The Verdict: Remembering Doug Mohns

Tuesday, 02.11.2014 / 11:57 AM
Bob Verdi  - Blackhawks Team Historian

Doug Mohns, a member of the Blackhawks’ mighty “Scooter Line,” died Friday in Bedford, Mass. He was 80.

Mohns made his National Hockey League debut in 1953 with the Boston Bruins, for whom he played until he was traded to the Blackhawks on June 8, 1964, for Ab McDonald and Reggie Fleming. McDonald had skated on left wing with the original “Scooter Line,” alongside Stan Mikita and Ken Wharram.

McDonald scored the winning goal when the Blackhawks clinched the 1961 Stanley Cup in Game 6 of the Final at Detroit, and his departure came as a surprise to many in Chicago, but Mohns was a defenseman with impressive offensive skills, as Mikita recalled in his recent book, “Forever A Blackhawk.”

“After Ab was traded, (Coach) Billy Reay tried a couple of pretty good young players, Doug Robinson and John Brenneman, on a line with Kenny and me. Nothing quite clicked, for no particular reason. Then, at some point, we noticed how Mohns came storming out of our end. We called him ‘Dougie the Diesel.’ He sure looked like he could be a heck of a forward.

“Like Ab, when Mohns got the puck, it was difficult to take it away from him. When Kenny and I brought the subject up with Reay, he looked at us like we were crazy. But after Mohns was with us for a month or so, he became our left winger and the second Scooter Line was born.

“I don’t know that we were better than the first one, but we were at least as good. Mohns could really skate, he could move the puck, and he had a terrific shot. After the three of us became a line during the 1964-65 season—Kenny on the right wing and me at center—all of us thrived. For the next four years, each of us had at least 20 goals. I don’t believe there were any other NHL lines that could match that.”

Indeed, Mohns enjoyed his most prolific scoring seasons with the Blackhawks, the best being 1966-67, when he tallied 25 goals and 35 assists in 61 games. That was the first time the Blackhawks ever finished in first place, thus breaking the infamous “Curse of Muldoon.”

Mohns was traded to the Minnesota North Stars in 1971, and later also played with the expansion Atlanta Flames and Washington Capitals, for whom he served as captain.

One of the first individuals to wear a helmet, Mohns played 1,390 games in the NHL, amassing 248 goals and 462 assists and retiring after the 1974-75 season. A gritty sort, Mohns also logged 1,250 penalty minutes.

OBITUARY - MOHNS, Douglas A. Of Bedford, formerly of Braintree, Feb. 7, 2014. Husband of Tabor Ansin Mohns (Tinney). Predeceased by his first wife Jane B. Mohns (Foster). Father of Douglas A. Mohns Jr. and his wife Sharon of Hanover, and Andrea J. Brillaud and her husband Paul of North Andover. Step-father of Greg Ansin of South Boston, and Lisa Ansin and her husband Jonathan Guttell of Austin, TX. He is also survived by 9 grandchildren, Jennifer, Rebecca, Alexander, Victoria, Andrew, Barrett, Jack, Tyler, and Cameron, and by many nieces and nephews. Doug "Diesel" Mohns was a professional hockey player who played 22 seasons in the NHL (1953-1975), half of his career was with the Boston Bruins. A funeral service will be held Wednesday, Feb. 12 at the Church of Our Redeemer, 6 Meriam St. in Lexington at 10am. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours at the Douglass Funeral Home, 51 Worthen Rd., LEXINGTON, Tuesday from 3pm to 7pm. Donations in his memory may be made to the Dianne Devanna Center (for the prevention of child abuse), 74 Pond St., Braintree, MA 02184 or at www.devannacenter.org.

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