Skip to main content

Stanley Cup Legends: Ken Mallen Never Got His Name On The Stanley Cup

Today I want to talk about the curious case of Ken Mallen - the Stanley Cup champion who never got his name of the Stanley Cup, and no one is quite sure why.

Born in 1884 (possibly 1885) in Morrisburg, Ontario, Mallen was a popular speed merchant who served in 155 professional and amateur games. He was a true vagabond, bouncing from league to league, and city to city, likely on the legendary word of his skating ability.

His most famous stops may have been with the Vancouver Millionaires in 1915, where he captured the Stanley Cup championship.

However Mallen's name was mysteriously omitted from Stanley Cup engravement.

The excellent book called Lord Stanley's Cup, written by Andrew Podnieks and produced by the Hockey Hall of Fame, talked about Mallen's situation on page 47:

"A speed skater, Kenny Mallen played this year on a line with Nighbor and MacKay after coming over from New Westminster with goalie Lehman. Nonetheless, his name is inexplicably not on the Cup."

Podnieks is the most thorough of researchers, and with the HHOF behind the book you can guarantee he had access to every resource available, but he could not find an answer as for the omission.

Therefore we will have to assume Mallen's exclusion is simple oversight and not anything more sinister.

Mallen died young, just 34 or 35 years old depending on his official birth year, of a severe attack of bronchial pneumonia.

Upon his death Mike Rodden, sports editor of the Toronto Globe wrote about Mallen:

"On Wednesday at Morrisburg Kenny Mallen succumbed to an attack of double pneumonia, and thus passed the man who was rated by many as the fastest skater that hockey ever knew. He had worn the colors of numerous clubs, notably the Montreal Wanderers, Calumet, Toronto, Quebec, Renfrew, Ottawa, New Westminster, Vancouver, Seattle and Pittsburgh, but had never reached the heights as a (Howie) Morenz or a (King) Clancy because he could not control that puck in accordance with his phenomenal speed, nor could he combine with slower teammates. However, it was the worth the price of admission to see him "burn up that ice." On natural surfaces, particularly when bitterly cold weather prevailed, the snow flew off the skates of the flying Mallen.

"After his retirement from professional hockey he held the position of instructor of sports at the Ottawa Playgrounds, was a professional figure skater at London, Ont., and acted as coach of the Morrisburg Maroons and Cardinal St. Lawrence Hockey League teams.

"The late Mr. Mallen's friends were legion. He always "played the game," and even in the days when hockey resembled a miniature war this fine sportsman took his bumps and did not retaliate. Kenny Mallen was a gentleman."

By the way, Mallen's obituary suggests he also worked for the municipality of Morrisburg as a treasurer, and was a figure skating instructor for four years in San Francisco and later in British Columbia.

Comments

dude said…
Hello. I was wondering where you find the references to quote Mike Rodden during his years as a sports commentator. He is my Great Grandfather and I would like to learn more about him. Thank you for the article!

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M