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Did You Know?
The first 3-goal Hat Trick in
Chicago Black Hawks history
came on February 19th of 1927.
That trio of goals were scored
in a Chicago road win against
Detroit before the team had become
the Red Wings and before the club
actually played in Detroit.
The B-Hawks beat the Detroit
Cougars 4-1 on 2/19/1927 at
Border Cities (Windsor) Arena. The
Cougars played across the Detroit
River during its first season because
Olympia Stadium was still under
construction. The team wouldn't be
named Red Wings until 1932.
By the time the Cougars moved
into Olympia that player who'd scored
that history making Black Hawk Hat Trick was wearing a Detroit
uniform. Although he'd play with the Cougars/Falcons/Red Wings
into 1933, that player's only Detroit Hat Trick came against his
former Chicago teammates.
DID YOU KNOW this Hat Tricking former NHLer was George
Hay, who was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in
One of hockey's little men, Hay was generously listed at 5-foot-10 and weighed
only 156-lbs. Born in Listowel, ONT on 1/10/1898, Hay went west to play amateur
hockey. Hay and his linemate Dick Irvin (also a Hockey HoFamer) played together
the on first of four teams while with the Winnipeg Monarchs in 1914-15.
Hay served in Europe with the CEF in World War I, then resumed his playing
career alongside Irvin with the senior (amateur) Regina Victorias in 1919. Both
turned pro with the WCHL Regina Capitals in 1921 and led the Caps to that
league's first title . When the Regina franchise was relocated, Hay became a member
of the Portland (ORE) Rosebuds for the 1925-26 season. The next season he was on
the move again after the WHL Portland club was purchased on 5/15/1926 by interests
in Chicago to become the NHL "expansion" Chicago Black Hawks, just like the Victoria
Cougars were bought and became the Detroit Cougars.
Hay had been a four time, First Team All-Star, receiving those honors with WCHL
Regina in 1922, '23 & '24 and for Portland in 1926. He arrived in the Windy City
with big expectations but failed to fulfill them.
In his only Chicago season, Hay registered that first Black Hawk Hat Trick and
scored 14 goals with eight assists for 22-pts in 35 games. Hay's 14 goals tied for third
on the club. Hay's old Winnipeg teammate Irvin led the team in scoring with 36-pts
(18 goals & 18 assists) while also serving as first Black Hawks captain.
However, approaching 30 years of age, Hay was considered damaged goods by
a severe shoulder injury which hindered his shot, bothered him all season long and
also caused him to miss nine Chicago games. As a result, right after Chicago's
inaugural season ended, Hay and DEF Percy Traub were packaged for sale to last
place Detroit for a sum of $15,000 on April 11th of 1927.
Known as an exceptional stickhandler, Hay joined the Cougars and became an
instant hit. Playing for newly appointed Detroit Coach/GM Jack Adams in 1927-28,
the left wing and sometime center was on Detroit's top line with Larry Aurie and
Carson Cooper. Hay led the Cougars with 22 goals (fifth in the NHL), 13 assists
(third in the NHL) and 35 points (third in the NHL). Hay's 35-P were better than his
two linemates combined (33-P). Hay's goals, assists and point totals were all the
second best of his pro career.
Traub, by the way, led Detroit with 78 penalty minutes. in 1927-28.
When the Cougars were re-named as the Detroit Falcons for the 1930-31 season
Hay was made team captain, the third in franchise history. In his last full season for
the "big" club, Hay had eight goals with 10 assists and played all 44 games.
The 1931-32 season found Hay still in Detroit, but dropped down to the IHL Olympics
farm club where he served as player-coach. Hay played all 48 games with 10 goals and
nine assists. Hay's Olympics finished an even 19-19-10 and in fourth place, a two
place improvement from the previous season.
Hay would spend the final two seasons of his playing career bouncing between the
now re-named Red Wings and the minor league Olympics, putting on whichever uniform
needed him most.
Hay spent just over half of his professional career in the NHL with 74 goals and
60 assists in 239 games. He played six of his eight Stanley Cup playoff games for
Detroit, scoring one of his two playoff goals for the 1928-29 Cougars in the franchise's
first post-season appearance.
When Hay stopped playing early in the 1933-34 season, reaction was universally
Detroit NEWS sports writer Sam Green opinioned, "He ranked with the great
forwards of the game, combining speed and poise, aggressiveness and finesse, with
unsurpassed mechanical ability."
Red Wings GM/Coach Adams was even more effusive, saying, "I've seen a lot
of good ones, but none who had more stuff than George. He was in a class with
Aurial Joliat, Jack Walker, Bun Cook or Harvey Jackson. He could do everything,
that fellow. Besides, he was one of the easiest players to handle I ever had --
always in condition, always on the job, always willing to play any position. He never
got into any trouble on the ice and was rarely sent to the penalty box. We've often
said in the dressing room that when Hay kicks against a decision, the referee should
be run out of the league."
After hanging up his skates Hay became coach of Detroit's farm club in London, ONT
in 1934. Soon after, he moved to Stratford, ONT to begin a long business career in
the insurance industry, finally retiring in 1965.
However, Hay interrupted his insurance activities when he went back into uniform
again during World War II. In WWII Hay served as a Royal Canadian Air Force lieutenant and flight
Hay, who wore a military uniform for Canada in both World Wars and who wore
the sweaters of the Detroit Cougars/Falcons/Red Wings and the Detroit Olympics,
died at age 77 on July 13, 1975.
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