Dick Irvin (Sr.) (July 19, 1892 - May, 1957) was a Canadian ice hockey player and coach in the National Hockey League.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, he was one of the greatest players of his day, balancing a torrid slapshot and tough style, with gentlemanly play. He started out by playing for the Portland Rosebuds of the PCHA and was the 4th leading scoring rookie tallying 35 goals. Following a brief stint in the Canadian Army, he turned pro and played for the Regina Capitals of the WCHL until 1926 when he entered the NHL. He was signed by the newly formed Chicago Black Hawks and made inaugural captain, and did not disappoint as he had an impressive campaign, finishing second in the league in scoring. His second season turned to tragedy as he fractured his skull, which ultimately led to retirement a year later.
What Irvin lost as a player from his abbreviated playing career in the NHL, he more than made up for it as a coach. In his first season coaching, the team he retired from - the Chicago Blackhawks, he led them to 24 wins 15 losses and 9 ties. Upon seeing his success as a coach, Toronto Maple Leafs owner, Conn Smythe convinced Irvin to coach the Leafs. In his first season coaching the Leafs, he achieved immediate success by delivering a Stanley Cup Championship in his first year. However this success was short lived as Irvin was unable to deliver another Stanley Cup for the Leafs during his time as coach despite taking them to the Stanley cup final six more times.
Irvin finally found his greatest success after joining the Montreal Canadiens in 1941, leading them to 3 Stanley Cups in 6 finals. Helped with star players Elmer Lach, Doug Harvey, goalie Bill Durnan, and a young Maurice Richard, the Canadiens were just beginning to blossom as an NHL dynasty. However, it would be under the leadership of Toe Blake that the Canadiens would achieve their finest success. It was at this time Irvin would return to the Chicago Blackhawks, however a youthful, inexperienced lineup yielded limited results, and Irvin would retire after the season.
His coaching career included 4 Stanley Cups with 693 regular season wins, of which only Al Arbour and Scotty Bowman have surpassed.
He died in 1957, a year before being elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
His son, Dick Irvin, Jr., was a noted Canadian television sports announcer.