October 11, 2015

Vic Ripley


Believe it or not, the Chicago Blackhawks only scored 33 goals in a 44 game season in 1928-29. Their pitiful record that year? Seven wins, twenty nine losses and eight ties.

Who was the Hawks leading scorer that year? A fellow named Vic "Rip" Ripley with 11 goals and 13 points. Yes, that is a pretty paltry sum. Many years later Darryl Sittler would score 10 points in one game!

Or, as the legendary author Brian McFarlane wrote in his It Happened In Hockey series, Ripley's 13 points "would barely get him an invitation to a friendly game of shinny after the bars are closed on a Tuesday night–even if he pitched in to pay for the rink fees!"

The next season the vastly improved Hawks (they would score 117 goals and win 21 games) moved into their new digs - the famed Chicago Stadium that they would call home until 1994.  On December 15th, 1929 Ripley scored the first ever National Hockey League goal ever scored at the old Chicago Stadium. That was one of eight goals he scored that year, as newcomer Tommy Cook took over the top scoring role with the team.

Ripley continued to offer pop-gun offense to the Hawks until 1933 when began bouncing around the league. He played with the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers and St. Louis Eagles. though he never stayed anywhere long.

By 1935 Vic Ripley was out of the National Hockey League. He had played 278 games scoring 51 goals, 49 assists and 100 points.

Ripley would continue playing through to 1944, mostly on the west coast with teams in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.

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