Calder Memorial Trophy—Rookie of
The Calder Memorial Trophy, named after former National Hockey League (NHL) president Frank Calder, is awarded
by the Professional Writers’ Association to the NHL player judged to be the most proficient in his first season. Frank Calder was the president
of the NHL from 1917 until his sudden death in 1943, and according to many,
if it was not for Calder's dedication and perseverance,
the league would not exist today.
The advent of two major world conflicts between 1914 and 1939, separated by the Great Depression, virtually wiped out two generations of hockey professionals and placed major financial strains on the league. It was largely due to Calder's
efforts that the League survived. Calder was a familiar fixture at the rinks and did everything he could to monitor the state of the league in each community.
Through his perseverance, the league
saw dividends, but the toll it took on his health was insurmountable and many believe that it was the stress and demands of his job that led to his untimely death.
Although the NHL first announced Carl
Voss its best rookie in 1933, it was not until the 1936-37 season that the recipient actually won the Calder Trophy. Prior to Syl Apps win, the recipients were given a personal trophy, purchased each year by Calder himself. Upon Calder’s death, the award became the Calder Memorial Trophy to be passed on, in perpetuity, in recognition of the league’s rookie of the year.
Initially, the rules stipulated that a player could not have played in more than 25 NHL games in any single preceding season nor in six or more games in each of the two immediately preceding seasons in any major professional league. The controversy following the 1990 win by 31-year-old Soviet Sergei Makarov led the NHL to change the rules somewhat by adding a stipulation that states candidates who have turned 26 or older on or before
September 15 of the season are not eligible.
To date, an Edmonton Oiler has not
yet brought the Calder home to Edmonton but long time
Edmonton fans know that it is only a matter of time
before the Calder is brought to the city.