James Ogilvie "Odie" Cleghorn - Born September 19, 1891 in Montreal, Quebec – Died July 13, 1956 in Montreal, Quebec was a Canadian ice Hockey right winger, coach and referee.
Cleghorn played his youth Hockey in Montreal, later playing for the Montreal Westmount teams.
In 1909, Cleghorn moved to New York City where he played with the New York Wanderers of the American Amateur Hockey League / AAHL during the 1909-10 season. Odie's brother Sprague also played during this season for New York.
Turning pro with the NHA’s Renfrew Creamery Kings / Renfrew Hockey Club in 1910-11, Odie followed up his rookie season with six outstanding campaigns playing for the Montreal Wanderers. Consistently he often averaged better than a goal per game, the right-winger scored 115 goals in 93 games wearing a Wanderers jersey. While playing for the Wanderers, Odie played in the very first All Star Hockey Game in April, 1912 played in Vancouver & Victoria, British Columbia. There were 3 games played, 2 in Vancouver and 1 game in Victoria. Odie played for the Eastern All Star Hockey Team.
After sitting out the 1917-18 season due to World War 1, Odie signed as a free agent with the Montreal Canadiens, December 9, 1918, where he continued the offensive exploits that Montreal fans came to expect from him. Cleghorn’s 22 goals tied Newsy Lalonde for the team lead that season.
Cleghorn had strong playoffs for Montreal, scoring 7 goals in the 1919 O'Brien Trophy championship series vs the Ottawa Senators. Cleghorn scored a natural hat-trick in game 2 of the best of 7, which included the game winner. Montreal won the series 4-1.
Montreal then traveled west to face the PCHA champions, the Seattle Metropolitans for the 1919 Stanley Cup championship. Cleghorn was now in his first Stanley Cup championship final, and Odie would score 2 goals in the 5 games that were played, but this series would be suspended, due to an outbreak of influenza. Many of the players were affected, and it would claim the life of Montreal's Joe Hall on April 5, 1919.
Cleghorn was one the Canadiens and the NHL's top players over the next few seasons, but Odie would have to wait until 1924 to reach the finals again. Montreal won the 1924 O'Brien Trophy as NHL champions, defeating the Ottawa Senators. They then defeated the Vancouver Maroons to reach the Stanley Cup championship series vs the Calgary Tigers, defeating the Tigers, by winning the first 2 games in a best of 3 and claiming the 1924 Stanley Cup championship, the first (and only) of Odie's career.
Cleghorn played in Montreal for 1 more season in 1924-25, winning the O'Brien Trophy again, and reaching the 1925 Stanley Cup final, losing to the Victoria Cougars.
Cleghorn was released by Montreal, September, 1925, and then signed as a free agent with the NHL Pittsburgh Pirates and named player/coach, October 18, 1925. It’s worth noting that in Pittsburgh on February 23, 1926 he actually started a game in goal when Roy Worters was injured and couldn’t play. Cleghorn started, finished and won, beating his old team, the Canadiens, with a line-up that featured Howie Morenz and Aurèle Joliat, by a score of 3-2.
Cleghorn played and coached in Pittsburgh until 1928, when he retired.
After retirment, Cleghorn Later signed himself up as an NHL referee, working the NHL until the late 1930s.
Cleghorn got to play with his brother Sprague on 3 historic teams, Renfrew Creamery Kings, Montreal Wanderers and the Montreal Canadiens, while also competing against him when Sprague played on opposing teams.
Odie Cleghorn was found dead in his bed just hours before his brother Sprague's funeral on July 13, 1956. Odie and Sprague were very close, "like twins" according to Canadiens coach Léo Dandurand. Its often been said that the stress of the loss of Sprague may have been the main factor contributing to his heart failure.