At 78 years old, Art Ross has this physical status:
Arthur Howey "Art" Ross (January 13, 1885-August 5, 1964) was a professional ice hockey player and executive from 1905 to 1954.
He was rated as one of the best defenders of his time by his peers, rather than passing the puck to a forward.
In January 1907 with the Kenora Thistles and 1908 with the Montreal Wanderers, he was on Stanley Cup championship teams twice in a 13-year playing career; in January 1907 with the Kenora Thistles and 1908 with the Montreal Wanderers.
Ross played for many clubs and leagues over the years, and his time with the Wanderers was most notable for his time with the National Hockey Association (NHA) and its successor, the National Hockey League (NHL).
He was one of the first organized player strikes over increased pay in 1911.
As the Wanderers' home arena burned down in January 1918, the team ceased operations and Ross retired as a player. He was named head coach of the Hamilton Tigers for one season after many years as an on-ice official.
Ross was hired as the first coach and general manager of the Boston Bruins in 1924 when the team was first organized in 1924.
He served as the team's coach on three occasions before 1945 and then resigned as the team's general manager until 1954.
Ross coached the Bruins to finish first place in the league ten times and three times, as well as winning the Stanley Cup three times; Ross personally coached the team to two of those victories.
Ross, along with his wife and two sons, and two others were hired by the Bruins, and they became an American citizen in 1938.
In 1964, he died near Boston, Massachusetts. Ross also helped with the game outside of his Bruins tenure.
He invented a style of hockey puck that is still used today and advocated for a new style of goal nets, a transition that lasted forty years.
Ross gave the Art Ross Trophy to the top scorer of the NHL regular season in 1947.
In 1949, Ross was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Ross was born in Naughton, Ontario, on January 13, 1885. Thomas Barnston Ross, of Scottish descent and originally from Chicoutimi, Quebec, was his father, while his mother, Marguerite (Margaret) McLeod, was born. Ross' parents grew up in Lake St. John, Quebec (now Lac Saint-Jean), where Thomas worked for the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). The family had ten children: nine sons and one daughter. Thomas was moved to a trading post in Northern Ontario near the Whitefish Lake around 1876. The family will trek 370 kilometres (230 miles) each way for supplies twice a year, despite living in a remote outpost.
Ross spent his early years in the trades and then learned to skate on the nearby lake. He grew up speaking English and was taught French by his mother, and later in life said he knew Ojibwe and Montagnais. The family returned to Lake St. John in 1892, but Margaret left Thomas in 1895 and returned to Ontario with her younger children. In 1895, she married Peter McKenzie, who was the Chief Factor for HBC in the area (and ultimately Thomas' superiority). They immigrated in 1896, settling in Montreal's wealthy Westmount neighborhood. Thomas remarried, and by 1904, he was living in Victoria, British Columbia, where he died in 1930.
Ross enrolled in Westmount Academy and became involved in a variety of sports, but he was particularly good at hockey and Canadian football (which was still very similar to rugby football at the time). He played organized hockey in the 1900-2001 season before joining the Westmount Amateur Athletic Association. Lester and Frank Patrick were among the team's first acquaintances, and both were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Ross and Lester operated a profitable ticket resale market at the Montreal Arena, obtaining tickets for thirty-five cents and selling them for up to a dollar.
Ross started working at Merchants Bank and occasionally played for their hockey team after graduating from high school in 1903. When he moved to Brandon Ross, he moved to a local branch. Ross resigned from the bank and instead joined the Wheat City Flour Mills Company in 1906. In 1908, Ross opened Art Ross & Co., a sporting goods store in Montreal, and it would continue to operate for many decades. He served as the traveling secretary for the Boston Braves baseball team, which was owned by Bruins owner Charles Adams in 1928.
Muriel Kay, a native of Montreal, married Arthur, Jr. and John on April 14, 1915; the two sons were born on April 14, 1915. Both sons served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. Art Bruins' business manager since the war Ross named him as the Bruins' business manager. After being hired, Ross was named coach and boss of the Boston Bruins in 1924 and relocated his family to Brookline, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. On April 22, 1938, he became a naturalized American citizen. Ross died at a nursing home in Medford, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, at the age of 79. Both his sons and three grandchildren survived him, while three grandchildren survived him.
