Monday, October 8, 2012


24 June 1905 - 25 May 1986

by: Ron C. Johnston

Professional Hockey Player: A native of Odessa, Russia.  The First Russian-born layer to play in the NHL.  Russian birthplace often caused trouble when he crossed Canada/USA border to play in the NHL.  His family emigrated to Regina when Johnny was a youngster.  He played with the Regina Pats from (1923-1925).  Was on first Pats team coached by Al Ritchie in 1923-24.  Won the 1925 Memorial Cup in two-game final against Aura Lee.  Juniors totals were 29 games played, 46 goals and six assists.

Gottselig played Left Wing for the National Hockey League's Chicago Blackhawks, a total of seventeen seasons, from 1928 to 1946. He was also the team's captain from 1935 to 1940. In 1939, Gottselig was named a member of the NHL Second All-Star Team, and played in the 1937 and 1939 NHL All-Star Games. He retired from playing hockey after the 1944 to 1945 hockey season.

His total NHL career consisted of 3 Stanley Cup wins (1934, 1938, 1961), 589 NHL games played, 176 goals scored, 195 assists, and 371 points. Gottselig also coached the Kansas City Americans of the AHA from 1940 to 1942, and the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks from 1944 to 1948. He also became a noted hockey publicist and director, helped coach a woman's baseball team, and served as an assistant to the Chicago Blackhawks from 1961 to 1962. He retired from hockey and the Blackhawks for good in 1962. In 1962, Gottselig accepted a job as a representative and publicity director for the Elmhurst, Illinois, USA, based Elmhurst Stone Construction Company, a post he would hold for 24 years. On May 15, 1986, while working at his desk, he suffered a fatal heart attack, and died at the age of 80. 

Buried: Calvary Cemetery, Evanston, Cook County, Illinois, U.S.A.