Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson was one of the top players in the National Hockey League during the tough days of the 1930s. He led the Chicago Blackhawks in scoring six times in his eight seasons in the Windy City.

The Calgary-born brother of four time Vezina Trophy winner Tiny Thompson, Paul Thompson broke into the league with the New York Rangers in 1927. He would play for five years in Manhattan, winning the Stanley Cup in 1928. Often toiling on the second line notably with Murray Murdoch and Butch Keeling and sometimes with Alex Gray and Reg Mackey, Thompson's line always played second fiddle to the Frank Boucher-Bill Cook-Bun Cook trio that dominated the entire league in those days.

It wasn't until Thompson joined the Chicago Blackhawks that his offensive numbers took off. Traded for Art Somers and Vic Desjardins, Thompson slotted in nicely on the Hawks top line with Doc Romnes and Mush March. Thompson would twice top the 20 goal mark. In both of those seasons, 1934 and 1938, he led the Hawks to Stanley Cup championships.

A two time all star, Thompson totaled 153 goals and 179 assists for 332 points in his 582 game career. He would turn to coaching the Hawks in retirement, lasting 6 seasons.

"I was offered a raise from $8500 to $12500 to coach. I was a damn fool and took it for the money," said Thompson regretfully. He was always conscious of the bottom line. In New York, where he played for just $3500 a year, the good looking Thompson moonlighted for $200 a month as a poster boy for Camel cigarettes.

"Paul Thompson was an excellent player," recalled former teammate Cully Dahlstrom. "He was great around the net and shooting the puck. He was a good coach. He wanted everybody to work hard and work as a team, which we tried to do."

Thompson guided the Hawks to the Stanley Cup finals in 1944 before being swept by the Montreal Canadiens.

Later he would move to British Columbia, coaching the Vancouver Canucks to the Pacific Coast League title in 1945 and later running a cattle ranch in sunny Kamloops. He would later move back to his hometown of Calgary where he purchased the Westgate Hotel until his retirement in 1981.


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