May 01, 2015

Milt Halliday

Samuel "Milt" Halliday was a born and bred Ottawa hockey star. He was once described as "a quiet individual of very few words but whose hockey spoke volumes."

He was a newspaper-worthy star in high school who went on senior hockey excellence with a long-ago team called the Gunners for three seasons, winning the city championship in 1926.

So it came as no surprise that the National Hockey League's Ottawa Senators signed him as a free agent for three seasons starting in 1926.

What may have come as a surprise was his lack of production. He would play in 67 regular season games in his career (plus another six in the playoffs) and scored only one goal. No assists. Just one goal.

Halliday did get his name on the Stanley Cup as part of Ottawa's 1927 championship team.

Accused of "listless" play Halliday actually split his second and third NHL season with time in the minor leagues. He dazzled in practice - several newspaper stories referenced this - but did little in the games. The Sens even tried sending Halliday to Niagara Falls where former NHL legend - and noted stern disciplinarian coach - Newsy Lalonde tried to refine his game, but to no avail.

 He was out of the league altogether by 1929, though he would continue to play in the minor leagues for seven more vagabond seasons.

Halliday returned to Ottawa upon his retirement. He had his amateur status reinstated and he played senior hockey in the city.  Over the years he was heavily involved in charity games featuring the Ottawa Senators alumni team.

Milt Halliday died in 1989 at the age of 82.

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