Esso Hockey since 1936Legends Of Hockey
Esso Hockey since 1936
Bentley, Doug

Bentley, Doug

Doug Bentley's life in hockey stretched over some 30 years, beginning with the Delisle Tigers in his hometown in Saskatchewan and finishing as a coach in the Western Hockey League. He played most of his minor hockey with the Moose Jaw Millers and joined the Chicago Black Hawks for the 1939-40 season, with his brother Max joining the team the following season. In 1946, they played with Bill Mosienko on a line that became known as the Pony Line.

Doug played left wing and was known as a "complete" player. Although he weighed only 145 pounds during his heyday, he had tremendous speed and was a natural goal scorer. Six times he had 20 or more goals in a season, and in 1942-43, he led the NHL in points -- even though the team finished fifth and out of the playoffs. It was during that season that the Bentleys made history. Their youngest brother, Reggie, was called up from the minors and played 11 games with Doug and Max, the first time three brothers played together as a forward line. Doug was exciting to watch and frequently had more ice time than anyone else in the game. Because of his speed, he was one of the great backcheckers of his era as well.

For the first few years of their hockey careers, the Bentley brothers played with a variety of linemates, but as a twosome they were always dangerous. The night of December 4, 1941, was one spectacular evening -- just three days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour -- when the Hawks clobbered Montreal 9-2. Doug had a hat-trick in the game and Max assisted on all three goals.

On January 28, 1943, they and Bill Thoms had one of the best nights a line has ever had in the NHL. The Hawks beat the Rangers 10-1 and the three combined for 17 points. including six goals. Doug had two goals and four assists, Max four and three, and Thoms added five assists.

Doug's career and life took an unexpected turn during the war. At the start of the 1944-45 season, the Hawks traveled to Canada to play an exhibition game. When it came time to cross the border to return to Chicago, Doug was denied permission to leave his homeland. As a result, he spent the entire year playing senior hockey for the Laura Beavers, outside of the NHL.

Doug left the NHL during the 1951-52 season, but lured by the possibility of once again playing with his brother Max, the two joined the New York Rangers during the 1953-54 season, the final NHL season for both.

Although he had much personal success, Doug's Black Hawks rarely excelled. He played 566 regular season games, scoring 219 goals and 543 points, but played only 23 playoff games, a clear reflection of the team's poor performance in the standings. In 1950 Doug Bentley was voted by the Herald American as the top hockey player in Chicago for the first half of the century. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1964.

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