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July 21, 2016

The Paul Whiteman Trophy

In the 1998-1999 season the NHL finally recognized its leading goal scorer in honour of the late great Rocket Richard.

But did you know the NHL previously had an award the top goal getter?

That is Paul Whiteman, handing over the Paul Whiteman trophy to 1928-29 goal scoring leader Ace Bailey. He scored 22 times that season.

Who was Paul Whiteman? Apparently he was an at-the-time famous bandleader. None other than Duke Ellington declared Whiteman to be the "King of Jazz."

How Whiteman got connected with hockey is a mystery. But it was short-lived, probably a publicity stunt. The Paul Whiteman trophy was never again handed out. Bailey kept the trophy. It can now be seen at the Bracebridge Sports Hall of Fame in Bailey's hometown.

Interestingly, the NHL also had the "Greyhound Cup" given to the league MVP. Little is known about this trophy but it appears to have been a corporate ploy in direct competition with the already established Hart Trophy.

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