Kenneth Fenwick Randall - Born December 14, 1888 in Kingston, Ontario – Died June 14, 1947 in Toronto, Ontario was a Canadian ice Hockey right winger / defenseman.
Randall played his junior Hockey with the Lindsay Midgets from 1906 to 1909, helping Lindsay to the finals of the 1907 Ontario Hockey Association / OHA Jr. finals, losing to the Stratford Midgets, and then in 1909, helping Lindsay win the OHA Intermediate Championship.
Randall then turned pro to start the 1909-10 season, signing with the Brantford Redmen (Indians) of the Ontario Professional Hockey League / OPHL on January 5, 1910, scoring 10 goals in 10 games.
Randall then signed with the Port Hope Professionals of the Eastern Ontario Professional Hockey League / EOPHL, scoring 19 goals in just 6 games during the 1910-11 season.
During the 1911-12 season, Randall played with the NHA Montreal Wanderers, Saskatoon Hoo-Hoos and the Saskatoon Real Estates of the Saskatchewan Professional Hockey League.
Randall started the 1912-13 season playing for the new Toronto Blueshirts team in the NHA. He played in their first ever game at the famed Arena Gardens on Christmas Day, December 25, 1912 vs the Montreal Canadiens and in their second game on December 28, also vs the Canadiens. Toronto lost both games and Randall had no points, which led to the Blueshirts releasing him, but he was quickly signed on December 29, 1912 by the Sydney Millionaires of the Maritime Professional Hockey League / MPHL for their 1912-13 season, where he scored 62 goals in 48 games over three seasons (including playoffs), helping Sydney win the Maritimes Provinces championship in 1913, and then challenging the National Hockey Association / NHA champion Quebec Bulldogs for the 1913 Stanley Cup. The host Bulldogs won the two games in the total-goals series, 14-3 and 6-2. Randall scored a goal in the first game. The Millionaires would win the MPHL as Maritimes Provinces champions again in 1914.
Randall was back in Toronto for the 1915-16 season, playing for the NHA's Blueshirts, scoring 7 goals, 5 assists in his first NHA season. He played in Toronto again the next season, but was assigned to the Montreal Wanderers by the NHA in dispersal of Toronto Blueshirts players, February 11, 1917, playing the final 5 games of the season for the Wanderers.
Randall was then signed as a free agent by the new National Hockey League / NHL Toronto Arenas, December 9, 1917 where he would become a legend playing in Toronto.
In the very first NHL season, Randall and the Arenas, also known as "The Torontos" had a very successful year, the team won the second half of the 1917–18 NHL season, leading to a playoff against the Montreal Canadiens. in the NHL final, a two-game, total-goals series. In the opener, Randall assisted on the opening goal and then scored a first-period goal to give Toronto a 2-0 lead on the way to a 7-3 victory. Toronto lost the second game 4-3 but won the series by outscoring Montreal 10-7. The Arenas then faced the Pacific Coast league champion Vancouver Millionaires in a best-of-five final with all the games played at Toronto’s Mutual Street Arena for the 1918 Stanley Cup. Toronto then won the best-of-five series 3–2 for their 1st Stanley Cup championship. Randall scored 1 goal in the finals.
Randall was known as being one of the toughest players on the NHL ice, and in fact many writers took to calling him a "hooligan" or "thug" for what was often perceived as dirty play by fans and opposing players. When he played for the Blueshirts, the Ottawa Journal published a story in 1916 headlined “Randall’s Actions This Winter Cause Surprise To His Friends.” It wondered why Randall, rarely penalized early in his career, had become so aggressive.
“Ken Randall, who plays for Livingstone’s Toronto Blue Shirts, and who has been suspended by the league for alleged threatening of Referee Smeaton, must have received a bad education in the Maritime Provinces where he played the game for two or three years before going to the Toronto Blue Shirts. Randall’s actions this winter while on the ice have caused much surprise to many who knew him when he used to play for Lindsay back in 1907. Those days Ken, a short chunky chap, was one of the cleanest and most gentlemanly chaps that the O.H.A. ever issued a certificate to.”
One of the highlights of the 1918-19 NHL season for Randall came on Feb. 11 when he scored three goals while playing defence in a 6-4 win over the visiting Canadiens.
According to the Toronto World, “Randall was a bright, shining light. He rushed well and collected three of the Toronto goals.”
