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Hall of Famers

Hall of Famer


Inducted in 1975

Member Details

Date of Birth: February 9, 1907
Place of Birth: Newmarket, Ontario
Date of Passing: January 20, 1978
Sport: Ice Hockey
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights


First man to play 20 straight National Hockey League seasons


Stanley Cup - Boston Bruins


Named to three successive First all-star teams


Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame



In a career that lasted two decades, Dit Clapper forged a reputation as a tenacious yet honest competitor. Throughout his pro tenure, he was a respected leader on the ice as a player as well as off the ice as a coach. He played on three Stanley Cup-winning teams, including the Boston Bruins' first ever Stanley Cup victory in 1929, and was named six times to NHL all-star teams (three first and three second). Clapper joined Boston at age 19. He played nine seasons at right wing and eleven more on defense, becoming the first 20-year man in National Hockey League history. In all, Clapper was responsible for 228 goals and 474 regular season points as well as 13 playoff goals. During the 1929-30 season, Clapper scored a career-best 41 goals in 44 games. He was Boston captain from 1932 to 1938 and again from 1939 to 1947 when he retired. It was during the 1937-38 season that Clapper was moved back to defense once he had become a little slower with age, but it was from the blueline that he played some of the best hockey of his career: The partnership of Dit Clapper and Eddie Shore was pivotal to Boston's win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1939 Stanley Cup finals, and it was between 1939 and 1941 that he was named to the NHL First All-Star Team three consecutive times. In the 1945-46 season as a player-coach, he guided the Bruins to another Stanley Cup finals against the eventual champions, the Montreal Canadiens. Clapper retired as a player in 1947 but went on to coach in the NHL and American Hockey League for several seasons. On February 12, 1947, Clapper was honoured and the Bruins retired his number 5 sweater, the same year he was elected to The Hockey Hall of Fame. In fact, the customary waiting period was waived in recognition of his obvious accomplishments as a player.