Helge Bostrom

Bulgy Helge Bostrom was a clerk by trade, but masqueraded as a long time hockey player, including with the Chicago Black Hawks from 1929 through 1930.

Bostrom was already 35 years old when he finally debuted in the NHL in 1929. He had spent the previous decade bouncing around the minor leagues in western Canada and Minnesota following his discharge from his service in World War I with the Canadian army. He served in France, along side hockey legends like Bullet Joe Simpson and Rabbit McVeigh, as a cook. Simpson arranged for a fake honor for Bostrom, claiming Helge "eliminate or wounded more Canadians with your skillet than the whole German Army."

Described as "a colorful player" with "the reputation of being the most stitched player in the ame." He was a likeable sort, equally at home on the ice or the baseball diamond.

On January 6th, 1933 Kenneth Fry of the United Press recalled a horrific injury to Bostrom. Earl Siebert stepped on Bostrom, severing four tendons above an ankle. 142 stitches where needed to close the gash. Doctors wondered if he would ever walk properly again, let alone skate, but he did return to action.

The crossword puzzle loving Bostrom was let go by the Blackhawks in 1933, but he continued on. He played until 1936 when he turned 42 years old.

Bostrom later served as a minor league coach and as a scout.


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