Following a relatively calm 1919-20 season — the Toronto franchise’s first using the name St. Patricks and wearing green sweaters — Randall wasted no time mixing it up in the 1920-21 season. In the season opener, a 6-3 loss in Ottawa on Dec. 22, the Ottawa Citizen reported “Jack McKell and Ken Randall got into an argument and drew major fouls.”
Randall even got under his own teammates’ skin occasionally, as reported by the Toronto World following a 4-2 win over Ottawa on Feb. 26, a game in which Randall started at left wing with future Hall of Famer and prolific scorer Babe Dye at right wing. “Randall was the victim of his own tongue in the first period. Dye did not seem to be playing to suit Randall, and the latter yelled to the St. Pats bench as he was going by: ‘Put on someone with some brains.’ The bench took Randall’s advice as soon as the bell rang, derricked Randall himself, and substituted Smylie.”
During the 1921-22 season, which culminated with Toronto (13-10-1) winning its second Stanley Cup, Randall showed his offensive skills in a 5-4 win at Hamilton on Feb. 1, 1922, scoring two goals, including the game-winner. “Randall went from near his own net, stick-handled his way through the entire team and scored,” was how the winner was described in a wire story in the Ottawa Citizen.
Ten days later, in the presence of Lord and Lady Byng, Randall scored a goal and two assists in a 4-4 tie in Ottawa.
Randall played some of his best hockey of the season in the Stanley Cup final, which the St. Patricks captured in five games over the Vancouver Millionaires at the Mutual Street Arena. In the opening game, he scored Toronto’s second goal, which tied the score 2-2 before the Millionaires went on to win 4-3.
The Vancouver Sun reported that “Randall was the star of the locals. Randall turned in some pretty efforts this year, but tonight’s was the best of all.”
In Game 2, a game Toronto won 2-1 on Dye’s overtime goal, a wire story in the Ottawa Citizen reported Randall “gloried in the heavy checking. He broke up [Vancouver] attacks and was also good on the attack.”
In the first period, “Randall went right through and missed the post by inches when Lehman was at his mercy.”
In Game 3, a 3-0 Vancouver victory, Randall suffered a fractured thumb in the third period but, according to the Vancouver Sun, “continued after getting it temporarily bandaged.”
The injury kept him out of Games 4 and 5 - 6-0 and 5-1 Toronto wins. Prior to Game 4, a story in the Ottawa Citizen read: “Big loss to the Irish will be Randall. The latter has played clever and consistent Hockey all through the season.”
The Toronto St. Pats would win the 1922 Stanley Cup championship 3 -2 in games.
Randall played one final year in Toronto during the 1922-23 season, with one game to mention in February vs the Ottawa Senators, when, over near the vice-regal box, Randall laced Punch Broadbent and got with with it as referee Cooper Smeaton’s back was turned.”
Sitting in the the vice-regal box was the Governor General’s wife, Lady Byng, who in 1925 would donate a trophy to the NHL to be presented annually to the league’s most sportsmanlike player. (In the first NHL game Lady Byng saw, Randall scored two goals in a 5-4 St. Patricks’ win in which no penalties were handed out.)
On Dec. 14, 1923, a day before the season opened, Randall was traded to the Hamilton Tigers with the NHL rights to Corb Denneny and cash for Amos Arbour, George Carey and Bert Corbeau.
Randall made a good impression with his new team in Hamilton’s second game of the season, a 3-1 loss to the visiting Canadiens on Dec. 19, the Canadian Press reporting: “Randall was good both offensively and defensively. He stepped into every man that attempted to get through and sent them spilling and when on the offensive he gave Vezina many a hard shot to handle from close in.”
On Jan. 18, 1924, a day before the Tigers played the Senators in Ottawa, the Citizen wrote “Randall, once called a ‘bad man’ in hockey, … has played exceptionally clean Hockey. Playing that brand, he has proven himself more valuable than in any previous season of his career.”
Five weeks later, the Tigers beat the visiting St. Patricks 3-1 in a contest the Canadian Press described as “one of the finest games played here this season, but was marred by a fist fight between Noble and Randall, which later developed into a free-for-all, and the police had to step on the ice to stop the action. Noble and Randall were ruled off for the remainder of the game, but no arrests were made.”