Ross and the Patrick brothers, the best hockey players on their high school squad, were invited to play occasional games in Montreal for local league clubs. Ross played in a senior league in 1905, he joined Montreal Westmount of the Canadian Amateur Hockey League (CAHL), Canada's best amateur league. In eight games during the season, he scored ten goals in eight games. His detractors regarded him as one of the top rush defensemen in the country. At the time, most defenders shot the puck down the ice or to a forward; on the other hand, Ross skated up the ice, taking the puck into the offensive zone. Later this year, the Brandon Wheat City Hockey Club of the Manitoba Hockey League, the province's senior league, moved to Brandon, Manitoba, in the desire to pursue a career in banking. He scored six goals in seven games in 1906, his first season, while others scored six goals in ten games in 1907. Around this time, the Kenora Thistles, the Manitoba League champions, needed to strengthen their team for the Stanley Cup match against the Montreal Wanderers in Winnipeg, 1907. Ross paid Ross $1,000 to watch both games, which was a common sight at the time, and the Thistles took the Cup. Ross started many plays and was a key piece of the team despite not being able to score. Despite being a member of the opposing team, the Montreal crowd gave him a warm reception. Ross did not play for the Thistles when the two teams competed for the Cup again in March, but the Wanderers lost the Cup again.
Ross returned to Montreal the following year. He joined the Wanderers, the team he helped defeat who competed in the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association (ECAHA), the country's second league. Over a two-month season that spanned January to March, he scored eight goals in ten games. He aided the team in finishing first in the ECAHA and then retained the trophy in 1908 despite opposition from Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Toronto. Ross became the second player to win the Cup with different teams in consecutive years, following Jack Marshall in 1901 and 1902. He appeared in the first all-star game in sports history in January 1908, a thank-you to former Wanderer defender Hod Stuart, who died in the previous summer. Ross continued his playing for other clubs who charged for his assistance in important games during his time with the Wanderers. Ross received a $1,600 salary for his 1909 work. Despite being paid $1,200, the national average salary of hockey players at the time was $600. Ross received a $400 reward to participate in a Stanley Cup tournament against a team from Edmonton in December 1908, which saw the Wanderers win the two-game, total-goal series 13–10. He had two goals in nine games last season.
In late November 1909, the Canadian Hockey Association (CHA) was formed in a new league. Ross, one of the teams, was hired as a playing coach, but the league was only active until mid-January 1910, before disbanding. Ross, who scored four goals in four games in the CHA, then joined the National Hockey Association (NHA), which became the highest level of hockey in Canada when the ECAHA was established in December 1909. In the 1910 season, he earned $2,700, went from January to March, playing 12 games for the team and finishing with six goals. The NHA had a salary cap of $5,000 per team before the following season. The players, including Ross, were dissatisfied with the fact that this would result in a pay decrease, and they were also trying to establish their own league without a cap. Ross wrote to the Montreal Herald, saying, "all the players want is a fair deal"... The players are not out to bulldoze the NHA, but we want to know where we get off at." When they learned that no suitable arenas were available if they were owned or leased by the NHA, the plans were scrapped. Ross scored four goals in eleven games with the Wanderers, who finished fourth in the five-team league. Ross knocked out Eddie Oatman in a brawl that the police had to break up during a match against the Quebec Bulldogs on February 25, 1911, causing a massive brawl between the two teams that the police had to break up. Ross' reputation as a tenacious performer who was unable to back down from any challenge was boosted by the fight. As the Wanderers improved to second place in the league, Ross had eleven goals in nineteen games over the course of the season.
Ross refused to sign a NHA deal before the 1913-14 season, requesting a salary increase. The Wanderers agreed to his requests of $1,500 for the forthcoming season, despite losing four goals and nine points in eighteen games. Ross, who was still concerned about his salary, began negotiating with other NHA players to leave their teams and create a new league that would have higher salaries. Emmett Quinn, president of the NHA, was suspended in November 1914 as a result of his conduct. Ross responded by claiming that his Wanderers deal was no longer valid. Quinn suspended Ross from all organized hockey despite having no technological capability to do so. Ross applied for reinstatement to the NHA after a meeting of the team owners on December 18, 1914. If Ross was suspended, the owners realized that they would also have to suspend all those he signed, jeopardizing the league. Ross' behavior, on the other hand, resulted in his release by the Wanderers. He began training with the Montreal Canadiens and then joined the Ottawa Senators later.
The Senators and Wanderers ended with identical records of fourteen victories and six losses at the end of the 1914–15 season. The Vancouver Millionaires was a two-game, total goal series to determine the NHA league champion who would compete in the Stanley Cup with the Pacific Coast Hockey Association champion. Ross, who had three goals in sixteen games this season, scored one goal against the Wanderers in the first match, a 4–0 win, and the Ottawa, who lost the second game 1–0, captured the series, 4–1. Ross created a new line of defense to help the Senators deter the Wanderers, who were notorious for their speed. It was named "kitty bar the door" by the defenders, who had to stand in front of the goaltender to prevent offensive rushes. Later versions of the neutral zone trap were released, but it was later used extensively to discourage opposition offensive chances.
