May 04, 2015
That year Major Frederick McLaughlin, the eccentric team owner, said he wanted to ice a team of all American players. That would be an impressive line up today, but in the 1930s that was a real challenge. American players were not easy to find.
One such player who was brought in was Ernest "Ike" Klingbeil, a 5'10" 180lb defenseman from Hancock, Michigan. He had played at the University of Michigan but was discovered by Chicago while playing in a Michigan/Ontario
Klingbiel's NHL experiment only lasted five games, even though he scored one goal and two assists. He headed back to Michigan and played for a number of years for the Portage Lake Lakers/Elks of the Northern Michigan Hockey League.
The statistical record is very spotty for that Michigan amateur league. But his tenure there was interrupted by service in World War II with the Army Air Corps.
It also seems he was working in the 1940s as a police officer, but was removed from the force for an unknown reason.
Klingbeil died in a military hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1995. He was 86 years old.
Klingbeil's grandson Chuck played football in both the National Football League and the Canadian Football League.