Skip to main content

Gerry Lowrey

Hockey fans in the state of Pennsylvania will tell you that the most heated rivalry on ice is between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. And it has been that way ever since the Penguins and Flyers entered the National Hockey League in the first wave of expansion back in 1967.

But did you know both cities had teams back around the start of the Great Depression?

Pittsburgh had a NHL team from 1925 through 1930. Proving that they were not the most original bunch, they named their team the Pirates - the same name, of course, as the famous baseball team. For some reason they chose not to keep alive the name of the city's first hockey team - the Yellow Jackets had been playing out of the Duquesne Arena since 1915.

The Pirates were not very successful on the ice. Or off of it. And as the stock market crashed so did the fortunes of many sports teams. In an effort to save the franchise the team was relocated in 1930.

To Philadelphia, of all places.

That's right. Philadelphia's first ever NHL team - the Quakers - were actually relocated Pittsburghers!

The team did not do much better in Philly. Not only did they finish dead last in the standings, but they only won four games in the entire 44 game schedule. The financially troubled franchise collapsed completely after just one season in Philadelphia. NHL hockey fans in Pennsylvania would have to wait another 46 years to see a game.

Gerry Lowrey, also known as Jerry, played for both the Pirates and the Quakers back then. Despite the challenges he enjoyed his time in Pennsylvania.

"It was a lot of fun," he said years later in a 1975 interview with the Ottawa Journal. "We weren't going anywhere and we knew it so we could relax around a little bit. And we didn't draw at home but we drew well enough on the road."

Lowrey also commented on the somewhat suspicious franchise relocation.

"We were owned by Big Bill Dwyer, who also owned the New York Americans, and when we switched over from Pittsburgh, and the year before he took some of our best players. Lionel Conacher. The goalie Roy Worters."

Gerry Lowrey is of the famous Ottawa Lowrey hockey clan from turn-of-the-20th-century era. All of his six brothers were notable hockey players in the region, with older brothers Eddie and Fred - universally hailed as Frock - also making it to the National Hockey League.

Lowrey left the University of Ottawa in 1922 and pursue a career in professional hockey. By 1927-28 he was in the NHL, playing two seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

By the end of the second season he was moved to Pittsburgh (traded for Baldy Cotton plus cash), staying their until the franchise's aforementioned demise in 1931.

Described as a good stickhandler who was noted for battling for loose pucks in front of the net, he wound down his career with stops with the Chicago Blackhawks and with his hometown Ottawa Senators before disappearing to the minor and senior leagues.

Lowrey established Gerry Lowrey Ltd, a renovation company that specialized in roofing and insulation. He was active with the company, which still exists today, right up to the time of his death in 1979. He was 74 years old.

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