|Honoured Member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame|
Andrew Alexander "Spuds" Hebenton (October 3, 1929 – January 29, 2019) was a Canadian professional ice hockey right winger, and holds the record for the longest streak without missing a game in professional hockey history.
After playing junior hockey for a local Winnipeg team, Hebenton made his professional debut in 1949 for the Cincinnati Mohawks of the American Hockey League. The following season he moved on to the Victoria Cougars of the Pacific Coast Hockey League (subsequently renamed the Western Hockey League. He starred with Victoria for five seasons, his best year being 1955, when he scored 46 goals and was named to the league's First All-Star team.
The following season his rights were purchased by the New York Rangers of the NHL, for whom he played for eight seasons. He scored twenty goals or more five of those seasons, his best year coming in 1958–59, when he scored 33 goals and 29 assists and was awarded the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for gentlemanly play. After the 1962–63 season, the Boston Bruins acquired Hebenton in the waiver draft, for whom he played his final NHL season. He played 630 straight NHL games in all, breaking the record for the most consecutive games (a mark subsequently broken by Garry Unger in the Seventies and currently held by Doug Jarvis).
Hebenton's rights were sold by Boston after the 1963–64 season to the Portland Buckaroos of the WHL, and would remain in Portland for the rest of the league's history (barring two seasons in Victoria once more), becoming one of the WHL's all-time leading scorers and perennial stars, and never once missing a game. He was a perennial winner of the Fred Hume Cup for gentlemanly play, winning it nearly half the seasons it was offered, the final time when he was 43 years old.
When the WHL folded in 1974, Hebenton played four games for the Seattle Totems in the Central Hockey League to wrap up his professional career, having played 26 professional seasons in all, a mark exceeded only by Gordie Howe in hockey history. He played two seasons for a version of the Buckaroos in semi-pro leagues before hanging up his skates for good.
In all, Hebenton played in 630 NHL games, scoring 189 goals and 202 assists for 391 points. He likewise played in 1056 PCHL/WHL games, scoring 425 goals and 532 assists for 957 points. Hebenton's remarkable consecutive games streak lasted at least from the 1952 season through to the end of the 1974 season -- he missed four games in 1951, so the streak was likely longer -- for an unrivalled total of 1,563 consecutive games. By contrast, Doug Jarvis' professional streak -- the second longest in history -- is 988 games.
- Fourth all-time in WHL games played, third in goals scored, eighth in assists and fourth in points scored.
- Hebenton's son Clay was a professional hockey goaltender between 1973–1980, most notably as the starting goaltender for the World Hockey Association's Phoenix Roadrunners in the 1977 season.
|1955-56||New York Rangers||NHL||70||24||14||38||8||5||1||0||1||2|
|1956-57||New York Rangers||NHL||70||21||23||44||10||5||2||0||2||2|
|1957-58||New York Rangers||NHL||70||21||24||45||17||6||2||3||5||4|
|1958-59||New York Rangers||NHL||70||33||29||62||8||--||--||--||--||--|
|1959-60||New York Rangers||NHL||70||19||27||46||4||--||--||--||--||--|
|1960-61||New York Rangers||NHL||70||26||28||54||10||--||--||--||--||--|
|1961-62||New York Rangers||NHL||70||18||24||42||10||6||1||2||3||0|
|1962-63||New York Rangers||NHL||70||15||22||37||8||--||--||--||--||--|
|1965-66||Victoria Maple Leafs||WHL||72||31||45||76||12||14||6||11||17||14|
|1966-67||Victoria Maple Leafs||WHL||72||24||36||60||19||--||--||--||--||--|
|1975-76||Portland Buckaroos||NWHL||Statistics Unavailable|
|1975-76||Portland Buckaroos||NWHL||Head||Statistics Unavailable|
|1976-77||Tulsa Oilers||CHL||Head||Statistics Unavailable||9||4||5||Lost Final|
- Signed as a free agent by Montreal Canadiens, April 30, 1947.
- Traded to NY Rangers by Victoria (WHL) for cash, April 28, 1955.
- Claimed by Boston from NY Rangers in NHL Intra-League Draft, June 4, 1963.
- Traded to Portland (WHL) by Boston for cash, June 5, 1964.
- Traded to Toronto by Boston with Orland Kurtenbach and Pat Stapleton for Ron Stewart, June 8, 1965.
- Traded to Phoenix (WHL) by Toronto (Victoria-WHL) for cash, September, 1967.
- Traded to Portland (WHL) by Phoenix for Rick Charron, Brian S. Smith and Tom McVie, September, 1967.
- Selected by Miami (WHA) in WHA General Draft, February 12, 1972.
Awards & Achievements
- Manitoba Junior Hockey League Second All-Star Team (1948 & 1949)
- Manitoba Junior Hockey League Goal Scoring Leader (1949)
- President's Cup Pacific Coast Hockey League Championship (1951)
- Western Hockey League Second All-Star Team (1955, 1965, & 1970)
- Lady Byng Trophy National Hockey League Most Gentlemanly Player (1957)
- Played in National Hockey League All-Star Game (1960)
- Western Hockey League Most Gentlemanly Player (1965, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, & 1974)
- Lester Patrick Cup Western Hockey League Championships (1965, 1966, & 1971)
- Western Hockey League First All-Star Team (1971 & 1973)
- Inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame (2009)
- “Honoured Member” of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame
|Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy