The Montreal Canadiens can thank Cornwall for their first star

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By Sara Lauzon
Special correspondent

Pictured (L-R) is Cornwall Mayor Bob Kilger, Henri Richard and Rejean Houle during the ceremony to rename the Cornwall Civic Complex roadway in honour of Edouard “Newsy” Lalonde.

CORNWALL, Ontario - I have been a hockey fan for all of my 23 years, and on Dec. 10, I finally made my first visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Standing in the same room as Lord Stanley’s Cup, surrounded by so much history, glass monuments showcasing the Hall of Fame inductees who appeared to be staring back at me, I was speechless.

As I walked around all smiles and full of excitement, reading about hockey players my father loved, I didn't expect what was going to happen next.

I hadn’t seen him right away, as he was situated above my head, but once I noticed him, my eyes filled with tears, no words could describe how proud I felt. There in front of me, on a lit up plaque, glowed the name of Cornwall’s very own NHL star, for staring back at me with a handsome smirk, was none other than Newsy Lalonde.

Edouard Cyril “Newsy” Lalonde was born in Cornwall, on Halloween in 1887. He was one of nine children, his father Pierre, a cobbler, owned his own shop at 345 Pitt Street.

Newsy started his sports career at the age of 16, playing both hockey and lacrosse. From the beginning, Newsy was a standout player. At 18, he played for teams in both Ontario and Manitoba.

In Manitoba, Newsy played a few games for a team in Portage La Prairie. That same year, (1906) he moved to Woodstock, Ont. where he played a full season. It was while working for a Woodstock newspaper that he was given his nickname “Newsy." He did work for the Standard-Freeholder as a linotype machine operator, but despite common belief, his nickname did not originate in Cornwall or before his NHL career.

In 1909, Newsy joined the newly-formed Montreal Canadiens. On Jan. 5, 1910, Newsy would play in the Montreal Canadiens first game. In front of more than 3,000 fans at the Jubilee Rink in the city’s east end, Newsy scored the first goal in Montreal Canadiens history. Montreal won 7-6 in overtime over the Cobalt Silver Kings.

Not only was Newsy talented on the ice, but he could also wield a lacrosse stick. In 1950 he was named Canada’s most outstanding lacrosse player of the half century. That same year he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

During his career with the Canadiens, Newsy was the leading scorer on six occasions. He captained the team from 1915 to 1921, and was a member of the first Montreal Canadiens team to win the Stanley Cup in 1916. He was scoring champion five times in the National Hockey Association, Pacific Coast Hockey Association and National Hockey League, an unprecedented feat in the major professional ranks and unsurpassed, until Gordie Howe's sixth scoring title in 1963. He also held the record for the most goals scored by a professional hockey player from 1910 until 1954. It was his record of 453 goals that Maurice "The Rocket" Richard passed.

Cornwall’s first NHL Star, Edouard “Newsy” Lalonde passed away at the age of 83 on November 21, 1970. He is buried in St. Columban’s Cemetery, here in Cornwall.

The legacy of Newsy Lalonde still lives on today. In September 2007, his C55 1910-11 Imperial Tobacco hockey card, graded 3 out of 10, sold for $100,000 tying the record for the most money paid for a hockey card.

Organizations: Montreal Canadiens, National Hockey League, Hockey Hall of Fame Standard-Freeholder Cobalt Silver Kings Hockey Hall of Fame.During National Hockey Association Pacific Coast Hockey Association Imperial Tobacco

Geographic location: Cornwall, Ontario, Toronto Manitoba Woodstock Portage La Prairie Montreal Canada

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Recent comments

  • Patricia A Felsher
    January 12, 2014 - 19:59

    Newsy was my great, great Uncle. My Mom and Uncle still remember Newsy when visiting him at his home. Both say he was a terrific guy and a sweet Uncle.

  • Mom
    January 11, 2014 - 21:52

    This is an article about Uncle Newsy.

  • Richard Quintal
    January 11, 2014 - 14:54

    thank you so much for this article on my grandfather. The only error is his middle name was spelled the French way, Cyrille. As for his nickname, he claimed is was from Cornwall originally, and became a fixture while in Woodstock. He would relate these stories to me when I was a young child, sitting at his knees. many happy memories.

  • Richard Quintal
    January 11, 2014 - 14:53

    thank you so much for this article on my grandfather. The only error is his middle name was spelled the French way, Cyrille. As for his nickname, he claimed is was from Cornwall originally, and became a fixture while in Woodstock. He would relate these stories to me when I was a young child, sitting at his knees. many happy memories.