Mention the name John Matthew Adams and it's likely to conjure up many more memories of junior hockey successes than what he accomplished as a pro in the NHL. Adams, a stellar goaltender throughout his youth, appeared in four consecutive Memorial Cup tournaments between 1964 and 1967. At 18, Adams joined his hometown Port Arthur North Stars where he backstopped the team for three years. During the 1966 playoffs, he was loaned to the Fort William Canadians. In his final year of junior eligibility in 1966-67, Adams tended goal for the Port Arthur Marrs. Despite playing in the Memorial Cup tournament four years in a row, Adams was never on a Cup winning team.
Adams turned pro in the fall of 1967, signing a contract with the Dayton Gems of the IHL where he remained for two years before taking on the first-string goaltending position with the Oklahoma City Blazers of the CHL. At the age of 26, he finally got his shot at playing in the NHL, and it was with the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, who were going through goaltending woes with the loss of Gerry Cheevers to the WHA. In 14 games with the Bruins, Adams officially posted a 9-3-1 record with a 3.00 goals against average. But the Bruins were in turmoil looking for an adequate replacement for Cheevers. With goalies coming and going, Adams got lost in the shuffle and was overlooked as a potential long-term solution. After a full year in the minors with the San Diego Gulls, Adams had one last chance at the NHL, playing eight games for the Washington Capitals in 1974-75, officially being tagged with seven losses and a 6.90 GAA.
In the late 1970s, Adams moved back to northern Ontario where he became a player/coach with the Thunder Bay Twins.