• U.S.

Sport: $ 15,000 for a Goalie

2 minute read

Rugged, red-faced James Norris is a rich Chicago grain broker, noted for his smart trading. He also owns the Detroit Red Wings (major-league hockey club). Last week when the Red Wings lost their seventh game out of nine this season, it was too much for Owner Norris. Dipping into his gold-lined jeans, he persuaded the league-leading Boston Bruins to sell Goaltender Cecil (“Tiny”) Thompson for $15,000 (highest price ever paid for a goalie). No less shocked than hockey fans was Tiny Thompson (so named because he is so big), who had been with the Bruins ten years, had helped them climb to top ranking in their division of the league five times, had won the Georges Vezina Trophy (for No. 1 goalie) four times, was still popular with the Boston fans.

But Tiny Thompson philosophically packed his bags, including the lucky goalie pads he has been wearing for 14 years, pocketed the $1,000 check the Bruins gave him to soothe his injured feelings, and entrained for Detroit. There the nimble hands, quick eyes and split-second judgment that had made him the best goalie in the world behaved as well for the Red Wings as they had for the Bruins. In his first game the Red Wings trounced the top-notch Chicago Black Hawks, 4-to-1. “We’ll be just as good as Boston before long,” chuckled Newcomer Thompson. Owner Norris chuckled too.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com