On this day in 1959: Tiny Thompson inducted into Hockey Hall of fame

Boston Bruins (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /

This day, September 5, 1959 was a day for the history books for the Boston Bruins franchise, and for the National Hockey League.

At the first official induction ceremony for the Hockey Hall of Fame, longtime Bruins goaltender Cecil “Tiny” Thompson was engrained his name in the hockey history books by becoming the first Boston goaltender to be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside Jack Adams, and Cy Denneny.

Minus two years at the end of his career where he was with the Detroit Red Wings, Thompson spent his entire 11-year career with the Bruins.

Thompson set a career-high in wins during the 1929-30 season with 38, but came up short when it came to winning the Stanley Cup that year, despite winning it the year before in his rookie season.

Ironically, his rookie season was his best in terms of Goals Against Average, where he only let in an average of 1.15 goals per game.

Thompson also won the Vezina Trophy four times over the course of his career in 1930, 1933, 1936 and 1938. He is also the only Boston goaltender to win it more than two times.

Thompson holds franchise records in shutouts (74), and GAA (1.99). He also has played the second minutes (28,948), holds the second most wins (252), and has played in the second most games in team history (468).

Thompson was not known for playing as a typical goaltender in his era. Most of the goaltenders in his era would take the puck and deflect it off the boards and into the corner. Thompson was different and would stand in front of the puck with minimal padding.

He was also won of the first netminders to use the catching glove as an actual glove, while also using it as a grip on his stick at the same time. In fact, he was such a good stickhandler that he was the first goaltender to record an assist in NHL history by passing the puck to one of his teammates.

After retiring from the NHL, Thompson served in the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War II and acted mostly as their coach.

Fun fact: Thompson’s nickname “Tiny” was a joke based on the ironic fact that he was typically the tallest player on any team he played for. 

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