March 10, 2012
Herb Carnegie Dead At 92
But O'Ree wasn't the first or necessarily the best Black hockey player back in the early days. Many say that Herb Carnegie was the best player not in the National Hockey League at that time.
Herb Carnegie was one-third of what is believed to be the very first all-black line in hockey. Herbie centered his brother Ossie and Manny McIntyre. O'Ree described them as "superstars of their era" with the Quebec Aces of the QSHL and EHL.
"Herb was a center. He and Ossie, a right wing, were both born in Toronto. McIntyre, the left wing on the line, was born in my hometown of Fredericton, New Brunswick. They were a great forward line, terrific skaters and terrific shooters. Herb was considered to be the best of the three, but all of them would have made the NHL if they had gotten a better chance at it," said O'Ree.
Carnegie had chance to play with a young Jean Beliveau while with the Quebec Aces. Beliveau many years later had nothing but good things to say about Carnegie.
"Even though it's been more than four decades since I witnessed Herb's hockey brilliance, there is no question that the years I spent with him still evoke some of my best hockey memories," said Jean. "Herbie was a super hockey player, a beautiful style, a beautiful skater, a great playmaker. In those days, the younger ones learned from the older ones. I learned from Herbie."
Frank Mahovlich, hockey Hall of Famer and Canadian senator, was another fan of his.
"I was just amazed at the way he played; he was much superior to the others on the ice."
Read the full Herb Carnegie biography