Odie Cleghorn

Ogilvie "Odie" Cleghorn was remembered as a right winger with the ability to make defensemen nervous when he was controlling the puck. Perhaps he didn't posses the same temper that helped make his Hall of Fame brother, Sprague, famous (or is that infamous), but he was able to score over 200 goals during his career, a feat that was not common back in his era. Odie also could use his stick for more than scoring goals. Perhaps he learned early on that he had to protect himself from his brother's reputation as he became a noted stick swinger and butt ender in his own right.

Both Odie and his brother started off playing on the Renfrew Millionaires in the National Hockey Association in the 1910-11 season. The following year it was off to the Montreal Wanderers for Odie where he registered an amazing 23 goals in just 17 games. Neither Odie and Sprague did not play a game in the inaugural season of the NHL. Odie had military duties that would have been nullified if he had played hockey and Sprague was out with a broken leg.

In the 1918-19 season Odie made his debut in the NHL for the Montreal Canadiens, finishing second that year behind Newsy Lalonde in league scoring with 21 goals. In the 1921-22 season the Montreal management acquired Sprague from the Hamilton Tigers, reuniting him with his brother. Hamilton later regretted the trade because when they played Montreal in January both the brothers went on a scoring rampage tallying four goals each that night. A few days later they continued the spree scoring a combined total of six goals against Ottawa. Odie's greatest thrill in the NHL came with the Canadiens winning the Stanley Cup in the 1923-24 season.

Here's a few fast facts to conclude the story of Odie Cleghorn:

Two years later Odie was sent off to the Pittsburgh Pirates where he played and coached.

In the 1925-26 season Odie had to play goalie for a game after Roy Worters contracted pneumonia. Cleghorn allowed two goals against, but got the win!

In the famous game when Lester Patrick played goalie for the Rangers in the Stanley Cup finals, it was Odie who graciously volunteered to coach the Rangers for the remainder of the game.

Odie retired from coaching in 1928-29 and went on to serve as a NHL referee in the 1930's.

He died on July 13, 1956, just two days after his brother Sprague had passed away. Sprague was hit by a car two weeks earlier. The stress of his brother passing likely contributed to Odie's own heart failure.


Anonymous,  5:20 PM  

Just a tidbid you might consider adding : When coaching the Pirates, Odie became the first coach to use three lines, and to proceed on changes on the fly. Thus, he changed coaching forever.

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