Harold Percival "Whipper" Watson - Born May 6, 1923 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Died November 19, 2002 in Markham, Ontario was a Canadian ice Hockey left winger and coach.
Watson played junior Hockey for the Saskatoon Junior Chiefs (1938–39), the Saskatoon Chiefs and Saskatoon Dodgers (1939–40), and the Saskatoon Junior Quakers (1940–41).
As a junior player, Watson won four provincial age-group league titles.
In 1941, at age 18, Watson turned professional with the Brooklyn Americans in the NHL in what would be the team's final season. He scored his 1st NHL goal on November 13, 1941 vs Sam LoPresti of the Chicago Black Hawks. He scored 10 goals and 8 assists in his rookie year with the Americans.
Watson was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in an intra-league draft. In his first year there his 13 goals helped the Red Wings finish first overall in the regular season. In the playoffs he was dominant as the Wings beat the Boston Bruins in four straight games to win the 1943 Stanley Cup.
Watson then joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as World War II escalated. While in the military, he played for the Montreal RCAF team in 1943–44, as well as for the Saskatoon RCAF squad, helped the Saskatoon RCAF win the Western Command Senior Hockey Championships. The following season, he played for the Winnipeg RCAF team.
After a two-year break from the NHL, Watson rejoined the Red Wings after the war for one season in 1945-46, and was then traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs on September 21, 1946, for Billy Taylor - a trade Watson later said was one of the highlights of his career. in Toronto he quickly teamed up with center Syl Apps and tough guy Bill Ezinicki to form a scoring trio feared around the league. This trio helped the Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup four times (1947, 1948, 1949, 1951) during Watson's nine seasons at Maple Leaf Gardens, giving him a total of five Cup wins in his career.
In 1948–49, he led the Maple Leafs in points and goals, with 26 goals and 19 assists in 60 games. He didn't take a single penalty through the entire regular season. Watson also scored the eventual Stanley Cup-winning goal that year en route to a 4-0 swamp of his old team, the Red Wings.
Maple Leafs fans also remember Watson as the one who assisted on Bill Barilko's legendary overtime Cup-winning goal in 1951 against goalie Gerry McNeil of Montreal.
Shortly into the 1954–55 season, the Maple Leafs sold Watson to the Chicago Black Hawks. After three years in Chicago, Watson played one more year as a professional, as player-coach of the Buffalo Bisons in the American Hockey League, before retiring in 1958.
In addition to his five Stanley Cup wins, Watson's teams succeeded in making the playoffs in nine of the 14 years he played. He also played in seven All-Star games, usually as a member of the Cup-winning team.
Through his 14 years in the NHL, Watson played 809 games, scoring 236 goals and 207 assists for 443 points.
Following his retirement from the Bisons, Watson jumped full-time into coaching with the St. Catharines TeePees - a farm team for the Black Hawks - in the Ontario Hockey Association Junior A league. He coached several other minor teams as well, and even led the Windsor Bulldogs to the OHA Senior A championship and the Allan Cup championship in 1963.
Harold “Harry” Watson was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.
Harry Watson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1994