Friday, December 10, 2010

Vic Lynn : 1925-2010

The Original Six era suffered another loss this week with the passing of Vic Lynn at the age of 85.

Vic Lynn started his National Hockey League career with the New York Rangers in 1942-43. He participated in one NHL game, with the bulk of his playing time being spent with the New York Rovers of the EAHL.

The following year, Lynn once again had a short stay in the NHL, skating in three contests with the Detroit Red Wings. His major assignment was with the Indianapolis Capitols of the American Hockey League.

In 1945-46, Lynn, for a third time, had a brief stint in the NHL with Montreal playing in two games.

After experiencing a taste of big league action, most players would consider a demotion back to the minors as being the end of the world. Sometimes, it is the complete opposite. For Vic Lynn, his time in the minors proved to be a major turning point in his career.

While playing in the American Hockey League, Lynn's play was closely being scrutinized by referee Charley "Rabbit" McVeigh. The slight 5'6" 145 pound McVeigh played in 397 NHL games with Chicago and the New York Americans.

The Buffalo Bisons were the Montreal Canadiens farm club, and Lynn had an outstanding season in '45-46. He recorded 51 points in 53 games, including 26 goals.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, looking to add some scoring punch at left wing, listened to McVeigh's glowing recommendation concerning Lynn. Conn Smythe, looking for the next Busher Jackson, decided it was time for action.

September 1946
 Vic Lynn became a Toronto Maple Leaf on September 21, 1946. At training camp he was placed on a line with centre Ted Kennedy and rookie Howie Meeker. The three young player's quickly developed a chemistry and became known as the K-M-L Line - as in Kennedy-Meeker-Lynn. This unit was an integral part of three straight Stanley Cups won by Toronto in 1947, 1948 and 1949.

Vic Lynn was traded to the Boston Bruins on November 16, 1950, and would finish his NHL career with the 1953-54 Chicago Black Hawks.

I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Vic Lynn, Ted Kennedy and Howie Meeker in April 2004. Although not as vocal as his linemates, Lynn expressed how proud he felt to remain in the NHL and be a multiple Stanley Cup winner.

I'm sure "Rabbit" McVeigh was just as proud.

Victor Ivan Lynn was born on January 26, 1925 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

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