Pete Muldoon

Pete Muldoon
Pete Muldoon, New Westminster Royals.jpg
Muldoon as an assistant trainer with the 1912 New Westminster Royals
Born
Linton Muldoon Treacy

(1887-06-04)June 4, 1887
Died March 13, 1929(1929-03-13) (aged 41)
Occupation Ice hockey coach

Linton Muldoon Treacy (June 4, 1887 – March 13, 1929), better known as Pete Muldoon, was a Canadian ice hockey coach and pioneer in the western United States, particularly known for bringing a Stanley Cup championship to Seattle, Washington. He is best known for reportedly putting a curse on the Chicago Black Hawks, as well as team owner Major Frederic McLaughlin, after he was fired at the end of the 1926-27 season.[1][2][3] Journalist Jim Coleman admitted to inventing the "curse" due to a bout of writer's block in 1943, and needing to meet a publishing deadline.[4] Muldoon was the Black Hawks' first head coach.

Early life

Muldoon was born in St. Marys, Ontario, as Linton Muldoon Treacy. He played hockey in the OHA in the 1900s before moving to the Pacific coast in order to pursue a boxing career.[5] He changed his name to Pete Muldoon because the pursuit of a professional sports career was discouraged in Ontario at the time.[6] Muldoon won regional titles in both the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions while boxing.

Ice hockey career

Muldoon with the Seattle Metropolitans.

Muldoon was accomplished at other sports, including lacrosse. He played professionally for a Vancouver club in 1911. He was also an ice dancer who was able to skate, as well as play hockey, while on stilts. In 1914, he took over as the coach and manager of the Portland Rosebuds. For the 1915 season, he changed teams, and went to Seattle to manage a new team in the PCHA, the Metropolitans. He spent eight seasons coaching in Seattle, and amassed a record of 115 wins, 105 losses, and four ties. The Metropolitans competed several times for the Stanley Cup. The Mets played for the Stanley Cup three times under his leadership, and winning it once in 1917 during their first trip. Muldoon was the first and, at age 30, youngest coach of a Stanley Cup Championship team based in the United States.[6]

In 1919, the Metropolitans made it to the finals for the second time in three years, this time against the Montreal Canadiens. The series was to have been a five-game series, but the fourth game ended in a scoreless draw. However, local health officials called off the deciding sixth game just hours before it was due to start when several players on both teams were stricken by Spanish flu. With virtually his entire team either hospitalized or confined to bed and efforts to find replacements vetoed by the PCHA, Canadiens owner George Kennedy announced he was forfeiting the gameβ€”and the Cupβ€”to Seattle. However, Muldoon felt it would be unsportsmanlike to accept what would have been his second Cup, seeing as it would have been at the expense of a team decimated by illness.[7] Seattle lost in the Stanley Cup finals in the next year against the Ottawa Senators.[6]

Muldoon returned to the Rosebuds after the Metropolitans folded in the spring of 1924. He followed most of his players to the NHL when most of the Rosebuds were sold to Major Frederic McLaughlin to start the Chicago Black Hawks. He accepted the position because his wife Dorothy was a Chicago native and pregnant with the family's second child. After the Black Hawks ended the 1926–27 season with a playoff berth after finishing in third place in the American Division with a 19–22–3 record, he resigned because of constant meddling from McLaughlin.[6]

Muldoon returned to Seattle and became involved in efforts to bring a professional team back to the city, as a new arena was constructed in 1928. Muldoon, with the help of a group of investors, established the Seattle Ice Skating and Hockey Association, while aiding to establish the PCHL. This new league had its first season in 1928, and the Seattle team was dubbed the Seattle Eskimos.

