Skip to main content

Bobby Walton

In the 1970s one of the most electrifying - and enigmatic - hockey players of the era was Mike "Shakey" Walton. He could head-fake the best of defenders and stickhandle in a phone booth. What a lot of people do not realize is Walton inherited his popular nickname from his father - a NHL player in the 1940s, albeit for a short time.

Ottawa-born Bobby Walton was a junior and senior hockey sensation in the nation's capital. He helped the Ottawa Rideau's to reach the Memorial Cup and Allan Cup tournaments.

In 1934 Walton crossed the Atlantic and played four seasons for the Wembley Lions in England. For a brief period of time prior to World War II a lot of Canadians found hockey jobs in a competitive English hockey league. Walton was one of it's greatest stars.

Upon his return to Canada in 1937 Walton was lured to Kirkland Lake, Ontario where he played with the famed Lake Shore Blue Devils senior team.  With Bill Durnan in net and Hal Cooper and Dick Kowcinak filling the opposition's net with pucks, the Blue Devils won the Allan Cup as Canada's amateur champions in 1940.

The Allan Cup victory was a big deal back then, and opened many hockey doors for champions. Walton would travel to Niagara Falls, Nova Scotia, Montreal, Sudbury, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Washington, chasing pucks and filling nets. He once led the American Hockey League in scoring.

While in Montreal he starred with the Montreal Royals of the Quebec senior circuit. The NHL's Montreal Canadiens certainly took note of his exploits and signed him to a contract in 1942. He would play primarily in the minor leagues, but did earn a four game call up in the 1943-44 season. He went scoreless in very limited playing time.

Walton retired to Kirkland Lake and raised two sons to elite levels of play - the aforementioned Mike and Rob, who played in the WHA and in the minors but never did make it to the National Hockey League.


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