Skip to main content

Jack "Tex" Evans


Jack "Tex" Evans dedicated his entire life to the game of hockey.

Evans was born in Wales, but his family relocated to Drumheller, Alberta soon after his birth. Reportedly Jack never learned English until he started grade school. He never was one to say much, but he never out grew his careful, drawn out English. His accent was mistaken as southern, hence the nickname "Tex."

Jack was a lantern-jawed, no-nonsense defenseman in the Original Six era. Despite splitting his first six seasons between the New York Rangers and minor leagues, Evans totalled an impressive 752 career NHL games with the Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks. 

The fact that Evans had nearly 1000 penalty minutes and just 19 goals in his career tells you what kind of player he was. He excelled as a depth defenseman, never more so than in Chicago in 1961 where he teamed with Dollard St. Laurent on the second pairing as Chicago won the Stanley Cup.

Evans scored a key goal in the championship clinching game - his first goal of the season - but his biggest impact - literally and figuratively - came in the opening round against the five time Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens. The Hawks finally ended the Canadiens incomparable dynasty, with Evans rocking Montreal's giant Jean Beliveau with a memorable and thunderous body check.

Even though he was a durable and imposing NHL defender for such a long period of time, that only marked about half of his incredibly lengthy career. He played over another 800 games in 14 seasons in the minor leagues before and after his NHL career. 

Evans naturally stepped behind the bench and became a coach after his playing days were over. It was not long before he returned the NHL as a head coach in California/Cleveland and later Hartford, where he enjoyed mild success.

Many of Evans' pupils went on to notable coaching careers themselves, including Dave Tippett, Joel Quenneville, Claude Julien, Alain Vigneault, and Doug Jarvis.

"Jack was a stoic man, very honest, methodical, an old-school guy," Tippett said. "Playing for him and later being his assistant coach was an eye-opener for me. He had this ability to have the right people on the ice at the right time.

"Jack Evans is probably the pro coach I talk the most about," Julien said. "He was unique in his way. I had so much respect for the guy. He was quiet and he would let you play, but he had a demeanour in that if you didn't do what he wanted to do, you knew you were in trouble. He didn't have to say anything. He had a great presence."

Jack Evans passed away in 1996 of prostate cancer.

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