The Galt Red Wings were a Canadian junior ice hockey team based in Galt, Ontario, now a part of the city of Cambridge. They played in the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) from 1944 to 1947 and were operated as an affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. Their home arena was the Galt Arena Gardens.

Galt Red Wings
CityGalt, Ontario
LeagueOntario Hockey Association
Operated1944 (1944)-47
Home arenaGalt Arena Gardens
Parent club(s)Detroit Red Wings
Franchise history
1943-44Galt Canadians
1944-47Galt Red Wings
1947-49Galt Rockets
1949-55Galt Black Hawks



The team was previously the Galt Canadians during the 1943-44 season. The team gained NHL sponsorship, becoming the Galt Red Wings. The sponsorship lasted for three seasons, with Galt finishing near the top of the league each year. New ownership renamed the team the Galt Rockets in 1947. Much of the team's success was due to its coach, Al Murray, who guided the team during its first three years. Murray had played in the NHL with the New York Americans.[citation needed]

During the 1944-45 season, future Hockey Hall of Famer Gordie Howe suited up for the team, but only played in one regular-season game due to league rules.[1] That game occurred in Galt, before 1,848 fans on Saturday, Nov. 18, 1944 against Hamilton; Howe scored three points. This has become somewhat of a historical footnote as Howe was deemed ineligible to play for the team following that game. Howe's only points in Galt were thrown out when Hamilton withdrew from the league. A day after that Hamilton game it was reported that both Howe and teammate Terry Cavanagh (later mayor of Edmonton) would he ineligible to play until further notice after their transfers were held up. Howe explained what happened next. "Terry got his (transfer) and I never did. Hamilton got thrown out of the league, and I did too."[citation needed]

The Galt Red Wings reached the league finals for the J. Ross Robertson Cup in 1945 and 1947, but lost to Toronto St. Michael's Majors both times in four consecutive games.[2]

Under coach Normie Himes, another former NHLer with the New York Americans, the Red Wings returned to the finals again in 1946-47, led by future Hall of Fame goaltender, Terry Sawchuk, but lost the finals again in four games to the Majors.[citation needed]

In 1947, Lloyd Pollock who owned the Windsor Spitfires, convinced the Detroit Red Wings to relocate prospect players from Galt to Windsor.[3]

NHL alumni


From the Galt Red Wings, fourteen players graduated to play in the National Hockey League.

Yearly results

Season Team Games Won Lost Tied Points Pct % Goals
1943-44 Canadians 26 15 11 0 30 0.577 125 97 2nd Group 2
1944-45 Red Wings 20 12 8 0 24 0.600 83 91 2nd OHA (tie)
1945-46 Red Wings 28 22 6 0 44 0.786 187 96 2nd OHA
1946-47 Red Wings 36 27 9 0 54 0.750 232 99 3rd OHA


  • Rutherford, Kristina (2012). "Ice Aged". Sportsnet Magazine. 2 (6): 61–64.
  1. ^ Rutherford 2012, p. 64.
  2. ^ Annual Report: Constitution, Regulations and Rules of Competition. Cambridge, Ontario: Ontario Hockey Association. 2006. p. W-13.
  3. ^ "Pollock was legend in local hockey". Windsor Star. Windsor, Ontario. September 10, 1993. p. B3.