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American Hockey Association

Source: Donald M. Clark Unpublished Notes

The American Hockey Association, the first professional league in the Midwest, was organized during the fall of 1926.  William Grant was selected president of the league- a position he held for fourteen years.

St. Paul, Minneapolis, Duluth, Winnipeg and Chicago formed the association's membership for the initial season of 1926-27.  The Chicago Shamrocks were the second professional team in the Windy City sharing the market with the NHL Blackhawks.  At one time or another fifteen different cities held franchises in the league.  After the 1941-42 season the AHA disbanded due to World War II.  After the war the league reorganized as the United States Hockey League for the season of 1945-46.

In the league's early years Duluth, Tulsa and Kansas City dominated the league's standings.  In the 1935-36 season the St. Paul Saints, with a lineup composed entirely of Minnesota players, won the scheduled season title, but lost to St. Louis in the playoff finals.  During the period of 1934-35 through 1941-42 the St. Louis Flyers won several scheduled season and playoff crowns.  Hockey was popular in St. Louis during that era and the fans turned out in large numbers to watch such players as: Fido Purper, Oscar and Emil Hanson, Hub Nelson, Pete Palangio, Schrimp McPherson, L. Carbol, J. Matte and W. Huard. Others who donned the uniform of the Flyers included: R. Taylor, W. Brenneman, Jean Pusie, F. Hergert, J. MacKinnon, W. Hudson, W. Harnott, R.Burns, W. Kendall, H. Scott, H. Smith, R. Messecar, G. Milvihill, R. Hudson, and W. Goyer.

Minneapolis Millers won the playoffs in 1928, and in 1937, led by Phil Hergesheimer, George Patterson and Bob Blake. In 1940 St. Paul under the tutelage of Perk Galbraith, former Eveleth and Boston Bruins star, captured their only playoff title in the history of the AHA.  Oscar Hanson, one of the three Hanson brothers from Minneapolis who played in the AHA, won three league scoring titles in the association's sixteen year history. During the 1938-39 season, Hanson scored 89 points in a 48 game schedule to set a long time standing season scoring record for all of professional hockey. Hanson, who during his career played with three different AHA teams, was a member of the Minneapolis team during the 1938-39 season.

AHAUS 40th Program

Fifty different Minnesota players competed in the AHA during its sixten year history.  Players from Eveleth included: Tom and Mike Karakas, Alex McInnes, Paul Schaeffer, Milt Brink, Andy Toth, Joe Papike, Hodge Johnson, Peter Pleban, Joe Kucler, Rudy Ahlin, Art Erickson, Mike Kasher, Oscar Almquist, John Phillips, Sam Lo Presti, John and Tony Prelesnik, Glee Jagunich and Billy De Paul.  Those coming from Minneapolis were: Oscar, Emil and Emory Hanson, Manny Cotlow, Virgil Johnson, Don Olson, Phil Perkins, Burr Williams, Bill McGlone, Cully Dahlstrom, Ted Breckheimer, Bill Oddson, Jack Flood and Hub Nelson. From St. Paul came the following: George and Tony Conroy, George Nichols, Bob McCoy, Beef Munson, Emy Garrett, Julie Matscke, Bill Galligan and Bob Graiziger.

Hibbing furnished Bill Mickelich, Bob Blake and Joe Bretto while knobby Clark, Iver Anderson and Gus Olson hailed from Duluth and Moose Goheen, Pat Shea and Doc Romnes came from White Bear Lake. Lindstrom was the home for Don Anderson, who played for St. Paul.  Five other Americans played in the league including: Curley Kohlman, Muzz Murray and Vic Des Jardins came from upper Michigan while Fido Purper was born and reared in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  Bob Nilan originated from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

George Higgins, Minneapolis radio announcer and sports official, took over as league president for the 1940-41 season.  In the spring of 1941, under Higgen’s direction the league introduced a successful All-Star game which drew 9,000 fans at St. Louis

American Hockey Association 1926-1942 Season/Scoring Champions

Season Champions

Season Regular Season Champion Playoff Champion
1926-1927 Duluth Hornets Duluth Hornets
1927-1928 Duluth Hornets Minneapolis Millers
1928-1929 Tulsa Oilers Tulsa Oilers
1929-1930 Kansas City Pla-Mors Kansas City Pla-Mors
1930-1931 Tulsa Oilers Tulsa Oilers
1931-1932 Chicago Shamrocks Chicago Shamrocks
1932-1933 Kansas City Greyhounds Kansas City Greyhounds
1933-1934 Kansas City Greyhounds Kansas City Greyhounds
1934-1935 St. Louis Flyers St. Louis Flyers
1935-1936 St. Paul Saints St. Louis Flyers
1936-1937 St. Louis Flyers Minneapolis Millers
1937-1938 St. Louis Flyers St. Louis Flyers
1938-1939 St. Louis Flyers St. Louis Flyers
1939-1940 St. Louis Flyers St. Paul Saints
1940-1941 St. Louis Flyers St. Louis Flyers
1941-1942 St. Louis Flyers (Northern) Kansas City Greyhounds
Kansas City Greyhounds (Southern)

Scoring Champions

Season Player/Team Goals Assists Total Points
1926-1927 -Stats not available- --- --- ---
1927-1928 V. Des Jardins/St. Paul 20 8 28
1928-1929 T. Cook/ Tulsa 22 11 33
1928-1929 D. Keats/ Tulsa 22 11 33
1929-1930 W. Goyer/St. Louis 27 11 38
1930-1931 G. Brydson/Chicago 25 12 37
1931-1932 E. Wiseman/Chicago 17 17 34
1932-1933 J. Leswick/Wichita 22 18 40
1933-1934 P. Padden/ St. Louis 22 14 36
1934-1935 S. McPherson/St. Louis 21 34 55
1935-1936 O. Hanson/St. Paul 30 30 60
1936-1937 O. Hanson/St. Paul 33 29 62
1937-1938 G. Patterson/Minneapolis 25 34 59
1938-1939 O. Hanson/Minneapolis 37 52 89*
1939-1940 F. Hergert/ St. Louis 23 48 71
1940-1941 R. Hudson/Omaha 23 29 52
1941-1942 W. Peer/ Fort Worth 38 40 78

* Oscar Hanson in 1938-1939 set total point record for all of professional hockey