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

Former Red Deer teacher gets six-year prison sentence for child sexual exploitation

Norman Joseph Howes pleads guilty to three charges against 11-year-old

Central Alberta ranchers reeling from China’s beef ban

Disappointed beef is caught up in latest trade dispute

Red Deer Public School District doesn’t expect funding ‘doom and gloom’

Red Deer Public School administrators aren’t panicking over possible education budget cuts… Continue reading

Busts lead to four arrests, $130,000 of drugs and cash seized

Community is safer without drugs and guns on the street: Police inspector

Goalie Roberto Luongo retires after 19 NHL seasons

SUNRISE, Fla. — Florida goalie Roberto Luongo has decided to retire after… Continue reading

Europe, you’re up! Yankees top Blue Jays 8-7, head to London

Yankees 8 Blues Jays 7 NEW YORK — Buckingham Palace and Westminster… Continue reading

Sylvan Lake spending $2 million to upgrade busy intersection

The intersection at Erickson Drive and Hwy 20 will see improvements this construction season

Longtime volunteer recognized at Mayor’s Garden Party

Sue Barthel was the honorary senior recognized at the annual Mayor’s Garden… Continue reading

Maskwacis youth found dead on reserve

The remains of 16 year old Houston Omeasoo found

Duncan announces $30 million to promote safety and inclusiveness in sport

TORONTO — The federal government is investing $30 million over five years… Continue reading

Raptors president Ujiri addresses rare off-court issues during NBA title run

TORONTO — Even a championship can come with hiccups. Toronto Raptors president… Continue reading

Mouse that roared: Disney characters win local union shakeup

ORLANDO, Fla. — The mouse that roared was heard. Months after workers… Continue reading

Most Read