William Hodgson ‘Hod’ Stuart

Biography

Athlete : Hockey
Year Inducted: 1966
Date of Birth: February 2nd, 1879
Born in: Ottawa, Ontario

William Hodgson ‘Hod’ Stuart (deceased) with brother Bruce, formed a famous brother act in hockey at the turn of the century. Played with famous Houghton Miners. In 1906 and 1907 played with Stanley Cup winning Montreal Wanderers along with brother Bruce, Art Ross and Lester Patrick.

Playing as a Canadian professional ice hockey cover-point (now known as a defenceman) he played nine seasons for several teams in different leagues. He also played briefly for the Ottawa Rough Riders football team. With his brother Bruce, Stuart played in the first professional ice hockey league, the American-based International Professional Hockey League (IPHL), where he was regarded as one of the best players in the league.

Frustrated with the violence associated with the IPHL, he left the league late in 1906 and returned to Canada, where in 1907 he helped the Montreal Wanderers win the Stanley Cup, the championship trophy for hockey. Two months later, he died in a diving accident. To raise money for his widow and children, the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association hosted an all-star game, the first of its kind to be played in any sport.

An estimated 3,800 spectators attended the Hod Stuart Memorial Game on January 2, 1908, described by the Montreal Herald as “unique in the history of hockey in Montreal, if not in the whole of Canada”.

In an era when defencemen were expected to stay behind during the play, Stuart became known for his ability to score goals while playing a defensive role, and for his ability to remain calm during matches that often turned violent.

He also became known for his work to reduce that violence and to increase the salaries of hockey players. His efforts were acknowledged when the Hockey Hall of Fame was created in 1945 and he became one of the first nine players to be inducted. He was joined there by his brother Bruce in 1961.