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Edgar Laprade

Name

Edgar Laprade

Community

Port Arthur

Induction Sport

Hockey

Induction Year

1982

Biography

Born in Mine Centre, Ontario (between Atikokan and Fort Frances) in 1919, Edgar Laprade went on to contribute greatly to the sports heritage of northwestern Ontario and the National Hockey League.

Known as the 'Darling of Port Arthur,' he learned the game of hockey while moving up through the minor programs and then with Port Arthur's junior and senior clubs. His graceful skating style combined with his talents as a stick handler and penalty killer contributed to the 1938-39 Port Arthur (Bearcats) Allan Cup Victory.

Following some time in the army during the 1940s, Edgar signed on with the New York Rangers in 1945. During his 10 year NHL career (all spent with the Rangers) Edgar received many distinctions. In 1945-46, he was named the Outstanding Rookie of the Year and received the Calder Trophy. A standout in the NHL, he was selected to a total of four consecutive All-Star teams, losing out on a fifth year due only to a broken ankle. He won the West Side Trophy in 1949 and 1950 as the Rangers' Most Valuable Player and claimed numerous Schaefer Awards, given to the Rangers' MVP at each home game.

Aside from his exceptional playing abilities, Edgar was also an exemplary player, relying on his talents rather than his brawn to achieve success. In both his first and last seasons, he was the only full-time player in the NHL to go through the entire season without drawing a penalty. His only recorded fight came in 1952 following an elbow from Gus Kyle of the Boston Bruins. In ten years he amassed a mere 42 minutes in penalties.

It is not surprising that he was named the Lady Byng Trophy winner for 1949-50, as the NHL playoffs adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability during the season.

In 1946 and 1950 he helped the Rangers reach the playoffs, being beaten out by Detroit. After missing half of the 1951 season due to a broken ankle, Laprade announced his retirement. The following year the Rangers talked him in to replacing Don Raleigh who was out with injuries. In 1954 the Rangers acquired Max Bentley and his brother Doug and, again, the Rangers asked Edgar to return to complete the line. He officially retired from the NHL following the 1955 season with a record of 500 games played, 108 goals and 172 assists.

Upon his retirement, Edgar returned home to Port Arthur where he got actively involved in his community, serving as a member of City Council and operating a sports store. In 1993, the Hockey Hall of Fame recognized his extraordinary contributions when they elected him as an Honoured Member in the Veterans' Category.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 25, 1982

 


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