|Rojstvo||21. junij 1902|
Mitchell, Ontario, Kanada
|Smrt||8. marec 1937 (34 let)|
Montreal, Quebec, Kanada
|Profesionalni klubi||Montreal Canadiens |
Chicago Black Hawks
New York Rangers
|Profesionalna kariera||1923 – 1937|
|Hram slavnih NHL, 1945|
|Ta članek je za krajši čas rezerviran, saj ga namerava eden izmed sodelavcev v večji meri preurediti.|
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V ligi NHL je na položaju centra igral za moštva Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Black Hawks in New York Rangers. Preden mu je uspel preboj v ligo NHl, je blestel v mladinski ligi Ontario Hockey Association in osvojil pokal Memorial Cup, ki se podeljuje mladinskim prvakom Kanade. Ko je vstopil v ligo NHL, je postal eden najdominantnejših hokejistov v ligi in je postavil številne strelske rekorde.
Morenza se danes obravnava kot enega prvih zvezdnikov lige, v kateri je preživel 14 sezon. Trikrat je osvojil Stanleyjev pokal, vsakič z moštvom Montreal Canadiens. V 14 sezonah se je 10-krat uvrstil na lestvico 10 najboljših strelcev lige. 7 zaporednih sezon je bil vodilni strelec Canadiensov, tako po zadetkih kot po točkah. Trikrat so ga imenovali za najkoristnejšega igralca lige, enkrat je dosegel največ zadetkov v ligi, in še dvakrat največ točk v ligi. Trikrat je bil izbran v moštvo zvezd lige NHL. Umrl je zaradi zapletov pri zlomu noge, ki ga je utrpel med neko tekmo. Po smrti so v klubu upokojili njegov dres s številko 7, kar je bilo prvič v zgodovini kluba. Ko so leta 1945 vzpostavili Hokejski hram slavnih lige NHL, je postal Morenz posthumno eden od prvih 12 članov. Leta 1950 ga je kanadska tiskovna agencija Canadian Press imenovala za najboljšega hokejista prve polovice 20. stoletja.
Born in Mitchell, Ontario to William Morenz, Howie Morenz had three sisters and a brother. Morenz learned his hockey by playing shinny on the Thames River. At the age of eight, he played his first organised game as a goaltender, where he allowed 21 goals. After that game, a coach switched Morenz to rover, a defensive position. After starting in goal for the 1916–17 season, Morenz became a forward after it became apparent his speed was much more suitable for an offensive role, and helped the Mitchell ice hockey team reach the Western Ontario juvenile championship.
The Morenz family then moved to Stratford, a nearby community, in May 1917. Morenz tried enlisting in the Canadian military, but was refused when recruiters learned he was only 15 years old. In 1920 he joined the Stratford Midgets junior team (under 20 years old), leading the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) in assists and points during the 1920–21 regular season, and goals, assists and points in the playoffs. The Midgets won the league title and played in the 1921 Memorial Cup against the Winnipeg Falcons. While Morenz scored a hat trick (three goals) in each of the two games in the series, the Midgets lost the total-goals series 11–9. After displaying his skill in the Memorial Cup, Morenz was asked to play for the Stratford Indians, a senior league team, for the upcoming season. Morenz split the 1921–22 season with the junior and senior teams. During the playoffs, he led both leagues in goals, assists, and points, also leading the senior league in penalty minutes. Playing exclusively in the senior league in the 1922–23 season, he led it in regular season assists, and playoff goals, points, and penalty minutes.
At the age of 18, Morenz got an apprenticeship with the Canadian National Railways factory in Stratford. When not playing hockey, Morenz was an avid better on horse races, and played the ukelele. In 1926 he married Mary Stewart; they had three children together, two sons and a daughter. Howie, Jr. was born in 1927, Donald in 1933 and Marlene in 1934. In 1952 Marlene married Bernie Geoffrion, who played for both the Canadiens and Rangers from 1950 to 1968. Their son, Howie's grandson, Dan, briefly played for the Canadiens in the 1970s.
During a Canadian National Railways hockey tournament held in December 1922 in Montreal, Morenz scored nine goals in a game for Stratford. A friend of Léo Dandurand, the owner of the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League, refereed the game, and told Dandurand how good Morenz was. Dandurand went to Stratford in January 1923 to watch Morenz play, and decided he wanted to sign him to the Canadiens. In April he met with William Morenz, Howie's father, because at the age of 20, Howie was still legally a minor. William told Dandurand that he wanted Howie to finish his apprenticeship at the CN factory, which would take another two years. However, in July Dandurand learned that Morenz and his father had been in contact with the Toronto St. Patricks, a rival team in the NHL. Fearing that Morenz would sign in Toronto, Dandurand sent his friend, Cecil Hart, to Stratford with instructions to sign Morenz at any cost. On July 7, 1923, Morenz signed a contract with the Canadiens for three years, with a salary of $3,500 per year and a $1,000 signing bonus, a considerable amount for a first-year professional.
