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Conn Smythe
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    (February 1, 1895-November 18, 1980)
    Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Namesake for the Conn Smythe Trophy given to the Most Valuable Player in the National Hockey League Stanley Cup playoffs
    Birth name is Constantine Falkland Cary Smythe
    Irish Protestant
    Coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs (1927–1931)
    World War I Military Cross recipient (February 1917)
    Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee (1977)
    Sovereign Award for Best Outstanding Breeder (1977, 1978)
    Hockey Hall of Fame inductee (1958)
    Co-authored ‘If You Can’t Beat ’em in the Alley’ (published 1981)
    He hated his birth name.
    His parents had trouble coexisting for more than a few consecutive months.
    He hated high school (it also didn’t help that his father couldn’t afford tuition).
    He was anti-French, opening many a dinner with, ‘Good evening, gentlemen and Frenchmen.'
    He was a stuffed shirt.
    He referred to the new Canadian flag as ‘Pearson’s diaper’ (‘but it’s in the Detroit Red Wings colors’).
    The title of his posthumous autobiography came from his mantra, which ended with, ‘you can’t beat ’em on the ice.’
    Two of his four children died before he did (1965 and 1971).
    He served in both World Wars, organizing a battery of his own in the Second World War.
    He was captain of the men’s Varsity Blues hockey team, notching a berth in the finals of the 1914 Ontario Hockey Association Junior Championships.
    Using his aggregated Army income and proceeds from his homestead plot, he started up a sand and gravel company.
    He purchased the Toronto St. Patricks in 1927, upon which he gave them their legendary name.
    He was not pleased that Muhammad Ali refused to serve in the Vietnam War (‘I’ve been traded for a black Muslim minister and a lot of cash’).
    Learning he had incurable cancer, he used his will to set up a foundation in his name for city-area charities (1978).

Credit: Cool It All Right?

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