Don Deacon

Newspaper archives suggest the Detroit Red Wings really felt Don Deacon could have been a very special NHL player had he been able to control his weight. Standing at just 5'9" tall, he struggled to keep his weight below 200lbs, therefore slowing him down.

Other sources suggest the roly poly center from Regina lacked the drive to become a NHL regular. While playing with the AHL Pittsburgh Hornets, player-coach Larry Aurie fined Deacon for "lack of hustle and interest." Deacon's listless play in that 1938-39 season had gotten so bad that he was the target of the boo-birds among the Duquesne Garden faithful. What makes that so surprising is he recovered from his rocky start to register 66 points in 46 games, a new record in that league.

Despite his misgivings, Don Deacon managed to average 40 points in a pro career that lasted seven years, most notably with the Hornets and Cleveland Barons. Parts of three of those years were spent with the Detroit Red Wings where he scored 6 goals and 10 points in 40 career NHL games.

In 1942 Deacon became part of Canada's military effort in World War II. He was stationed in Calgary for two years, helping a local team capture the Alberta senior championship.

Unfortunately Deacon never got his discharge from the army, as he died in a freak accident on Christmas night, 1943. While serving with an army unit in British Columbia, Deacon somehow accidentally fell off of a friend's balcony, plummeting 25 feet to the ground. He died soon thereafter with a fractured skull and internal bleeding.


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