Immediately after signing the contract with the Canadiens, Morenz began to reconsider joining them. Stratford residents, as well as his senior team, wanted him to stay, and Morenz yielded to the pressure. He wrote a letter in August to Dandurand, explaining that he could not leave Stratford, and included the cheque given to him as a signing bonus. Upon receiving the letter, Dandurand phoned Morenz and told him to come to Montreal to talk in person. In Montreal, Morenz began explaining his reasons for not signing to Dandurand but began crying. In response, Dandurand falsely threatened that if Morenz did not join the Canadiens, his professional hockey career would be over. Hearing this, Morenz relented and agreed to report to the Canadiens' training camp later in the year.
Morenz arrived at his first Canadiens training camp on December 3, 1923, and quickly impressed his new teammates. He made his NHL debut on December 26, 1923 in Ottawa against the Ottawa Senators, scoring a goal. Morenz finished the 1923–24 season, his first in the NHL, with thirteen goals and three assists in twenty-four games. The Canadiens finished first in the league that season for the first time in five years, and reached the NHL playoffs, facing the Senators for the league championship. Morenz scored the only goal in the first game of the two game, total goals series, and added another goal in the second game as the Canadiens won the series, five goals to two. The Canadiens then played two teams from Western Canada for the Stanley Cup. They defeated the Vancouver Maroons of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) in two games of a best of three games series, and then faced the Calgary Tigers of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL). In the first game against Calgary, Morenz scored a hat trick as the Canadiens won by a score of 6–1. He would score another goal in the second game, as Montreal won 3–0 and defeated the Tigers to win their second Stanley Cup championship, and Morenz's first with the team.
The following season, Morenz scored twenty-eight goals and eleven assists for thirty-nine points, placing second on the Canadiens and fourth in the NHL in scoring. He followed that with seven goals and eight points in six playoff games, as Montreal lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Victoria Cougars of the WCHL. Morenz tied with linemate Aurèle Joliat in leading the Canadiens in scoring in 1925–26 with twenty-six points, finishing fifth in the league. In 1926–27 he finished third in the league in goals, with twenty-five, and points, with thirty-two, to again lead the Canadiens. The one goal he scored in four playoff games was a series winner in the quarter-finals, eliminating the Montreal Maroons from postseason contention.
The 1927–28 season was one of Morenz's best in the NHL. On March 24, 1928, in the final game of the regular season, Morenz earned two assists, tying the then-NHL record for assists in a season with eighteen, and becoming the first player to score fifty points in a season, finishing with fifty-one. As the league leader in goals, with thirty-three, assists and points, Morenz was named the recipient of the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player. Though his scoring totals went down in 1928–29, with seventeen goals and twenty-seven points, Morenz still led the Canadiens in scoring, and tied for third overall in the league.
During the 1929–30 season the NHL changed its rules to allow for more scoring. As a result Morenz finished seventh in the league for scoring with fifty points, including scoring forty goals for the first time; this included a game against the New York Americans on March 18, 1930, in which he scored five goals. In the playoffs, he added another three goals, including his second Stanley Cup-winning goal, as the Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins for their third Stanley Cup. In the 1930–31 season, Morenz scored twenty-eight goals and matched his career high with fifty-one points, winning his second NHL scoring title, and being awarded the Hart Trophy for the second time. He was also named to the newly created NHL All-Star Team, being selected as the first-team centre, as the top player in that position. In the playoffs, the Canadiens reached the Stanley Cup Final for the second consecutive year, playing the Chicago Black Hawks. Playing with an injured shoulder and being held back by the Black Hawks, Morenz only scored one goal throughout ten playoff games, the final goal of the playoffs, as he won his third Stanley Cup with the Canadiens.
The 1931–32 season was another productive season for Morenz. He finished third in league scoring with forty-nine points, and became the first player in NHL history to win the Hart Trophy for a third time, also being named to the First All-Star Team again. In a March 17, 1932 game against the New York Americans, Morenz scored his 334th point with an assist, passing Cy Denneny as the NHL record holder for career points. Minor injuries led to his point totals going down the following season, finishing second on the Canadiens in scoring, behind Joliat, for the first time in seven years, ending up tenth in the league with thirty-five points. In the playoffs, he had three assists in two games. The 1933–34 season also saw Morenz's goal and point totals fall, to eight goals and twenty-one points. Even with his decline in scoring, he still managed to reach a significant milestone, once again passing Cy Denneny. Against the Detroit Red Wings on December 23, 1933, he scored his 249th career goal, to become the NHL leader for career goals. On January 2, 1934, Morenz twisted his ankle in a game in New York, bruising the bone and tearing ligaments. It was the first serious injury of his career, and he was unable to play for a month. After returning to the team, Morenz was unable to play at his previous level, and the Canadiens' fans began booing him.