Ross, who had eight goals and eight assists in twenty-one games, was the second highest paid player on the team; his salary, $1,400, was $100 less than Frank Nighbor's. Despite this, Ross left the team in 1916, returning to Montreal in order to look after his sporting-goods store and rejoining the Wanderers. In sixteen games for the team, he scored six goals and had two assists.
In November 1917, the Wanderers, along with the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Arenas, Montreal Bulldogs, and Ottawa Senators dissolved the NHA and formed the National Hockey League (NHL). Ross became the Wanderers' coach and appeared in the first game in NHL history on December 19, 1917, when the Wanderers defeated the Toronto Arenas 10-9 in Montreal; Ross scored his first and only NHL goal during the game. After four games, a fire on January 2, 1918, destroyed their home, the Montreal Arena, and compelled them to fold. Despite the fact that the games were not played, the NHL insisted that the team keep playing, and two more scheduled games as defaulted losses for the Wanderers. Ross retired as a player after the Wanderers were disbanded. In three games played, his NHL career yielded one goal.
Ross began his career as a hockey coach in the midst of his playing days, when the McGill University Redmen won by 4–2–1 record in 1910–11. Art Ross, the Coach of The Canadian Grenadier Guards Hockey Club, was born in 1915. Ross became a NHL referee after his playing career. He was hired to coach the Hamilton Tigers from 1922-23 years, and the team's new training camp focused on physical endurance, notice. However, the Tigers posted a record of six victories and eighteen losses, the first in the NHL, and Ross did not return for the third year. He got his next coaching gig after meeting Boston grocery store magnate Charles Adams in the 1924 Stanley Cup Finals. Adams was granted an expansion squad before the 1924 season. Adams' first move was to hire Ross as vice president, general manager, mentor, and scout. Ross was instructed by Adams to come up with a name that depicts an untamed animal with speed, agility, and cunning. With this in mind, Ross named the Boston Bruins after the Old English word for a bear. The team's nickname was designed to match the original colors of Adams' grocery chain, First National Stores, in brown and yellow.
Ross marketed players from across Canada and the United States. Nonetheless, the team got off to a rocky start. The University of Toronto's hockey team was in Boston for matches against local universities early in the first season. Conn Smythe, the team's former owner and boss of the Toronto Maple Leafs, said his team would comfortably beat the Bruins—Ross's team had won only two of their first fifteen NHL games. This sparked a feud between Smythe and Ross that lasted for more than 40 years before Ross' death; although mostly restricted to newspaper reports, they refused to speak to each other at NHL Board of Governor meetings. With six victories in thirty games, the Bruins' first season in the sport's history, one of the worst records in the league's history. Several records were set over the course of the season; three home victories are tied for the second fewest ever, and an eleven-game losing streak dating back to December 8, 1924, is now the second longest in history. The team greatly improved the following season, with 17 victories in 36 games, and only one point out of a playoff spot.
The Western Hockey League, the other top professional hockey league in 1926, was in decline. The Patrick brothers, who ruled the league, have offered to buy the remaining five franchises for $300,000. Ross discovered the potential talent and convinced Adams to pay the money. As a result, the Bruins acquired the rights to several future Hall of Fame candidates, the most notable being defender Eddie Shore. Despite never seeing him play, Ross signed goaltender Cecil "Tiny" Thompson in 1928, who was with a Minnesota team; Ralph "Cooney" Weiland was also brought over from Minnesota. When Ross took over as a coach and team boss, he made Cy Denneny from Ottawa and made him a player-assistant-coach. The Boston Garden opened on November 20, 1928, the Bruins had relocated to a new arena. The team defeated the Canadiens 1–0 in front of 16,000 supporters. The Bruins' players were able to grow quickly, and they captured the Stanley Cup in 1929. Ross signed them. Denneny retired after the Cup victory, with Ross guiding the team to many league records in the 1929–30 season. The team won 38 of 44 games for a.875 winning percentage, the highest in league history; the five losses tied for the fewest ever; and the four road losses tied for the second fewest in league history. The Bruins also tied for the first time in a season since 1926, with just one game remaining in a tie. During the season, one of the longest winning streaks was also set. The team won 14 games in a row from December 3, 1929, until January 9, 1930, a record that stood until 1982 and now tied for third longest as of October 2010. A home winning streak started on the same day and lasted for twenty games until March 18, 1930, which was tied for the longest of its kind in 1976. The Bruins also lost only one home game in 1930–31, tied for their lowest mark.
