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1928-29 Cooney Weiland Boston Bruins Championship Sweater Rookie - Photo Match - The W. Godfrey Wood Collection W. Godfrey Wood Letter
Lot #7

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1928-29 Cooney Weiland Boston Bruins Championship Sweater  Rookie - Photo Match - The W. Godfrey Wood Collection  W. Godfrey Wood Letter
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1928-29 Cooney Weiland Boston Bruins Championship Sweater Rookie - Photo Match - The W. Godfrey Wood Collection W. Godfrey Wood Letter
Lot #7

This fresh to the hobby example comes directly from the personal collection of W. Godfrey Wood. A letter of provenance signed by W. Godfrey Wood will accompany your purchase. These exciting items are being offered to the hobby for the first time via the Fall 2019 Auction, exclusively at GAMEWORNAUCTIONS.NET.

NHL Hall of Famer Ralph “Cooney” Weiland willed this rare and spectacular 1928-29 Boston Bruins Championship wool sweater to W. Godfrey Wood upon his death in 1985. Weiland was Wood’s Head Coach at Harvard University in the early 1960’s where the two first became close friends. Godfrey’s athletic bloodlines run deep as he is the son of 1931 Wimbledon Champion Sidney Wood. Godfrey became a legendary Goalie for Harvard University and still holds the collegiate season record with a 1.27 GAA. His save percentage of .945 ranks second in all-time NCAA standings, just .001 behind the all-time mark of .946. Wood was famously the last man cut from the 1964 US Olympic Hockey Team.

In 1971, Godfrey Wood teamed with Howard Baldwin to become the founding partners of the WHA’s New England Whalers. In their first year of existence, the New England Whalers won the Avco Cup Trophy. Godfrey Wood’s name is inscribed on the Cup along with the rest of the first year New England Whalers. Wood later was part of a group that, in 1985, bid for ownership of the Boston Bruins. In 1990, he served as the front man for Boston Red Sox owner John Henry’s unsuccessful Miami expansion bid in the NHL, the bid was awarded to a group represented by Phil Esposito representing Tampa Bay. Godfrey was also the owner of the ECHL’s Nashville Knights for several years in the early 1990’s. In 1993, Godfrey partnered with Tom Ebright, the owner of the Baltimore Skipjacks, and the two agreed to move the Baltimore franchise to Portland, Maine. Wood then served for three seasons as the Portland Pirates GM and CEO and in their first year of existence won the Calder Cup Championship.

Ralph “Cooney” Weiland made the hockey world take notice of his immense talent during his junior days that saw him lead Owen Sound to their first Memorial Cup title in 1924, as he scored 68 of Owen Sound’s 204 goals! Weiland made his NHL debut in 1928-29 with the Boston Bruins. As a rookie, Cooney helped lead his team to the Stanley Cup, which was the first in Boston Bruins franchise history. Weiland centered the famous Dynamite Line with Dit Clapper and Dutch Gainor as his wingers. In his second NHL season, Weiland shattered all previous NHL scoring records with a remarkable 43 goals in 44 games to go along with 73 points, besting the mark of 51 points set previously by Howie Morenz! Art Ross eventually dealt Weiland to Ottawa in 1932 after conflicts arose between the two men. Cooney led the Senators in scoring before the franchise was forced by the Great Depression to sell him to Detroit just a year later. After a couple of seasons with the Red Wings, with their differences seemingly mended, Art Ross reacquired Weiland. Cooney spent his last four NHL seasons with the Bruins and in his last NHL game in 1939; he again led Boston to a Stanley Cup, their second in franchise history.

With his playing days now behind him, Art Ross immediately hired Weiland to take over as the Bruins Head Coach in 1939-40. He would lead Boston to the third Stanley Cup in franchise history in his second and final year behind Boston’s bench and was named NHL Coach of the Year for his efforts in 1940-41. Amidst further disagreements with Ross, Weiland was inexplicably dismissed of his coaching duties following the 1941 Stanley Cup win. As fate would have it, that would be the last Stanley Cup won by Boston until Bobby Orr’s Big Bad Bruins won a title some 30 years later in 1970. The Hershey Bears hired Weiland as their Head Coach after his release from Boston and Cooney led them to a pair of Finals appearances in his four years behind their bench. In 1950, Harvard University hired Weiland to be their Head Coach. It was a title he held until his retirement in 1971. Upon retirement, Weiland was one of only four college coaches with 300 victories to their credit. Cooney had led the Crimson to 7 Ivy League titles and two ECAC Championships. Weiland left the coaching profession on top, as he was apt to do, as Harvard won the 1971 ECAC title in his last game behind the bench. Cooney was honored in 1972 with the Lester Patrick Trophy and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame with the class of 1971.

Turn the clock back 90 years to 1928-29, the Boston Bruins fifth NHL season, and you’ll see a roster led by Hall of Famers such as Eddie Shore, Tiny Thompson, Harry Oliver, Marty Barry, Dit Clapper and of course Cooney Weiland, which was put together by fellow Hall of Famer, GM Art Ross. The Bruins would go on to win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history that spring as they swept the defending Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers in the Finals. Long before the days of Stanley Cup Rings and mini Stanley Cup Trophies, the Bruins were awarded with a beautiful pullover wool sweater in celebration of their historic accomplishment, something we can’t recall being done prior or since! Boston’s Stanley Cup winning team wore these sweaters with pride in the years that followed.

Sewn perfectly into the hem of this sweater is the Horace Partridge manufacturers tag. This stunning wool sweater features an embroidered felt and cotton crest with the Boston Bruins name and bear logo above a gold stitched “World’s Champions – 1928-29” while Boston’s team colors are woven throughout the sweater. Cooney Weiland was presented this sweater following Boston’s Stanley Cup Championship in the spring of 1929, his rookie year. Shown above is a beautiful photo match of Weiland wearing this exact sweater while standing alongside teammates Lionel Hitchman, Dit Clapper and Harry Oliver among others while at Hitchman’s cabin in Canada circa 1930-31. Weiland was in possession of this sweater since the celebratory presentation day in 1929 until his death 56 years later in 1985. At that time, ownership of this prized possession passed to close friend W. Godfrey Wood via Cooney Weiland’s last will and testament. Remaining in absolutely flawless condition, both Weiland and Wood kept this Championship sweater impeccably preserved over the past 90 years. This museum quality item will surely please the most discriminating collector. This exceedingly rare artifact is, to our knowledge, the only Cooney Weiland item from his playing days to ever appear at Major Auction. It is in fact one of a scant few of these Bruins 1928-29 Championship sweaters known to exist in the hobby. Packed with impeccable provenance, we are pleased to bring this rare and important piece of NHL history, Hall of Famer Ralph “Cooney” Weiland’s Stanley Cup Championship rookie sweater, to the hobby directly from the personal collection of W. Godfrey Wood, choice!