As Morenz was not playing to his previous level, reports of the Canadiens wanting to trade him began appearing in Montreal newspapers. When the Canadiens began their playoff series against the Chicago Black Hawks, the Canadiens' General Manager, Léo Dandurand, confirmed that several teams were interested in acquiring Morenz. After playing the first game with his usual speed and skill, Morenz broke his thumb in the second game, finishing with a goal and an assist for the playoffs.
After the playoffs ended, Morenz addressed the trade rumours, telling a reporter that he would only play for the Canadiens, saying that "when I can't play for them, I'll never put on a skate again," though the Canadiens' management knew he was too passionate about hockey to quit. Throughout the summer of 1934, Morenz was becoming concerned about his future with the team. Newspapers continued to write that Morenz would be involved in a trade involving several players and teams. Adding to Morenz's concern was the lack of response from either of the Canadiens' owners, Léo Dandurand or Joe Cattarinich, informing him of what was happening. The trade rumours ended on October 3, 1934, when Morenz was traded, along with goaltender Lorne Chabot and defenceman Marty Burke, to the Chicago Black Hawks for forwards Leroy Goldsworthy and Lionel Conacher, and defenceman Roger Jenkins.
In his first season with the Black Hawks, 1934–35, Morenz played in all forty-eight games for the team, scoring eight goals and thirty-four points, an improvement over the previous season. The Black Hawks reached the playoffs, though Morenz was held pointless in the two games played. The following season was not as good for Morenz. He did not feel comfortable in Chicago, and was being benched, playing fewer minutes than he was used to. After twenty-three games with the Black Hawks, in which he scored fifteen points, Morenz was traded for the second time in his career; he was sent to the New York Rangers on January 26, 1936 for forward Glen Brydson. Playing nineteen games for the Rangers, Morenz scored two goals and had another four assists for six points, giving him twenty-one points over the season.
Over the summer of 1936, the Canadiens re-hired Cecil Hart to be the coach of the team. Hart agreed to the job on one condition, that the Canadiens bring Morenz back to the team. On September 1, 1936, Morenz once again joined the Canadiens, his contract being purchased by the team from the Rangers. The Canadiens spent most of the 1936–37 season as one of the best teams in the NHL; Morenz contributed regularly, occasionally showing the speed that had made him notable at the start of his career. By mid-January, Morenz had four goals and twenty points, far better totals than previous years.
The Canadiens played the Chicago Black Hawks in Montreal on January 28, 1937. In the first period, Morenz went after the puck into the Chicago end of the rink while being chased quickly by Black Hawks defenceman Earl Seibert. Morenz lost his balance and fell to the ice, ramming into the boards, his left skate being caught in the wooden siding. Seibert, unable to stop in time, landed with full force on Morenz. The resulting impact snapped Morenz's left leg, creating a loud noise that was heard throughout the rink. Helped to the Canadiens bench by his teammates, Morenz was taken to Hôpital St-Luc, where it was found that his leg was fractured in four places.
While in the hospital recovering from the injury, Morenz received enormous amounts of get-well cards, and a constant supply of visitors. His Canadiens teammates would arrive often, as well as other NHL teams who were in Montreal for a game. Many of his visitors brought drinks with them, so much that a teammate of his remarked that "the whisky was on the dresser and the beer was under the bed." Though there was many visitors, Morenz would often find himself alone in the hospital room, unable to move off his bed. To pass time, he began reading the newspapers in an effort to stay up to date with the Canadiens as they finished the season. Since his injury, the team had dropped in the standings, causing Morenz to worry. He began to think that he would never play hockey again, and started to think about his future, becoming depressed.
The Canadiens' team doctor, Dr. J.A. Hecotr Forgues, visited Morenz in late February and determined that he had suffered a nervous breakdown. In order to help Morenz, Dr. Forgues banned all visitors to his room, except for family and Canadiens officials. Mary, Howie's wife, and their eldest son, Howie Jr. would visit most days, and William Morenz, Howie's father, arrived from Stratford in the first week of March, leaving again on March 5. Three days later, on March 8, Howie began complaining of chest pains, which the doctors determined was a heart attack. They called Mary Morenz and Cecil Hart, asking them to come to the hospital. Around 11:30 pm Howie tried to get out of bed to use the washroom, but collapsed on the floor and died, minutes before his wife and coach arrived. Howie Morenz was dead at the age of thirty-four.
The Canadiens were scheduled to play the Montreal Maroons the evening of March 9, a game the NHL offered to cancel in respect of Morenz's death. However his wife Mary insisted the game be played, saying that Howie would have wanted the game to continue. The players on the Canadiens and Maroons wore black armbands for the game, and prior to the start, two minutes of silence were observed to honour Morenz. A similar event happened in New York, where the New York Rangers and New York Americans had a moment of silence prior to the start of their game.