In the final minute of play against the Montreal Canadiens on March 26, 1931, Ross substituted a sixth skater for goaltender Tiny Thompson. Despite losing the game 1–0, Ross became the first coach to swap his goaltender with an extra attacker, a tactic that has since been used in hockey. Ross hired Frank Patrick as a coach in 1934 to concentrate on the team's management, earning $10,000 per month, which was too high for such a job. However, rumors that Patrick was heavily drinking and not being as strict with the players as Ross expected. After the Bruins' playoff series with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1936 playoffs, the result of an 8–1 score in the second game, a newspaper announced that Patrick was inebriated the day of the game and had a difficult time governing the team. Ross relieved Patrick of his duties and took over as coach a few days later.
Ross took over a new staff. Milt Schmidt, Bobby Bauer, and Woody Dumart, three players who all grew up in Kitchener, Ontario, and then had them play on the same line, were soon referred to the Kraut Line in reference to the three players' German roots. Ross had acquired Frank Brimsek, a new goaltender who had lost six shutouts in his first eight games, and the Bruins traded away Tiny Thompson to encourage Brimsek to play. With these players, the Bruins finished first in the league in 1937–38; Ross was named as the second best coach in the league, despite being selected for the second team's offseason All-Star second team. Ross was named to the first All-Star team in the league for the season and won the Stanley Cup in the playoffs; the Bruins won 36 of 48 games; and the team only lost two games, tied for the second fewest in a season. For the 1939-39-40 NHL season, he hired Cooney Weiland, a newly retired NHL player, to lead the Bruins. In 1941, the Bruins would win the Cup for the first time all season, with their record of only four away losses. Ross took over as coach of the team from 1941–42, as Weiland became the team's coach of the American Hockey League's Sherriff Bears, winning 25 games in 48 games, enough to earn third place in the league. Many Bruins players, including the entire Kraut Line and goaltender Brimsek, had enlisted in their respective armed forces by this time. During the 1942–43 season, the Bruins finished second in the league with 24 victories in 50 games, and Ross was named in the Second NHL All-Star team as the second best coach in the league. In 1943–44, the Bruins missed the playoffs for the first time in ten years, but the Bruins did return to the playoffs this season, as they did for five years in a row.
Art Ross became the first NHL coach to sue goaltender Bert Gardiner for an extra attacker on November 11, 1943, as the match against the Chicago Blackhawks came to an end. Clint Smith scores the first empty net goal in NHL history, and the Bruins lost 6–4.
Ross had signed George Boucher as a coach in 1949, but Boucher did not do well with Ross and team president Weston Adams. Ross used Lynn Patrick, the son of Lester, who had just resigned from the New York Rangers after coaching the team to the Stanley Cup Final in the summer of 1950, in the hopes of finding a new coach. Lynn and his family had moved to Victoria, British Columbia, where he grew up as a youth with the intention of coaching the Victoria Cougars, a team in the minor professional Pacific Coast Hockey League. Lynn was recruited by Ross after being rewarded $12,000. He was hesitant to return to the eastern United States and was hesitant to return to the eastern United States. When Ross resigned in 1954, he will lead the team for the next four seasons and serve as the second general manager of the Bruins.
Ross, who worked in hockey, was interested in improving the game. The NHL introduced a new style of goal net designed by Ross prior to the 1927-28 season. With the back molded into a B-shape, it was much safer to catch pucks and the net was used until 1984, when a new version was introduced. He also modified the puck's appearance. Ross' layout had bevel edges, which prevented it from bouncing too much, and it used synthetic rubber rather than natural rubber as a result. Ross, along with New York Rangers coach Frank Boucher, helped to create the red line, which was designed to help speed up the game by removing the ability for defenders to pass the puck from the defensive to offensive zone; prior to 2006, it was against hockey's rules to get a two-line pass. More scoring opportunities were boosted when teams were unable to simply throw the puck down the ice with impunity. Ross suggested that the red line be striped in order to help distinguish the red line and blue lines on television.
Ross, who was regarded as one of the best defenders in hockey by his playing career rather than his role as an executive, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1949, recognizing his contributions to his playing career rather than his service as an executive. On December 2, 1949, he was given his Hall of Fame scroll and a silver tray with the emblems of the six NHL teams on it. He was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1975. In 1947, he and his two sons donated the Art Ross Trophy to the NHL to the best scorer in the league's regular season. In 1984, he was formally awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy for his service to hockey in the United States.