#75: Buddy O’Connor
Herbert “Buddy” O’Connor played six seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, and had a huge impact on the team’s ascent into greatness.
In 1940, the Habs nearly folded, but a few years later, they won the Stanley Cup. O’Connor was a big part of that turnaround. He won Stanley Cups with the Canadiens in 1944 and 46.
In 1948, as a member of the New York Rangers, he became the first NHL player to win the Hart trophy and the Lady Byng trophy in the same year. He was also Canada’s athlete of the year for that year.
His best offensive season with the Canadiens came in 1942-43, when he had 15 goals and 58 points. A couple of years later, he would score 21 goals in 50 games, but finish with 44 points.
Although they didn’t win the Cup in 1943, O’Connor shone for the Habs in the playoffs, scoring four goals and nine points in five games.
He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988.
For more on Buddy O’Connor: