Monday, May 19, 2014

This day in Indianapolis hockey history: May 19

Four May 19 birthdays: former Chiefs coach Alex Shibicky, Checkers Bob Hess and Bob Laforest, and Ice Tom Stewart.

Happy birthday to ...
Alex Shibicky: Coach of the Chiefs in their final season, 1961-62. He guided the team to a 19-48-0 record. He had been a veteran of 322 NHL games, all with the Rangers, between 1935-46. He was a part of the 1940 Stanley Cup championship team. He began coaching in 1948. He is known for being the first hockey player to use a slapshot in a game, and is a member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame. A native of Winnipeg, he was born in 1914, and passed away in 2005.
Bob Hess: Defenseman who finished the 1983-84 season with the Checkers, logging two goals and six assists in nine games. He also had two goals and four assists in nine playoff games as the Checkers made it to the Adams Cup Final. That came toward the end of an 11-year pro career that included NHL stops in St. Louis, Buffalo and Hartford. The Blues' second-round pick in 1974, Hess had 122 points in 329 NHL games. He retired after playing the 1984-85 season for Salt Lake in the IHL. A native of Edmonton, he is 59.
Bob Laforest: Right wing who played 18 games for the Checkers in 1984-85. He had three goals and six assists for the Chex. He turned pro in 1983-84, playing for two AHL teams and five games in the NHL for the Los Angeles Kings, scoring one goal. He played just 24 professional games after that rookie year. A native of Welland, Ontario, he is now a real estate agent in his hometown. He is 51.
Tom Stewart: Member of the CHL Ice in 1999-2000, he was a right wing who played 24 games for the Ice. He had five goals and seven assists, and would later finish that season in Macon. He played seven pro seasons from 1996-2003, primarily in the CHL, and spent four different stints in Macon. He had two straight 30-goal seasons before joining the Ice. Upon retirement, he coached several years in southern minor pro leagues, primarily the SPHL. A native of Brantford, Ontario, he is 39.

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