This week on Throwback Thursday we dive back in to a series we began a couple of weeks ago – NHL Awards and their histories. The first award we looked into was the Ted Lindsay award, who was and is a badass that hockey deserves to respect with such an award.
For this week’s story we’ll look into the King Clancy Memorial Award.
First of all, for all you How I Met Your Mother fans, don’t google Old King Clancy. When that episode aired I did, and although it was funny it wasn’t something I ever needed to read about.
You googled it, didn’t you?
Who was King Clancy?
Francis Michael “King” Clancy was born on February 25, 1903 in Ottawa, Ontario. He was a star at his local high school, St. Joseph’s, which led to an opportunity with a local senior team. He parlayed that chance into a contract with the Ottawa Senators. Clancy would go on to win two Stanley Cups with the Sens (1923, 1927). Clancy would earn a reputation in Ottawa as a skilled, tough defenseman, proven by his consistent points and playing bigger than his 5’7 size. Famed sportscaster and author Brian McFarlane wrote in his book Clancy: The King’s Story that Clancy started a thousand fights but never won one.
After Clancy’s 40 points in 44 games in 1929-30, he was sold to the Toronto Maple Leafs for two players and an incredible (at the time) $35,000, or just over $514,000 today when adjusted for inflation. Leafs’ manager Conn Smythe (an award for another time) was only able to fund the deal after winning a bet on a racehorse named Rare Jewel, a horse that had lost every race it entered before Smythe’s bet. After winning his bet, Smythe could only say “Now we can buy Clancy. Now we are going to win the Stanley Cup.”
Smythe turned out to be right, as the Leafs with Clancy would turn their fortunes around and win the Stanley Cup in 1932. Clancy would go on to play another five season before retiring in 1937.
The King would go on to coach the Montreal Maroons the following season before becoming an NHL referee for 11 seasons. He would then become a coach for the Leafs again in the years following Bill Barilko’s death, and would work in the Leafs’ front office throughout their four Cup run in the 1960s and also become one of Harold Ballard’s few friends during his tenure as owner of the Maple Leafs.
Clancy would go be honoured by being inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958, one of the many honours he would earn both during his career and life, and posthumously after his death in 1986. Some of those honours include:
- Named to NHL First All-Star Team in 1931 and 1934.
- Named to NHL Second All-Star Team in 1932 and 1933.
- Stanley Cup champion (as a player) – 1923, 1927 (with Ottawa), 1932 (with Toronto)
- Stanley Cup champion (as an assistant manager-coach) 1962, 1964, 1967 (with Toronto)
- Calder Cup (AHL Champions) (as a coach) – 1952 (Pittsburgh Hornets)
- Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame – 1958
- Inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame – 1975
- Inducted into Ontario Sports Hall of Fame – 1998
- Number 7 honoured and then retired by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
- In 1998, he was ranked number 52 on The Hockey News‘ list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
- In January, 2017, Clancy was part of the first group of players to be named one of the ‘100 Greatest NHL Players’ in history.
What is the King Clancy Memorial Award?
In the words of the NHL, The King Clancy Memorial Trophy is an annual award given “to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”
Past winners of the award:
- 2018: Daniel Sedin & Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
- 2017: Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets
- 2016: Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
- 2015: Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
- 2014: Andrew Ference, Edmonton Oilers
- 2013: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
- 2012: Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators
- 2011: Doug Weight, New York Islanders
- 2010: Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes
- 2009: Ethan Moreau, Edmonton Oilers
- 2008: Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning
- 2007: Saku Koivu, Montreal Canadiens
- 2006: Olaf Kolzig, Washington Capitals
- 2004: Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames
- 2003: Brendan Shanahan, Detroit Red Wings
- 2002: Ron Francis, Carolina Hurricanes
- 2001: Shjon Podein, Colorado Avalanche
- 2000: Curtis Joseph, Toronto Maple Leafs
- 1999: Rob Ray, Buffalo Sabres
- 1998: Kelly Chase, St. Louis Blues
- 1997: Trevor Linden, Vancouver Canucks
- 1996: Kris King, Winnipeg Jets
- 1995: Joe Nieuwendyk, Calgary Flames
- 1994: Adam Graves, New York Rangers
- 1993: Dave Poulin, Boston Bruins
- 1992: Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins
- 1991: Dave Taylor, Los Angeles Kings
- 1990: Kevin Lowe, Edmonton Oilers
- 1989: Bryan Trottier, New York Islanders
- 1988: Lanny McDonald, Calgary Flames