Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bob Gracie

Bob Gracie was a arrogant, cocky person who rubbed many people the wrong way. That's probably why he moved all over the hockey map in his career. But he was also a talented goal scorer and playmaker. Though his NHL numbers never stood out like they did in the juniors and minors, Gracie was a consistent scoring threat in his day.

Gracie started his career with the Toronto Maples Leafs in 1930-31, but he also played with the Boston Bruins, New York Americans, Montreal Maroons, Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Black Hawks. He also served with several teams in the AHL and PCHL before his career was done by the close of the 1940s.

One hockey story, which may be more legend than fact, has Gracie calling his own goal in a sudden death overtime with the Leafs against the Maroons. Gracie had been sitting on the bench for most of the extra period when Toronto coach Dick Irvin finally dispatched Gracie over the boards with about 3 minutes left in the period. Gracie supposedly skated over to the official scorers bench and said "Get a pencil. Write these words - Goal by Gracie." The scorer smiled but was less than impressed. But sure enough, Gracie took a pass from Andy Blair and fired the winning goal!

In 379 NHL games he scored 82 goals and 191 points. His best season may have come in 1934-35 when he joined the Montreal Maroons. Playing on a line with Herb Cain and Gus Marker, Gracie helped the Maroons win the Stanley Cup.

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