Henry Elmer "Buddy" Maracle - Born September 8, 1904 in Ayr, Ontario – Died June 20, 1958 in Dallas, Texas was a Canadian/American Indigenous (Oneida Mohawk) ice Hockey left winger/defenceman and coach.
Maracle learned to play Hockey in Haileybury, Ontario while attending school and later got his first taste of championship Hockey when he was playing for the North Bay Trappers, which won the 1923-24 Northern Ontario Junior Championship, part of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association / NOHA.
In 1926, Maracle turned pro and joined the Springfield Indians of the Canadian-American Hockey League / CAHL, also known as the Can-Am League, and was coached by the legendary Frank Carroll.
Maracle would become a fan favourite in Springfield, and helped the Springfield Indians win back to back Henri Fontaine Cup (Fontaine Cup) championships in the 1926-27 & 1927-28 seasons, and was one of the top scorers on he team in the 1927-28 season with 15 goals during the regular season and 2 more during the playoffs.
Maracle and the Springfield Indians also played the Canadian Professional Hockey League / CPHL champion London Panthers in a 3 game total-goal series for the minor-league championship of the East in 1927, winning the championship 11 to 7 (3-1, 6-3 & 2-3).
Maracle had been a alternate captain, then named captain of the Springfield Indians.
Maracle played for the Springfield Indians until 1931, when New York Rangers general manager Lester Patrick made the decision to bring Maracle up from their farm team in Springfield to play for the Rangers.
A member of the Mohawk tribe (Oneida Mohawk), Maracle would become the first full-blooded (Indian) Indigenous Hockey player in National Hockey League / NHL history
Maracle made his NHL debut with the New York Rangers on February 12, 1931 at The Olympia vs the Detroit Falcons in 1-1 OT tie.
Maracle played 11 regular season games in the NHL, scoring his only NHL goal vs Wilf Cude of the Philadelphia Quakers at Madison Square Garden / MSG on February 22, along with 1 assist in the game, and 2 penalties. Maracle had 2 more assists during the final 7 games of the season, and no penalties.
Maracle made his NHL playoff debut on March 24, 1931 in a 5-1 victory for the Rangers vs the Montreal Maroons at MSG. The Rangers won the second game 3-0 to advance, but would lose both their next 2 games vs the Chicago Black Hawks in the semi-finals, and be eliminated. Maracle had 0 points in the 4 games played and no penalties.
Contemporary newspaper accounts during his pro playing days - despicable as some were, had titles like “Indian Wins Spurs with Hockey Club”, Indian Puck Star and “Redskin Icer”, which went on to read “…is the only full-blooded redskin to reach professional Hockey’s major league.” Reporters also sprayed their columns with references to “war whoops” and “wigwams,” “tomahawks” and “scalps.”
Maracle rejoined the Springfield Indians to start the next season, and would remain in the Canadian-American Hockey League / CAHL until 1935, also playing with the Bronx Tigers, New Haven Eagles & Philadelphia Arrows, but his finest years were under the coaching of Frank Carroll in Springfield.
Maracle jumped leagues to start the 1935-36 season with the Tulsa Oilers of the American Hockey Association / AHA, playing 2 seasons in Tulsa, and was a player/head coach of the Oilers during the 1936-37 season.
Maracle then joined the Detroit Holzbaugh-Fords / Pontiac McLeans of the Michigan-Ontario Hockey League / MOHL for the 1937-38 season, later helping them win the 1939 MOHL playoff championship.
Maracle then headed south to the Southern California Hockey League / SCHL, joining the the San Diego Skyhawks. He played his final 3 seasons with the Skyhawks.
Maracle had to give up his Mohawk status when he became a American resident.