Esso Hockey since 1936Legends Of Hockey
Esso Hockey since 1936
Norris, Bruce

Norris, Bruce

The youngest member of one of hockey's best known families, Bruce A. Norris ran the Detroit Red Wings for 27 years. After the death of James Norris Sr. in 1952, he was Detroit's vice-president and representative on the NHL Board of Governors. He succeeded his sister Marguerite Norris-Riker in 1955 as club president.

Born in Chicago, Norris attended Yale University and played defence on the varsity team. After graduation he became heavily involved in the Norris Grain Company and an avid cattle rancher based in rural Illinois.

While running the Red Wings, Norris saw the team reach the finals five times but did not win the Cup. The team continued to be one of the top draws in the NHL with Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio, and Bill Gadsby. Norris helped engineer one of the biggest trades in league history which saw Toronto Maple Leafs' superstar Frank Mahovlich end up in a Red Wings uniform.

Norris carried out an $25,500,000 refurbishment of the Olympia that made it one of the most modern facilities of its time. After the renovation, it was the only NHL arena in which every seat was padded and upholstered. On June 22, 1982, Norris sold the Red Wings to Mike Ilitch thus ending nearly half a century of his family's ownership.

Norris was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1969.

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