Hockey letter Pearl Nelson holds the framed original letter dated August 11, 1949 from hockey legend Art Ross inviting her late husband Glen Nelson, pictured at right, to attend a training camp. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Letter from famous Bruins’ coach Art Ross gave Bentley man shot at NHL

A letter written to a hockey player decades ago was penned by the man whose name lives on today.

It was 1949 when Glen Nelson, a farm kid from Bentley, got the letter of his young hockey-playing life.

At the time, he couldn’t have known the historic significance it would have decades later.

Pearl Nelson, 83, always knew about the time her high school sweetheart had been invited to preliminary training camp by Art Ross. Yes, that Art Ross — the one who donated the coveted trophy that is given each year to the National Hockey League player with the most points.

A Hockey Hall of Famer, he coached his Boston Bruins to a Stanley Cup win over the Maple Leafs in the 1938-39 season.

It was only recently, when Pearl was going through her husband Glen’s papers, that she came across the letter that had been tucked away, inviting the 18-year-old to camp in Sudbury, Ont.

Glen had been scouted by Eddie Wiseman, a hockey scout who had played with the Bruins.

Ross, who was vice-president and general manager of the Boston Bruins at the time, wrote the short letter on Aug. 11, 1949, asking the aspiring right-winger to bring his skates and be there by Sept. 5.

“You will receive transportation and expense money in good time in order that you will reach Sudbury on the 4th.” The letter was signed “Yours very truly, Art Ross”.

Pearl had the letter framed recently after Glen passed away earlier this year at age 84.

The letterhead on the letter reads “Boston Professional Hockey Association” and lists the six original and only teams in the NHL then — the Bruins, Blackhawks, Red Wings, Canadiens, Rangers and Maple Leafs.

As well, there’s a picture on it of a giant growling, ears-back bruin with its front paws on top of an arena.

Glen did go to Sudbury, but never made it to the NHL. He signed and played two years with the Junior A Western Canadian Bellevue Lions, which later became the Crow’s Nest Pass Lions.

He then came back to Central Alberta and played for the Red Deer Monarchs for three years, travelling back and forth to Red Deer from the farm near Bentley. He also played hockey with the local Bentley senior team and with a Bentley-Rimbey team called the Bent Rims, a name that Pearl still chuckles about.

An Oilers and Red Deer Rebels fan, Glen coached minor hockey for years.

Pearl has now given the framed letter to a grandson in Calgary who has a keen interest in hockey.

barr@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Tips to keep crime at bay this Christmas

’Tis the season for joy and celebration, but the Christmas season can… Continue reading

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

Updated: Collision expert backs version of crash of driver accused of manslaughter

Daniel Newsham accused of manslaughter in fatal 2016 collision

Red Deer artist highlights the dinosaur connection of Alberta birds

Jeff Powers is fascinated by winged creatures

Women use scent to lure wolf-dog that ran away from Calgary airport

EDMONTON — A woman from Alberta is thanking an unconventional strategy for… Continue reading

Suspect in Alberta, Saskatchewan bank robberies to get mental assessment

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former Winnipeg broadcaster and journalism instructor accused… Continue reading

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau says his government hopes to make legal changes… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $60 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — There was no winning ticket for the $60 million jackpot… Continue reading

All evacuation orders lifted in deadly California wildfire

PARADISE, Calif. — All evacuation orders have been lifted in Paradise more… Continue reading

All aflutter about our feathered friends

Christmas Bird Count will be held Dec. 23

Baylor ties pervade rape case that sparked uproar

DALLAS — The Texas judge who approved a plea deal allowing a… Continue reading

Champion Red Sox owe nearly $12M in luxury tax

NEW YORK — Boston should be happy to pay this tax bill.… Continue reading

Most Read