Colville, Neil – 1980

Colville, Neil – 1980

Neil Colville

Hockey Athlete, Edmonton

Inducted in 1980

Neil Colville's hockey career began as a player in Edmonton and ended as the coach of the New York Rangers. He played for six years with the New York Rangers during which time they won the coveted Stanley Cup in 1939/40. He led the Ottawa Commandos to an Allan Cup victory in 1942/43. He returned to the New York Rangers for four years before becoming their coach in 1950. He was Captain of the New York Rangers for six years. Neil Colville was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1967.

Neil Colville

1980 Hockey Athlete, Edmonton

Since Induction

Neil was named to the NHL Hall of Fame selection committee in 1975.  He retired from that duty when he lost a leg to cancer in 1984.  In his later years, he lived in British Columbia.  The Neil Colville Trophy is presented to the leading scorer in the Pacific International Junior Hockey League.  In 2009, in the book 100 Ranger Greats (John Wiley & Sons), Neil Colville was ranked No. 22. on the list.


In the 1950s, Colville was one of the primary founding investors in what would become Northern Television Systems, WHTV, in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Colville eventually moved from Vancouver, B.C. to Whitehorse in order to run the small four-channel station alongside Bert Wybrew. He slept in a bunk in the studio and learned to do everything from fixing the equipment to hosting the news casts. Filling the air time without the benefit of extensive broadcasting infrastructure was at times difficult, and the station would run footage of downtown's Main Street or do live broadcasts of a goldfish bowl to fill the hours. (Cablecaster Magazine, Nov. 2002.

Did You Know - Facts: - (From

  • Hockey Hall of Fame - Inducted 1967.

  • Played 12 NHL seasons, from 1935 to 1949.

  • He left the NHL from 1942 -1945 for military duty with the Canadian Armed Forces, stationed in Ottawa. He did not serve on the battlefields - he served as a player and the captain of the Ottawa Commandos team that won the 1943 Allan Cup.

  • He returned to the NHL, and became a defenseman instead of his previous position of forward.

  • He became the first player to be named to All-Star teams both as a forward and defenceman.  He retired in 1949 with 99 goals, 166 assists in 464 games.

  • At 36, he became the head coach of the Rangers from 1950-51.  He was the league's youngest bench boss, but he held the position for just a year and a half. Ulcers had forced him to adopt a strictly milk diet and he had half his stomach removed.

Born: August 4, 1914 – in Edmonton

Passed away: December 26, 1987 at Richmond, BC.