Throwback Thursday: Max Bentley

By Josh Brink

In this Dec. 3, 1942, file photo, the all-brother line of the Chicago Blackhawks, from left, Reggie Bentley, Max Bentley and Doug Bentley, skate for a photo in Chicago. The NHL has the best names in the business. Nicknames, that is. Little Ball of Hate. The Great One. Tazer. Bicksy. Max Bentley was known as the “Dipsy Doodle Dandy from Delisle” (AP Photo/File)

Max Bentley #4 #5 #18

Chicago Black Hawks Career – (1940-1947)

Games – 235

Goals – 109

Assists – 147

PIM – 32

Hockey Hall of Fame 1966

How is everyone doing so far this week? It is that time of the week where we spotlight a throwback player from the Chicago Blackhawks past. This week’s selection for Throwback Thursday is Chicago Blackhawks Max Bentley. I hope this may bring back some of those special memories of his playing time with the Chicago Blackhawks on this Throwback Thursday!

Born March 1, 1920, Max Bentley was 1 of 13 children in his family growing up on the farm in Delisle, Saskatchewan. There were 7 girls and 6 boys, each who were taught by their speed skating champion father. He would pass his knowledge and skill down to his children as he taught them to be speedsters on the ice. Max Bentley was only 5′ 8″ and 155 pounds so he had to hone in on his skating speed and hockey skills to be a solid player in the NHL. He gave partial credit to his hard wrist shot as a result of his farm chores while growing up like milking the cows.

More from All Time Blackhawks

Originally when Max Bentley went to try out for the Montreal Canadiens he fell ill and upon evaluation was diagnosed with a heart condition by the doctors. He also was told never to play hockey again and returned home to the farm saddened. At a later time he was encouraged by his wife to return to hockey and he joined the Drumheller Miners of the Alberta Senior Hockey League where his 5 other brothers played.

During the 1940-1941 season Max Bentley got another shot at the NHL after the Chicago Blackhawks gave him a training camp invite. The previous year his brother Doug Bentley had gotten an invite and signed with the team. Upon Max’s tryout he also made the team impressing the Chicago Blackhawks with his magnificent skating skills and stellar passing/shooting. While playing in the NHL Max soon was tagged with the nickname of “Dipsy Doodle Dandy from Delisle” because of his maneuverability on the ice and became a pivotal part of one of the greatest lines in hockey history named the “Pony Line.” The “Pony Line” consisted of Max Bentley, Bill Mosienko, and Doug Bentley who all were fast skaters.

By his third season in the NHL during the 1942-1943 season he had found his groove and was a matured player scoring 26 goals and 44 assists for a total of 70 points in only 47 games. He only finished 3 points behind his brother who captured the scoring title during that season. Max did receive recognition for his gentleman like play only recording 2 penalty minutes that season and was awarded the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. The following season the two brothers made history along with their other brother Reg as the Chicago Blackhawks also signed him and they were put together on a line forming the first all-brother line in NHL history.

More from All Time Blackhawks

The following two seasons Max missed time in the NHL due to his service in WWII but once he returned to the Blackhawks he was better than he ever was. During the 1945-1946 season “Dipsy Doodle Dandy from Delisle” recorded 31 goals and 30 assists for a total of 61 points in 47 games and was awarded the NHL’s Hart Trophy as the seasons MVP (first Blackhawks player to ever win the award.) During the 1946-1947 season he continued with excellence when he put up 29 goals and 43 assists which was good for 72, the most points he ever scored in a single season during his entire career.

Unfortunately the “Pony Line” was all that could produce and the team was just not deep enough to compete with the others in the Original 6. Needing to rebuild and acquire depth the Chicago Blackhawks were forced to trade away Max Bentley on November 2, 1947 to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with Cy Thomas in exchange for Gus Bodnar, Bud Poile, Gaye Stewart, Ernie Dickens, and Bob Goldham. He was a great asset to the Toronto Maple Leafs and helped them win the Stanley Cup in 1948, 1949, and 1951. He was later traded to the NY Rangers in 1953 and in 1954 he requested his release from the team so he could join the WHL’s Saskatoon Quakers where his brother Doug had become the coach. Troubled by reoccurring back problems Max announced his retirement from playing hockey in 1955.

Notable accomplishments:

  • Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (1942-1943)
  • Hart Memorial Trophy (1945-1946)
  • First All-Star team (1945-46)
  • Second All Star team (1946-47)
  • Played in NHL All-Star Game (1947-1949, 1951)

Any Max Bentley fans out there on Throwback Thursday? Let me know what your thoughts are or any specific insights you may have in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out the other writer’s articles for more great info and opinions. For more updates and conversation, follow us on Twitter @Blackhawk_Up and friend us on Facebook at Blackhawk Up.