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Sylvio Mantha (April 14, 1902 - August 7, 1974) was a Canadian professional player who played fourteen seasons in the National Hockey League for the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.

Playing careerEdit

Born in Montreal, Mantha was a three-time Stanley Cup winner - 1924, 1930(Captain), 1931(Captain). He played fourteen NHL seasons from 1923–24 to 1936–37, with all but four games as a Montreal Canadiens player. He was the captain of the Montreal Canadiens from 1926–27 to 1931–32 and from 1933–34 to 1935–36.

Mantha started as a right-winger for the Montreal Melville in 1918–19 season, before playing for Verdun Canadian Pacific in the Mount Royal Intermediate League, Montreal Imperial Tobacco, and Montreal Norther Electric in the Montreal industrial league. He played briefly for the Montreal Nationale in the Montreal City Hockey League. After scoring four goals in nine games with the Nationales, he was signed by the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens started Mantha as a forward, then moved him to right defenceman, because veterans Sprague Cleghorn and Billy Coutu were aging.

When Cleghorn was traded just before the 1925–26 NHL season, Mantha gained a more prominent role. He scored the first-ever goal in Boston Garden on November 20, 1928, leading the Canadiens to a 1–0 win over the Boston Bruins. Mantha was named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in both the 1929–30 and 1930–31 seasons.

In the 1935–36 NHL season, Mantha became the Canadiens' player coach. After a dismal season, the Canadiens fired him. The Boston Bruins were involved in a contract dispute with Eddie Shore so they signed Mantha at the start of the 1936–37 NHL season -- and gave him Shore's number 2 jersey. Four games into the season, Mantha admitted he could no longer play at a competitive level and retired.

Mantha then worked as a linesman and referee for the AHL and NHL. He then coached the junior league Montreal Concordia Civics, Montreal Nationale (1943 to 1945), Verdun Maple Leafs (1945 to 1947), and St. Jerome Eagles (1947 to 1948).

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1960, and died in Montreal in August 1974.

The Georges & Sylvio Mantha Arenas are part of the Complexe Récréatif Gadbois in Montreal and named for him and his brother, Georges Mantha, who also played in the National Hockey League.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Newsy Lalonde
Head Coach of the Montreal Canadiens
Succeeded by
Cecil Hart
Preceded by
Billy Coutu
Montreal Canadiens captains
Succeeded by
George Hainsworth
Preceded by
George Hainsworth
Montreal Canadiens captains
Succeeded by
Albert Babe Siebert
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