Standing at 5'7" and reportedly weighing in as low as 135lbs, John "Jackie" Keating was one of the smallest players to ever play in the National Hockey League.
The proud New Brunswicker, nicknamed the Miramichi Flash, played 35 games over the course of the 1931-32 and 1932-33 seasons for the New York Americans. In that span he tallied 5 goals and 5 assists for 10 points in an otherwise unnotable NHL career. He spent several years in the minor leagues, most notably with the AHL Providence Reds.
Yet Keating remains a legend of hockey, especially in the maritimes. He was a long time senior player in St. John, playing with the Fusiliers, Beavers and Garrison. He was an equally celebrated hockey coach, guiding the Beavers for nine years including in 1946 when the team won the Martime championships and competed for the Allan Cup. One of his players, Gus Kyle, even went on to NHL success.
Kyle stepped down as coach bu became a director of minor hockey in Saint John while also managing the summer baseball team. Keating was also a heck of a ball player in his day, winning a batting championship in the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League in 1927 with a .389 batting average
Keating, who worked as a city surveyor, is definitely a sporting legend in Saint John and New Brunswick, with his contributions in both hockey and baseball being felt for years. He was inducted into the provincial Sports Hall of Fame in 1973.
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