young. He'd missed the
playoffs and all but 11 games during the regular season because of an ankle injury
suffered on December 6, 1936 in a 3-all overtime tie at the NY Americans.
Young was never quite the same after his ankle injury. He was still the
Captain in 1937-38, the first player in Detroit team history to hold that honor
for three seasons. After the Wings missed the playoffs that winter, Young was
demoted when Ebbie Goodfellow (on his way to soon becoming NHL MVP) was given
the "C" in 1938-39.
Young did have a little hockey left in him, though.
Young helped the Red Wings return to the expanded NHL playoffs in the Spring
of 1939 where Detroit edged Montreal 2-1 in the opening round Best-of-3 series, but
lost the Best-of-3 semi-finals 2-1 to Toronto. Young played in all six games with two
assists and two minor penalties in what would prove to be his last NHL post-season.
Those playoffs ended Young's eight year Detroit career. He signed with Les
Canadiens as a free agent on October 30, 1939 and would play 50 games over the
next two seasons with the Habs.
Montreal traded Young to AHL Buffalo on November, 1940 pending a waiver claim.
He never made it to Buffalo. Two days later Young was claimed off waivers by Toronto.
Young never skated for the Maple Leafs either because Toronto immediately assigned
him to their AHL Providence farm club on November 29, 1940.
Young then ended his playing career by getting nine goals, 13 assists and 22 points
in 42 games for the Providence Reds plus one assist in four playoff outings. His one
last hurrah earned Young AHL First All-Star Team selection in 1940-41.
After his retirement as a player Young worked as an on-ice official for the NHL
and also returned to Detroit to work in the Red Wings' home office.
The native of Medicine Hat, Alberta died in 1990. Although multiple sources list his
death on May 15, 1990, the Hockey Hall of Fame lists the date as October 10, 1990,
which would have been just nine days after Young's 82nd birthday.
Doug Young, who was owned by four teams (three in the NHL) that he never played
for, but who also held the Stanley Cup as Detroit's first Cup-winning Captain.
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