Skip to main content

Eddie Wares

Eddie Wares was a versatile hockey player out of Calgary, Alberta. For most of his 321 career NHL games Wares was often listed as a defenseman but the lightning quick skater also played a lot of right wing.

In fact, Wares skated on a Detroit line with "Count" Grosso and the great Sid Abel on the long forgotten Liniment Line in the early 1940s. Not long after that Abel would find a new right winger with a newcomer named Gordie Howe.

It turns out that Wares was not only versatile on the ice, but off of it, too. He was a track and field star, too. In fact he represented Canada at the 1934 British Empire Games, competing in discus, javelin and shotput, winning the gold medal.

Upon his return home to Calgary he was almost set to focus on track and field training for the 1936 Olympics but the New York Rangers came offering money to turn pro with them.

"I have to make a living," he said. After all, this was the 1930s and the Great Depression was in full swing.

Wares would only play two games with the Rangers, scoring two goals even. But he spent the rest of his first three pro seasons playing in the minor leagues before being traded to Detroit.

Wares had a spectacular debut with the Wings, scoring late game winning goals in each of his first two games in Detroit. Such a debut led to promises of future stardom from Wings coach Jack Adams.

Wares may be best remembered for his role in Detroit's feud with a referee named Mel Harwood during the infamous 1942 Stanley Cup final. The Wings, of course, blew a 3-0 series lead only to lose to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Wings first started coming undone when Wares began arguing with Harwood before a faceoff. Much to the Wings' disbelief Wares was assessed a 10 minute misconduct and banished to the penalty box.

Harwood quickly followed that up with an earned "too many men on the ice" penalty, served by Grosso. But when Grosso said something to Harwood while skating to the penalty box, he, too, was assessed a 10 minute misconduct.

This led to one of the most bizarre scenes in Stanley Cup playoff history. At the conclusion of the game Detroit coach Jack Adams accosted Harwood on the ice as both teams were exiting to the dressing room. Next thing you know Adams and Harwood are exchanging blows. Soon enough Grosso and some fans were attempting to get their licks in, too. Harwood had to escorted off the ice and away from the rink by the police.

Wares was asked about the incident after the game, when he reportedly said "You know what's going to happen, don't you? It's going to go seven games."

It did. And unthinkably the Wings lost.

Fortunately for Wares, he returned in 1943 with the Wings and saved some face by winning the Stanley Cup by defeating the Boston Bruins.

Wares was committed to military service from 1943 until 1945. He returned to play two seasons with Chicago before disappearing to the minor leagues.

Wares would settle in British Columbia where he played and coach in Victoria and Nelson. He later returned to his native Calgary where he lived until his passing in 1992.


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