Skip to main content

Joe Krol

Canadian sporting fans of the 1940s and 1950s certainly knew the name Joe Krol. He was the "King" of the Canadian Football League. Starring as a quarterback, running back, defensive back and placekicker/punter, Joe Krol one of the greatest Toronto Argonauts ever.

But there was another Joe Krol in the sporting world at pretty much the same time. This Joe Krol, 4 years older and born in Winnipeg, starred in hockey. He briefly appeared in the National Hockey League, splitting time with the two New York teams, before having his career disrupted by World War II.

Krol would make a pro hockey living in the New York and Philadelphia area from 1935 through 1942. Originally playing with the New York Rovers of the EHL, he was probably best known as a Philadelphia Ramblers of the IAHL. Over the course of those four seasons he twice played games for the New York Rangers, three seasons apart. In his second game, in 1939 when he replaced the injured Cecil Dillon, he even scored 1 goal and 1 assist, but was returned to the minors.

Someone in New York must have noticed the left winger' one good game with the Rangers. In 1941-42 the cross town Americans, now known as Brooklyn, rescued Krol from the minor leagues. He played in 24 games, scoring 9 goals and 12 points.

That would be the end of Joe Krol's hockey career. World War II summoned. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, achieving the rank of leading aircraftman. He continued playing hockey with RCAF teams based in Vancouver and Winnipeg.

Upon his discharge from military service Krol did not put the skates on again. Instead he found a job with Air Canada in Winnipeg and then Montreal. He would work their for over three decades.

Joe Krol died on October 26th, 1993 in Calgary.

From best as I can ascertain through the newspaper archives, Joe Krol was a very solid minor league player and was well thought of by NHL teams. He appeared to have had some bad timing in that his NHL break came just prior to his departure to the armed forces where he discovered another rewarding career.


Anonymous said…
My father Fergus Thomas Novak who started local Winnipeg Hockey club in the 1920's drove across Canada and came to the US with friends Joe Krol and Alex Shebicky (NY Rangers) on June 10th 1937.

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