NOHA All-Century Team
The NOHA has produced many talented NHL players and coaches over the last 100 years, and for the 100th Annual Season, the NOHA wants to recognize them! The NOHA All-Century Team was voted for by NOHA Members and presented at the 100th Annual General Meeting.
Tony Esposito - Goaltender
Goaltender Tony Esposito hails from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario where he built his skills playing minor hockey. Tony played one season for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey Association before attending Michigan Tech University where he had an outstanding three-year career with the Huskies.
Esposito signed his first NHL contract during the 1968-1969 season where he appeared in thirteen games and captured a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens. After his short stint in Montreal, Esposito found himself tending goal in the Madhouse on Madison for the Chicago Blackhawks. In his first season with the Blackhawks, Esposito set a modern-day NHL record with fifteen shutouts and brought home an accolade of awards including the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie, the Vezina Memorial trophy as the league’s top goalie, and first team all-star honours.
In 1972, Esposito was presented with the opportunity to play for Canada in the famed Summit Series against the Russians. Tony posted a 2-1-1 record in the series and was the goaltender of record for Canada’s first win.
Esposito went on to capture two more Vezina Memorial trophies in his career: one in 1972 and the other in 1974. The Hockey Hall of Fame came knocking for Tony in 1988, only three years after he retired from professional hockey. Esposito was named to the NHL’s 100 Greatest Players list in 2017 as part of the NHL’s centennial celebration.
Tim Horton - Defence
Cochrane-born Tim Horton needs no introduction. He was one of the most prolific hockey players to rise from the NOHA, and his name is now featured in every town in Canada.
Tim Horton spent most of his Minor Hockey career in Cochrane and Timmins, and was signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1948. During his time with the Leafs, Horton won four Stanley Cups, and in 1970, moved on to the New York Rangers. He also played for the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Buffalo Sabres.
Horton was well-respected by his peers, becoming known as a hardworking defenceman, and was famous for his encompassing bear hugs. In 1962, Horton set a Leafs team record for points by a defenceman by scoring three goals and thirteen assists in twelve playoff games.
Tim Horton was inducted post-humously into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1977, and was honoured as one of the NHL’s “100 Greatest Players of All Time.”
Randy Carlyle - Defence
Drafted in the second round 30th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1976, Randy Carlyle had a successful NHL career playing in 1055 NHL games while putting up 647 points as a standout defenceman for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Winnipeg Jets. Carlyle played one season for the Chelmsford Canadiens of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey Association before signing on to play for the Sudbury wolves of the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League.
From Azilda, ON, Carlyle made his NHL debut in 1976 playing in 45 NHL games and racking up five assists. He went go on to play one more season in Toronto before being traded to Pittsburgh. Carlyle exceled in Pittsburgh as he captured the Norris Trophy in 1981 as the NHL’s best defenseman and was named an NHL first team all-star. Carlyle was named captain of the Penguins for the 1981-1982 season a position he held for three seasons.
In the summer of 1984 Carlyle was traded to the Winnipeg Jets where he remained for ten seasons before retiring at the end of the 1992-1993 season. Randy represented Canada on the international stage at the 1989 World Championships held in Sweden. Canada went on to win Silver in the tournament with Carlyle scoring five points in nine games.
Post-retirement, Carlyle stayed involved in hockey as coach starting off in the International Hockey League before moving onto the American Hockey League and eventually the NHL. Carlyle would win the 2007 Stanley Cup as Head coach of the Anaheim Ducks.
Ron Francis - Forward
Ron Francis was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, where he developed his passion and dedication for hockey. In 1981, he was drafted fourth overall for the NHL Entry Draft, and went on to play for the Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Nicknamed “Captain Class” by Sports Illustrated, Francis is one of the most prolific players in NHL History. At the time of his retirement in 2004, he had garnered a total of 1,798 points, the fourth most in NHL history at the time, and the fifth most today.
After retiring from playing the game, Francis moved behind the bench as General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes until 2018. Francis earned more than his fair share of accolades during his career, including winning two Stanley Cups with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992, multiple all-time NHL records, and being awarded the Frank. J Selkie trophy, the Clancy Memorial trophy, and was a three-time winner of the Lady Bing trophy.
Ron Francis was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
Frank Mahovlich - Forward
Frank Mahovlich was born in Timmins, Ontario, and was playing for the Schumacher Lions when he was first scouted for the NHL. Mahovlich moved south to play for the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors, and made his NHL debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1957, where he won the Calder Memorial trophy for Rookie of the Year.
In 1968, Mahovlich was traded to the Detroit Red Wings, where he played on the same line as Gordie Howe, and then moved to the Montreal Canadiens in 1971. With the Canadiens, Mahovlich played the best games of his career, posting a career-high season of 96 points in the 1991-1992 season, and winning two Stanley Cups in 1971 and 1973.
He retired in 1979, but not before winning six total Stanley Cups, being named to over a dozen NHL All-Star teams, and being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Phil Esposito - Forward
Phil Esposito, one of the NHL’s “Greatest 100 Players in History,” served hockey not just as a player, but also as a coach, an executive member, and as a broadcaster.
Born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Esposito signed with the Chicago Blackhawks when he was just a teenager, and made his NHL debut in 1964. Esposito quickly made a name for himself, and was traded to the Boston Bruins in what was considered a “Blockbuster deal.”
In 1969, he became the first player to score over 100 points in a season, and would pass the Century Mark many more times over his career. He went on to play for the New York Rangers, where he scored his 600th NHL goal, and after his retirement in 1981, remained in hockey as General Manager and Head Coach of the Rangers.
Phil Esposito earned a great number of awards and accolades over his career, including two Stanley Cups, multiple Art Ross trophy and Hart trophy wins, and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada after his performance in the Summit Series against Russia.
Al Arbour - Coach
Al Arbour was born in Sudbury, Ontario, where he grew up playing Minor Hockey. In 1949, he reported to the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey Association, where he played for four seasons before signing with the Detroit Redwings.
From 1957 on, Arbour found success in the NHL playing for the Redwings, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the St. Louis Blues, winning three Stanley Cups. After officially retiring as a player in 1971, Arbour turned his focus to coaching, moving to Long Island in 1973.
The Islanders made twelve consecutive Playoff appearances under Arbour, including winning four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983, which was a record for an American Hockey Club.
Arbour was awarded with the Jack Adams trophy in 1979 as NHL Coach of the Year, and in 2007, coached one game with the Islanders—his 1500th. Arbour was the only coach in NHL history to coach 1500 games for the same team, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 1996.