Neil Colville

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Neil Colville
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1967
Born (1914-08-04)August 4, 1914
Edmonton, AB, CAN
Died December 26, 1987(1987-12-26) (aged 73)
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Right
Played for New York Rangers
Playing career 1934–1950

Neil McNeil Colville (August 4, 1914 - December 26, 1987) was a professional ice hockey player. Born in Edmonton, Alberta, he played for the New York Rangers in the National Hockey League with his brother Mac, winning the Stanley Cup in 1940.

Colville joined the Rangers' farm team in 1934 and quickly made his way to the pros by 1936, centreing the "Bread Line" with his brother and Alex Shibicky, where he played until World War II. During the war, he and his brother were stationed in Ottawa and played on the army's Ottawa Commandos team, winning the Allan Cup in 1942.

After the war, they both returned the Rangers, this time as defencemen, the first pairs of brothers to ever do so in the NHL. Neil was adept at both defence and offense. Previously, he was erroneously reported here to be the first player to be named to All-Star Teams as both a forward and a defenseman; though he did indeed accomplish the dual feat, the first to do so was the venerable Dit Clapper in 1931/1938.

He retired in 1949 and became the Rangers' youngest coach a year later, but he was forced to resign due to health problems halfway through his second season.

In the 1950s, Colville was one of the primary founding investors in what would become Northern Television Systems, WHTV, in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Colville eventually moved from Vancouver, B.C. to Whitehorse in order to run the small four-channel station. He slept in a bunk in the studio and learned to do everything from fixing the equipment to hosting the news casts. Filling the air time without the benefit of extensive broadcasting infrastructure was at times difficult, and the station would run footage of downtown's Main Street or do live broadcasts of a goldfish bowl to fill the hours.1

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1967. He died in 1987 and there is a memorial bench in his honor at the Gary Point Park in Steveston, British Columbia.

In 2009, Colville was ranked No. 22 on the all-time list of New York Rangers in the book 100 Ranger Greats (John Wiley & Sons).

Career statistics

Season Club League REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1929–30 Edmonton Enarcos EJrHL 12 1 0 1
1930–31 Edmonton Canadians EJrHL 13 2 0 2 8
1931–32 Edmonton Poolers EJrHL 11 7 3 10 4 2 1 3 0
1931–32 Edmonton Poolers M-Cup 5 2 0 2 2
1932–33 Edmonton Athletic Club EJrHL 11 10 3 0 0 0 2
1933–34 Edmonton Athletic Club EJrHL 9 14 4 18 13 2 4 2 6 5
1933–34 Edmonton Athletic Club M-Cup 12 15 6 21 4
1934–35 New York Crescents EAHL 21 24 11 35 16 8 8 4 12 2
1935–36 New York Rangers NHL 1 0 0 0 0
1935–36 Philadelphia Ramblers Can-Am 35 15 16 31 8 4 0 2 2 0
1936–37 New York Rangers NHL 45 10 18 28 33 9 3 3 6 0
1937–38 New York Rangers NHL 45 17 19 36 11 3 0 1 1 0
1938–39 New York Rangers NHL 47 18 19 37 12 7 0 2 2 2
1939–40 New York Rangers NHL 48 19 19 38 22 12 2 7 9 18
1940–41 New York Rangers NHL 48 14 28 42 28 3 1 1 2 0
1941–42 New York Rangers NHL 48 8 25 33 37 6 0 5 5 6
1942–43 Ottawa Commandos QSHL 22 12 30 42 32
1942–43 Ottawa Army OCHL 12 11 12 23 6
1942–43 Ottawa Commandos Al-Cup 12 14 14 28 17
1943–44
1944–45 New York Rangers NHL 4 0 1 1 2
1944–45 Winnipeg RCAF WNDHL 6 5 4 9 4
1944–45 Ottawa Commandos QSHL 2 0 0 0 0
1944–45 Quebec Aces QSHL 5 1 2 3 0 7 2 5 7 4
1944–45 Quebec Aces Al-Cup 3 0 3 3 0
1945–46 New York Rangers NHL 49 5 4 9 25
1946–47 New York Rangers NHL 60 4 16 20 16
1947–48 New York Rangers NHL 55 4 12 16 25 6 1 0 1 6
1948–49 New York Rangers NHL 14 0 5 5 2
1948–49 New Haven Ramblers AHL 11 0 3 3 8
1949–50 New Haven Ramblers AHL 17 3 4 7 13
NHL Totals 464 99 166 265 213 46 7 19 26 32

Coaching record

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Division rank Result
NYR 1950–51 70 20 29 21 61 5th in NHL DNQ
NYR 1951–52 23 6 12 5 17 5th in NHL Fired
Total 93 26 41 26 78

References

  1. ^ From Cablecaster magazine, November 2002

External links

Preceded by
Ott Heller
New York Rangers captain
1945-49
Succeeded by
Buddy O'Connor
Preceded by
Lynn Patrick
Head coach of the New York Rangers
1950-51
Succeeded by
Bill Cook







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