March 19, 2014

Chuck Scherza Passes Away

Chuck Scherza was far from a household name in the hockey world. He only played 56 games in the NHL total, scoring 6 goals and 6 assists.

Scherza joined the Boston Bruins as a 20 year old at the start of the 1943-44. World War II enrolment played havoc with NHL rosters, allowing unknown youngsters like Scherza a chance to play in the big leagues.
The durable, hard hitting 5'10" 190lb forward only played 9 games in Boston before moving to the New York Rangers. The Rangers were hit particularly hard by WWII roster thinning, as they started the season 0-14-1. Scherza was a welcome addition, playing in 24 contests that season, scoring 3 goals and 5 points.
His most memorable game was his first game against the Bruins shortly after his trade from Boston. Scherza scored twice to lead the Rangers to their first goal of the season. Unfortunately he fractured two ribs and collapsed a lung by crashing into the old immovable goal posts while scoring the second goal. 
Scherza returned to the Rangers the following season, but after scoring just 2 goals in 22 games he was demoted to the minor leagues. He probably did not know it at the time, but he'd never return to the NHL.
But Scherza's hockey career was far from over. The Brandon, Manitoba native would play on in the AHL, most notably with the Providence Reds, for another decade. He helped them win the Calder Cup championship trophy in 1949 and also served as captain for five seasons.
Scherza ended his career as a playing coach with the North Bay Trappers of the Ontario senior hockey circuit. Unfortunately a high stick ended his career as his left eye was surgically removed after the incident. 
You don't need eyes to be an on ice official right? He worked as a linesman in the AHL before leaving the ice to work for a distribution company.
Chuck Scherza passed away on March 16th, 2014. He was 91 years old.

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