Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Profile: Ted Lindsay
2015 marks the Year of Sport and the 60th anniversary of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. In recognition of these important milestones, OLM will be featuring Honoured Members of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in a weekly Profile piece.
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame aims to share the stories and achievements of its Honoured Members to inspire Canadians in all aspects of life.
Ted Lindsay: Athlete, Ice Hockey
The nickname “Terrible Ted” doesn’t do Ted Lindsay justice. Although he was a rough and often mean sportsman, spending more time than anybody else in the penalty box, Lindsay is one of Canada’s finest hockey stars. On the ice, he was a skilled left winger and goal scorer. Outside of the arena, he worked to protect NHL athletes’ rights and make the lives of others better.
Lindsay was born in 1925 in Renfrew, Ontario. He became a professional hockey player in 1944 when drafted by the Detroit Red Wings. Before long, Lindsay was playing alongside Gordie Howe and Sid Abel. Together, the trio formed the Production Line—the highest scoring, most exciting line of the post-war NHL and reason why the Red Wings won four Stanley Cups in six years.
In total, Lindsay played 1,068 NHL games, had 851 points and a staggering 1,808 penalty minutes. On top of that, he also competed in 11 consecutive All-Star Games between 1947-57 and was the first player during an All-Star Game to score a hat trick.
Lindsay’s toughest competitors were not in skates—they were the men who controlled the NHL. During the mid-1950s, he secretly met with Toronto defenceman Jim Thomson and tried to organize players into a union. Once his authorities found out, Lindsay was traded to Chicago as a sort of punishment, where he played for three years before retiring. He was called back for a final season with Detroit, but left for good in 1965.
Not long after, NHL players hired a lawyer and formed the union Lindsay had envisioned, changing the league forever. This victory wouldn’t have happened without Lindsay’s initial efforts.
Among his considerable amount of charitable work, this year marks the 15th anniversary of his personal organization. The Ted Lindsay Foundation works to fund autism research and spread awareness.
To learn more about Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, visit sportshall.ca.