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April 24, 2015

Lorne Davis

Despite a long playing career it seems Lorne Davis gained more fame in the hockey world as an amateur scout.

After graduating from junior hockey with his hometown Regina Pats, Davis embarked on 12 year professional career. He travelled all through western Canada, playing in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg as a pro. He road the minor league buses for Hershey, Buffalo, Providence and Muskegon. All told he survived about 700 minor league games - not bad for a player who turned down the chance to play minor league baseball, too.

Here and there Davis was rewarded with NHL try-outs that totalled 95 career games.

After a 3 game look with the Montreal Canadiens in 1951-52 (scoring 1 goal and 1 assist), Davis got a good look with the Habs as a call up in the 1953 playoffs. Despite not playing in any regular season games that season, Davis appeared in seven post-season contests, scoring 1 goal and 1 assist. He got his name on the Stanley Cup that year, as the Habs defeated the Boston Bruins four games to one.

Davis strong spring resulted in an extended look in the 1953-54 season. He played 37 games, scoring 6 goals and 10 points. He also chipped in 2 more goals in 11 Stanley Cup post-season games. Ultimately Montreal would come up just short, losing the Stanley Cup in overtime in game seven versus the Detroit Red Wings.

Davis was moved to Chicago for the next season, but after only 8 games he was moved to Detroit. He went 22 scoreless games with the Wings before being demoted to the minor leagues for the balance of the season. Detroit went on to win another Stanley Cup, but Davis did not play and was not included in the team engraving.

The Boston Bruins acquired Davis in the shocking Terry Sawchuk trade. Though he was ultimately a throw in in the deal, the Bruins hoped Davis could get his NHL career back on track. They gave him a 15 game look in 1955-56, but when Davis contributed only one assist the Bruins sent him back to the farm. He did not get another look for another four years.

All told Lorne Davis scored 8 goals and 20 points in 95 career NHL games and another 3 goals and 4 points in 18 playoff games.

After he retired as a pro he continued to play senior hockey for another five seasons, mostly in Regina. He also participated in the 1966 World Championships.

When Davis finally hung up his blades and became a scout for the St. Louis Blues, Houston Aeros (WHA) and New York Rangers

In the late 1970s Davis decided to return to Regina and step behind the bench of his Alma mater,  the junior Pats. He also was one of three co-coaches (with Clare Drake and Tom Watt) for Canada at the 1980 Olympics. The legendary Father David Bauer insisted upon Davis' inclusion.

Soon after the Olympics Davis joined the Edmonton Oilers as a bird dog, finding such greats as Grant Fuhr, Ryan Smyth and Kelly Buchberger. Davis earned five more Stanley Cup rings while working with the Oilers.

Davis continued scouting for the Oilers right up until his death in 2007. The 77 year old suffered a cardiac event. He was also battling cancer.

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