Paul Haynes

The name Paul Haynes does not really resonate in Montreal sporting history quite like Rocket Richard or Jean Beliveau or Guy Lafleur. But Paul Haynes, too, was a great Montreal athlete. He was a junior boxing champion and star quarterback at Loyola College.

But to make it in Montreal you need to make it in hockey. Paul Haynes was very good at hockey too, although his longest lasting impact came off of the ice.

Paul Haynes was originally signed by the Montreal Maroons in 1930-31 after he helped the Montreal AAA win the Allan Cup in 1929-30. Indeed, practically the entire team was signed by the Maroons, including the great Dave Kerr, defenseman Al Huggins, the Roche brothers, and Haynes.

Haynes would play in parts of the next five seasons with the Maroons, "English Montreal's team" as they said. He took a couple of years to find his form, but his best year came in 1932-33 when he finished fifth in NHL scoring with 16 goals and 41 points centering Baldy Northcott and Hooley Smith or Earl Robinson.

Haynes never really experienced success like that again, and mid-way into the 1934-35 season he was traded to Boston. Believe it or not, a Canadian Press article on Dec. 29, 1934 suggested the very slight Haynes suffered from many colds, and doctors suggested Haynes should move to a milder climate.

Hayne's exile from Montreal was short lived. He returned for the 1935-36 season, this time with Les Canadiens. The playmaking center scored 5 goals and 24 points in his first full season with the Habs.

He was as good in 1936-37,though taking over for the late Howie Morenz was quite a chore. He seemed capable of it, as in 1937-38 he had 13 goals and 35 points playing on a line with Toe Blake and Johnny Gagnon. He even managed to finish ninth in scoring in 1938-39 with a measly 5 goals, but 33 assists for 38 points.

That would be Paul Haynes last good season in Montreal. He would play parts of two more seasons before being farmed out to New Haven in 1941. Apparently he fell out of favor in Montreal because he ditched a team meal in New York to attend an opera. He retired at the end of that season, only to return to Montreal.

Haynes was an interesting player. In 390 games his 195 career points are not eye catching, especially his low 61 goas, even by 1930s standards. But at his peak he was interesting. Twice he finished top 10 in NHL scoring, both times as the set up centerman.

Just judging by his peaks and valleys, I suspect at his peak he was sort of like a Henrik Sedin or Andrew Cassels type centerman. When he was in one of his valleys he was probably a lot more like a Murray Craven or Anatoli Semenov type centerman - under-appreciated, under-utilized, but excelling in his own quiet way. I found one report saying Haynes was a good defensive center who possessed a "devastating hook check."

Marc T. McNeil of the Montreal Gazette confirms this in a December 28th, 1934 article about Haynes and Russ Blinco. He says of Haynes: "Haynes combines the defensive skill of Pete lepine and the playmaking prowess of Joe Primeau, and is rated as one of the headiest players in the league."

McNeil also revelead Haynes almost loss his life before he even made it to the NHL.

"That Haynes is playing hockey at all today is something of a miracle, for he nearly lost his life while working in the mines at Copper Cliff in the summer of 1929. He was cleaning one of the furnaces at the top, moving the red-hot bricks, when the plank he was working on slipped and he started to topple over into the furnace in which there was still fire. To save himself he grabbed hold of a hot steam pipe and somehow hung on."

Hayne was pulled to safety by co-workers, but not before the steaming bricks fell into some water, creating scalding steam that scarred Haynes for life. He was told he would never compete in sports again, but it turned out he would soon enjoy his greatest moments on the ice and on the football field.

Haynes remained close to the Habs in retirement, working for them as a coach, scout and even radio play-by-play man. For a period of time he coached the Montreal Amateurs junior team where he had a young Maurice Richard. It was Haynes who thought of converting fiery Richard from left wing to right wing to make better use of his shot.

Haynes, who owned his own sporting goods store in Montreal while he played, also started his own surveying company and earned a master's degree from New York University in cinema studies. One of his favorite movies he worked on was a documentary about his home town - Montreal.


  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP