THUNDER BAY – Edgar Louis “Beaver” Laprade (October 10, 1919 – April 28, 2014) was a Canadian professional ice hockey centre who played for the New York Rangers in the National Hockey League. He was born in the New Ontario community of Mine Centre.
Edgar Laprade was a member of the National Hockey League Hall of Fame.
For many years after his retirement, he ran a sporting goods store on Cumberland Street South.
Laprade stood 5-foot-8 and weighed 160 pounds, he was small in size especially compared to some of the other players of his era. But he made up for that size difference with enormous speed on the ice.
Wikipedia states: “Laprade started his hockey career with the local Port Arthur Bruins in the Thunder Bay Junior A Hockey League. He was a prolific scorer with the team and he was their best player most of the times. In 1938-39, Laprade joined the Port Arthur Bearcats in the Thunder Bay Senior Hockey League. Again, Laprade scored many times and was selected as the MVP of the TBSHL in 1938-39 and 1940-41. He also helped the team win an Allan Cup in 1939-40.
“After the 1942-43 season, Laprade joined the army. While in the army, he still played hockey regularly as he did so with the Winnipeg Army. In 1944-45, he played one season with the Barriefield Bears before moving on to the National Hockey League with the New York Rangers. In his first season of play, Laprade recorded 34 points in 49 games. His effort impressed the league and he was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy. Laprade would finish the 1946-47 season with 40 points to earn a spot on the First NHL All-Star Game. He would also play in the 1948, 1949, and 1950 NHL All-Star Games.
“During his career, Laprade played in three seasons without recording a penalty, and was awarded the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 1949-50. In the same season, the Rangers made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Detroit Red Wings, the closest Laprade had ever came to winning a Stanley Cup. The series went all the way to a Game 7 before Pete Babando of the Detroit Red Wings scored the game-winning goal in overtime. After that, Laprade played five more seasons with the Rangers before retiring. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.”
A giant in our community has passed away.