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September 01, 2017

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. 

1 comment:

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.
Vanessa

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