5 PCHL Hollywood Wolves to Play Over 100 NHL Games
The Hollywood Wolves were a professional hockey team that existed in the Pacific Coast Hockey League for just three seasons from 1944-45 to 1946-47. The Wolves had a loose affiliation with the American Hockey League's Pittsburgh Hornets who, in turn, were the primary affiliate of the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs.
Over their three years of existence in the PCHL, the Hollywood Wolves had twelve players who had either played in the NHL before or after their stint in Hollywood. Of those twelve players, just five played more than 100 career NHL games.
Oscar Ossie Asmundson played fifteen games with the Hollywood Wolves in 1944-45. Asmundson was at the end of his professional hockey career and his games with the Wolves were his last. Oscar played his first NHL games in 1932-33 with the New York Rangers. Over his NHL career, he played 111 regular season games with the Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Eagles, New York Americans and Montreal Canadiens. Asmundson scored one more point (35) in his fifteen games with the Hollywood Wolves than in all of his 111 NHL games.
Bob Gracie played sixteen games with the Wolves in 1945-46 and just two in 1946-47. During both those two seasons, Gracie was also the head coach of the team. His NHL career began in 1930-31 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bob played a total of 378 regular season and 33 playoff games in the NHL. Along with Toronto, Gracie also played for the Boston Bruins, New York American, Montreal Maroons, Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Black Hawks.
Like Asmundson and Gracie, Tommy Anderson played for the Hollywood Wolves in the twilight of his career. Anderson played one season with the Wolves, 1946-47, appearing in 60 games and contributing 31 points from the blue line. Anderson's NHL career began in 1934-35 with the Detroit Red Wings. He played a total of 319 regular season and 16 playoff games in the NHL with Detroit, and the New York / Brooklyn Americans. In 1941-42, Anderson was awarded with the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player. That season, Tommy contributed 41 points in 48 games for the Brooklyn Americans in an era when defensemen were seldom involved in the offense.
Perhaps the most famous member of the Hollywood Wolves, Bill Barilko played with the team in 1945-46 and most of 1946-47. Barilko was a standout defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1946-47 to 1950-51. During his five years with the Maple Leafs, the team won the Stanley Cup on four occasions. In his final season, Barilko was responsible for the overtime series winning goal against the Montreal Canadiens. Bill lost his life in a plane crash in the summer of 1951. Barilko's career was cut short at 252 regular season and 47 playoff games in the NHL. Without a doubt, if not for the tragic accident, Bill would have had a long and illustrious career most likely culminating in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Lloyd Klein played twenty years of professional, starting in 1928-29. He played for Hollywood in 1945-46, scoring 24 goals in just 33 games. Klein played in 169 NHL games with the Bruins and New York Americans.