New book by local author reveals shocking details of NHL’s biggest gambling scandal

Orillia Author Writes Book on the Worst Gambling Scandal in NHL History

Fred Addis, a former curator at Leacock Museum, has penned a new book that delves into what he calls “the worst gambling scandal in the history of the National Hockey League.” Addis, who grew up in Port Colborne, has taken on the story of Don Gallinger, a former Boston Bruins player who was suspended for life in 1948 for alleged association with gamblers and engaging in gambling activity.

In his book, titled “Gallinger A Life Suspended,” Addis sheds light on Gallinger’s career and the events that led to his suspension from the NHL. Gallinger, who made the Boston Bruins at the age of 17, was initially the youngest player to ever play in the NHL. He led the Boston Bruins in scoring during the 1945-46 season and also made significant contributions in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

However, his career came to a sudden halt when he was introduced to a gambling kingpin in Detroit by fellow Bruin Billy Taylor. Despite Gallinger’s appeals and claims that the evidence against him was circumstantial, the NHL suspended him for associating with gamblers. His suspension lasted 22 years, effectively ending his playing days.

Addis, who had been carrying Gallinger’s story with him for 25 years, finally decided to document it during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support of Gallinger’s two sons, he produced a manuscript, which was released on November 2 in Boston.

In his book, Addis aims to tell Gallinger’s story from the perspective of the man who lived through it. He hopes to highlight that the suspension may have been taken out of proportion to Gallinger’s alleged misdeeds and to challenge the way the NHL handled similar cases in the past.

Gallinger’s life after the suspension was marred by attempts to recover his lost reputation, which affected everything he touched, including his marriage and relationship with his family. His story, as told by Addis, serves as a cautionary tale with no redemption.

To learn more about Gallinger’s story, Fred Addis will be at the Orillia Museum of Art and History on November 30. His book is available for purchase at the OMAH gift shop or online, offering a unique perspective on a controversial chapter in NHL history.