Curse of Muldoon

According to a longstanding NHL legend, McLaughlin felt the Blackhawks should have won the American Division in their first season, and fired Muldoon when he disagreed. Muldoon was then reported to have placed an Irish curse on the Hawks, saying "Fire me, Major, and you'll never finish first. I'll put a curse on this team that will hoodoo it until the end of time." As it turned out, the Hawks would not finish first in any format (despite winning three Stanley Cups) until 1966-67β€”their 41st year in the league.[8] Journalist Jim Coleman admitted to inventing the "curse" due to a bout of writer's block in 1943, and needing to meet a publishing deadline.[4] Other sources maintain that "41 years is plenty long enough for any "curse," real or imagined".[3]

Death

In the spring of 1929, Muldoon went to Tacoma with co-owner and local boxing promoter Nate Druxman to search for a location to build a new rink in order to establish a team. While in Tacoma, on March 13, 1929,[9] Muldoon died due to a heart attack. Without their coach, the Seattle Eskimos were able to win a playoff series against Portland, before losing to Vancouver in the league finals. The following season the Eskimos established the Pete Muldoon Trophy, presented to the player "deemed most inspirational by his teammates".[2] It was awarded for a few seasons, and disappeared from records during the Great Depression years.

Coaching record

Season Team League Regular season Playoffs
GP W L T Pts Result Result
1913–14 New Westminster Royals PCHA 16 7 9 0 14 2nd –
1914–15 Portland Rosebuds PCHA 18 9 9 0 18 2nd –
1915–16 Seattle Metropolitans PCHA 18 9 9 0 18 2nd –
1916–17 Seattle Metropolitans PCHA 24 16 8 0 32 1st Won Stanley Cup (3-1 vs. MTL)
1917–18 Portland Rosebuds PCHA 18 7 11 0 14 3rd –
1919 Seattle Metropolitans PCHA 20 11 9 0 22 2nd Won league playoff (7-5 vs. VAN)
Stanley Cup final canceled vs. MTL
1919–20 Seattle Metropolitans PCHA 22 12 10 0 24 1st Won league playoff (6-3 vs. VAN)
Lost in Stanley Cup final (2-3 vs. OTT)
1920–21 Seattle Metropolitans PCHA 24 12 11 1 25 2nd Lost in league playoff (2-13 vs. VAN)
1921–22 Seattle Metropolitans PCHA 24 12 11 1 25 1st Lost in league playoff (0-2 vs. VAN)
1922–23 Seattle Metropolitans PCHA 30 15 15 0 30 3rd –
1923–24 Seattle Metropolitans PCHA 30 14 16 0 28 1st Lost in league playoff (3-4 vs. VAN)
1925–26 Portland Rosebuds WHL 30 12 16 2 26 4th –
1926–27 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 44 19 22 3 41 3rd in American Lost in first round (5-10 vs. BOS)
PCHA total 244 124 118 2 250
NHL total 44 19 22 3 41

References

  • "Hockey World Mourns Passing of Pete Muldoon, Popular Coast Pro Manager". Vern DeGeer, The Border Cities Star, March 15, 1929.

Notes

  1. ^ "Chicago Blackhawks". couchpotatohockey.com. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  2. ^ a b "Pete Muldon". Seattle Hockey. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  3. ^ a b John Halligan. "The Chicago Blackhawks look to end a drought". NHL. Archived from the original on 2001-08-11. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  4. ^ a b McIntyre, Gordon (January 13, 2016). "Remembering peerless Province sports writer Jim Coleman". The Province. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  5. ^ "Pete Muldoon". Boxrec.com. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  6. ^ a b c d Holzman, Morey. "Blackhawks: Cursed, or Concoction?" The New York Times, Sunday, May 30, 2010.
  7. ^ "Even Division of Cup Funds". The Globe. April 3, 1919. p. 10.
  8. ^ Dan Pollard (2004-10-22). "Curse it all anyway". TSN. Archived from the original on May 10, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  9. ^ https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N35S-T9J
Preceded by
Position created
Head coach of the Chicago Black Hawks
1926–27
Succeeded by
Barney Stanley

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