Edmonton Mercurys

The Edmonton Mercurys ("Mercurys", "Mercs") were an intermediate-level senior ice hockey team based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada during the 1940s and 1950s. The team represented the Canada men's national ice hockey team twice, and won the 1950 World Ice Hockey Championships in London and the gold medal in ice hockey at the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo.

Edmonton Mercurys
Medal record
Representing Canada Canada
Men's ice hockey
Olympic Games/World Championship
Gold medal – first place 1952 Oslo Team
World Championship
Gold medal – first place 1950 London Team

HistoryEdit

The Mercurys formed in 1949, and were named for the Mercury automobile sold by dealer Jim Christianson, who established and sponsored the team.[1][2][3] A number of the players were employees of the dealership, Waterloo Mercury.[4] In January 1950 the Mercurys, who had won the Western Intermediate League championships,[5] played a round of exhibition games in Scotland.[6]

1950 World ChampionshipsEdit

In August 1949, Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) president Al Pickard announced that the Mercurys would represent Canada at the 1950 Ice Hockey World Championships in England. He conceded that Edmonton was not the strongest choice since it played at the intermediate level of senior hockey, but amateur requirements made it difficult to send a top flight team to the Ice Hockey World Championships. The CAHA scheduled a three-month European tour for the team and committed to finding the best available players as reinforcements.[7] The Mercurys won all five games played at the 1950 World Championships in London, and outscored their opponents by 42 goals to 3 to become World Champions.[8]

1950 World Championships roster

1952 Winter OlympicsEdit

 
1952 Olympic jersey of the Edmonton Mercurys

In July 1951, CAHA president Doug Grimston announced that the Mercurys were chosen to represent Canada in ice hockey at the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo.[10] Swiss newspapers criticized the rough play by Canada and the United States team, and questioned whether hockey should be part of the Olympics. Grimston felt the games were tame compared to North American standards and that the Olympics would suffer without hockey which was its biggest attraction.[11] Canada and the United States played to a 3–3 draw in the final game of the round-robin, which placed the teams first and second respectively in the standings for the gold and silver medals. Had Canada won, the United States would have placed fourth.[12]

The ice hockey tournament at the 1952 Winter Olympics also doubled as that year's World Championships, the second world title won by the Mercurys.[13] The 1952 gold medal by the Mercurys was not repeated by a Canadian team until the 2002 Winter Olympics.[14]

1952 Winter Olympics roster

1952 European tourEdit

The CAHA booked European tours and accommodations for the national team through travel agent Bunny Ahearne, who at the time was also the secretary of the British Ice Hockey Association and vice-president of the International Ice Hockey Federation.[15] Grimston and Ahearne had a physical altercation in an Oslo hotel lobby on February 25, 1952, which was not publicized until two weeks later.[16] Grimston stated that the perceived exploitation of the Edmonton Mercurys on their European tour by Ahearne led to the altercation,[15] and that the players were given only five pounds per week for expenses, which he felt was "hardly enough to pay their laundry and some postage stamps".[17]

The Edmonton Mercurys continued playing after "heated discussions" in which the team threatened to shorten the tour and accused Ahearne of "siphoning profits" beyond his 10 per cent cut.[16] When the hockey tournament at the 1952 Winter Olympics ended on February 25, and the Mercurys subsequently played in and won the inaugural Ahearne Cup tournament in Stockholm, from February 27 to March 2. The Mercurys played three games and defeated the Stockholm Lions by a 12–2 score, the United States national team by a 7–1 score, and the Sweden national team by a 4–1 score.[18]

Hall of Fame recognitionEdit

The 1950 World Champion version of the Edmonton Mercurys team was inducted to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.[19]

The 1952 Olympic and World Champion Edmonton Mercurys team was inducted to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1968,[20] and was inducted to the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 2002.[21]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Michael McKinley. It's Our Game: Celebrating 100 Years Of Hockey Canada. Penguin Canada; 28 October 2014. ISBN 978-0-14-319309-8. p. 107–.
  2. ^ Dan Robson. Quinn: The Life of a Hockey Legend. Penguin Canada; 3 November 2015. ISBN 978-0-14-319603-7. p. 29–.
  3. ^ "Edmonton Mercurys were last team to win second-straight hockey gold for Canada". Toronto Star, Curtis Rush, Feb. 23, 2014
  4. ^ "Hockey Hero Helped Canada Win God". Edmonton Journal, June 1, 2013
  5. ^ Edmonton Mercurys at the Canadian Encyclopedia
  6. ^ "Two in a row for the Mercurys". Lethbridge Herald, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. January 12, 1950. page 12.
  7. ^ "Edmonton Mercurys To Represent Canada". Winnipeg Tribune. Winnipeg, Manitoba. August 15, 1949. p. 18. 
  8. ^ "Championnats du monde 1950". Hockey Archives (in French). Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Tom King. The Legendary Game - Ultimate Hockey Trivia. Trafford Publishing; 6 October 2010. ISBN 978-1-4269-4380-5. p. 8–.
  10. ^ "Mercurys Are Chosen For 1952 Olympics". Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta. July 30, 1951. p. 11. 
  11. ^ "No Rowdyism Says I.I.H.F. Chief Kraatz". Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta. February 22, 1952. p. 18. 
  12. ^ "U.S.-Canada Tie Rapped In Russia". Charleston Gazette. Charleston, West Virginia. February 28, 1952. p. 15. ; "Reds Suggest Fix Was On". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. February 28, 1952. p. 23. 
  13. ^ "Jeux Olympiques d'Oslo 1952". Hockey Archives (in French). Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  14. ^ "Olympic repeat first in 62 years: Edmonton-based team was last to defend Canadian gold". Toronto Star. Toronto, Ont. Rush, Curtis. Feb 24, 2014 S.4
  15. ^ a b Gordon, David S.; Harris, Martin C. (2019). Lion in Winter: A Complete Record of Great Britain at the Olympic, World and European Ice Hockey Championships, 1910–1981. London, England: British Ice Hockey Heritage Publications. pp. 211–212. ISBN 9781527247475 – via Google Books.
  16. ^ a b "Ahearne In Trouble With C.A.H.A. Again". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. March 7, 1952. p. 23. 
  17. ^ "Canadian Backer Peeved By Puck Team Treatment". Pacific Stars and Stripes. Tokyo, Japan. March 9, 1952. p. 12. 
  18. ^ "Matches internationaux 1951/52". Hockey Archives (in French). Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  19. ^ "Edmonton Waterloo Mercurys 1950". Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  20. ^ "Edmonton Waterloo Mercurys 1952". Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  21. ^ "Members of the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame - Sport: Ice Hockey". Canadian Olympic Committee. Retrieved May 22, 2013.

External linksEdit

  • Edmonton Mercurys page from canoe.ca's 2002 Winter Olympics page
Preceded by Canada men's Olympic ice hockey team
1952
Succeeded by
Preceded by Olympic Gold Medal ice hockey team
1952
Succeeded by