BIRTHPLACE: White Bear Lake, Minnesota
BORN: January 1, 1907
DIED: July 21, 1984
TEAMS/ASSOCIATIONS: Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leaf's, New York Americans
After starring at White Bear Lake High School, Doc Romnes went on to play his college hockey at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Then, in 1927, after three years with the local St. Paul Saints, he broke into the National Hockey League at a time when there were but two American born players in the league. Fortunately for him, the Chicago Blackhawks team which he joined got off to a bad start and Romnes got a chance at center and played regularly thereafter.
Romnes played in the Stanley Cup finals on four different occasions: 1931, 1934, 1938, all with Chicago, and 1939 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was a winner in 1934 with fellow enshrinee Taffy Abel and in 1938 with enshrinees Cully Dahlstrom and Mike Karakas. The saga of the 1938 team stands out particularly in Romnes' career because of his uncharacteristically violent encounter with Toronto defensemen Red Hoerner, who broke his nose in five places. Ironically both were teammates in Toronto the following year when Romnes scored the winning goal in the Leafs only victory over the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals.
Such a gentleman was Romnes, that in all of his regular-season and playoff career games, he drew just 46 penalty minutes in 403 games. Because of that in 1936, he won the Lady Byng Trophy, scoring 13 goals and 25 assists along with tallying just six penalty minutes in the full 48 game schedule. (The Lady Byng Trophy is awarded to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability).
After the 1940 season Romnes retired and coached Michigan Tech until 1945. He led the Kansas City Pla Mors to the United States Hockey League Championship and Playoff Title in 1946 and then coached the University of Minnesota varsity from 1947 until 1952. He should be regarded as one of Minnesota's best-ever both on the ice and off.