Lumley (known as "Apple Cheeks") grew up playing local minor sports, but took quickly to hockey and wound up being a top notch goalkeeper. Lumley starred for several years with the Owen Sound Mercurys and later with the Owen Sound Orphans (who were called that because they could not find a sponsor) and then the Barrie Colts. He also played with the Indianapolis Capitals of the American Hockey League, a minor league team of the Detroit Red Wings. Lumley made his debut in the National Hockey League, however, with the New York Rangers in the 1943–44 season, when he was loaned to the Rangers for a single game. He was the youngest goaltender to play in the NHL, as he was 17 years old.
In the 1950 playoffs, Lumley led the Red Wings to a Stanley Cup championship, recording three shut-outs and a 1.85 GAA in fourteen games. After his performance, however, Jack Adams traded Lumley to the Chicago Black Hawks; Terry Sawchuk became the new goaltender for the Red Wings.After playing with the Chicago Black Hawks for two seasons, he was again traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 1953–54 season, Lumley won the Vezina Trophy, presented annually to the NHL's best goalie, with a GAA of 1.86. His 13 shutouts that year was a National Hockey League record that stood until Chicago's Tony Esposito recorded 15 in 1969–70. Lumley was also named First All-Star Team Goaltender in the 7th National Hockey League All-Star Game.
After a long and successful stint with the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Black Hawks, and Toronto Maple Leafs, Lumley finished his playing career with the Boston Bruins. He retired after the 1959–60 NHL season with 330 wins, 329 losses, 142 ties, and a 2.75 GAA. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1980. After retiring, Lumley was a longtime co-owner of the successful Orangeville Raceway. He died on September 13, 1998, of a heart attack.
The community centre in his hometown of Owen Sound, where he continued to live after retiring, was renamed in his honour prior to his death. It is now officially known as the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre.
Over two hours of footage of Game 7 of the 1959 Bruins-Leafs Semi-finals starting in the second period. Several minutes into the second period, Harry Lumley is hit in the face by a Dick Duff shot. Play goes on until Lumley freezes the puck. The game is stopped for over 30 minutes while Lumley is repaired and to fill the time, interviews are held with Gordie Howe, Tom Foley (broadcaster), Ed Chadwick, Johnny Gagnon, Spencer Evans (Leafs publicity director) and Roger Barry (Boston hockey writer). Lumley returned to play with 7 stitches to his upper lip and 2 teeth knocked out.
|Winner of the Vezina Trophy