October 01, 2015

Gord Henry

Its one thing to be the second best goalie on your team. But when you're the second best goalie on the team named Henry, well that's likely not a good thing.

Gord "Red" Henry was a long time minor league puckstopper, spending most of his 14 year career in Hershey, an AHL farm team of the Boston Bruins. His best years came in the late 1940s and early 1950s but the Bruins had another goalie - named "Sugar" Jim Henry - and only called up on the unrelated Gord Henry when there was an emergency.

One of those emergencies came in the 1948-49 season when Gord had to step in as an injury replacement for the game. Gord played very well, not only winning the game but shutting out the Montreal Canadiens 3-0. At the time that made him just the sixth goaltender to get a shut out in his first NHL game.

On two other occasions Gord was called in to replace an injured NHLer. Despite losing both of those games, he played very well, giving up just 5 goals in total.

Gord actually played more NHL playoff games than he did regular season games. He played in 5 playoff contests over two years, though was unable to win any of them. He gave up 21 goals in 283 minutes worked.

Gord Henry was forced to retire after suffering a badly broken collarbone in a car accident.

Henry died in 1972, just 46 years old. He was inducted posthumously into the Hershey Bears Hall of Fame in 2013.

Willie Marshall, the AHL's all time leading scorer, remembers playing against Henry well.

“He was a standout goalie in the league. Unlike most goalies, he was left-handed, holding the stick in his left hand. That was unique. Red played a stand-up style, and I always found it hard to score on him. He didn’t flop down on the ice. He was definitely one of the best in his era.”

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