Skip to main content

Les Cunningham

Les Cunningham played 60 games with the New York Americans and the Chicago Black Hawks in the National Hockey League around the beginning for World War II. He will be better remembered with the Cleveland Barons where he is an American Hockey League Hall of Famer.

Les Cunningham's hockey career really began when he was 15 when left his Calgary home to join the Regina Pats.  According to Brian Brennan's Calgary Herald eulogy of Cunningham, "to make ends meet he delivered telegrams for the CPR and hustled pool." He would help the Pats compete for the Memorial Cup.

Cunningham turn pro in 1934 with the Buffalo Bisons. It was two years later that "blonde bomber" moved to Cleveland and became a hockey hero. In his 10 seasons in the AHL he would score 233 goals and 346 assists for 579 points in 519 games. The five time all star would lead Cleveland to three Calder Cup championships. He retired as the AHL's all time leading scorer and had the league's Most Valuable Player award named after him.

Despite all that success in the minor leagues, Cunningham did not find such success in the National Hockey League. Except for on one night.

The New York Americans of the NHL noticed and gave him hist first good look at the NHL. In 23 games Cunningham scored just one goal and eight assists.

Cunningham played the 1939-40 season with the Chicago Black Hawks, scoring six goals and seventeen points.  His best night clearly came on Jan. 28, 1940, when he scored two goals and three assists all in the third period against Montreal. The five points stood as a single period record for the next 38 years until Brian Trottier of the New York Islanders tallied six points in one period versus the New York Rangers.

Les went on to coach San Francisco Shamrocks (PCHL) and junior hockey's Brandon Wheat Kings before becoming a long time NHL scout. He was often seen at Calgary Flames games and Calgary gof courses.


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