Ted Lindsay

From Academic Kids

Ted Lindsay, born July 29, 1925 in Renfrew, Ontario, Canada, is a Hockey Hall of Fame player.

Image:TedLindsay.JPG

Born Robert Blake Theodore Lindsay, his father, Bert Lindsay, had been a hockey rink operator and minor league goalie who encouraged him to play the game. Ted played amateur hockey in Kirkland Lake, Ontario before joining the St. Michael's Majors in Toronto. His performance in the Ontario Hockey League earned him an invitation to try out with the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League and he made his big league debut in 1944 at the age of 19.

Playing left wing with center Sid Abel and right winger, Gordie Howe, on what the media and fans dubbed the "Production Line," Ted Lindsay became one of the NHL's premier players. Although small in stature compared to most players in the league, he was a fierce competitor who earnmed the nickname "Terrible Ted" for his toughness. In the 1949-50 season, he won the Art Ross Memorial Trophy as the league's leading scorer and his team won the Stanley Cup. Over the next five years, he helped Detroit win three more championships and appeared with Howe on the cover of a March 1957 Sports Illustrated issue. That same year, he created a rift with team owners when he and star defenseman Doug Harvey of the Montreal Canadiens led a small group in an effort to organize the first National Hockey League Players' Association. At a time when team's literally owned their players for their entire career, Lindsay and his association began demanding such basics as a minimum salary and a properly funded pension plan. While team owners were getting rich with sold out arenas game after game, players were earning a pittance and many needed summer jobs just to make ends meet. Almost all of these men had no more than a high school education and had been playing hockey as a profession all their working life. Superstars in the 1950s earned less than $25,000 a year and when their hockey playing days were over, they had nothing to fall back on and had to accept whatever work they could get in order to survive.

Ted Lindsay worked doggedly for the union, and many of his fellow players who supported the union were benched or sent to obscurity in the minor leagues. Lindsay, one of the league’s top players was traded to the perpetual last place team, the Chicago Black Hawks. He played in Chicago for three years before retiring in 1960. Four years later, his former playing partner Sid Abel was then coaching the Detroit Red Wings and enticed the 39-year-old Lindsay into making a comeback. Lindsay played the one season, helping Detroit to its first championship since his trade seven years earlier.

Retiring for good in 1965, in his 1201 career games Ted Lindsay scored 426 goals and had 521 assists. He was voted to the first All Star team eight times and the second team on one occasion. In 1966 he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. In 1991, the Detroit Red Wings honored his contribution to the team by retiring his sweater No.7.

In 1977 Ted Lindsay was named General Manager of the Red Wings who at the time were struggling just to make the playoffs. He turned things around, and was voted the NHL's executive of the year.

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