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Al Rollins (goalie)
Al Rollins.jpg
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
Height
Weight
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
180 lb (82 kg)
Teams Toronto Maple Leafs
Chicago Black Hawks
New York Rangers
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born October 9, 1926(1926-10-09),
Vanguard, SK, CA
Died July 27 1996 (aged 69),
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Pro Career 1949 – 1962


Elwin Ira Rollins (October 9, 1926 – July 27, 1996) was a professional Canadian ice hockey goaltender who played for the Chicago Black Hawks, New York Rangers and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Playing Career[]

Before joining the NHL, Rollins played with the Vancouver Canucks in the PCHL. Next year, Rollins at age 21, moved to Edmonton to play for the Edmonton Flyers. Rollins believed the Flyers were a team capable of capturing the Allan Cup and he also believed if he played well enough he might get signed into the NHL. Rollins' gamble paid off and the Edmonton Flyers won the Allan Cup in 1947-48. He played 24 games that season, winning 20 and posting a 1.93 GAA.

Rollins played in the minor leagues for a couple of years before he was signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1950-51. Rumors had it that he was there to simply put pressure on Turk Broda to lose weight. This wasn't exactly true as the Leafs also needed to shore up their rapidly thinning goaltender depth chart. That season the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup.

Rollins could not convince the Leafs management that he could be their full-time goaltender. In 1951-52, he was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks for veteran Harry Lumley. For 5 years he played for the Black Hawks, a team that usually finished last in the NHL which majorly contributed to his 141-205-83 record. But despite that, hockey pundits saw Rollins as one of the league's best goaltenders and in 1953-54 he played in the NHL All-Star Game and was awarded the Hart Trophy, even though he only won 12 games and lost 47 that season.

In 1957-58, the Chicago Black Hawks acquired great Glenn Hall from the Detroit Red Wings. He was sent to the minor leagues as the Black Hawks preferred Hall. He would stay in the minor leagues until 1959-60, when he was signed on by the New York Rangers. He played 10 games with the club before he was sent back to the minor leagues again. This would mark the end of his NHL career. In 1966, although he was 37 years old, Rollins helped the Drumheller Miners to an Allan Cup victory in 1965-66.

Rollins is, as of 2020, one of three eligible players, along with Tommy Anderson and Jose Theodore, to win the Hart Memorial Trophy and not be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Coaching Career[]

After retiring, he opted to become a coach. Rollins coached the University of Calgary hockey team as well as clubs in Spokane, Salt Lake City, Houston, Tulsa and Phoenix. As a coach, he achieved a good measure of success, including an Allan Cup victory with the Spokane Jets in 1970. Rollins was named coach of the WHA Phoenix Roadrunners in 1976, replacing local favourite Sandy Hucul. Rollins was generally hated in Phoenix after his years as coach of the WHL rival Salt Lake Golden Eagles, and his tenure in Phoenix resulted in the demise of the Roadrunner franchise after only one season at the helm.

His son Jerry Rollins played in the defunct WHA.

Awards and Achievements[]

Gallery[]

External Links[]

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