Skip to main content

Boat Hurley Passes Away

Boat Hurley, long time amateur goaltender and goaltender with the 1960 Canadian Olympic hockey team, passed away on August 29th, 2017 The 87 year old was said to have battled a long illness.

Born November 16, 1930 (though some sources say 1929) in Stratford, Ontario, Harold Anthony Hurley played his entire lengthy career as an amateur in Ontario. He was so good that he turned down offers to turn pro with both the Detroit Red Wings , Chicago Black Hawks and Toronto Maple Leafs because he had a very good job that offered stability that pro hockey would not. It also offered more money than riding the buses in the minor leagues. He was an accountant and worked for Bauer Industries for more than half a century, retiring in 1992 as plant manager.

"The Leafs offered me a two-year contract for $5,000 a year and a $1,000 signing bonus," said Hurley. "That wasn't bad money for 1947. But the six NHL teams back then carried only one goaltender. Your chances of making it weren't very good."
I have no regrets. I kept my job the whole time I played and probably ended up better than a lot of big six guys."

Universally known by his moniker "Boat" - the origins of which are unknown to us - played Junior Hockey for the Stratford Kroehlers and Senior Hockey for the K-W Dutchmen, Galt Terriers, Galt Hornets, Oakville Oaks, Guelph Regals, Chatham Maroons and Elmira Polar Kings. 

His hockey highlights included:
  • Playing in the 1960 Olympics at Squaw Valley, California where he was the backup goaltender to Don Head. (Silver medal)
  • Playing in the 1962 Ice Hockey World Championships at Colorado Springs, Colorado where he only goaltender to wear a face mask. (Silver medal)
  • Playing with the Chatham Maroons during a tour in Moscow, Russia. 
  • Three Allan Cup championships with Galt (1961, 1969 and 1971)

Boat, who at one time was coached by NHL goaltending legend Bill Durnan, won the Turofsky Trophy eight times for the Lowest Goals Against Average in OHA Senior A hockey. He won it so often that they gave him the silverware permanently! He later donated it to the Hockey Hall of Fame. 

Oldtimers of this long gone era will tell you that Boat Hurley was as good as most goalies in the NHL during his time. 


Miss Hurley said…
Hi Joe,
Thank you for the wonderful article about my grandfather. He was born in 1929. As kids we got to play with his trophies, pads and masks. We were so excited to visit his exhibit in the Hockey Hall of Fame all those years ago. He will be missed.
Bonnie Hergott said…
Hi Vanessa
I knew Boat because my dad also worked at Bauer industries. I remember him as a kind and funny man . He was always a gentleman. I worked with his sons when it was summer. I bet one of them was your dad. I think ones name was Tom.. maybe..Erik maybe memory isn't what it used to be. Anyway I just wanted to share my thoughts.. he will be missed
Miss Hurley said…
Hi Bonnie,
Small world, you working with Uncle Tom, and my father, Pat. I'll let him know you wrote to us. Makes me happy to know there are others with fond memories of my grampie. Think of him even more with the Olympics happening now. V

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