Fred Thurier

Fred Thurier, who was born in Granby Quebec on January 11, 1916, played with the American Hockey League's Springfield Indians from 1937 through 1942, with brief appearances (30 games total) with the NHL's New York Americans.

Thurier's best season in the Indians came in 1939-40 when he scored 28 goals and 60 points. Thurier led the AHL in goals with 29 in 1940-41 despite playing just 41 games. He also saw his first action in the NHL, scoring 2 goals and 3 points in 3 games. Thurier then split the 1941-42 season between the AHL and NHL, scoring 20 goals and 44 points in just 22 AHL games, and chipping in 7 goals and 14 points in 27 games with the NY Americans.

Thurier then spent most of the next two years serving military time based in Montreal, where he also played with in the local senior league circuit. Thurier did not exactly want to be involved in the war effort, however. On November 13th, 1942, the RCMP arrested Thurier for failing to report to military training.

For the 1944-45 season, the New York Rangers acquired Thurier's playing rights. Thurier was relieved of his military commitments earlier than many NHLers, and his reward was his only full NHL season. He scored 16 goals and 35 points in 50 games. However by the following season the NHL was once again stocked by its returning war heroes, and Thurier lost his NHL job.

Thurier spent the next 7 seasons playing with the AHL's Cleveland Barons before retiring in 1952. The small but slick center enjoyed his finest season in 1950-51 when he scored 32 goals and 95 points in 64 games while adding another 12 in 10 playoff games.

He later served as a long time AHL referee, while also owning a meat packing company in Ohio.

A heartwarming moment happened in 1996. Thurier was inducted into the Springfield Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996. It was his first time back in Springfield since 1942 when he left the city to play with the Buffalo Bisons of the AHL. He looked up a sweetheart of his and was surprised to find her still in the area. Since they were both widowed, they rekindled their romance and were married soon after.

Thurier, who is also a member of the Cleveland Hockey Hall of Fame, scored 25 goals and 52 points in 80 NHL games.

The Springfield Union-News featured an obituary for Fred Thurier. He passed away on November 20, 1999 in Florida. He was 82.


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