History Of The Black Aces

Wild Bill HickokIn the Old West, Wild Bill Hickok was shot while playing poker.  He was holding what became known as the "Dead Man's Hand" - two eights, the jack of diamonds, and the BLACK ACES!  If you're holding this hand, you've run out of luck.

Eddie ShoreEddie Shore, an Honored Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, was owner of the AHL Springfield Indians.  Shore bought the Indians in 1940 after his playing days with the Boston Bruins. He started to to call the players who were working their way back into the line-up of his club, his 'Black Aces.'  These were players who were coming off of injuries or were being punished.  They had run out of luck as far as Shore was concerned.  Former Boston Bruins coach and current color commentator for Hockey Night In Canada, Don Cherry, was one of Eddie Shore's most celebrated 'Black Aces.'

From "Grapes: A Vintage View of Hockey" by Don Cherry with Stan Fischler:
"Anyone who crossed Shore became a 'Black Ace,' one of the many extras he kept on the squad - but wouldn't dress for punitive purposes.  The Black Aces had to work extra hard in practice and were always available to play should any of the regulars enrage Shore even more.  In addition to scrimmaging with the team, the Black Aces were required to do odd jobs around the arena such as painting seats, selling programs, making popcorn, and blowing up hundreds of balloons before the ice shows."

And there you have it....The origin of the Black Aces!

Information courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame