(Born: Linton Muldoon Tracy)
If there is a “Father of Seattle
Hockey”, that man is Pete Muldoon. Born
Linton Muldoon Tracy in 1881, the Ontario native played hockey in the local OHA
in the early part of the century before coming out west to pursue a career as a
boxer. He changed his name to Pete
Muldoon and quickly established a reputation for himself, eventually holding
regional titles in both the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions.
A consummate sportsman, Muldoon took
advantage of his great athletic ability as well as his flair for promotion.
In addition to his success in the ring he was also accomplished at
lacrosse, playing for the Vancouver club in 1911, as well as being an excellent
ice dancer who often astounded crowds with his ability to skate (and play
hockey) while on stilts. He
returned to hockey in 1914 taking over as the coach and manager of the Portland
Rosebuds and leading them to a PCHA championship, making them the first U.S.
based team to play for the Stanley Cup. The
following season he relocated to Seattle to take over the management of the new
league franchise there, the Metropolitans.
It was there that Muldoon had his greatest success as a coach, piloting
the club to a respectable 115-105-4 record over the course of eight seasons. The Mets played for the Stanley Cup three times under his
leadership, becoming the first U.S. team to win the coveted chalice in 1917.
When the Metropolitans folded in the
spring of 1924, Muldoon returned to Portland before moving on to the Chicago
Black Hawks of the NHL in 1926-27. In
Chicago he became part of hockey lore, reportedly placing a curse on the
franchise following his dismissal at the end of the season and promising that
the club would never finish in first place.
While subsequent research has proven the story false, it carried on as a
legend for decades until the Black Hawks finally managed a first place finish
and broke the curse in 1967.
Following his brief stint in Chicago,
Muldoon returned to Seattle and became involved in the efforts to bring hockey
back to the city with the completion of the Civic Arena in 1928.
He put together a group of investors and established the Seattle Ice
Skating and Hockey Association, while at the same time playing an important role
in establishing the new Pacific Coast Hockey League.
The professional circuit began its inaugural season in the fall of 1928,
and the local franchise was dubbed the Eskimos.
As the season began to wind down the following spring, Muldoon made a
trip to Tacoma with co-owner and local boxing promoter Nate Druxman to look for
a location to build a rink there with the intent on establishing a new team.
While there on March 6, 1929 Muldoon was struck down by a fatal heart
attack, leaving the Eskimos without their leader with four games remaining in
the season. The team held it
together long enough to knock off Portland in the first round of the playoffs,
before dropping a best of five series to Vancouver in the league finals.