Author Fred Addis, a former curator at Leacock Museum, has unveiled a new book chronicling the infamous gambling scandal involving former Boston Bruins player Don Gallinger. The scandal, which led to Gallinger and fellow player Billy Taylor being banned for life from the National Hockey League (NHL), remains one of the darkest moments in the league’s history.
Gallinger, a native of Port Colborne, Ontario, played for the Bruins from 1942-48. His promising hockey career was cut short when he and Taylor were accused of associating with gamblers and engaging in gambling activity. Despite the ambiguous nature of the accusations, Gallinger’s suspension lasted for 22 years, effectively ending his time in the NHL.
Addis, who hails from the Niagara Peninsula, spent years collecting information on Gallinger’s story. He was finally able to compile his findings into a book during the COVID-19 pandemic. The manuscript, titled “Gallinger A Life Suspended,” was released on November 2 in Boston.
The book sheds light on Gallinger’s perspective, offering a unique and personal account of the events that led to his suspension. It also raises questions about the severity of the punishment compared to more recent disciplinary actions taken by the NHL.
According to Addis, Gallinger’s life took a downward spiral after the suspension. It tainted his reputation, led to the breakdown of his marriage, and caused estrangement from his family. Despite multiple appeals for reinstatement, Gallinger’s efforts were futile, and he spent the rest of his life attempting to restore his lost reputation. His story, which ended with a heart attack in 2000, serves as a cautionary tale about the consequences of a tarnished reputation.
In an effort to share Gallinger’s story with a wider audience, Addis will be speaking at the Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH) on November 30. “Gallinger A Life Suspended” is available at the OMAH gift shop and online for $26, as well as at Manticore Books. Addis hopes that by telling Gallinger’s story, he can offer a different perspective on the scandal and shed light on the human side of a controversial event in NHL history.