Nels Crutchfield
Position Center
Shot Left
Teams Montreal Canadiens
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born July 12, 1911(1911-07-12),
Knowlton, Quebec
Died July 22 1985 (aged 74),
Huntsville, Ontario
Pro Career 1934 – 1935

William Ian Nelson Crutchfield (July 12, 1911 – July 22, 1985), known as Nels Crutchfield, was a Canadian professional ice hockey player.

Born in Knowlton, Quebec, he played defence and centre for the McGill Redmen from 1930 to 1934 and was team captain from 1933 to 1934. He played 41 games in the 1934–35 NHL season for the Montreal Canadiens, wearing #22, with 5 goals and 5 assists. His career was cut short after receiving a fractured skull in a car accident in September 1935.

He died in another car accident in 1985 in Huntsville, Ontario.

He was posthumously inducted into the McGill University Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.

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Game 1 of the quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden on March 24, 1935, is remembered for its high level of physicality. In one sequence, an injured Earl Seibert of the New York Rangers is carried off the ice. Later, the Canadiens' Nels Crutchfield swings his stick into the head of Rangers captain Bill Cook. As a result, Cook collapses to the ice and a bench-clearing brawl ensues. Cook returns to the ice wearing a helmet and scores the game-winning goal in a 2-1 decision. Game 2 was tied 4-4 and the Rangers won the total goals series 6-5.

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