Andy Aitkenhead

Andy Aitkenhead certainly isn't as famous as the man who replaced him - all time great Davey Kerr.

Aitkenhead was the Rangers goalie from 1932 through 1934. The Glasgow, Scotland born Aitkenhead, who had grown up in Saskatchewan, had two incredible seasons to begin his NHL career. In year one, his play was described as brilliant, leading the Rangers to the Stanley Cup with 2 shutouts and a 1.60 GAA in 8 playoff games. The next season he had 7 regular season shutouts (including two 0-0 games in Dec 1933) and posted a tiny 2.27 GAA but the Rangers faltered in the playoffs.

You'd think after two solid seasons like that, Aitkenhead would be set for a lengthy career. However, like many early goalies, Aitkenhead's nerves became shot.

Dave Kerr remembered hearing stories of his predecessor's troubles.

"When I joined the Rangers I replaced Andy Aitkenhead. They tell me he got so he'd lock himself in his room after a game and play the game over and over. By the time the next game rolled around, he'd played 48 games in that room."

Such neurotic behavior must have worried the Rangers brain trust enough to look for a replacement goalie, and they obviously found one in Kerr. The man dubbed as "The Glasgow Gobbler" appeared in just 10 games in 1934-35 season and finished the year in the minors, never to play in the NHL again.

Whether the stories of Aitkenhead's obsessions are myth or fact, Andy continued to play hockey for several more seasons. He returned to the team that he was with before joining New York - the Portland Buckaroos of the PCHL.


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