Edouard Cyril "Newsy" Lalonde
Appeared in the Seaway News December 2013.
I have been a hockey fan for all of my 23 years. On the tenth of December, I finally made my first visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Standing in the same room as Lord Stanley’s Cup and being surrounded by so much history, I was speechless.
As I walked full of excitement, with a giant smile, reading about hockey players my father and I often talk about, I didn't expect what was going to happen next.
I hadn’t seen him right away, since he situated above my head, but once I noticed him, my eyes filled with tears. No words could describe how proud I felt. There in front of me, on a lit up plaque, glowed the name of Cornwall’s very own NHL star, Newsy Lalonde.
Edouard Cyril “Newsy” Lalonde was born in Cornwall on Halloween in 1887. He was one of nine children. His father Pierre, a cobbler, owned his own shop at 345 Pitt Street.
Newsy started his sports career at the age of 16, playing both hockey and lacrosse. From the beginning, Newsy was a standout player. At 18 years old, he played for teams in both Ontario and Manitoba.
In Manitoba, Newsy played a few games for a team in Portage La Prairie. That same year, (1906) he moved to Woodstock, Ontario, where he played a full season. It was while working for a Woodstock newspaper that he was given his nickname “Newsy”. (He did work for the Standard Freeholder as a linotype machine operator, but despite common belief, his nickname did not originate in Cornwall, or before his NHL career.)
In 1909, Newsy joined the newly formed Montreal Canadiens. On January 5th, 1910, Newsy would play in the Montreal Canadiens first game. In front of more than 3,000 fans at the Jubilee Rink in the city’s East End, Newsy Lalonde scored the first goal in Montreal Canadiens history. Montreal won 7-6 in overtime over the Cobalt Silver Kings.
Not only was Newsy talented on the ice, but he was also very talented with a lacrosse stick. So talented that in 1950 he was named Canada’s most outstanding lacrosse player of the half century. That same year he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
During his career with the Canadiens, Newsy was the leading scorer on six occasions. He captained the team from 1915 to 1921, and was a member of the first Montreal Canadiens team to win the Stanley Cup in 1916. He was scoring champion five times in the National Hockey Association, Pacific Coast Hockey Association and National Hockey League, an unprecedented feat in the major professional ranks and unsurpassed, until Gordie Howe's sixth scoring title in 1963. He also held the record for the most goals scored by a professional hockey player from 1910 until 1954. It was his record of 453 goals that Maurice "The Rocket" Richard passed.
Cornwall’s first NHL Star, Edouard “Newsy” Lalonde passed away at the age of 83 on November 21, 1970. He is buried in St. Columban’s Cemetery, here in Cornwall.
The legacy of Newsy Lalonde still lives on today. In September 2007, his C55 1910-11 Imperial Tobacco hockey card, graded 3 out of 10, sold for $100,000 tying the record for the most money paid for a hockey card. A few months earlier, in April 2007, the record was set by a C56 1911-12 Georges Vezina rookie card which was graded in mint condition.