Jim Thomson Was Another Rebel With A Cause


Previously I wrote about Ted Lindsay and how the Detroit Red Wings traded him to the lowly Chicago Black Hawks because he was of the movers and shakers involved in creating the first players’ association.

Here’s another of the ringleaders, Jim Thomson, who absolutely infuriated Toronto Maple Leafs’ owner Conn Smythe by his union actions and therefore, Thomson, who had played 12 seasons in Toronto, was also banished to the basement dwelling Chicago Black Hawks.

This photo is another I had clipped from the Toronto Star’s “Star Weekly” from back then, and it’s obvious that although Smythe said and did what he wanted in the NHL, he had no control over what the Toronto papers printed. Because if he did, I’m sure there’d be no way he’d allow such a traitor to have his coloured photo printed for all to see.

Or, could it be possible Smythe was happy that people saw Thomson in a Hawks uniform? That way, he could get his message across more firmly that if you messed with league management, this is what happens to you.

5 thoughts on “Jim Thomson Was Another Rebel With A Cause”

  1. Hey Dennis, It is really sad to read about all the conflicts that occured during the years that the nhlpa was trying to get organised.These guys fought a very hard battle,which took a great time,only to have one of their faithfull to be put out to farm.I hate to think just what will happen in the future,if the league doesnt get rid of this bettman idiot.

  2. Derry, I don’t know if anything will ever change, Bettman or anyone else. It’s always been the prez and owners in bed trying to make as much money as possible. And without Lindsay and Thomson and Harvey and these guys, the owners would still be trying to be cheap bastards in paying their players.

  3. I believe that the ultimate ignominy and insult was that Conn Smythe traded Jim Thomson for a race horse., such was his disdain for the union and the players that were organizing it.

  4. James, absolutely an ultimate insult. But then again, Smythe probably liked and respected horses more than his own players. He hated Busher Jackson. And Stafford might have been even more miserable than the the old man.

  5. I worked for Jim Thompson for years and we talked about various things and at the office we had a news paper clipping with a wright up about the trade. I think at that time he found it humorous

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