Jim "Peggy" O'Neill

This is James (Jim) Beaton "Peggy" O'Neill. The native of Semans, Saskatchewan played 156 NHL games in the 1930s, mostly with the Boston Bruins but also with the Montreal Canadiens. He later coached the Fenn College Foxes hockey team.

Of course the only question people ever ask about this long forgotten player nowadays is, "How did he get the nickname Peggy?"

I do not know the answer in full certainty, but it appears that "Peggy O'Neill" was a very popular song in the 1920s, especially in New England. Perhaps the name stuck from there.

O'Neill the hockey player (also listed as O'Neil by some sources) did not score very often. In those 156 games he had just 6 goals plus 30 assists. And he was a forward, not a defenseman!


Derek 10:37 PM  

Peggy O’Neil played the game with lots of energy. He was described as “peppery” and aggressive. He was a great shut-down forward and his style of play got on the last nerve of a lot of opposing forward lines so he had to drop the gloves on occasion. But in Boston he was a fan favorite.
The Blood in the Boy
Peggy O'Neil of the high-sailing Boston Bruins has what it takes to be an integral part of the Bostonians drive to the playoffs. He is a blend of Scotch and Irish, for his mother, who was born in North Dakota, is descended from the Scots. His father, born in Ontario, is descended from the Celts. Now there need be no further questions asked concerning the aggressiveness of Mr. O'Neil.
He was born at Semans, Saskatchewan, James Beaton O’Neil, he was named by his Irish-Canadian father and his Scotch-American mother, but about that time the rollicking Irish song, “Peggy O’Neil” was going the rounds. Also there was a chocolate bar, named by some enterprising manufacturer the Peggy O’Neil bar. That settled things for Jimmies school chums and he became “Peggy”. The family accepted the change and he is Peggy at home now too.
Starting on the frozen ponds and waterholes around home, he graduated to Saskatoon Wesleys who just missed the Abbott Cup in 1932. O’Neil was 18 years old then. NY Rangers, Detroit and Boston were seeking him. Bruins won out, the veteran Frank Frederickson coaxing the O’Neil signature onto paper.
Sustained aggressiveness is his strong point. Art Ross calls him a bundle of compressed dynamite. When he goes into a scrimmage seeking the puck, he usually comes up with it. Likewise he makes hockey his ruling passion and his hard, earnest efforts, plus the dynamic quality of his play have made him a Boston favorite. “Peggy O'Neil, one of the game's greatest stick handlers until he gets to the net.”

Peggy sustained numerous injuries and Milt Schmidt had a similar aggressive style and could also play a more offensive role. So Schmidt basically replaced O’Neil.

Peggy played in the AHL until 1945-46.

In 1949 it was stated that Paul Ronty was: “the best forechecker the Bruins have ever had. The only other to compare him with was Peggy O’Neil who couldn’t do other things well.”

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP