Skip to main content

Red Heron

Toronto's Robert "Red" Heron was a goal scoring sensation in junior hockey in the 1930s. That was never more true than in 1936. Heron scored an astonishing 18 goals and 26 points in just 12 games as he led the West Toronto Nationals to the Memorial Cup championship. The slim and rangy center scored 4 goals in a 7-2 victory in the championship game.

Heron would play two more seasons of amateur senior hockey before turning pro with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1939. Over the next two seasons he apprentice on the Leafs' depth lines, centering checking units with Gus Marker and Pete Langelle as his wingers. Though he was described as dynamic player he never really got untracked offensively, however.

Perhaps a lot of that had to do with a lack of opportunity. Late in 1939-40 season Heron was moved to Pep Kelly's wing with the great Sweeney Schriner on the opposite side. Playing with more offensively talented players Heron showed what he could do, exploding for a four goal game in a 8-4 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

But such top line opportunities were rare for Heron, for whatever reason. In 1941-42 Heron started the season by tearing it up in the minor leagues with the Pittsburgh Hornets. He scored 20 goals and 36 points in just 23 games, including an AHL record six goals scored in one game! Three of his goals came in a 75 second span as the Hornets humiliated the visiting New Haven Eagles.

That type of pace gets you noticed, especially as NHL teams were losing talent to World War II efforts. The New York Americans traded Lorne Carr to the Leafs for Heron and Marker, but neither got untracked in New York, either. Heron scored just one assist in 11 games.

The Amerks moved Heron to Montreal before the end of the season, but his scoring woes continued. He picked up one goal and one assist in 12 more games with the Habs. In a nice piece of symmetry Heron's last NHL goal came against Toronto.

Montreal turned out to be Red Heron's last NHL stop. He, too, was called upon for military service the next season, though he was stationed in Toronto mostly. He was able to continue playing hockey at the senior level, finding his goal scoring touch once again.

After his military commitments ended Heron never did return to the pro game. He remained in Toronto and played senior hockey until the end of the decade.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M