The following day, NHL president Frank Calder fined Noble and Randall $50 apiece for “misconduct” and warned them “that a recurrence of the offence will bring about suspension.”
The Tigers would finish in last place during the season, and not make the playoffs.
The Tigers would be a complete opposite team the next year, finishing first in the NHL standings with 19 wins, 10 losses and 1 tie, with Randall scoring 8 goals, 10 assists during the season.
In the regular-season finale, a 4-1 loss to the Canadiens at Mount Royal Arena on March 9, Randall drew the ire of more than just opposing players. According to the Montreal Gazette, “Randall just missed getting clipped with a pipe hurled by an irate spectator and a moment later while in a brush with Morenz for the puck along the boards, was tapped on the head by an ardent woman spectator sitting alongside the ice.”
The Tigers had earned a bye into the NHL final by finishing first in the NHL. They also earned a place in league history when they threatened to not play in the championship series, against the Canadiens, unless they were paid more money.
According to the Montreal Gazette of March 13, 1925, “Hamilton players yesterday informed Percy Thompson, head of the Tiger club, that unless each player on the team got $200 for his services in the play-off finals of the N.H.L. they would refuse to play … Thompson immediately informed President Frank Calder, of the league, regarding the players’ demands. The league head has given the Hamilton players until 11 o’clock this morning to decide to play under the old arrangements.”
On March 14, after the sides couldn’t come to an agreement — the Hamilton directors offered $100 to each player but they turned it down — Calder declared the Tigers in default and suspended them. Because of the suspension, the semi-final playoff series between Montreal and Toronto became the NHL championship series.
The Tigers players were dealt another blow the following day when Calder fined each of them $200, the same amount they demanded to play in the final.
In the off-season, the Hamilton franchise was sold and relocated to New York City and the team was named the New York Americans.
The Americans played the first pro hockey game at the new Madison Square Garden on Dec. 15, 1925, before an NHL record crowd of — and there are varying reports — either 17,000 or 19,000, including many “gowned women [who] wore furs and jewels.”
After the 92-piece West Point military band performed, Randall gave the fans a moment of excitement in the early minutes of the game.
“Randall first brought the crowd to its feet when he broke forth in a wild chase up the ice right to the mouth of the Canadiens’ goal, where the defence bunched and stopped him cold.”
The Americans lost 3-1 to Montreal.
On Dec. 19, Randall was among four Americans players injured when the train they were riding in, the Philadelphia night express that left Pittsburgh at 12:42 a.m., derailed in the Allegheny mountains. The train was comprised of a locomotive, two express cars, two coaches and three Pullmans. The Americans were travelling in the last car.
A newspaper report said Randall suffered a dislocated shoulder. That was probably not the case, considering what happened three weeks later. On Jan. 11, 1926, Randall made history when he was involved in the first NHL bout at Madison Square Garden, during a 1-0 overtime loss to the Senators.
A wire story in the Montreal Gazette read: “The one marring event of the close game came in the second period when ‘Hooley’ Smith and Ken Randall put on the season’s first fist fight here. Randall checked Smith high. Smith came back with a swing of the hickory that took the New York defence man on the back of the head and the battle was on.” Both players received major penalties. They later shook hands.
Randall’s NHL career ended three games into the 1926-27 season. He played as a substitute in each game then was placed on waivers by the Americans. He was three weeks shy of his 39th birthday.
When no NHL team claimed him, he was sold to Niagara Falls Cataracts of the Canadian Professional Hockey League. He scored four goals in 15 games and on Jan. 24, 1927, was traded to Hamilton of the same league, scoring three goals in 13 games. The following season he went scoreless in 19 games with the Providence Reds of the Can-Am league.
Randall played 218 regular-season NHL games, scoring 68 goals and 118 points while compiling 533 penalty minutes. Fifteen of the 68 goals, were game winners. he also scored 2 playoff goals, both in the Stanley Cup finals.
Randall became a full-time coach in 1928, but still had some playing time left in him, playing for the Oshawa Patricias when the OPHL was revived in 1930.
Following his playing career, Randall coached the Amherst Ramblers of the NSAPC to a division win in the 1931-32 season. He was let go on February 29,1932 in an argument over money. The Ramblers did end up paying Randall a $500 bonus for winning the division even though it was to be awarded for winning the championship. The Ramblers went on through the first round but lost in the second round of playoffs. He also coached teams in New Haven and Kitchener.