Jimmy Herbert

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Jimmy Herbert
Born (1897-10-31)October 31, 1897
Cayuga, ON, CAN
Died December 5, 1968(1968-12-05) (aged 71)
Buffalo, NY, USA
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Centre/Right Wing
Shot Right
Played for Boston Bruins
Toronto Maple Leafs
Detroit Cougars
Playing career 1924–1933

James William "Sailor" Herbert[1] (also known as Herberts) (October 31, 1897 - December 5, 1968) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player and referee. Herbert played the centre forward position for six seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Cougars. He was an original member of the Boston Bruins.


Born in Cayuga, Ontario, Herbert was one of five children of John and Annie Herbert (daughter Maria, sons John, Norman, Charlie and Jimmy). Between the 1901 Census and the 1911 Census, the family moved to Collingwood, Ontario.[2] It was in Collingwood where Jimmy played youth hockey. During his professional career, his name was consistently misspelled from his birth name of Herbert to Herberts.[3] After he retired from active play, Herbert became a referee in the Maritime League.[4] He also opened a tourist camp near Collingwood, Ontario.[3] Later in the 1930s, Herbert refereed in the British Ice Hockey Association.[5] In 1945, Herbert was reported as working in the shipyards of Halifax, Nova Scotia.[6] Herbert died in Buffalo, New York after a long battle with cancer in 1968.[7] Herbert's nickname of "Sailor" arose for his work as a deckhand on Great Lakes sailing ships during the off-seasons.[8]

Playing career

Herbert played senior amateur hockey from 1922 with the Hamilton Tigers of the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA), followed by a season with the Eveleth Rangers of the United States Amateur Hockey Association (USAHA). He made his professional debut with the Boston Bruins in 1924–25, scoring 17 goals in 30 games. Herbert played three and a portion of a fourth season with the Bruins before being traded to the Maple Leafs in December 1927. At the end of the 1927–28, he was traded again, to the Cougars where he played a full season and part of the 1929–30 season before being demoted to the minor pro London Panthers of the International Hockey League (IHL). He played two more full seasons in the IHL, before ending his career after nine games in the 1932–33 season.[9]

The trade of Herbert to Toronto was attributed by Conn Smythe as the start of his feud with Art Ross, the Bruins general manager. According to Smythe, "My directors were sitting beside me the first time Herberts was sent out in a Toronto uniform and I almost fainted when he caught one of his big skates on the ice and fell flat on his face. The crowd roared with laughter, the directors moaned and I nearly fainted. When I was able to take another look at Herberts, there was our $17,000 prize beauty lining up with the visiting Chicago Black Hawks."[10] Herbert was traded to Detroit at the end of that season.

In his rookie season of 1924–25, Herbert led the Bruins in both scoring and penalty minutes. His feat would not be matched until 1977–78 when Terry O'Reilly would lead the Bruins in scoring and penalty minutes.[11] Herbert's top season in the NHL was 1925–26, when he scored 26 goals and 5 five assists for 31 points in 36 games.[1]

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1924–25 Boston Bruins NHL 30 17 5 22 50
1925–26 Boston Bruins NHL 36 26 5 31 47  
1926–27 Boston Bruins NHL 34 15 7 22 51 8 3 0 3 8
1927–28 Boston Bruins NHL 18 5 0 5 23
1927–28 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 26 10 4 14 41  
1928–29 Detroit Cougars NHL 40 9 5 14 34 1 0 0 0 2
1929–30 Detroit Cougars NHL 23 1 3 4 4  
1929–30 London Panthers IHL 1 0 0 0 0  
1930–31 Detroit Olympics IHL 44 14 11 25 34  
1931–32 Detroit Olympics IHL 43 5 5 10 34 6 0 0 0 2
1932–33 Syracuse Stars IHL 2 0 0 0 0  
1932–33 Windsor Bulldogs IHL 7 2 0 2 0  
NHL totals 207 83 29 112 250 9 3 0 3 10


  1. 1.0 1.1 Diamond 2000, p. 722.
  2. "1901 and 1911 census records". Retrieved April 17, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Arrest "Sailor" Herbert as Wife Injured". Border Cities Star. May 13, 1935. pp. 3, 12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Jim Kelly is Star;His Goal Gives Abbies 4-4 tie with Halifax". Montreal Gazette. November 24, 1934. p. 18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Degeer, Vern (February 28, 1936). "Sport Gossip". Windsor Daily Star. p. 29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Thomas, Syd (January 10, 1945). "Canadian Snapshots". Calgary Herald. p. 10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "One time star in the NHL, Sailor Herberts Dies at 71". Toronto Star. December 6, 1968. p. 17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Jimmy William Herberts". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 14, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Diamond 2000, pp. 722–723.
  10. King, Bill (January 9, 1945). "Maj. Conn Smythe Ready to Continue Duel with Ross". Lewiston Evening Journal. p. 6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "O'Reilly Praised". The Hour. February 21, 1978. p. 22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey (2nd ed.). Total Sports Publishing. ISBN 1-892129-85-X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links