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Bryan Hextall
Bryan hextall.jpg
Born July 31, 1913(1913-07-31)
Grenfell, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died July 25, 1984(1984-07-25) (aged 70)
Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shoots Left
Played for New York Rangers
Playing career 1933–1948
Hall of Fame, 1969

Bryan Hextall (born Bryan Aldwyn Hextall on July 31, 1913) was a Canadian professional ice hockey forward who played for the New York Rangers in the National Hockey League (NHL).

He scored the overtime winning goal that clinched the 1940 Stanley Cup for the New York Rangers.

He is the father of Bryan Jr. and Dennis Hextall & the grandfather of Ron Hextall.

Playing CareerEdit

Growing up in Poplar Point, Manitoba, Canada, Bryan first played hockey there, winning the Manitoba juvenile championship in 1929–30.

He played junior hockey with the Winnipeg Monarchs in 1931–32 before switching to the Portage Terriers with whom he won the Manitoba Junior Hockey League scoring title in 1932–33.

Bryan began his professional career in 1933–34 with the Vancouver Lions of the North West Hockey League (NWHL). He played three seasons in Vancouver, leading the NWHL in scoring with 27 goals in 1935–36.

Bryan moved onto the Philadelphia Ramblers of the International-American Hockey League the following year, again leading the league with 27 goals. The New York Rangers brought him up for three games in 1937, and he made the team full-time in 1937–38.

A left-handed shooter, Bryan played his "off wing" (right wing) at a time before it was common practice. He scored at least 20 goals seven times in his career, mainly while playing on the Rangers' top line with Phil Watson and Lynn Patrick.

Bryan led the NHL in goal scoring and was named a first-team All-Star for the first time in 1939–40. He was one of the Rangers' top players during the 1940 Stanley Cup Final against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

He scored a hat trick against the Leafs and added an assist to lead the Rangers to a come from behind victory in game two of the series, and scored the overtime winning goal in the sixth game that clinched the third Stanley Cup championship in Rangers history. The Rangers would not win another for 54 years.

A second All-Star selection followed in 1940–41 as Bryan again led the NHL in goal scoring and finished in a tie for second in overall points. He led the league in points in 1941–42; his total of 56 standing seven better than second place.

Additionally, Bryan was named to the first All-Star team for the third consecutive season. He scored career highs in goals (with 27) and points (with 59) in 1942–43 and was again named a post-season All-Star, this time on the second team.

In addition to being a top scorer, Bryan was also durable. He appeared in 340 consecutive games for the Rangers between 1937 and 1944. His streak ended in 1944 when Canadian war authorities denied him a permit to cross into the United States.

The Rangers' attempts to regain Bryan's services were unsuccessful, Unable to play in the NHL, he regained his amateur status and he played senior hockey briefly with the St. Catharines Saints in the Ontario Hockey Association's senior division.

The conclusion of World War II allowed Bryan to return to the Rangers in 1945–46, however his return was short-lived.

He was hospitalized with a liver ailment, an illness that ruled him out of the season after just three games and led to fears it would end his career. He overcame doctors expectations, appearing in all 60 games for the Rangers in the 1946–47 season.

After a final season in the NHL in 1947–48, he split the 1948–49 American Hockey League season between the Cleveland Barons and Washington Lions before announcing his retirement.

In 1969, Bryan was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and is an honoured member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame. Additionally, the Manitoba hall named him to its all-century second All-Star team.

Post-Playing Career\DeathEdit

Following his retirement, Bryan battled circulation problems in his lower legs which ultimately led to the amputation of both legs below the knee in 1978, but artificial legs allowed him to maintain his hobby of hunting.

On July 25, 1984, Bryan died from a heart attack at his residence in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada at the age of 70.

Career StatisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1931–32 Winnipeg Monarchs WJrHL 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 2 0
1932–33 Portage Terriers WJrHL 12 10 8 18 6 2 0 0 0 4
1933–34 Portage Terriers MJHL 7 6 4 10 8
1933–34Vancouver LionsNWHL52020
1934–35Vancouver LionsNWHL3214102427800010
1935–36Vancouver LionsNWHL402793665712315
1936–37Philadelphia RamblersIAHL482923523462466
1936–37New York RangersNHL30110
1937–38New York RangersNHL4817421632020
1938–39New York RangersNHL482015351870114
1939–40New York RangersNHL48241539521243711
1940–41New York RangersNHL482618441630110
1941–42New York RangersNHL482432563061124
1942–43New York RangersNHL5027325928
1943–44New York RangersNHL5021335441
1944–45 St Catharines Saints OHA Sr. 1 0 1 1 0
1945–46New York RangersNHL30110
1946–47New York RangersNHL6020103018
1947–48New York RangersNHL43814221861340
1947–48Cleveland BaronsAHL3212172914
1947–48Washington LionsAHL2566122
NHL totals 449 187 175 362 227 37 8 9 17 9
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