Monday, February 11, 2013
Absurd Goalie Monday: Flat Walsh
Back in the day, many players and goalies would go through many systems in order to get to the NHL or at least establish an amateur career, as well. This week, we talk about a couple programs that were used before this week's AGM actually got to the NHL. This week, the profile of James "Flat" Walsh.
Walsh's first step on his trek was playing for the Kingston Collegiate Institute in the 1914-15 in the OHA junior system, with a 3-1-0 record in four games played. Walsh went into the Kingston Frontnacs' system in the 1915-16 season, splitting time with the junior team and the senior team. From the 1916-17 until the 1918-19 season, Walsh played in the Kingston Athletic Club between the junior and intermediate systems, going 3-0-0 in the junior system in the 1916-17 season and 3-1 in the playoffs; while with the intermediate team in the 1918-19 season-- Walsh went 3-1-0, then 4-4 in the playoffs.
Starting in the 1919-20 season, Walsh moved onto the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, who played in the NOHA and NMHL for each season. Combined in the 1919-20 season, Walsh compiled a 10-6-3 record in 19 games; then in the 1920-21 season, Walsh finished with a 20-4-1 record in the 25 games he played. In the last duel season, Walsh played in 20 games with a 18-2-0 record to show. Walsh played only with the NOHA side of the Greyhounds in the 1922-23 season, playing in 8 games and finished with as 4-4-0 record, then went 4-1 during the Allan Cup qualifications. Walsh played seven games in the 1923-24 season, posting a 6-1-0 record, then 5-2 in seven playoff games. While Walsh was rostered in the 1924-25 season, he didn't have record, but moved to the CHL with the Greyhounds and played 32 games, with a single shutout and 3.13 GAA.
The 1926-27 season was a rough one to start as Walsh signed with the AHA's Detroit Greyhounds, playing in six games-- all of which were losses. Then the team folded mid-season, leaving Walsh without a gig.
That didn't last too long as the Montreal Maroons signed Walsh as a free agents, where he was used as an emergency goalie, playing a single game in both the 1926-27 and 1927-28 season, having a loss to show in those two games that he appeared in.
During the 1928-29 season, Walsh was loaned out to the New York Americans during the dispute between the Americans, the NHL, and goalie Roy Worters' contract. With the Americans, Walsh played in four games with a 2-0-2 record, but would transfer back to the Maroons mid-season, playing in seven games with a 1-4-2 record
In the 1929-30 season, Walsh was back in Montreal and got the chance to shine when starting goalie Clint Benedict broke his nose and was forced to retire. Walsh stepped in to the starting role and played in 30 games and finished with a 16-10-4 record, then went 1-3 in the playoffs. The Maroons thought that Walsh couldn't handle the duties along, so Walsh split time with Dave Kerr-- Walsh played 16 games with a 7-7-2 record, then played in 27 games for the 1931-32 season, posting a 14-10-3 record and then 1-1-2 playoff record. Also during the 1931-32 season, Walsh played in the Can-Am league for the New Haven Eagles, going 7-9-2 in 18 games.
For the 1932-33 season, Walsh played in three games with the Can-Am League's Quebec Castors (2-1-0), then 22 games with the Maroons, finishing with an 8-11-3 record. However, Walsh came down with influenza, which it took two weeks for him to overcome. The fan-favorite goalie was forced to retire because of it.
After he got better, Walsh went onto coaching for the Maroons until they folded up. Walsh would pass away December 2, 1959.
It took Walsh a while and several programs to get things going for him, but as he moved forward he seemed to progress well. It included a team folding up for him to achieve his NHL dream and when he was there, it seemed that confidence wasn't there for him either. Walsh did leave a lot of fans for his friendly nature, which could be considered a little more valuable, especially in his quick retirement.