Thanks to George Kuhn of Vintage Hockey Jerseys who called this bit of hockey history to our attention.
It was on November 13 1934 that the first penalty shot was scored. And, it was scored by Scotty Bowman.
No not that Scotty Bowman.
Here’s the story.
According to hockey historians, the penalty shot was invented in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association in the 1921–22 PCHA season. League president Frank Patrick was fed up with deliberate fouls on players with good scoring opportunities and introduced the free shot. The first shot taken was on December 6, 1921, and the first goal was scored on December 12, 1921 by Tom Dunderdale on Hugh Lehman. The shot was taken from one of three dots painted on the ice 35 feet (11 m) from the goal. Players had to skate to the dot and shoot the puck from the dot.
The penalty shot was added to the rule books of the National Hockey League for the 1934–35 season, allowing them to be awarded when a player was fouled while in “a good scoring position.” In the first season, the puck was placed in a 10-foot (3.0 m) circle, 38 feet (12 m) from the goalmouth. The player could shoot while stationary within the circle, or could shoot while moving, as long as the shot was taken within the circle. The goaltender had to be stationary until the puck was shot, and no more than 1 foot (0.30 m) in front of the goal mouth.
Then On November 13, “Scotty” Bowman of the St. Louis Eagles scored scored the first penalty shot goal in league play. It was the first goal of his career.
No, it wasn’t Stanley Cup winning coach William Scott Bowman. The Scotty Bowman we know of was born on September 18, 1933 (he was one year old at the time). Instead this was Ralph “Scotty” Bowman who played seven seasons in the NHL with the St. Louis Eagles, Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings, winning the Stanley Cup twice with Detroit in 1936 and 1937.
Ironically, Ralph Scotty Bowman’s famous goal was scored as a member of the St. Louis Eagles. Following a move from Ottawa (the original Senators), the Eagles lasted only one season in St. Louis before being disbanded, a casualty of the Great Depression . Players, including Scotty Bowman would be distributed to the surviving clubs.
Some three decades later, William “Scotty” Bowman would get his first N.H.L. coaching job with the St. Louis Blues.