Hank Goldup Served in the Second World War

Hank Goldup was a rink rat who began hanging around the old Jock Harty Arena in the 1920s. He didn’t own a pair of skates and had to borrow some and beg for ice time. Legend has it that when he turned 16 the arena workers got together to buy him skates. Five years later he was playing in the NHL.

“He was a heck of a playmaker and goal scorer,” says his son Paul. “He was a great skater, had the moves and could put the puck in the back of the net.”

At age 17, he led the league with 29 goals in 16 games with the Kingston Red Indians juniors. In 1935-36, he played with the Doc Myles Dunlop juvenile team that won an Ontario championship.

Moving to Toronto the following year, he won the OHA Junior A scoring title with the Toronto Marlboros. In 1938-39, he reached the Allan Cup final as a member of the Toronto Goodyears.

He turned pro in 1939, playing with Pittsburgh of the American Hockey League. In the 1940 Stanley Cup playoffs, Hank was summoned to Toronto, where he scored five goals in ten games for the Leafs. In 1942, he was part of the Leafs team that won the Stanley Cup against Detroit.

With the Second World War raging, many NHL players joined up or were pressed into service. Hank served in the Canadian Army for a year starting in 1943 and played for the Toronto Army Shamrocks. Paul Goldup says his father’s role was primarily to support recruitment and boost morale among the troops. 

Others were not so lucky. Two NHL players are known to have been killed in the war. Dudley “Red” Garrett, a rookie with the New York Rangers, died when his ship HMCS Shawinigan was torpedoed by a German submarine off Newfoundland in 1944. Windsor native Joe Turner played goal in a single NHL game for Detroit before joining the US Marines. He was killed in action in Holland in January 1945.

After serving in the army, Hank Goldup was traded to the New York Rangers and had his best NHL season in 1944-45, with 17 goals and 42 points.

Unfortunately, two serious injuries brought his career to an end. “He crashed into a goal post and broke his hip,” recalls his son Glenn, who also played in the NHL for Montreal and Los Angeles. The injury occurred back in the day when goal nets were solidly secured in place. In 1947, a freak accident at a baseball game resulted in a career-ending broken leg.

After hanging up his skates, he moved on to work with Molson and other companies. “When his hockey career ended, it didn’t stop him from caring for and raising a family of eight kids,” Glenn Goldup says. “He got up every day to go to work and always made sure we had a roof over our heads and three squares a day.”

Hank Goldup is a member of the Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame. He died in 2008 at the age of 90 in Mississauga.