Esso Hockey since 1936
Legends Of Hockey
Esso Hockey since 1936
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Biography

Between 1940 and 1952, Nels Stewart was the NHL's all-time goal-scoring leader. One of the most lethal offensive players of his day, he earned the nickname "Old Poison" because of his deadly accurate shot. Stewart also had a dark side, and he was more than willing to use his stick or mix it up with members of the opposition whenever the mood struck him.

After excelling in hockey with the Parkdale Canoe Club in Toronto in 1919-20, Stewart embarked on a successful five-year tenure with the Cleveland Indians of the USAHA. He led the league in goals scored in four of those seasons before he and Babe Siebert were signed by the Montreal Maroons in 1925.

The fiery center burst onto the NHL scene in 1925-26, scoring a league-high 34 goals in his first season. He also won the regular-season scoring title with 42 points and was awarded the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player. Stewart's infusion of skill and production helped the Maroons win the Stanley Cup in their sophomore NHL season.

In 1929-30, Stewart was teamed with Siebert and Hooley Smith to form the dreaded S Line. This formidable trio fused talent and physical play at a level rarely seen in NHL history. Stewart responded to this new assignment with a personal-best 39 goals in only 44 games. He was presented with his second Hart Trophy and his reputation as one of the most effective pivots in league history was solidified.

On January 3, 1931, Stewart set an NHL record by scoring two goals in four seconds against the Boston Bruins. This feat was unmatched until December 1995, when Deron Quint of the Winnipeg Jets produced two quick goals. The S Line was broken up when Stewart was traded to Boston prior to the 1932-33 season. In 1934 Stewart was selected to be one of the NHL All-Stars who faced off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the historic Ace Bailey Benefit Game.

Stewart reached the 20-goal mark twice in Beantown before a trade sent him to the New York Americans in 1936-37. The trip to the Big Apple agreed with Old Poison, as he scored 20 goals in his last 32 games of the season and won the regular-season goal-scoring title for the first time since his rookie year in the NHL.

Stewart retired in 1940 with an NHL record 324 goals to his credit and his total stood as the league standard until Maurice Richard eclipsed it on November 8, 1952. The hard-driven star took his rightful place in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962.

Career Statistics
REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1917/19 Toronto Beaches OHA-Jr.
1919-20 Parkdale Canoe Club OHA-Sr. 8 18 2 20 1 1 0 1
1920-21 Cleveland Indians USAHA 10 23 0 23 8 6 0 6
1921-22 Cleveland Indians USAHA 12 13 0 13
1922-23 Cleveland Indians USAHA 20 22 0 22
1923-24 Cleveland Indians USAHA 20 21 8 29 8 5 2 7
1924-25 Cleveland Blues USAHA 40 21 0 21 8 6 3 9 24
1925-26 Montreal Maroons NHL 36 34 8 42 119 4 0 2 2 10
1925-26 Montreal Maroons St-Cup 4 6 1 7 16
1926-27 Montreal Maroons NHL 43 17 4 21 133 2 0 0 0 4
1927-28 Montreal Maroons NHL 41 27 7 34 104 9 2 2 4 13
1928-29 Montreal Maroons NHL 44 21 8 29 74
1929-30 Montreal Maroons NHL 44 39 16 55 81 4 1 1 2 2
1930-31 Montreal Maroons NHL 42 25 14 39 75 2 1 0 1 6
1931-32 Montreal Maroons NHL 38 22 11 33 61 4 0 1 1 2
1932-33 Boston Bruins NHL 47 18 18 36 62 5 2 0 2 4
1933-34 Boston Bruins NHL 48 22 17 39 68
1934-35 Boston Bruins NHL 47 21 18 39 45 4 0 1 1 0
1935-36 New York Americans NHL 48 14 15 29 16 5 1 2 3 4
1936-37 Boston Bruins NHL 11 3 2 5 6
1936-37 New York Americans NHL 32 20 10 30 31
1937-38 New York Americans NHL 48 19 17 36 29 6 2 3 5 2
1938-39 New York Americans NHL 46 16 19 35 43 2 0 0 0 0
1939-40 New York Americans NHL 35 6 7 13 6 3 0 0 0 0
NHL Totals 650 324 191 515 953 50 9 12 21 47
Esso hockey medals of achievement