Photo credit: bostonherald.com
The Zamboni Time Machine is our look at the zany, interesting, and historic look at hockeys glorious past. This Zamboni Time Machine Flashback features a story about the sheer willpower of Hall of Fame defenesman Eddie Shore.
Eddie Shore was one of a kind.
Born in 1902, his Hall of Fame NHL playing career spanned from 1926 to 1940, with fourteen seasons played for the Boston Bruins and his final season spent with the New York Americans. Known for his “win at all costs” attitude, many compared him to baseball’s Ty Cobb, who was similarly successful in his sport and had the same attitude towards it. In his last NHL season, he also played for the Springfield Indians of the then International-American Hockey League (now known as the American Hockey League). Shore’s unique style and attitude would carry over to his time as a team owner, and leave its mark on hockey history. For more on the franchise Shore owned, please click on this link: The franchise(s) history of the Utica Comets.
As a player and later as a team owner, Eddie Shore was as rough as he was talented. Over the course of his playing career, he broke his back, collarbone, hip, had every tooth knocked out, broke his nose fourteen times, broke his jaw five times, and had over 900 stitches put into various parts of his body. Despite all of this, Shore rarely missed a game.
In Shore’s era, teams traveled by train, as air travel was in its infancy. The Bruins were scheduled to play a game on January 3rd, 1929 in Montreal against the Maroons (Montreal had two NHL games at this time). Every member of the Bruins managed to make it to the train station on time except for Shore – who missed the train because of a traffic jam. The next train to Montreal was canceled because of an incoming blizzard, but Shore absolutely refused to miss the game. He reached out to a wealthy friend of his who loaned the determined defenseman the use of his limousine and chauffeur so he could get to Montreal.
As they headed north out of Boston, the storm hit and it was as big as advertised. The driver of the limousine did not want to go any further, so Shore made him get into the passenger seat and took over the driving himself. The pair found an all-night gas station where they bought some chains for the tires, but that did not help the visibility as the windshield wipers had frozen to the windshield. To remedy this, Shore removed the top half of the windshield and they continued on through the night – driving through the sleet and blizzard conditions without the protection of half of their windshield.
They had to stop once more during their all-night journey to purchase another set of tire chains, but even with those, they still had to be pulled out of a ditch twice by people who happened to live nearby. Despite all the obstacles, Eddie Shore arrived in Montreal at 5:30 pm, just in time for the game against the Maroons at 7:00. Even though he got no sleep, had numb legs, and his face and hands being windburned and frostbitten, Shore talked Bruins coach Art Ross into letting him play that night. Boston won the game by a score of 1-0 on a goal by, you guessed it, Eddie Shore.