Wednesday

Leo Gravelle

Leo Gravelle was nicknamed "The Gazelle" for good reason. Sure, it rhymed with his last name, but it was also a very telling tale of his speed. Hockey historian and author Stan Fischler once called him "one of the fastest - if not the fastest - skater in National Hockey League history."

His speed surely created a number of scoring opportunities, but Leo was also known for not being able to bury his opportunities. He only scored 44 goals in 223 games. His career was spread across parts of 5 seasons, only 2 of which was he a regular member. He played mostly with the Montreal Canadiens, with the final 18 games of his career spent in Detroit.

So besides his speed and catchy nickname, Gravelle was otherwise an undistinguished player.

There is one incident in November of 1949 that got Gravelle in the headlines. In a game in Chicago Stadium, teammate Ken Reardon got into it with a fan. Remember, in those days there was little or no glass to separate the players and the fans, and when Reardon had enough of this one particular heckler, he decided to carve the fan's face with his hockey stick. Soon quite a melee erupted, with Reardon, Billy Reay and Gravelle being the most upset. The trio were charged with assault by Chicago police at the end of the game. Black Hawk president Bill Tobin posted bonds to get the three out of jail. No other legal action was ever pursued.

After his days in the NHL, Gravelle settled in Ottawa where he played for the Senators of the Quebec Senior League.

7 comments:

J. Gravelle 12:00 PM  

Gonna have my Mom climb around the family tree some and see if Leo and I share any branches.

Thanks hey...


J. Gravelle
http://j.gravelle.us

Thom 1:42 PM  

This is my Great Uncle. I got a signed hockey card from him a few years ago.

Thom Gravelle

S.Savoia,  3:37 PM  

This is my grandmothers first cousin. Also a cousin of my uncle Orville Gravelle who was a player on the 1948 gold medal winning RCAF flyers hockey team. Such a rich family history.

K.Hansen,  10:13 PM  

He's a 3rd cousin of mine, its nice to see him on here.

Denys 1:28 PM  

Anyone who wants to see more about Leo, his life, career and family, go to www.leogravelle.com

Denys Gravelle

Anonymous,  6:46 AM  

I met Leo last week in a grocery store in Gatineau. He stopped me after seeing I was wearing a Canadiens cap to give me his hockey card. It gave me goose bumps to see in an old man's eyes, the pride he still had to have played for the Canadiens!!

lisa,  2:25 PM  

Wow! Seems like a big family out there. Rumor has it that he is a cousin of my dad and his siblings. Are any of you related to the Fortins or Cardinales

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