Herbert Albert "Herbie" Lewis - Born April 17, 1906 in Calgary, Alberta – Died January 20, 1991 in Indianapolis, Indiana was a Canadian professional ice Hockey left winger.
Lewis started out in 1921-22, playing for the Calgary Hustlers of the Calgary City Junior League. In the 1922-23 season he played for the Calgary Canadians of the Calgary City League and led the team to the Memorial Cup playdowns where he was first in scoring with 17 goals and 24 points in 12 games. He followed up in 1923-24 with 12 goals, 8 assists in seven Memorial Cup playdown games, helping the Canadians to the finals of the 1924 Memorial Cup, losing to the Owen Sound Greys. Lewis scored in both Memorial Cup final games.
Lewis journeyed to Duluth, Minnesota in 1924 and played with the Duluth Hornets in the United States Amateur Hockey Association / USAHA where he was given the nickname "The Duke of Duluth."
Following the 1925 season, the Hornets dropped from the USAHA and operated in the Central Hockey League / CHL, not outright as pro but pro in every sense but name, and Lewis led the CHL in points (28) and assists (11) in the 1925-26 season and was a CHL First Team All-Star that year. The Hornets then joined the American Hockey Association / AHA for the 1926-27 season, and Lewis would play in Duluth until 1928.
Lewis was claimed by the Detroit Cougars from Duluth in a Inter-League Draft, May 14, 1928, and reportedly turned down a $20,000 offer from the New York Rangers prior to signing with the Cougars in 1928. The Cougars became the Detroit Falcons in 1930, and the the Detroit Red Wings in 1932, with Lewis playing on all 3 teams during this period.
Lewis teamed with right winger Larry Aurie and a variety of fellow-Hall of Fame centermen in his NHL tenure. First it was the great Ebbie Goodfellow, but soon Cooney Weiland stepped in between the two sharp shooting wingers. Toronto Maple Leaf boss Conn Smythe once described the line of Lewis, Weiland and Aurie as "the best line in Hockey."
Named as the Red Wing's captain in 1933, Herbie was elected as the starting left winger in the first-ever NHL All-Star game in 1934 (the Ace Bailey Benefit Game) and went on to lead the team in playoff scoring with five goals.
Lewis played in the longest NHL game on March 24-25, 1936, when Detroit defeated the Montreal Maroons 1-0 after six overtime periods. The Red Wings went on to win the 1936 Stanley Cup championship, with Lewis setting up the Stanley Cup winning goal by Pete Kelly in game four, a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The victory meant a sweep of every major sports title that season for Detroit, making it the original city of champions with baseball’s Tigers winning their first World Series and the Lions taking their first NFL championship in the fall of 1935.
Detroit also won the 1937 Stanley Cup championship, as Lewis combined on a line with Marty Barry and Hec Kilrea to dominate almost every game of the finals. Lewis scored 1 goal in the finals.
In 1939, with his NHL career behind him, Lewis brought Hockey to Indianapolis as general manager, coach, and player with the Indianapolis Capitols of the IAHL. He played and coached the Capitols to an IAHL division title in 1939-40, and then coached the Capitols to another AHL division title and Calder Cup championship in 1942.
Lewis rscored 148 goals, 161 assists and 309 points in 483 NHL games played. He added 13 goals and and 23 points in 38 NHL playoff games.
Jack Adams prized Lewis as a penalty-killer and all-round other-sport-shaming athletic exemplar. “He is a sportsman of the highest type,” the feisty Detroit manager once testified. “I defy baseball or football or boxing or any other sport to produce an individual who can eclipse Herbie Lewis as a perfect model of what any athlete should stand for.”
Herbie Lewis was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989.