Sunday, June 3, 2007

Percy LeSueur

Percy LeSueur started his hockey career in 1905-06, as a goaltender for Smith's Falls in the Federal Amateur Hockey League. He was to remain in hockey and have a profound influence on the sport for 50 years.

Smith's Falls is likely the least known of the Stanley Cup finalists, but the Ottawa Silver Seven certainly took note of goaltender Lesueur. Though the Silver Seven discarded the challenge of Smith's Falls with ease, Lesueur put on a show that impressed his opponents so much that they subsequently signed him, and used him almost immediately in replacing goalie Bouse Hutton.

Lesueur, a native of Quebec City who doubled as a bank clerk, would go onto become a goaltending legend. Percy rose to stardom in the 8 years he guarded the net in the nation's capital. He joined the team in 1906-07 and enjoyed two Stanley Cup wins in 1909 and 1911. LeSueur captained the team for three years before he was traded to the Toronto Ontarios in 1914. He played two seasons in Toronto and then joined the 48th Highlanders, giving him a tour of duty overseas.

When LeSueur returned, he became better known not as a player but as a face of the game. He started out refereeing, before trying his hand at coaching at several levels Ontario, including in the NHL with the Hamilton Tigers, and then became the first manager of the Detroit Olympia arena.

He may best be remember by modern fans for introducing the "gauntlet type" goalie glove. He also served as an original member of the famous early radio broadcast "Hot Stove League."

Peerless Percy was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961.


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