August 08, 2013

Marty Walsh

Kingston/Ottawa hockey legend Marty Walsh was one of the most remarkable goal scorers of his day.

In a playoff game against Port Arthur in 1911, he scored 10 times, placing him at the top of the list for single game totals. A newspaper reported the next day "this is a decidedly great performance for Walsh not only tallied at will, but he did a great deal of checking as well and was on top of the rubber from beginning to end." In five seasons with Ottawa he scored an unbelievable 135 goals in 59 games!

Walsh first came to prominence while playing for Queen's University in 1906, when they challenged the Ottawa Silver Seven for the Stanley Cup. Even though Queen's was defeated, Walsh's superb play against Ottawa superstar Frank McGee did not go unnoticed. The Silver Seven immediately made Walsh an offer when McGee retired in 1906. Accepting a contract in the International Hockey League instead, Walsh headed south of the border in 1907.

Playing in what was regarded as the roughest league in hockey history, Marty broke his leg early on in the season. Too bad for Marty but it was a blessing in disguise for a newcomer named Fred Taylor who was waiting on the bench. Taylor is better known as Cyclone Taylor, the most famous pre-NHL hockey player.

When Marty's bones healed, the Ottawa offer was extended again and in 1908 he joined the ranks of the legendary Silver Seven.

Walsh captured the scoring title during his first two seasons and was instrumental in Ottawa's Stanley Cup wins in 1909, 1910 and 1911.

Walsh hung up his skates after the 1912 season and head west to Edmonton to find work. Unfortunately he soon became ill and was sent back to Ontario where he was treated for tuberculosis, a disease that claimed his life on March 27, 1915. He was just 30 years old.

He was elected to the Hockey Hall of fame in 1962.

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