Walter Earl Seibert - Born December 7, 1911 in Berlin, Ontario – Died May 12, 1990 in Agawam, Massachusetts was a Canadian ice Hockey defenceman.
Earl Seibert played his junior Hockey in his hometown, (Berlin) Kitchener , and turned pro in 1929 with the Springfield Indians of the Can-Am league. During his two-year term in Springfield, he suffered a serious concussion and for the rest of his career wore a helmet, making him the first player to wear headgear on a regular basis.
Seibert joined the New York Rangers in 1931, playing 5 seasons there, scoring 30 goals and 43 assists in 221 games including playoffs, where he helped the Rangers win the Stanley Cup in 1933.
Seibert was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks for Art Coulter in 1935.
Seibert then established himself as one of the best defensemen of his era. He was named to the First or Second All-Star Team each year between 1935 and 1944, a feat surpassed only by Gordie Howe, Maurice Richard, Bobby Hull and Doug Harvey.
Seibert was generally regarded as second only to Eddie Shore in terms of skill and rugged play, and Shore once confessed that Seibert was the only man he was afraid to fight. Defensively, Seibert was one of the best shot-blockers in the game, and he could move the puck just as quickly as anyone.
Although his career was full of great accomplishments, it was compromised by one of the worst accidents in the history of the game. On January 28, 1937, in a game against the Montreal Canadiens, Seibert and Howie Morenz chased after a puck behind the Chicago net. Seibert tied up his man on the play, but Morenz fell awkwardly into the boards, shattering his leg. Just six weeks later, Morenz died in hospital, having never recovered emotionally from the devastation of the career-ending injury. Seibert himself never really got over the trauma; whenever he was asked if he'd ever played against Morenz, he'd reply bitterly, "Yeah. I killed him."
In 1938 he led the Black Hawks to the Stanley Cup, defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs in five games. He was such a favorite with the team's owner, Major Frederic McLaughlin, that he was given part ownership of the team. However, when McLaughlin died, manager Bill Tobin refused to acknowledge this gesture and instead traded Seibert to the Detroit Red Wings. He played just 43 games over a season and a half in Detroit, while also playing 43 games for the Indianapolis Capitals of the AHL before he retired.
Seibert coached the Springfield Indians from 1946 to 1951
Earl Seibert was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1963, and joined his father Oliver Seibert, who was elected in 1961, as the first father and son combination elected to the Hall of Fame as players.