Sylvio Mantha

Sylvio Mantha almost could have been remembered as the man who forever misplaced the Stanley Cup.

Following the 1924 Stanley Cup victory, Sylvio and his Montreal Canadiens teammates were honored by the University of Montreal. Following the reception, Mantha and some teammates headed for owner Leo Dandurand's home to continue the celebrations. However the Model T Ford that Sylvio was driving stalled on a hill. All the players got out to give it a push until the car was started once again.

When the Model T was back in commission, the players jumped back in and headed for Dandurand's house. However they forgot that they placed Lord Stanley's Mug on the curb by the roadside while they were busy trying to revive the vehicle!! It wasn't until they arrived at Dandurand's house that they realized they misplaced the silverware. The players sped back to that hill and much to their relief found the Cup in all its shining majesty sitting exactly where they had left it.

Born in Montreal in 1902, Mantha became a Canadien when he was only 21 years old. He was a fine defenseman as is reflected by his team's successes - five first place finishes and three Stanley Cup championships. A physical player, Mantha, who played forward until he turned pro with the Habs, was paired with Herb Gardiner and the two formed a fantastic defensive partnership. Mantha, one of the all time best defensive blue liners, was twice named to the Second All Star team.

Mantha was named as the player-coach of the Canadiens in 1935-36, but following a poor finish was fired as coach. Mantha moved on Boston to play one final season in the NHL.

In 542 NHL games, Mantha scored 63 goals and 135 points - impressive numbers for a defenseman in the mid 1920s and 1930s. Following his NHL career, he turned to officiating, first as an NHL lineseman and later as a referee in the American Hockey League. He would later turn to coaching amateur teams in his native Montreal.

Sylvio Mantha was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1960.


Anonymous,  7:42 PM  

Thanks Joe for this story! My name is Louis Mantha ...Silvio Mantha was my great great oncle was fun reading about him! Thanks again!

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