The First NHLer from Vermilion: Ernie Kenny

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CraigBaird


Vermilion has had its fair share of individuals who have made the NHL. The first though, was Ernie Kenny, who had a strong hockey career and made a big impact on the hockey world for many decades after.
Born on Aug. 20 ,1907 in Vermilion, it did not take long for Ernie to set himself apart from the other kids in the area with his exuberant style of play.
Following some time playing with the Edmonton Eskimos Hockey Club in the mid-1920s, he would begin playing for the Victoria Cubs in 1928-29, earning four points and 96 penalty minutes. One year later in 1930, his rights would be bought by the New York Rangers from the Tacoma Tigers for $5,000, or $72,000 in today’s funds. Used sparingly in the 1930-31 season with the Rangers, he played in six games earning no points and no penalty minutes.
Following that brief stint in the NHL, he went to the Edmonton Eskimos where he played from 1932 to 1934. During two seasons of play, he would have 20 goals, 16 points and 36 points, along with 94 and 91 penalty minutes each season respectively.
With those two seasons in Edmonton done, he once again found his way back to the NHL for the 1934-35 season. This time with the Chicago Blackhawks, he would play four games picking up no points and 18 penalty minutes. That would be his last taste of NHL action, but his career was far from over. 
From 1934 to 1936, he would play for the London Tecumsehs, earning six goals and eight assists and 139 penalty minutes. He then made his way down to California to play for Oakland and the Spokane Clippers in 1936-37, scoring four goals and picking up two assists. Staying with the Spokane Clippers until 1939, he scored 18 goals and 18 assists, along with 94 and 70 penalty minutes during these two seasons with the team. He would close out his hockey career with the Seattle Seahawks in 1939-40, scoring three goals and nine assists, along with 57 penalty minutes.
Once his playing career was over, he would continue to have an impact on the hockey world with his mentorship of several young players in the area including future Hall-of-Famer Glen Sather, along with the six Sutter brothers, who would go on to play 5,000 games total and win six Stanley Cups.
Suggestions for columns or questions? E-mail Craig at crwbaird@gmail.com. Listen to his podcast by searching for “Canadian History Ehx” on your podcast platform. Find his show on YouTube by searching for “Canadian History Ehx”.
Information for this column comes from Wikipedia and GreatestHockeyLegends.com
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