Al Rollins

Elwin Ira Rollins (October 9, 1926 – July 27, 1996) was a professional Canadian ice hockey goaltender who played for the Chicago Black Hawks, New York Rangers and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Al Rollins
Born (1926-10-09)October 9, 1926
Vanguard, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died July 27, 1996(1996-07-27) (aged 69)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for Toronto Maple Leafs
Chicago Black Hawks
New York Rangers
Playing career 1949–1962

Playing careerEdit

Before joining the NHL, Rollins played with the Vancouver Canucks in the PCHL. Next year, Rollins at age 21, moved to Edmonton to play for the Edmonton Flyers. Rollins believed the Flyers were a team capable of capturing the Allan Cup and he also believed if he played well enough he might get signed into the NHL. Rollins' gamble paid off and the Edmonton Flyers won the Allan Cup in 1947-48. He played 24 games that season, winning 20 and posting a 1.93 GAA.

Rollins played in the minor leagues for a couple of years before he was signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1950-51. Rumors had it that he was there to simply put pressure on Turk Broda to lose weight. This wasn't exactly true as the Leafs also needed to shore up their rapidly thinning goaltender depth chart. That season the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup.

Rollins could not convince the Leafs management that he could be their full-time goaltender. In 1951-52, he was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks for veteran Harry Lumley. For 5 years he played for the Black Hawks, a team that usually finished last in the NHL which majorly contributed to his 141-205-83 record. But despite that, hockey pundits saw Rollins as one of the league's best goaltenders and in 1953-54 he played in the NHL All-Star Game and was awarded the Hart Trophy, even though he only won 12 games and lost 47 that season.

Rollins is, as of 2020, one of three eligible players, along with Tommy Anderson and Jose Theodore, to win the Hart Memorial Trophy and not be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

In 1957-58, the Chicago Black Hawks acquired great Glenn Hall from the Detroit Red Wings. Rollins was sent to the minor leagues as the Black Hawks preferred Hall. He would stay in the minor leagues until 1959-60, when he was signed on by the New York Rangers. He played 10 games with the club before he was sent back to the minor leagues again. This would mark the end of his NHL career. In 1966, although he was 37 years old, Rollins helped the Drumheller Miners to an Allan Cup victory in 1965-66.

Coaching careerEdit

After retiring, he opted to become a coach. Rollins coached the University of Calgary hockey team as well as clubs in Spokane, Salt Lake City, Houston, Tulsa and Phoenix. As a coach, he achieved a good measure of success, including an Allan Cup victory with the Spokane Jets in 1970. Rollins was named coach of the WHA Phoenix Roadrunners in 1976, replacing local favourite Sandy Hucul. Rollins was generally hated in Phoenix after his years as coach of the WHL rival Salt Lake Golden Eagles, and his tenure in Phoenix resulted in the demise of the Roadrunner franchise after only one season at the helm.[1]

His son Jerry Rollins played in the now defunct WHA.

Awards and achievementsEdit

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1942–43 Moose Jaw Canucks S-SJHL 15 6 7 2 900 51 0 3.40 2 0 2 120 7 0 3.50
1943–44 New York Rovers EAHL 22 1290 120 0 5.58
1944–45 Seattle Stars PCHL 27 20 6 1 1620 84 1 3.11 6 4 2 0 3.67
1944–45 New Westminster Cubs PCJHL 16 11 5 0 960 33 2 2.06 4 2 2 250 19 0 4.56
1945–46 Seattle Ironmen PCHL 55 27 28 0 3300 210 2 3.65 3 180 12 0 4.00
1946–47 Vancouver Canucks PCHL 54 27 26 1 3240 253 0 4.59 4 1 3 240 17 0 4.25
1947–48 Edmonton Flyers WCSHL 46 24 20 2 2800 167 1 3.20 10 8 1 1 600 32 0 3.20
1947–48 Edmonton Flyers Al-Cup 14 12 2 840 27 4 1.93
1948–49 Kansas City Pla-Mors USHL 60 29 21 10 3600 189 1 3.16 2 0 2 120 6 0 3.00
1949–50 Cleveland Barons AHL 6 4 0 2 360 17 0 2.83
1949–50 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 2 1 1 0 100 4 1 2.40
1949–50 Pittsburgh Hornets AHL 20 9 7 4 1200 43 3 2.15
1950–51 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 40 27 5 8 2373 70 5 1.77 4 3 1 210 6 0 1.71
1951–52 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 29 24 16 4170 154 5 2.22 2 0 2 120 6 0 3.00
1952–53 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 27 28 15 4200 175 6 2.50 7 3 4 425 18 0 2.54 .927
1953–54 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 66 12 47 7 3960 213 5 3.23
1954–55 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 44 9 27 8 2640 150 0 3.41
1955–56 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 58 17 30 11 3480 171 3 2.95 .917
1955–56 Buffalo Bisons AHL 6 2 3 1 360 25 1 4.17
1956–57 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 16 39 15 4200 224 3 3.20 .900
1957–58 Calgary Stampeders WHL 68 30 33 5 4130 214 3 3.11 .893 14 6 8 880 47 0 3.20
1958–59 Winnipeg Warriors WHL 31 17 14 0 1860 99 3 3.19 .892 7 3 4 420 22 0 3.14
1959–60 Winnipeg Warriors WHL 55 22 31 2 3300 193 2 3.51
1959–60 New York Rangers NHL 10 3 4 3 600 31 0 3.10 .918
1961–62 Portland Buckaroos WHL 8 5 3 0 480 18 1 2.25 7 3 4 432 18 0 2.49
1964–65 Drumheller Miners ASHL
1965–66 Drumheller Miners ASHL 2 2 0 120 3 0 1.50
1965–66 Drumheller Miners Al-Cup 15 12 3 911 32 2 2.11
1968–69 Spokane Jets WIHL 1 1 0 0 60 4 0 4.00
NHL totals 430 141 205 83 25,723 1192 28 2.78 13 6 7 755 30 0 2.38

Coaching recordEdit

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Finish Result
Phoenix Roadrunners 1976-77 80 28 48 4 60 6th in WHA West Missed playoffs

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Al Rollins biography at Legends of Hockey. Retrieved November 6, 2007.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Gordie Howe
Winner of the Hart Trophy
1954
Succeeded by
Ted Kennedy
Preceded by
Bill Durnan
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
1951
Succeeded by
Terry Sawchuk