great maple

Busher Jackson

Harvey "Busher" Jackson (January 19, 1911 in Toronto, Ontario - June 25, 1966) was a Canadian professional ice hockey left wing and defenceman who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, and New York Americans in the National Hockey League.

Jackson played for the Toronto Marlboros along with future teammate Charlie Conacher, and joined the Leafs in 1929, just a few days after Conacher. He immediately made a splash in his first game, when he sent Montreal Canadiens star Howie Morenz to the ice with a hard check. A dazed Morenz told the young Jackson, "You'll do."

Shortly afterward, Jackson was knocked out of the lineup with an injury. Trainer Tim Daly asked him to carry his teammates' sticks, as was the tradition for rookies at the time. Jackson refused, saying "I'm not here to carry sticks. I'm here to play hockey." Daly called him "a fresh busher"--a term for someone who had just been called up from the minors. The nickname stuck.

Midway through his first season, Maple Leafs co-owner/manager/coach Conn Smythe put Jackson and Conacher on a line with another young forward, Joe Primeau. This created one of the greatest forward lines in NHL history, the Kid Line. They were an important part of the great Maple Leaf team that won two Stanley Cups in 1932, and 1942.

After Jackson's scoring output dropped off in 1939, the Leafs traded him to the New York Americans for Sweeney Schriner. He played there for two years, and played his last three years with the Boston Bruins. Late in his career with Boston, he saw some time on defence due to the decimation of NHL rosters during World War II.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1971, which led directly to Smythe resigning as the Hall's president. There had been a falling-out between them several years earlier, and Smythe believed Jackson did not warrant admission to the Hall due to his character. In 1998, he was ranked number 55 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.

Busher Jackson is interred at Park Lawn Cemetery in Toronto.


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