Joseph Albert Florimond "Battleship" Leduc - Born November 22, 1902 in Valleyfield, Quebec – Died July 31, 1990 in Montreal, Quebec was a Canadian ice Hockey defenceman and coach.
Leduc played his early Hockey years in the Montreal City Hockey League / MCHL and the Quebec City Hockey League / QCHL with Valleyfield Braves (1920-21), University of Montreal (1921-22), Quebec Aces (1922-23), Montreal Voltigeurs (1923-24), Montreal Hochelaga (1924-25).
He then joined the senior Montreal Nationale for the 1925-26 season, in a league financed by the different banks of the city of Montreal.
Leduc was then signed as a free agent by the Montreal Canadiens, April 16, 1925, making his NHL debut on November 28 vs the Pittsburgh Pirates at The Forum in a 1-0 Pittsburgh win.
Leduc scored his 1st NHL goal vs Jake Forbes of the New York Americans on December 15, 1925 at Madison Square Garden in a 2-1 Montreal win. He would become known for his physically punishing play, the hard-hitting Leduc was equally renowned for his ability to lead the rush, propelling him to a career high 10 goals in his rookie season in 1925-26.
Always moving at top speed, Leduc’s devastating body checks made him a fan favorite at the Forum. Cracking the NHL’s top 10 most penalized players list on three occasions, the robust defenseman fittingly earned himself the nickname “Battleship”.
As adept with the puck as he was at retrieving it, Leduc scored at least five goals in every full season he played in Montreal, adding double-digit assist totals in most of those campaigns.
The Ironman blue-liner missed only 15 games over his first eight seasons with the Canadiens. In 1929-30 and 1930-31 Leduc was in the lineup every night, helping the Canadiens capture consecutive Stanley Cup championships. The durable defenseman picked up four points in the 1930 championship run, leading the team with three assists. Leduc also had 1 assist in the 1931 championship final.
Leduc also helped the Canadiens win the O'Brien Trophy as NHL Canadian Division Champions 4 times - 1928, 1929, 1931 and 1932.
Leduc was traded to the Ottawa Senators for cash with Montreal retaining the right of repurchase, October 22, 1933, and then loaned to the New York Rangers by Ottawa on February 15, 1934 for remainder of 1933-34 season.
Leduc was then traded back to Montreal by Ottawa for cash, April 9, 1934, and played just 4 games in the Canadiens jersey, before he was signed as playing manager/coach of the Quebec Castors (Beavers) in the Canadian-American Hockey League / Can-Am with Montreal retaining right of recall, October 24, 1934. Leduc played in 44 games for the Castors.
Leduc became a fan favorite in the Can-Am League, and was traded to the Providence Reds of the Can-Am on October 12, 1935 and was named to the league's second all-star team in 1935-36.
Leduc retired as a player in 1937 then spent a year coaching the senior Verdun Maple Leafs in the Quebec City Hockey League.
After hanging up his skates for good, Leduc set up a Hockey stick manufacturing company in his hometown. By the 1950s, Valleyfield’s “Battleship” brand lumber was the stick of choice for tens of thousands of players across Canada and in the Eastern United States.