Hockey Gods



Uploaded By: PRESIDENT on June 25th, 2016

Selm Alexander "Alex" Faulkner - Born May 21, 1936 in Bishop's Falls, Newfoundland is a retired professional ice Hockey player.

Faulkner first learned to play Hockey with his brothers on the Exploits River in Bishop's Falls. His brother George was the first Newfoundlander to play professional Hockey.

Faulkner began his provincial Hockey career in 1962 with the Grand Falls junior club and continued with the Grand Falls Andcos where he won three Herder Memorial Trophies in 1955, 1956 and 1957.

Before entering the National Hockey League, Alex Faulkner was a star player in Newfoundland for the Conception Bay All Stars or Conception Bay CeeBees, a team that was, for the most part, formed by his brother George. Faulkner led the league for two seasons in both goals and points, and also won two Herders with the CeeBees in 1960 and 1965.

Faulkner's big break came when the team played an exhibition game in 1960 against a St. John's senior team coached by former Toronto Maple Leafs player Howie Meeker. Faulkner was a gifted offensive forward, and played a great game and left an ever lasting impression on Meeker, who would quickly recommend Faulkner to Toronto assistant general manager King Clancy.

Faulkner was invited to practice with the Leafs and was offered a contract with the Leafs' American Hockey League farm team, the Rochester Americans in 1960, he was the Most Valuable Player for that season. In his second season in Rochester, Faulkner registered 73 points in 65 games. He was called up to the Leafs for one NHL game that season.

Faulkner made Newfoundland Hockey history on December 7, 1961 when he jumped over the Leafs bench wearing #8 and hit the ice at the Montreal Forum.

Faulkner's chances of landing a regular spot in the Leafs' lineup at centre were limited—the team already had Dave Keon, Red Kelly, Bob Pulford and Billy Harris at that position. The Leafs did not protect Faulkner, and he was claimed by the Detroit Red Wings in the Intra-League Draft on June 4, 1962.

That season, Faulkner found a place in the NHL on the Red Wings' third line with Larry Jeffrey and Bruce MacGregor. In his rookie season, Faulkner scored 10 goals and 20 points in 70 games while playing on the checking line.

It was in the playoffs in 1963, however, that Faulkner stood out. André Pronovost replaced Jeffrey on the line and, in that combination, Faulkner scored 5 goals in 8 playoff games, including three goals (two game winners) against Chicago's Glenn Hall in the semi-finals. The underdog Red Wings eliminated the favoured Black Hawks to earn a berth in the Stanley Cup finals against Faulkner's former team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Faulkner played a pivotal role in Detroit's only win in that series, picking up two goals in the third game, including the game winner.

Finally, Faulkner had made it big, and Newfoundland could not have been any more proud. When Faulkner returned to Newfoundland in the off-season, the province declared "Alex Faulkner Day." Schools were closed for a parade and ceremony hosted by Premier Joey Smallwood, who presented Faulkner with a pair of gold cuff links.

"It was unreal," Faulkner recalled years later. "They had a ticker-tape parade and dinners and I was half scared to death. Just two years earlier I had been playing at Harbour Grace."

Faulkner returned to Detroit for the 1963-64 season, and was quickly brought back to reality. Alex played in only 30 games as a broken hand and ankle ligament damage all but ruined his season.

Detroit asked Alex to start the 1964-65 season in the minor leagues, something which did not interest Alex. He opted to return to the CeeBees for the next two seasons. When the NHL announced expansion for 1967, Alex figured he may get some interest from the new teams, and opted to return to the mainland, and playing for 4 seasons with Red Wings farm teams - Memphis Wings (66-67) and San Diego Gulls (67-70).

At the beginning of his fourth season with the Gulls, Faulkner decided to return to Newfoundland, where he finished his career with the St. John's Capitals, retiring after the 1971–72 season.

Faulkner played 112 National Hockey League games during three seasons with 20 goals and 17 assists for 37 points with 17 penalty minutes.

Faulkner was also a member of St. John’s Capitals, Grand Falls Cataracts and Mike’s Shamrocks. His provincial senior Hockey play involved eight Herder victories.

Alex Faulkner was Inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame in 1994

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