Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Al Pudas
On October 28, 1926, Albert Pudas decided to accept a contract offer from the Toronto St. Pats. Pudas joined fellow Port Arthur Bearcats, Bill Brydge, Danny Cox and Lorne Chabot in the NHL during the 1926-27 season. Toronto opted to start Pudas with the Windsor Bulldogs under manager Percy Lesieur. Lesieur chose to use the winger as a substitute in the early going but Pudas earned more playing time as the season progressed. Eventually, the St. Pats recalled him on December 29, 1926, to play a pair of games over New Years against Boston and Montreal, thus becoming the first Finnish-born player to play in the NHL.

The next day Pudas suited up for the match against the Bruins, renewing his acquaintance with Bill Brydge. He did not make much of an impact in the game, or the next three that he played, thus earning a trip back to the minors. Pudas, in his short stay, became the first Finish-born player in the National Hockey League. Albert Pudas played one more season in the Can-Pro league before hanging up the skates. Yet, hockey remained in his system. It was in coaching that Pudas made his lasting mark on t he game and it was with his home team in Port Arthur that he earned his reputation.

The Ports were perennial Allan Cup contenders during the years Pudas was at the helm. That success led to his being named as the 1936 Olympic hockey coach. The Olympic team, despite some player controversy, was scheduled sail for Germany in January 1936 but Pudas had to take care of one detail before he left. On January 7, he had to make a trip to Ottawa to get naturalization papers so he could get a passport. New government regulations had effectively removed his citizenship, earned when he was eighteen months old. Given how important Pudas was to the Canadian Olympic team, approval was granted in record time. The Canadians would be shocked in the Olympic games by a British team stocked with players who had learned the game in Canada. Canada settled for the silver medal. Pudas also earned a reputation as a referee in the west and handled several championship games.

Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1918/22 Port Arthur Pascoes TBSHL
1922-23 Port Arthur Ports MHL-Sr. 16 17 8 25 5 2 1 0 1 0
1923-24 Port Arthur Bearcats MHL-Sr. 16 11 2 13 2 2 1 0 1 2
1924-25 Port Arthur Bearcats MHL-Sr. 20 3 3 6 10 11 10 21 13
1925-26 Port Arthur Bearcats MHL-Sr. 20 11 2 13 20 9 7 6 13 18
1926-27 Windsor Hornets Can-Pro 18 10 2 12 8
1926-27 Toronto St. Pats/Maple Leafs NHL 4 0 0 0 0
1926-27 Hamilton Tigers Can-Pro 9 8 0 8 2 2 3 0 3 0
1927-28 London Panthers Can-Pro 10 2 2 4 4
1927-28 Stratford Nationals Can-Pro 1 0 0 0 0
1927-28 Detroit Olympics Can-Pro 19 4 1 5 0 2 0 0 0 0
NHL Totals 4 0 0 0 0

Signed as a free agent by Toronto, October 28, 1926. Loaned to Windsor by Toronto for cash, November 10, 1926. Loaned to Hamilton (Can-Pro) by Toronto with $5,000 for George Patterson, February 1, 1927. Traded to London (Can-Pro) by Toronto for Gerry Lowrey, October 20, 1927. Traded to Kitchener (Can-Pro) by London (Can-Pro) to complete transaction that sent Bill Holmes to London (Can-Pro) (January 16, 1928), March, 1928. Traded to Stratford (Can-Pro) by Kitchener (Can-Pro) for Jack Kentner, January 19, 1928. Traded to Detroit (Can-Pro) by Stratford (Can-Pro) for Harry Lott, January 22, 1928.
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