"Jolly" Jack Adams was born on June 14, 1895 in Fort William, Ontario.
This Hockey Hall of Famer is best known as a coach and manager, but he was inducted as a player. He was brash and pugnacious both on and off the ice.
Adams started playing hockey at the age of sixteen when he played in the Northern Michigan Senior League. He went on to have amateur stops in Peterborough and Sarnia. It was not long before Adams decided against playing amateur and moved up to the professional league.
In 1918 Adams played for the NHL's Toronto Arenas. During his first year he helped Toronto to the Stanley Cup, scoring his first goal against the legendary Georges Vezina in the final.
Adams would play one more season in Toronto, slowly starting to display his incredible skill with great playmaking ability and a great hunger for scoring. But he also was a fierce competitor who would do whatever it took to win - including bending the rule book now and again. He would become a well known face among the penalty box care-keepers around the league.
Adams headed west to join Vancouver of the PCHA in the 1919. It was when he was in Vancouver that he really emerged as a scoring threat. In twenty four games in 1921-22 he scored twenty six goals - far more than second highest scorer Frank Foyston who had 16.
Adams returned to the NHL the following year. He would spend the next four seasons with Toronto, who were now renamed the St. Pats. He proved to be a steady goal scorer. He had three 26-plus point seasons.
In 1926-1927, Adams joined the Ottawa Senators where he played more of a support role. What a great team that Senators team was. Jack played along side such stars as King Clancy, George Boucher, Frank Nighbor, Cy Denneny, and Alex Connell. In forty games Adams had only five goals and one assist, but he did win the Stanley Cup that year.
Adams would hang up his skates after that season, and signed on to become coach and manager of the Detroit Cougars (who were later renamed the Red Wings.) He would go on to become one of the greatest coaches in NHL history, winning twelve regular season championships, including seven in a row, and seven Stanley Cups.
Adams remains the only person to have his named etched on the Stanley Cup as a player, as a coach and as a manger.
Of course Adams was also the man who introduced the NHL to soon-to-be hockey greats like Gordie Howe, Terry Sawchuk, Red Kelly and Ted Lindsay.
When New York presented the Lester Patrick Trophy to the NHL in 1966 to recognize outstanding service to hockey in the United States, Jack Adams was named the first recipient. At the time he was serving as president of the Central Hockey League.
Jack Adams passed away on May 1, 1968, reportedly while working at his desk.