Inducted in 1975
Played on S Line - Montreal Maroons
Hart Trophy - Montreal Maroons
Not Gordie Howe or Bobby Orr or Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux had a rookie season that could compare to the first NHL year of Nels Stewart. That came in 1925-26 with the Montreal Maroons. Stewart led the league in goals with 34 and points with 42. He was named Hart Trophy winner as most valuable player to his team, and he ended the year helping his team to the Stanley Cup. It couldn't get better than that! In all, he played seven seasons with the Maroons, Montreal's "English" team. He earned the nickname "Ol' Poison" in part because of his deadly shooting around the net and in part for a mean streak that made him doubly dangerous to opponents. After that sensational start, Stewart's next best years were 1929-32 with the Maroons when he played on the S Line with Hooley Smith and Babe Siebert, one of the top-scoring lines in the league. The first year the three were together helped earn Stewart his second Hart Trophy, but a second Cup never came. He later played with Boston and the New York Americans, leading the league in goals in '36-'37 with 23. In all, Stewart reached the 20-goal mark nine times and retired in 1940 with 324 career goals, tops in the league. It was a mark that endured for 12 years until the great Maurice Richard bettered it in 1952, an historic accomplishment at the time. Stewart's other, more trivial claim to fame came the night of January 3, 1931, when he scored two goals just four seconds apart. It was a record that stood 64 years until Deron Quint of Winnipeg tied the mark.