September 17, 2015

Hugh Plaxton

Hugh Plaxton was one of Canada's greatest Olympians.

After graduating from the University of Toronto with a law degree, Hugh played Ontario Senior hockey with the University of Toronto Grads, a collection of former stars at the college.

In 1928 the Grads earned the right to represent Canada as the official Olympic hockey team. The Grads went on to easily win the gold medal. Canada went undefeated with a 3-0 record with 38 goals for and none against. Runners-up Sweden were 2-1 with 7 goals for and 12 against. Hugh and future Montreal Maroons star Dave Trottier led the Canadian attack, each scoring 12 goals. 6 of Plaxton's goals came in one game against Great Britain.

Hugh also spear-headed one of the most controversial disputes in Canadian Olympic history as well. Hugh - and goaltender Joe Sullivan - threatened to boycott the Olympics unless their brothers were added to the team. A young Conn Smythe was in charge of that team and refused to comply with what he thought were ridiculous demands. Smythe wanted to add Wes Kirkpatrick and Dick Richards to the team instead. In the end though Hugh's status on the U of T team helped his brothers Bert and Roger and Frank Sullivan make the team while Kirkpatrick, Richards and Smythe all were dropped from the team and left in Canada.

Following the Olympics Hugh quit his hockey career in order to concentrate on his law career. He practiced law in Ontario until 1932 when the Montreal Maroons convinced him to turn professional. Reunited with Olympic star Dave Trottier, Hugh's long layoff didn't help him achieve what he had hoped. Hugh played in 15 games, scoring 1 goal and 2 assists. Described as an elegant player, he also played in IAHL with Windsor and the WCHL with Vancouver that season.

Hugh retired after that one season of bouncing around. He returned to his law practice in the summer of 1933. He also sat as a Toronto based Liberal Member of Parliament in the late 1930s. He also served as a Navy Lieutenant Commander during World War II.

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