Saturday, November 27, 2010


By: Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston

Les was born October 4, 1913, at Calgary, Alberta. He played Junior Hockey with the Calgary Jimmies before playing with the Regina Pats during the 1932-1933 season.

The following are his statistics: Regular Season - Games Played 4, Goals 4, Assists 0; Play-offs - Games Played 15, Goals 6, Assists 0. That season he played in the Canadian Memorial Cup Final. The Regina Pats lost in a two game series. Both game scores were the same, 2-1 for Newmarket. The second game went into 3 overtime periods, in that game Cunningham scored Regina Pats' goal. He went through the defense and fired a low shot that Newmarket's goalie, Forder, partially blocked. The frantic goaltender tried to shove the puck to safety as Cunningham streaked in and Les shoved the puck into the open net.

Les Cunningham is 4th player form the left. This is a partial picture - cut in two sections.
(Sask. Sports Hall of Fame - file)

Les then played a season with the Saskatoon Elites of the Saskatchewan Senior League in 1933-34. Then two season with the Buffalo Bisons in the International Hockey League.

He played as a centre for the New York Americans during the 1936 and 1937 season. Then played in the American Hockey League (AHL) before returning to the NHL with Chicago Black Hawks from 1947 to 1949.

Next he played with the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League (AHL) from 1937 to 1939. Played two years with San Franciso Shamrocks of the Pacific Coast Hockey League (PCHL). He then retired in 1949.

The AHL p
resents the Les Cunningham Award annually for the League's Most Valuable Player (MVP). He was inducted into the AHL Hull of Fame in 2009.

Leslie Cunningham died, April 9, 1993, and is buried at the Burnsland Cemetery in Southeast Calgary, Alberta.