Red Dutton (July 23, 1898-March 15, 1987) was an NHL player from 1921 to 1936 and NHL President (1943-1946). He played for the Montreal Maroons and the New York Americans. Born in Russell, Manitoba, he was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958.
The Americans played at Madison Square Garden, which they rented from the owners of the New York Rangers. Despite beating the Rangers in a playoff series in 1938, thanks to a dramatic overtime goal by Lorne Carr, the Americans were always treated as second-class citizens by the Madison Square Garden Corporation, the New York media and fans. While the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1928, 1933 and 1940, the Americans never got closer than the 1938 semifinals, where they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks.
During World War II, the Garden Corporation used its resources to help keep the Rangers in business and virtually ignored the Americans. After the 1941-42 season, having lost a great deal of money and too many players to military service, the Americans folded. Dutton believed that if the Americans could have held on through the war, his team would become more popular than the Rangers. "A couple of more years and we would have run the Rangers right out of the rink," he said.
Afterward, he predicted that the Rangers would never win another Stanley Cup in his lifetime. Upon his death, the Rangers had not won the Cup in 47 years. While there is no evidence that he used his position as NHL President to undermine the Rangers, he enjoyed the fact that his name was often associated with the Rangers' failure.
Dutton was named interim NHL President after the death of Frank Calder in 1943. It was presumed that he was a placeholder for Clarence Campbell, a respected league official who was in military service in World War II at the time. Dutton oversaw the turmoil of the war years, handing the league presidency over to Campbell in 1946. The league Board of Governors had promised Dutton that they would revive the Americans' franchise after the war, but reneged on the deal, and -- embittered -- Dutton left the sport and did not attend another NHL game before the inaugural game of the Calgary Flames in 1980.