When it was announced former NHLer Paul Gladu had passed away, I have to admit even I said "Paul Glad-who?"
Here is what I found out.
Gladu, born in St. Hyachinthe, Quebec, played junior hockey alongside Maurice Richard in Verdun. He slipped past the Montreal Canadiens grasp because of a wrist injury that didn't allow him to participate in a training camp invite.
He spent a wartime season with the Boston Bruins. In 1944-45 he, playing on a line with Bill Thoms and Armand Gaudreault, tried filling the huge skates of the absent high-scoring Kraut Line. Superstars Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer had all been enlisted for military service.
Gladu, 23 at the time, scored six goals and 14 assists for 20 points in 40 games. He added 2 more goals in the playoffs, though the Bruins were eliminated by the Red Wings in seven games.
Once the war was over the fabulous Krauts returned to Boston, Gladu was off to American Hockey League where he was a good scorer with the St. Louis Flyers from 1945 through 1951. He even scored 51 times in the 1948-49 season, and otherwise was a solid 30 goal threat.
Gladu also briefly played with Hershey, Cleveland and Providence.
Born in Saint-Hyacinthe, Gladu played his junior hockey with the Verdun Maple Leafs on a line with Maurice (Rocket) Richard. In 1940, the Leafs lost the Eastern finals of the Memorial Cup playoffs to the Oshawa Generals. Gladu played senior hockey with the Shawinigan Cataracts. In one game against Villery, he scored four goals and added four assists in a decisive 17-3 Cataracts’ victory.
In 1941, Dick Irvin invited Gladu to join the Montreal Canadiens at training camp at Saint-Hyacinthe, but a wrist injury prevented him from participating. During the war, he helped build warships in Québec City while playing for the local intermediate team, the Sea Gulls.
Gladu’s stint in the NHL was limited by the return of Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer from military service.