Camille "The Eel" Henry

For 12 seasons and 637 games, the 5'7" and barely 145lb Camille Henry was one of the biggest stars on Broadway.

The stylish Henry, both on and off the ice, endeared him to the fans of New York right away. On the ice he was a slippery and elusive magician, hence the nickname "Camille The Eel." Off the ice he was a favorite with the media and therefore well connected to the fans. Because of his willingness to talk, often in an entertaining fashion, he was labeled as a quote machine by the media.

He was one of the National Hockey League's most accomplished snipers of his era, particularly noted for his uncanny ability to deflect shots past goalies, usually on the power play.

Henry became and instant star with the New York Rangers as a 20 year old in the 1953-54 season. He scored 24 goals and 39 points in 66 games, good enough to earn him the Calder Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year - the same rookie year as Montreal great Jean Beliveau.

Even with the fine rookie season under his belt, the Rangers were still concerned about his size. The team put the puny center from Charlesbourg, Quebec through a weightlifting program in the off-season to bulk him up, but the move backfired as he wasn't able to play effectively at his new weight level. Henry spent most of his sophomore season in the minors.

Henry returned to the Rangers in 1956, becoming a regular for 8 NHL seasons. Twice he finished among the top 5 goal scorers, and in 1958 Lady Byng trophy for his gentlemanly play.

Henry also played with the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues for another 5 seasons, retiring in 1970. He did rejoin the Rangers for a short stint in 1967-68, just in time for the opening of the new Madison Square Garden on February 18, 1968. He considered christening the new building to be one of his favorite memories of his career.

His final career stats included 279 goals and 528 points in 727 games. After retiring from hockey "The Eel" fell upon hard times, enduring a personal tragedy. He had two broken marriages and battled alcoholism, diabetes and epilepsy as a poverty stricken loner. He died at the age of 64.


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