Hockey Gods


No similar Images were found.


Uploaded By: PRESIDENT on July 2nd, 2023

James George Aylwin Creighton - Born June 12, 1850 in Halifax, Nova Scotia – Died June 27, 1930 in Ottawa, Ontario was a Canadian lawyer, engineer, journalist, parliamentary reporter, author, athlete and ice Hockey pioneer.

James Creighton is considered the "Father of Organized Hockey,"
although he never claimed that honour.

James Creighton was educated at Halifax Grammar School, where he graduated at age 14, then earned an arts degree with honours from University of King's College in 1868. Creighton had played sports during his boyhood in Halifax, where a free-wheeling, stick-ball game called "ricket", "shinny" or occasionally "Hockey", was played on ice outdoors with any number of players.

In 1872 he moved to Montreal from Halifax to study & work in engineering. Creighton sometimes acted as a figure skating judge at the Victoria Skating Club's Victoria Skating Rink. As a member of the Club, he organized early morning sessions of informal ice Hockey at the rink with his friends from McGill University, Montreal Amateur Athletic Association clubs and members of the Victoria Skating Club, which played an instrumental role in the formative stages of ice Hockey.

It was here that Creighton captained of one of the two teams that participated in the first recorded indoor game of organized ice Hockey on March 3, 1875 at the Victoria Skating Rink. His nine-man team representing the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association Football Club won two "games" (goals) to one over the Victoria Skating Club led by Charles Torrance.

James Creighton is also credited with the 1st recorded Ice Hockey assist during a game on February 26, 1877 between the Metropolitan Club against members of the St James' Club. The Montreal Gazette published on February 27, 1877, unfortunately for the St. James' men, Creighton made some admirable play into Geddes' hands, who put the ball through in a twinkling, thus scoring the second game for the Metropolitans - Geddes was Charles Geddes, a teammate.

On the Hockey rink, Creighton was praised for his ability to pass the flat, circular piece of wood in use at the time as a puck and for his attempts to initiate combination play. In 1876, while he was captain of a team from the Montreal rugby football club, of which he was vice-president, it was noted that he played "offside," or ahead of the puck carrier, evidence that early Montreal games were played under the newly formed Field Hockey Association and rugby rules, rather than the so-called Halifax rules, which permitted forward passing.

After Creighton had established Ice Hockey with the Victoria Skating Club and MAAA clubs of Montreal, he enrolled at McGill in 1877 to earn a law degree.
From 1877 to 1881, he was very involved in journalism, writing for The Montreal Gazette, Scribner's Magazine and various other publications. Creighton served as correspondent for The Gazette in the press gallery of the Canadian House of Commons. This experience and legal training led to his appointment on March 3, 1882 as law clerk to the Canadian Senate, a position he would hold for 48 years.

While living and working in Ottawa, Creighton continued his interest in ice Hockey and in 1889 joined with young parliamentarians and government 'aides de camp' to form a team called the Rideau Hall Rebels, after the residence of the Governor General of Canada, in Ottawa. That team played games in and around Ottawa and became well known. Creighton befriended teammates William Stanley and Arthur Stanley, sons of then Canadian Governor General Lord Stanley.

He was an innovator - a facilitator. Although coming from Nova Scotia, where a free-wheeling game called "rickets" by the indigenous people there and "hurley" by the Irish settlers had been played for decades, Creighton favoured the introduction of offside rules both in rugby and Hockey in Montreal. That is, playing behind the ball or puck, and prohibiting forward passing. The rudimentary rules were written on a single sheet of paper.

When his death was recorded in Ottawa newspapers in 1930, his recreations were listed as "exploration, salmon-fishing, angling generally and ice skating." He also enjoyed golf and book collecting. His exemplary effort as a Hockey pioneer in occasional games a half-century before was overlooked.

Mr. Creighton was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in 1993 as the "Father of Organized Ice Hockey."

On May 22, 2008, Mr. Creighton was honored with a plaque at Centre Bell in Montreal, Quebec, the home rink of the Montreal Canadiens. The plaque was unveiled by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Centre Bell is located near the site of the old Victoria Skating Rink.

The Society for International Hockey Research mounted a public campaign during 2008 and 2009 to erect a monument on Creighton's grave site. Contributors included members of the Society, Beechwood Cemetery, and the public. Notable donors included the crew of HMCS Vancouver, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and Calgary Flames owner Harley Hotchkiss. A gravestone and biographical plaque were unveiled at the cemetery in a ceremony on October 24, 2009. Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper addressed the 30 minute ceremony "Just as lacrosse had appealed to our summer heart, Canada needed a sport that would call to its winter soul. Before anyone else, Creighton heard that call and defined the game that from coast-to-coast transcends French and English, East and West; urban and rural and defines us as Canadians." noted Prime Minister Harper. He went on to commend SIHR and Bill Fitsell for his efforts. "Once too old to play the game, he (Creighton) confined himself to his work on legal and parliamentary affairs and allowed his seminal role In the development of the sport to fade into the mists of history. That fog has been lifted thanks to the work of the Society for International Hockey Research and, in particular, Its founding president, Bill Fitsell, Who is here with us today.".

Sourced from President's Collection.


No comments have been made yet.


Please login to comment. Click here to sign up. It's quick, easy and free!