Orillia Author Exposes the NHL’s Worst Gambling Scandal in New Book

Orillia author Fred Addis has recently published a new book titled “Gallinger A Life Suspended,” which tells the story of Don Gallinger, a former hockey player for the Boston Bruins who was involved in what is considered the worst gambling scandal in the history of the National Hockey League.

Gallinger, who hailed from Port Colborne, was suspended from the NHL for life in 1948 for associating with gamblers or engaging in gambling activity. This suspension, which lasted 22 years, ultimately ended his hockey career at the age of 22. Despite making numerous appeals to the NHL, Gallinger’s suspension was not lifted until 1970.

According to Addis, Gallinger’s story is often seen from the perspective of the NHL, but through his book, he aims to tell it from the perspective of the man to whom it happened. Addis describes how the scandal tainted everything Gallinger touched, leading to the ruin of his marriage, estrangement from his family, including his children, and a lifetime spent trying to recover his lost reputation.

The book, which Addis worked on during the COVID-19 pandemic, was released on Nov. 2 in Boston. He was able to produce the manuscript with the support of Gallinger’s two sons. Addis also hopes that the book will shed light on the suspension of Gallinger, which he believes was taken far out of proportion to the misdeeds he allegedly committed.

Gallinger, who died in 2000 from a heart attack, never received redemption in his story. Addis warns readers that his book does not offer any redemption for Gallinger. On Nov. 30, Addis will be at the Orillia Museum of Art and History to share more about Gallinger’s story. The book is available for purchase at the OMAH gift shop and online for $26, as well as at Manticore Books.