the qu’appelle kid (or thereabouts)

There’s not a whole lot on the written record detailing Eddie Shore’s earliest days in Saskatchewan. In his 2010 Shore biography, Michael Hiam gets him born on page nine and, by the end of the paragraph, he’s five years old, milking cows in a cold barn. We do know that Boston’s stormiest Hall-of-Fame defenceman and (ahem) former captain made his earthly debut on this date in 1902, a Sunday, and the farm was his father’s, northeast of Regina, in the Qu’Appelle Valley. Later, the family moved up to Cupar, a distance of about 50 kilometres.

Well … that’s what we think we know. The hockey executive and writer Jim Hendy told the story of taking a commission during Shore’s playing days to write a magazine profile of the man they called Old Blood and Guts. “I never give interviews,” is what Shore told him when he applied to talk to his prospective subject. Okay, Hendy said, fine. I can go ahead without your help. “Just tell me one thing: were you born in Fort Qu’Appelle or Cupar, Saskatchewan?” Neither, Shore replied. “I was born in a cart between the two of them.”