Last modified on 16 April 2009, at 19:37

History of the National Hockey League/1917–1942/Great Depression/Chicago's All-American team

Chicago's "All-American" teamEdit

In the mid-1930s, Black Hawks owner and staunch American patriot Frederic McLaughlin commanded his general manager to compile a team of only American players. At the time, Taffy Abel was the only American-born player who was a regular player in the league. The Black Hawks hired Major League Baseball umpire Bill Stewart to be the first American coach in NHL history. They were led in goal by Minnesotan Mike Karakas, one of eight Americans on the 14-man roster. The 1937–38 Black Hawks "All-American" team won only 14 of 48 games, finishing third in the American division. In the playoffs, however, the Hawks upset the Canadiens and the Americans to reach the Stanley Cup Final against the heavily favoured Maple Leafs.

In the first game of the final, the Hawks were forced to use minor-league goaltender Alfie Moore after Karakas suffered a broken toe. Moore led the Hawks to a 3–1 victory before being ruled ineligible to play the rest of the series by the NHL. After Chicago lost game two, Karakas returned wearing a steel-toed boot and led the Hawks to victories in games three and four, and the Stanley Cup. The 1938 Black Hawks remain the only team in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup despite a losing regular-season record.