Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Max Kaminsky

Max Kaminsky was clever center, excelling defensively while showing promise for offensive upside.

Born in 1913, he played his junior hockey with the Niagara Falls Cataracts of the OHA and in 1930-31, in 7 games, he scored 14 goals and had 15 assists for a whopping 29 points. He then played successfully for Niagara Falls in Senior OHA before turning pro with the NHL's Ottawa Senators in 1933-34.

He showed some ability, as he had 27 points in 38 games centering the Roche brothers Desse and Earl. The next year he did nothing for the St.Louis Eagles in 12 games, but when traded during the season to the Bruins, he had 12 goals and 27 points.

He never played well again after that, though. He was awful in 1936-37 and, following a contract dispute, Art Ross sold him to the Montreal Maroons where he played six games and then was sent to the minors. He spent the rest of his career in the minors where he did achieve some success. He made the AHL's second all-star team in 1939-40 having 11 goals and 29 assists. He played for Springfield until 1941-42 and then closed his career with the Pittsburgh Hornets in 1944-45, becoming coach in 1945-46, and was a long-time coach and general manager for many years.

The memory of Kaminsky, who died May 5th, 1961, is perpetuated by the Max Kaminsky Memorial Trophy, awarded yearly to the OHL (formerly the OHA) most gentlemanly player who also displays a high standard of playing ability. In 1969 they created the William Hanley Trophy for such nice guys, and gave the Kaminsky trophy to the league's top defenseman.

Kaminsky, who after he retired as a player became an AHL coach and a notable OHL coach, died of cancer in 1961, just months after leading the St. Catherines TeePees to the Memorial Cup in 1960

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