Family History


Five years ago I worked a job that required me to sit in a cubicle. My cubicle mate was a guy who didn't really do much but read hockey statistics online. Nice enough guy. Really knew his hockey. Didn't seem to know much about where he was working, but who among us should judge?


Anyway, one lazy afternoon he turns to me and says "Hey - look at this, there's a Nolan that played for St. Pat's in the 20's" I didn't know who the St. Pat's were until he explained that they were the Leafs before the Leafs were the Leafs. He turned his screen around and showed me a picture of someone with the countenance and name to match my Grandfather's. I never had the opportunity to meet him, or any of my Grandparents, but I was sure that this was him.


From the "Hockey Legends" website:

Patrick "Paddy" Nolan

Paddy Nolan was a stocky individual who could play forward and defence. He made it to the NHL for two games with the Toronto St. Pats in 1921-22 but was best known for his play in senior hockey circles.

The native of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island was a star in the Cape Breton Senior circuit with the Glace Bay Miners and New Glasgow Black Foxes. In 1920-21 he enjoyed a fine year with the Stellerton Seniors before returning to New Glasgow.

Nolan didn't record a point in two games for the St. Pats but totaled 25 goals over the next two seasons with the Stellertaon Professionals. During the remainder of the decade he played with several New Glasgow senior teams and coached the local high school squad.


When I asked my Mother about it I got the "Sure, didn't you know that?" speech. It's funny when the things that seem like a big deal to one generation seem meaningless to those that came before. Family history is just like any history isn't it? Revisionist, I mean.

Anyway, thanks to the intornet (I like to call it the "intornet" - makes the information super highway sound like a 1950's scifi robot!) and a less than focused co-worker I now know that my Grandfather not only played in the NHL but that someone in my immediate family lived in Toronto before my parents and sisters moved here just before I came on the scene in the 70's. It makes me wonder how he experienced the city - if he enjoyed it, where he hung out and most of all I'm left wondering why the hell I am so CRAPPY on skates....

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