A funeral was held on March 10, 1937 at the Montreal Forum, the arena where the Canadiens played. Fans were allowed to file past the casket, laid at centre ice, and fifty thousand people paid their respects. A rotating honour guard of four of Morenz's teammates stood around the casket, which was covered in flowers, including a large wreath shaped like the number 7 from Aurèle Joliat, and a note from Morenz's three children. The entire service was broadcast on the radio, and after its conclusion he was buried in Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal.
|Montreal Canadiens||Stanleyjev pokal||23/24||4||4||2||6||4|
|Montreal Canadiens||Stanleyjev pokal||24/25||4||4||1||5||4|
|Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||34/35||48||8||26||34||21||2||0||0||0||0|
|Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||35/36||23||4||11||15||20|
|New York Rangers||NHL||35/36||19||2||4||6||6|
Mesto Montreal je za Morenzom žalovalom mesece.  V njegovo čast so pri Canadiensih 2. novembra 1937 upokojili dres s številko 7. To je bilo prvič v zgodovini kluba, da so kakega svojega igralca počastili na ta način.  Pet dni kasneje, 7. novembra 1937, so v dvorani Montreal Forum priredili dobrodelno tekmo zvezd, na kateri so zbirali denar za Morenzovo družino.  Moštvo, sestavljeno iz hokejistov obeh ekip iz Montreala, Canadiensov in Maroonsov, je porazila ekipa hokejistov ostalih moštev lige NHL. Končni izid je bil 6-5.
Morenz je bil eden najbolj izurjenih igralcev v zgodnji zgodovini lige NHL in je bil od 1926 do 1932 najučinkovitejši hokejist Canadiensov tako v zadetkih kot v točkah. Leta 1926 je bil sicer po točkah izenačen na prvem mestu z Aurelom Joliatjem.  Po smrti je Morenz postavil rekord za največ točk v karieri v ligi NHL, skupaj jih je dosegel 472.  Ko so leta 1945 ustanovili Hokejski hram slavnih lige NHL, je bil Morenz med prvimi 12 hokejisti, ki so bili sprejeti vanj.  Leta 1950 ga je kanadska tiskovna agencija Canadian Press po glasovanju imenovala za najboljšega hokejista prve polovice 20. stoletja.  Leta 1998 ga je hokejski časnik The Hockey News uvrstil na 15. mesto seznama 100 največjih hokejistov lige NHL vseh časov. 
Morenz je prav tako imel močan vpliv na širjenje lige, saj so njegove odlične predstave privabljale množice v dvorane in pripomogle k temu, da je profesionalni hokej na ledu prišel v Združene države Amerike. Ko je Charles Adams, lastnik verige trgovin z živili, leta 1924 videl Morenza igrati v Finalu Stanleyjevega pokala 1924, se je vrnil v Boston z željo ustanoviti hokejski klub v mestu. Tisto poletje je liga NHL Adamsu odobrila klub v lig NHL za naslednjo sezono. Klub se je imenoval Boston Bruins.  Promotor boksa Tex Rickard, lastnik dvorane Madison Square Garden, je prav tako videl Morenza igrati še na začetku njegove kariere in se odločil dodati ledeno ploskev v svojo dvorano, s čimer je New York dobil moštvo v ligi NHL, imenovano New York Americans. Del dogovora je bil tudi, da so Morenz in Canadiensi igrali prvo tekmo proti Americansom 15. decembra 1925. 
Morenzova hčerka Marlene se je poročila z Berniejem Geoffrionom, ki je tudi igral hokej na ledu za Canadiense in Rangerse in bil kasneje sprejet v Hokejski hram slavnih lige NHL. Šele ko so Canadiensi na dan Geoffrionove smrti, 11. marca 2006, upokojili njegov dres s številko 5, so v klubu ugotovili povezavo med obema možema. Ko so med slavnostjo dvigali Geoffrionov dres proti stropu dvorane, so Morenzovega spustili na pol poti proti ledu. Ko sta bila Geoffrionov in Morenzov dres na isti višini, so oba istočasno dvignili proti stropu. 
|Art Ross Trophy||1928, 1931|
|Hart Memorial Trophy||1928, 1931, 1932|
|Sprejet v prvo moštvo zvezd lige NHL||1931, 1932|
|Sprejet v drugo moštvo zvezd lige NHL||1933|
|Wikimedijina zbirka ponuja več predstavnostnega gradiva o temi: Howie Morenz|
|Nagrade in dosežki|
|Dobitnik Hart Trophy
|Dobitnik Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy
|Dobitnik Art Ross Trophy
|Dobitnik Art Ross Trophy
|Dobitnik Hart Trophy