Hockey Gods



Uploaded By: PRESIDENT on March 17th, 2014

Walter Charles "Wally" Kilrea - Born February 18, 1909 in Ottawa, Ontario - Died July 3, 1992 in London, Ontario was a Canadian ice Hockey left winger and coach.

Kilrea learned to play Hockey in Ottawa and the valley there, and later played two years with senior Ottawa Montagnards in the Ottawa City Hockey League / OCHL.

Kilrea then signed with the Ottawa Senators for the 1929-30 NHL season, joining his older brother there... Hec “Hurricane” Kilrea. Wally made his NHL debut on November 14, 1929 vs Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Auditorium in a 3-3 OT tie.

Kilrea scored his 1st NHL goal vs George Hainsworth of the Montreal Canadiens on January 11, 1930 at 17:55 of the 2nd period at The Forum in a 2-1 OT Ottawa win.

Wally was loaned to the London Panthers in late January for three games, then returned to Ottawa and had a stand-out game in Pittsburgh on February 4, 1930, when he scored three times in Ottawa’s 5-1 win.....his only NHL hat-trick.

The next season he was loaned to the dreadful Philadelphia Quakers who won only four games all year. He scored the first goal in Quakers history on November 16, 1930 vs Dolly Dolson of the Detroit Falcons in a 5-1 Detroit win.

The Quakers, along with the Ottawa Senators, announced that they would not field a team for the 1931–32 NHL season, and Kilrea was claimed by New York Americans from Ottawa in the Dispersal Draft on September 26, 1931.

He then joined the Montreal Maroons from 1932 to 1934.

Kilrea then signed with the Detroit Red Wings and first played with their farm team, the Detroit Olympics of the International Hockey League / IHL for the 1934-35 season. He played his 1st game for the Red Wings on Christmas Day 1934, also playing on the 27th and 30th with no points.

Kilrea made the Red Wings full time the next season, and was a key member of Detroit Red Wings back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1936 and 1937. He scored 2 goals, 1 assist in the 1936 finals, and 2 assists in the 1937 playoffs to help the Red Wings become the first U.S.-based team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups.

Kilrea started the 1937-38 season with Detroit, but after going scoreless in 5 games, he was sent to the Pittsburgh Hornets of the International American Hockey League / IAHL (AHL), where he finished the season.

Kilrean then joined the Hershey Bears for the 1938-39 AHL season. Wally would become a star and fan favourite in Hershey, putting up double digits in scoring and assists every season in his 6 years there. Kilrea's best year during this period was 1942-43 when he led the AHL with 68 assists and 99 points (31 goals) and was named to the 1942-43 AHL First All-Star Team. He was Hershey’s first scoring champion and he was captain of the Bears from 1939-43.

Kilrea was a big part of the Bears rivalry with the Philadelphia Ramblers, and whenever the 2 teams played each other, arenas were full and special chartered trains would bring the Pennsylvania Hockey fans to both cities. Known as the Hershey-Philadelphia Hockey Wars during the first years of the IAHL.

Kilrea helped Hershey to reach the Calder Cup finals in 1941 and 1942.

Kilrea then turned to coaching after retiring as a player, first coaching the Fort Worth Rangers in the United States Hockey League / USHL in 1946-47 before coaching the Philadelphia Rockets in the American Hockey League / AHL from the 1947 to 1949, and the Johnstown Jets in the Eastern Hockey League / EHL from 1950 to 1953. The Jets won the Boardwalk Challenge Trophy (Atlantic City Boardwalk Trophy / Boardwalk Cup) in 1951, 1952 and 1953.

The John B. Sollenberger Trophy was originally named after Wally Kilrea, who held the AHL's single-season scoring record when the award was instituted 1947–48. That season, the award was renamed in honour of its first recipient, Carl Liscombe, who broke Kilrea's scoring record.

Wally Kilream was inducted into the Hershey Bears Hall of Fame in 2019

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