Sunday

Black Jack Stewart

When people discuss who is the greatest defenseman of all time, names like Bobby Orr, Denis Potvin, Eddie Shore, Ray Bourque and Larry Robinson are always mentioned. But one name that is rarely mentioned is that of Black Jack Stewart's.

Jack Stewart perfected the bone crushing body check. Despite being relatively small at 5'11" and 185lbs, perhaps no defenseman delivered punishing body checks like Black Jack.

He gave it all he had and then some more in every game he participated in. He was the stalwart defenseman on the Detroit Red Wings for 10 years in the 1930s and 1940s. He was paired with ultra-clean Bill Quackenbush and later Red Kelly, both of whom received many more accolades than did Stewart. It was his job to do the heavy work while his partner would move the puck into the offensive zone and join the attack.

Black Jack was more than just a hitter, even though that's how he'll always be remembered. He was a superb shot blocker and cleared the slot effectively and always made the safe pass. He finished his career with 31 goals, 84 assists for 115 points in 565 games. He was named to 5 all-star teams and helped the Wings to two Stanley Cup championships. Obviously the stats do not do justice for Black Jack Stewart.

Such physical play took its toll on the rugged defenseman late in his career. He joined the Blackhawks late in his career where he was sidelined with a slipped disc in his back, and then a fractured skull, forcing him to retire in the 1951-52 season.

Jack Stewart was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1964. In 1998, he was ranked number 97 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.

4 comments:

Tom 3:42 AM  

My father remember him as the best player, but I realy don't know about him nothing...

Aoclair1 3:15 PM  

I am so proud to call him my grandpa :)

Anonymous,  4:23 PM  

Aoclair1 . Did he live in Toronto?

Aoclair1 3:51 PM  

No.. not that we know know of.. he lived in Manitoba. Then moved to Michigan.

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