- Posted May 22, 2009 by
Loves Park, Illinois
First black hockey goalie to play in the NHL !
1st Black Hockey Goalie
After gathering information about hockey and were it derived from, it was hard to believe that ice hockey was born in Nova Scotia, Canada.
During the 1820’s to 1840’s, African-Canadians start to
participate in an early form of ice hockey. Because Africans were not allowed to play with white members, they formed their own league in 1895, similar to that of the Negro Baseball League in the United States of America. On March 9, 1899, an impromptu game between the Halifax Chebuctos and the Halifax Eurekas marked the first time an all-Black and all-White hockey team played against one another. On that historic day in Canada, the Eurekas (all-Black) won the game 9-7.
Although there were a few black hockey players that played, Grant Fuhr became the first African-Canadian starting goaltender in the National Hockey League in 1981. He played for the Edmonton Oilers and helped the team win the Stanley Cup in the years of 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990.
In 2003, Grant Fuhr becomes the first Black-Canadian inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. During his career, he was the goalkeeper for Edmonton Oilers, 1981-1991; goalkeeper for Toronto Maple Leafs, 1991-1992; goalkeeper for Buffalo Sabres, 1992-1994; goalkeeper for Los Angeles Kings, 1994-1995; goalkeeper for St. Louis Blues, 1995-1999; goalkeeper for Calgary Flames, 1999-2000; goalkeeping consultant for Calgary Flames, 2000-2004; and today, he is the goalkeeper coach for Phoenix Coyotes, 2004-present.
Just as a special note, in 1979, when he was 16, he turned down a chance to play catcher with the Pittsburg Pirates’ baseball farm team because “hockey was in.”