Al Shields was a highly respected player who was solidly built and rough when he had to be, though off ice he was an easy going individual.
He began his playing days in Ottawa with the Montagnards before signing with the Senators as a free agent in 1928 when he made his NHL debut. After three seasons with the Sens, Shields was traded to the Philadelphia Quakers in 1930. He spent only one season in Philly after being claimed by the New York Americans in the Dispersal Draft of 1931. Once again, he spent only one season in New York before heading back to Ottawa for two more seasons.
After being traded to the Montreal Maroons for the 1934-35 season, Shields enjoyed a memorable playoff as the Maroons swept the Toronto Maple Leafs three games to none to take the Stanley Cup. This would be Shields' only Cup championship. He spent one more season in Montreal before being loaned to the New York Americans for the 1936-37 season, who then in turn loaned him to the Boston Bruins for the remainder of the year. Shields was then returned to the Maroons where he played the 1937-38 season, his last in the NHL.
Shields went on to play in the AHL for four more seasons and later became a coach before being posted with the Royal Canadian Air Force and playing with the Arnprior team. He went on to referee in the AHL from 1946 to 1948 before hanging up his skates for good.