June 21, 2011

Manny McIntyre Dies at 92

Manny McIntyre died on Tuesday. He was 92 years old.

Chances are you have never heard of Manny McIntyre. He never even came close to playing in the National Hockey League. Yet he very much is a legend of hockey in his own right.

McIntyre teamed with brothers Herbie and Ossie Carnegie brothers to form "Les Noirs" or the "Black Aces," the first all-black line in pro hockey. The trio played with the Sherbrooke Saints of the Quebec Senior Hockey League in the 1940s.

They were as good as any hockey players in Canada. Legendary writer Red Storey once said “The Colored Line, as a line, could have played on any team, any time, anywhere.”

The cruel irony is that they could not play anywhere. Hockey's unofficial color barrier was not broken until 1958 when Willie O'Ree joined the Boston Bruins.

Mike Wyman from Inside Hockey has a great piece up on McIntyre, who was a great athlete off the ice too. It turns out he is the only professional hockey player to also play in baseball's fabled Negro Leagues.

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