From the time that he could first hold a hockey stick, Wilf L'Heureux astonished his fans. Born in Kenora (then known as Rat Portage), Ontario, Wilf spent most of winter playing hockey on the local frozen lakes and rivers. On special Saturdays, he and a dozen other kids would chip in a nickel each for the privilege of playing on the Rat Portage rink. At the age of 12, L'Heureux moved to Port Arthur and played hockey for Port Arthur High School. In 1910 he played his first senior hockey with the Port Arthur YMCA.


Like many athletes, Wilf was awarded a nickname by his fans. He was known in the district hockey circuit as 'The Old Fox', Wilf was a hockey strategist from his early hockey days. Lacking the weight to meet his opponents on even terms, he was forced to resort to strategy right from his early hockey days. He carried this on to his senior hockey career. It was reported by fans that in one day Wilf played in a week of steady skating. Craft and cunning made up for his lack of speed. The 'old" part of his nickname came from the fact that when Wilf finally hung up his skates from senior hockey, he had just celebrated his 38th birthday. During his over 20 years of involvement in the game, he had amassed a significant record of success.


L'Heureux was well known throughout the district as a member of the Port Arthur Senior Hockey Club. He first joined the Red, Green and White in 1921. He began his career with them on defence, partnered with another Hall of Famer, Gordon 'Phat' Wilson. In later years, he was moved up to the forward line, and it was with this team that he truly began to shine.


Wilf was member of the Port Arthur Seniors when they won the first three Allan Cups for northwestern Ontario, the first two came in back to back victories in 1924-25 and 1925-26. Although many thought that he would retire from the game after winning these two honours, Wilf continued with the Seniors, claiming the third Allan Cup in 1928-29.


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


Wilf L'Heureux

Inducted: 
1982
Sport:
Hockey
Community:
Kenora/Port Arthur
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