This neat cartoon tells us a lot about what we need to know about Jack Portland, NHL defenseman from 1933 through 1943. He was best known for playing with the Boston Bruins, along side defensive linemate Eddie Shore. He also had two stints with the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks. All told he played 381 NHL games (and 33 more in the playoffs), scoring 15 goals and 71 points (1 goal and 4 points in the playoffs).
As the cartoon states, jumping to professional hockey must have been quite the adjustment for Portland. The native of Collingwood, Ontario apparently never played any serious level of organized hockey prior to turning pro! The only statistical reference for Portland playing prior to joining the Montreal Canadiens in 1933 was a season with the Collingwood Combines in an Ontario senior league!
Perhaps Portland was too busy pursuing other athletic pursuits such as track and field. He participated in the high jump and triple jump events at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. He was the national high jump champion in 1930, 1931 and 1932 and finished in 7th place in the LA Games. Not bad considering he was completely self taught.
From there he went on to the NHL, but only after eschewing opportunities to play pro football both in Canada and the United States. He was also a notable baseball player. The Montreal Canadiens signed Portland at the recommendation of former NHL player turned scout Bert Corbeau.
In the NHL Portland was always overshadowed by flashier stars such as Shore. He was a rugged, capable defender, burly and heavy at well over 200lbs. He was far from the fastest or most agile skater. In fact when he broke into the league he looked so awkward that he heard the cat calls from Montreal fans. That led to his departure from Montreal. He really found his game in Boston where he helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 1939.
World War II ended his career prematurely. He left to serve in the Canadian military in 1943. Unlike a lot NHL players who served in World War II, it appears Portland did not play with military teams during his service time. There is no statistical evidence to suggest he did play.
He attempted to return to the ice in 1946, but was cut by the Montreal Canadiens. Interestingly, though he was not bitter about being cut, he never set foot in the Montreal Forum again until 1990 when he attended a game between Montreal and Boston.