Sunday, October 23, 2011

Today in history: October 23

Two Caps teammates with birthdays today
"Sugar Jim" Henry: Capitals goaltender in 1950-51, where he had a 37-19-2 record and a 3.44 GAA. He helped lead the Caps into the playoffs, and earned himself a contract with the Boston Bruins the next year. He was the subject of a famous photograph after Game 7 of the first-round series in 1952, shaking the hand of a badly-injured Maurice Richard, who had just scored on him to end the series in OT. Henry led the Bruins to the 1953 Stanley Cup Finals, and played 210 straight games with the Bruins before retiring in 1955. He got his NHL start with the Rangers in 1941-42, but served in WWII and split time between the Rangers, Blackhawks and the minors between 1946-51. A native of Winnipeg, Henry was born in 1920 and passed away in 2004. 
Larry Wilson: Capitals center from 1950-52, where he had 31 goals and 63 assists in 115 games. He also had 44 PIMs. Wilson was a longtime hockey veteran, who made his pro hockey debut in 1949-50 and ended up on the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings. He would score 21 goals in 152 NHL games with Detroit and Chicago through 1956 before getting sent back to AHL Buffalo. He played 13 seasons in Buffalo -- through 1968 -- and then two more as player-coach with the IHL Dayton Gems before retiring at age 39. He was a 20-goal scorer in his final IHL season and won the Turner Cup with the Gems in 1969 and 1970. Wilson was a head coach in the AHL for several years and got his NHL shot with the Red Wings in 1976-77. His teams went 3-29-4, and he went back to coaching in the CHL for the next two seasons before his death in 1979 of an apparent heart attack. Larry's brother Johnny was also a member of the Caps. His son Ron Wilson has coached 18 years in the NHL and is currently the Toronto Maple Leafs' head coach -- also coaching the United States to gold in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and silver in the 2010 Winter Olympics. A native of Kincardine, Ont., Larry was born in 1930. 

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