|Dutton with the Montreal Maroons|
|6 ft 0 in (0 m)|
185 lb (84 kg)
New York Americans
Russell, Manitoba, Canada
|Died||March 15, 1987 (age 88),|
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
|Pro Career||1921 – 1936|
|Hall of Fame, 1958|
Mervyn "Red" Dutton (July 23, 1898 – March 15, 1987) was a professional player, an ice hockey executive and a businessman in construction contracting. He played for the Calgary Tigers, Montreal Maroons and the New York Americans. After his playing days, he became the manager of the Americans, and later became the NHL president, before leaving ice hockey and running a contract construction business. He was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Born in Russell, Manitoba, Dutton's father was successful in construction contracting. Dutton was educated at St. John's College in Winnipeg but left school to fight in World War I. He joined the Princess Patricia's Light Infantry in 1915. In April 1917 he took a shrapnel blast to the right leg that was so bad that doctors considered amputation. They delayed, and he recovered full use of his leg.
After the war, Dutton started a contracting business of his own. It was not successful at first, and he went into professional hockey. However, he kept the business going as a sideline and returned to it after leaving the presidency of the National Hockey League. His business Standard Holdings was a partnership with Reg Jennings, and was based in Calgary, Alberta, where Dutton lived until his death in 1987. Dutton was pre-deceased by his two eldest sons Alex and Joe who died in flying missions in World War II, and his youngest son Norman who died in 1973.
Playing career[edit | edit source]
After being discharged from the army, Dutton strengthened his leg by playing in seven local hockey leagues during the 1919–20 season. He joined the Calgary Tigers of the Western Hockey League, staying with the club until the league's demise in 1926. He played in one Stanley Cup Final in 1924, against the Montreal Canadiens. After the WHL folded, he signed with the Montreal Maroons for $6,000 per season. He played four seasons for the Maroons, before being acquired by the New York Americans.
The Americans played at Madison Square Garden, which they rented from the owners of the New York Rangers. Despite beating the Rangers in a playoff series in 1938, thanks to a dramatic overtime goal by Lorne Carr, the Americans were always treated as second-class citizens by the Madison Square Garden Corporation, the New York media, and fans. While the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1928, 1933, and 1940, the closest the Americans got was the 1938 semifinals, where they lost to the Chicago Black Hawks.
Ice hockey executive[edit | edit source]
In 1935, Dutton became the Americans' coach and manager, and often supported the team financially as well, loaning money to its owner "Big Bill" Dwyer, a notorious bootlegger and race track operator. After the NHL assumed control of the Americans from Dwyer, NHL president Frank Calder allowed Dutton to continue running the team.
During World War II, the Garden Corporation used its resources to help keep the Rangers in business and virtually ignored the Americans. After the 1941–42 season, Dutton announced the Amerks would suspend operations for the duration of the war. While the Amerks had suffered massive financial losses and seen large numbers of players drafted into the military, they were still reeling from massive debt inherited from the Dwyer era. Dutton believed that if the Americans could have held on through the war, his team would become more popular than the Rangers.
Dutton was named managing director (acting president) of the NHL after the death of Frank Calder in February 1943, running the league at the direction of a subcommittee of the NHL Board of Governors. He was eventually convinced to assume the presidency in 1945, but in September 1946 he handed over the reins to his assistant, Clarence Campbell, a former NHL referee who had just returned from military service in Europe and had been in the job for less than a month.
Dutton had every intention of reviving the Americans; in fact, the NHL Board of Governors promised to allow him to revive the team in a new arena in Brooklyn after the war. However, when he tried to set his plan in motion, opposition from Madison Square Garden resulted in the dormant Amerks franchise being canceled.
Dutton returned to his contracting business in Calgary, Alberta, and focused his attention on regional hockey. His relations with the NHL were restricted to dealings as a trustee of the Stanley Cup (succeeding Philip Dansken Ross). The NHL sought to bring back Dutton into hockey, backing him as Stanley Cup trustee, and later in his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Ultimately, they were unsuccessful, and reportedly he did not attend another NHL game before the inaugural game of the Calgary Flames in 1980.
Awards & achievements[edit | edit source]
- Lester Patrick Trophy Winner (1993)
- Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958
- “Honoured Member” of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame
[edit | edit source]
|National Hockey League President
1943–1946 (acting president until 1945)
|New York Americans captains
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Red Dutton. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).|