Cox excelled as both player & official

An excellent goal scorer and part of the Lakehead’s first two Allan Cup-winning teams, Danny Cox also went on to achieve prominence as a referee, following his nearly decade-long career in the NHL. Images courtesy Hilary Kazsor

ARRIVING with his family in the Lakehead, back in 1912, before he reached his 10th birthday, Danny Cox went on to be a well-respected contributor, in multiple facets of the game.

Starring immediately locally, as a 15 and 16-year-old, Cox was a goal-scoring machine for the Port Arthur North End side from 1919 through 1921, where he was credited with amassing 73 goals scored in just 24 contests, through those two campaigns.

That easily saw him lead the way in overall offensive production in competition against a pair of Fort William sides, the Beavers and Collegiates.

Still just 17, Cox went on to play some games with the Port Arthur senior side in the Allan Cup playdowns, helping them reach the western final before eventually falling to a club from Brandon, Man.

Joining the senior squad for the next five seasons, his scoring prowess continued by finding the back of the net at a consistent clip.

This was no-more evident than 1925 when the Ports, as they were often dubbed, went on a victory spree at the right time to rack up a multitude of trophies on their way to a Canadian championship.

Converting at a goal-per-game clip, Cox tallied eight times in as many outings, and helped set-up three others, as Port Arthur rolled past the Selkirk Fishermen, Regina Victorias, Coleman Tigers and the Toronto Varsity en route to winning the Allan Cup national title, much to the delight of the thousands of well-wishers, who were on hand and greeted them to a hero’s welcome upon their return to the Port Arthur Train Station.

It was much the same the following year as Cox and his teammates went on to repeat as Allan Cup champs.

Turning pro with the Hamilton Tigers of the Canadian Professional Hockey League in 1926, his skill-set caught the eye of the Toronto St. Pats, who signed Cox and saw him make his National Hockey League debut in a meeting with the New York Rangers on November 20 of that year.

His first point came 10 days later, with an assist, versus the then Pittsburgh Pirates.

Becoming the Maple Leafs the following campaign, he notched his first NHL goal on Nov. 19, 1927 in a 4-2 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Following four seasons in Toronto, Cox saw himself dealt to the original version of the Ottawa Senators, in a trade that saw future hall of famer, Frank Nighbor, going the other way.

Spending the majority of his time in the NHL in the nation’s capital, he also had a one-year stint in between with the Detroit Falcons, who eventually became the Red Wings.

In all, Cox played 319 times in the NHL, collecting 96 points, including 47 markers.

Moving on, he served as a player-coach in the minor-pro ranks with such clubs as the Minneapolis Millers, Philadelphia Ramblers and the Seattle Sea Hawks/Olympics.

During points of his time in those cities, Cox was often called upon to officiate a number of U.S. collegiate contests as well.

Returning to the Lakehead in 1942, Cox’s time in the game saw him transition to a referee.

His excellence as an on-ice arbiter not only saw him handed the whistle for many local junior and senior match-ups, but get national attention too.

Serving as referee-in-chief of the Thunder Bay Amateur Hockey Association, Cox was selected many times over the years by Canada’s national governing body, the CAHA, to officiate games, when they counted most.

His refereeing resume featured him calling a multitude of affairs across the nation, including numerous Allan Cup, Memorial Cup and Patton Cup western Canadian finals.

Growing up to call Thunder Bay home, he sadly passed away in 1983, just prior to his enshrinement as part of the inaugural class of the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.

As a player, coach and referee, Danny Cox did it all and was certainly a beneficial influence throughout his time.