The Lakehead region of Ontario has produced many fine hockey players over the years, not the least of which is Jack Walker, the man credited with introducing the hook check to hockey.
Walker's early hockey years were spent in Port Arthur, Ontario, as a member of the East Greys and of the City teams in the NOHL, winning intermediate and city championships along the way. He turned pro at the start of the 1912-13 season with the Toronto Blueshirts of the NHA but jumped ship after one game and traveled East to finish out the season with the Moncton Victorias of the Maritime Pro Hockey League. He was back in Toronto the following season and led the league with 16 assists in 20 games as the Blueshirts captured the Stanley Cup, the first of three in Walker's career.
He went West after completing the 1914-15 season with Toronto and hooked up with the Seattle Metropolitans of the PCHA, playing with the Mets for nine years, from 1915 to 1924. During that time he was noted as being an outstanding defensive forward and his play won him selections to the PCHA First All-Star Team in 1921, 1922, and 1924, to go with previous Second Team honours he received in 1917, 1919, and 1920. He played on his second Stanley Cup champion team while with Seattle in 1916-17 as the Mets became the first United States based team to win the Cup.
In 1924-25, Seattle dropped out of the PCHA, leaving the league with franchises in Vancouver and Victoria. These two clubs joined the Western Canada Hockey League and Walker signed with the Victoria Cougars on November 10, 1924. He led the league in penalty minutes with the modest total of 14, in 28 games played that season. More importantly, however, the Cougars went on to win the Stanley Cup when they defeated the Montreal Canadiens three games to one in the spring of 1925. The Cougars were the last non-NHL team to win the Cup. Walker had now won the Stanley Cup three times with three different teams in three different leagues.
Walker finished out his major pro career in Detroit as a member of the NHL Cougars after the Victoria franchise moved to Detroit prior to the 1926-27 season. After two years in the NHL, he returned West to Seattle to play three years with the Seattle Eskimos of the PCHL and for his outstanding play he was awarded the Muldoon Trophy as most valuable player in the league. After retiring, he stayed on the West Coast, coaching and instructing youngsters and pros alike in the art of the hook check, settling finally in Seattle, where the city had claimed him as one of its own.
Jack Walker was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1960.
Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame