|5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
190 lb (86 kg)
|Teams||New York Americans|
New York Rangers
Saskatoon, SK, CAN
|Pro Career||1941 – 1953|
|Hall of Fame, 1973|
Claude Earl "Chuck" Rayner (born - August 11, 1920 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, died - October 6, 2002) was a Canadian professional goaltender who played 9 seasons in the National Hockey League for the New York Americans and New York Rangers. He is an Honoured Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Playing his junior career for the Kenora Thistles of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, Rayner showed his skill early in backstopping the team to the 1939-40 Memorial Cup Final. The next season he turned professional for the Americans, spending most of the year with the Amerks' minor league affiliate, the Springfield Indians of the AHL. With the Indians, Rayner led the league in shutouts and goals against average and was named to the Second All-Star Team.
The following season Rayner was the leading goalie for the Americans' final season before folding. World War II interrupted Rayner's career, however, and he spent the next three years in the Royal Canadian Navy, where he played two seasons for naval teams based out of Victoria.
After the war, he signed as a free agent in 1945 with the Rangers. Rayner would be the starting goaltender for New York six of the next seven seasons, earning accolades for his play even though the Rangers' teams of the era were weak, and Rayner would never have a winning record. He was noted as a puckhandling goalie, attempting several times throughout his career to score a goal.
Even though he played on poor teams throughout his career, there was little doubt that "Bonnie Prince Charlie" was one of the best goalies of his era. The three years between 1948 and 1951 were his best, and he won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player in 1950, after leading the Rangers to overtime in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals.
In 1953, Rayner lost his job as Rangers' starter to Gump Worsley. He played one more season in the minors for the Saskatoon Quakers of the Western Hockey League and a couple brief stints in the senior leagues the two seasons thereafter before hanging up his skates for good.
He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1973, the second goaltender in history to be inducted with a losing record.
Awards & Achievements
- Turnbull Cup MJHL Championship (1940)
- AHL Second All-Star Team (1941)
- NHL Second All-Star Team (1949, 1950, & 1951)
- Hart Memorial Trophy Winner (1950)
- Played in the NHL All-Star Game (1949, 1950, & 1951)
- Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1973
- Honoured Member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame
- During the February 1, 1947 Rangers-Canadiens game, Rayner skated three times into Montreal's zone in an attempt to score in the Rangers 2-1 loss.
An incredible video featuring the 1951 off-season activities of 15 NHL players in the days when most worked during the summer. Brief, excellent game footage of each is shown. Players featured are Ted Lindsay, Johnny Peirson, Bill Mosienko, Bill Gadsby, Bill Juzda, Leo Reise, Jack Gelineau, Edgar Laprade, Doug and Max Bentley, Chuck Rayner, Gus Mortson, Pentti Lund, Glen Harmon, Elmer Lach.
- The Official NHL 75th Anniversary Commemorative Book, p.94.
|Winner of the Hart Trophy
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