Wednesday

Ott Heller

This is Ott Heller. For 15 seasons he patrolled the blueline for the New York Rangers, winning the Stanley Cup in 1933 and in 1940, the only player to play on both championship teams.

Though the red-haired Heller was said to be a very personable character off the ice, on the ice he was a quiet, steady defenseman who excelled at keeping opposition forwards outside of the slot and towards the perimeter. He was said to have incredible upper body strength, allowing him to quickly pin his opponent and by doing so avoiding many penalties. He was tough too, often training with local boxers at a local gym.

Heller was a great skater, and not afraid to join or even lead the rush from time to time. His most famous goal came in a playoff game against Montreal very early in his career. He dashed from one end of the rink to the other to score the game's only goal.

In those 15 years Heller played with many of the Rangers' greats on defense. He started out partnering with Ching Johnson. In the 1933 championship season he teamed with Babe Siebert. Over the next several years he partnered with the likes of Doug Brennan, Art Coulter, Joe Cooper, Babe Pratt and Muzz Patrick.

Heller, who captained the Rangers in his final three seasons, played in 646 career games, once a team record. He scored 55 goals and 231 points in an era when defensemen really were there for defense only. He added 6 goals and 14 points in 61 Stanley Cup playoff games.

Though Heller was demoted to the minor leagues after 15 NHL seasons, he continued on, playing an amazing 11 more seasons in the minor pros. He just loved the game.

"Ott was a hockey player, simple as that," recalled Emile Francis, in the book 100 Rangers Greats. "He was as tough as nails, and not an ounce of fat on him. What an athlete. It seemed like the guy played forever, and at such a high level. He was amazing."

2 comments:

Anonymous,  12:08 PM  

Thanks alot this was my great uncle! family has both cup jerseys!

robin heller 6:27 PM  

ott was also my great uncle who has the jerseys; my grandfather was clarence heller; otts brother and we have clarences memorial cup medallion would like more info on family history

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