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George Patterson
George Patterson
Left Wing
Number: 15
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 176
Shoots: Right
Born: May 22, 1906
Birthplace: Kingston, ON, Canada
Acquired: 1. Traded to Detroit by Boston for Gene Carrigan on October 10, 1934; 2. Returned to Detroit on December 24, 1934.
George Patterson was skating for the Hamilton Tigers of the Can-Pro League when he was traded to a newly named NHL club called the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1927. He suited up in his Blue and White wool and scored the club's first-ever goal. He didn't think much of his feat, but its significance would resonate into the future as the most important accomplishment of his career.

Patterson's stay in Toronto was brief. He was sold to the Montreal Canadiens where he played for a season and a half before being claimed on waivers by the New York Americans. With "The Amazing Amerks" as they were described in his day, Patterson played parts of five seasons.

In 1931, the Americans were on the verge of surpassing the Montreal Maroons for the final playoff berth. To celebrate there almost certain success, the team's biggest supporter, bootlegger Big Bill Dwyer, had each member of the team escorted in black limousines to his horse farm. The drinks were served by the bottle as the players, by then under the influence of Dwyer's liquid resources, challenged each other to an informal horse race. The horses ran wildly as Patterson's hoofed wonder turned left while he went right, tumbling to the ground with a broken arm. He was done for the season and, as one of the club's top forwards, the loss set the team back as the Maroons took the final playoff spot.

By 1934, Patterson left the Americans for brief tours of duty with the Bruins, Red Wings and St. Louis Eagles, his final NHL stop.

From there, he embarked on a ten-year minor pro career that ended in Providence of the AHL in 1945.

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame

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