As many of you know, we threw a Caps viewing party last night at Silver Spring Mining Company in Perry Hall. The camaraderie surrounding hockey is amazing and I ran into former Baltimore Clippers player Steve Wirth, who most puck people know from Mt. Pleasant and his mid 1970s days on the ice. He told me that Kent Douglas died last weekend and he didn’t see anything about it around town or in “the paper.” I told him that The Baltimore Sun probably doesn’t have a person in the building who has even heard of Kent Douglas.
Well, sadly, a simple internet search verified Douglas’ death last week in Canada.
Some background on Douglas, who served as a player/coach of the Clippers from NHLPA players site:
Kent Douglas played two seasons of junior hockey with the Kitchener Canucks of the OHA before embarking on a seven-year apprenticeship in the AHL and the WHL. Just over three of those seasons were spent under the tutelage of former defensive great Eddie Shore whose Springfield Indians were to hockey players what boot camp was to recruits.
Douglas emerged from Shore’s program as a tough and heady defenseman who caught Punch Imlach’s eye in 1962. Douglas’s first 80 games in a Leafs sweater were as good as his hockey experience would ever get. He corralled 22 points, 107 penalty minutes and left the Gardens in the Spring of 1963 with, figuratively speaking, a Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in one hand and the Stanley Cup in the other.
From the halcyon heights of his rookie campaign, Douglas settled into the reality of life in the NHL trenches. Although he managed to hang in with the Leafs until 1967, with three All-Star game appearances, he was demoted to the minors in 1964 and 1967, shortly before the Leafs won Stanley Cups on both occasions.
In 1967, he was claimed by the expansion Oakland Seals who sent him to Detroit shortly thereafter for a fistful of players. Douglas lasted a season and a half with the Wings before slipping into the AHL with the Rochester Americans and the Baltimore Clippers.
In 1972, Douglas joined in the WHA bonanza, serving as a player/coach with the short-lived New York Raiders. From there, it was back to the minors to round out his career with the Clippers and the Toledo Goaldiggers of the IHL.