BIRTHPLACE: Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
BORN: July 4, 1900
DIED: November 22, 1988
TEAMS/ASSOCIATIONS: Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, Minor and Professional Teams
Sault Ste. Marie’s Vic Desjardins played a key role in the early days of Eveleth hockey when the town was represented in the United States Amateur Hockey Association (USAHA). At that time there was no professional hockey in the United States and the USAHA represented the highest level of the game in the nation.
An early writer said of him: “Desjardins of Eveleth, while one of the very smallest centers (5’9, 160 lbs.) in the game, he is one of the very smartest and is very capable on offense and defense.” Backing up that comment is an excerpt from another writer who wrote: “Eveleth’s winning tally was the result of the alertness of Vic Desjardins. He watched carefully for the rebound on Ching Johnson’s shot and when he placed the puck it went squarely into the net.”
Desjardins’ knack of finding the net served him well and he entered into professional hockey with St. Paul of the American Hockey Association. In 1928 he captured the league scoring title with 20 goals and eight assists. That performance was followed by a second place finish in the 1930 scoring race with 25 goals and 10 assists, also with St. Paul.
Desjardins’ scoring abilities led him to the National Hockey League with the Chicago Blackhawks for the 1931 season. There, he was a teammate of his fellow United States Hockey Hall of Fame enshrinee and Soo native, Taffy Abel, as the Hawks went all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals before losing to the Montreal Canadiens three games to two. Though scoreless in the finals, Des Jardins logged three goals and 12 assists over the regular season. Performing for the New York Rangers the following year he once again was in the Finals against Toronto, this time losing three games to none.
Desjardins closed out his professional hockey career with six more years in the American Hockey Association with Tulsa and Kansas City. The highlight of these later years was a second place finish in the 1934 scoring race with 18 goals and 15 assists with Tulsa.