Five forgotten members of the Triple Gold Club

Arguably, the three biggest titles in ice hockey are the Stanley Cup, the World Championships and the Olympic Games. Only a select group of players can claim to have won all three of them – they are called the Triple Gold Club. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) even has a page on its site dedicated to the club.  However, this list is incomplete: five Canadian hockey players are missing from the list.

The list of Triple Gold Club members as given by the IIHF (and Wikipedia) starts with three Swedish players who won Olympic gold in 1994. These were the first Olympics where (former) professional hockey players were allowed to compete, so it is not a surprise Triple Gold Club members appeared in that year (It wasn’t until 1998 that the NHL stopped competition to allow players to compete in the Olympics). Tomas Jonsson, Mats Näslund and Håkan Loob are the first three members listed. 

The flaw of this list is that it starts counting World Championships only in 1930. From 1920 through 1928, the World Championships were held concurrently with the Olympic Winter Games – as is also seen elsewhere on the IIHF site. This means that the Olympic champions from these years were also World Champions. In fact, this practice was continued through the 1968 Olympics.

Of course, this makes the threshold of entering the Triple Gold Club somewhat lower, but this should not be a reason to exclude the five Canadians that also won the Stanley Cup in their professional careers.

The first hockey player to achieve the triple was Frank Frederickson. Like many of the Winnipeg Falcons that represented Canada at the 1920 Summer Olympics (!) in Antwerp, he had Icelandic roots. Playing for WCHL outfit Victoria Cougars, he won the Stanley Cup in 1925.

He defended his title in 1926, but Victoria lost to the Montréal Maroons, which featured Dunc Munro, player on the 1924 Olympic team. Two of his teammates with the Toronto Granites (the 1924 Canadian team) became the third and fourth member of the Triple Gold Club. Hooley Smith joined after winning the 1927 Stanley Cup with the Ottawa Senators (in 1935, he would win it again with the Maroons), while Bert McCaffrey won the Stanley Cup with the Maroons in 1930. McCaffrey’s name was never engraved in the trophy though (despite being qualified to win), as he had been sent off to the minors in Providence at the time of the play-offs.

Dave Trottier, who won Olympic gold with the University of Toronto Grads in 1928, was the last member to join before Jonsson, Näslund and Loob. A team member of Smith, he claimed the Stanley Cup in 1935. (Trottier, incidentally, is not related to Bryan Trottier, former New York Islanders star and Hockey Hall of Famer.)