Shorty Green had a big career with the Hamilton Tigers before returning
to Hamilton to coach black and yellow. Here he is depicted
as the team’s new coach in 1932. Photo courtesy of the Hamilton
Shorty Green- a big part of Hamilton’s
Green played with city’s Allan Cup
winners in 1919 and short-lived NHL club
Although he was five-foot ten-inches, he was known as “Shorty.” But
this Sudbury native could, and did play anywhere on the ice. He
tackled every obstacle in his way on the rinks, and made his mark
in the early years of hockey in this country.
Born in 1898, Wilfred Green was playing intermediate hockey at
16 in the old Temiskaming league for the Gordon Cup, and then skated
with the Sudbury All-Stars between 1914 and 1916. He then played
in OHA Senior A competition with the 227th Battalion, going to
the Allan Cup finals but losing to the Toronto Dentals team in
Green then served overseas in World War I, suffered from
a gas attack, and was back in Canada in December of 1918.
Green then came to Hamilton to play with the Tigers, and was a
vital part of the team’s Allan Cup victory in 1919. In eight
games, he scored 12 goals, and during the two-game final for the
Allan Cup, he scored three times.
He returned to his native Sudbury to play with the Wolves for
the next several years, and continued to amaze the hockey world
with his expertise. During the 1922-23 season, he scored 23 goals
in six games.
Green returned to Hamilton for the 1923-24 season to play once
again with the Tigers, who were now a professional club and part
of the NHL. He played 22 games in his first year, and for the 1924-25
season, he celebrated 18 goals in 28 games.
But the celebration was short-lived in Hamilton, as Green and
the others held out for more money going into the playoffs. Team
owners would not provide the extra funding, so Green and his team
decided they were not going to play. The team owners and the NHL
took a dim view of this matter, fined the players, and essentially
moved the franchise to New York City where it became the NY Americans.
Green moved south to the Big Apple for several seasons with the
Americans, and has the honor of scoring the first goal in the then-new
Madison Square Gardens.
By 1928 he was playing with the Duluth Hornets of the AHA, his
NHL career over. In 103 professional games with the NHL, he scored
33 goals. He suffered some serious kidney issues and had to leave
the game as a player.
He coached the Duluth squad in the early 1930s, and then came
to Hamilton once more to coach for the Tigers in their bid for
the 1933 Allan Cup.
Hamilton did not win the Cup, and Green returned to his hometown
to open a haberdashery business. He was also heavily involved with
the Sudbury Golf Club, which he operated for many years.
Although known for his hockey, Green was also a baseball player
and coach of note with several northern Ontario teams in the 1920s.
Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962, two years after
his death, Green’s legacy in Hamilton includes more than
his hockey. The public water fountains that once were throughout
the city’s core were short and green, and for many decades
were referred to as “Shorty Greens.”