May 04, 2016

Tom McGrattan

Tom McGrattan played junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey Association with the Windsor Spitfires in the 1940s.

With Windsor being so close to the city of Detroit, it became a natural that McGrattan would become a spare goaltender for the Red Wings should they ever need one. In the old days, teams would only carry one goalie. If a goalie got hurt, they would call up another from the minors. But teams would have a goalie or goalies in attendance for each game should either of the teams ever encounter an emergency.

McGrattan would only get the call in the case of an absolute emergency. That emergency occurred on November 9, 1947. Half way through the 3rd period Wing goalie Harry Lumley became injured and couldn't finish the game. McGrattan was told to get his equipment on and finish the game.

McGrattan played the final 8 minutes of that game. He didn't surrender a goal. Maybe the Wings should have given McGrattan the start on this night. The final score was Toronto 6, Detroit 0.

The game was McGrattan's only NHL appearance. He did play some senior hockey afterwards but was soon out of hockey at a competitive level.

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