It is not often that I learn of a true legend of hockey that I have never heard of before. That is what happened last week.
While researching early European hockey stars like Rudi Ball, Gustav Jaenecke and Herbert Brück, an interesting name caught my attention. They all seemed to idolize and respect a fellow by the name of Blake Watson.
Now Blake Watson certainly is not your typical European name, so I became curious. After a bit of digging it turns out Blake Watson was born and raised in Canada, growing up with the game of hockey.
He was a Memorial Cup and Allan Cup champion who helped Canada win the World Championships of 1931. He was so good he was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame. He very likely would have succeeded in the NHL had he turned pro.
He never did turn pro, instead concentrating on his medical studies. He did have the chance to jump to Europe to study, practice, and also to play hockey. He was a true superstar in Austria, Germany, Czechoslovakia and Switzerland, serving as hockey hero to many early European stars who watched him play.
He returned to Canada in the early 1930s, and then moved to California, where he was a doctor to many Hollywood stars including Carol Burnett, Elizabeth Taylor, Fred Astair and Oliver Hardy.
You can read the full Dr. Blake Watson biography here.