This past week, on September 10th, the hockey world lost another from the Original Six era. Glen Skov, a hard checking center, who spent the majority of his career with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Black Hawks, passed away in Palm Beach Harbour, FL at the age of 82.
Along with Marty Pavelich and Tony Leswick, Skov centered a dominating defensive trio in Detroit. Their job was to shut down the opposition’s top players (Maurice Richard, etc.), and they did it most effectively.
Skov played on three Stanley Cup winning teams in Detroit. He assisted on Leswick’s Game Seven Cup-winning goal in 1954. The goal is more remembered less for who scored it, but more as one of the all-time own goals in hockey. It’s the one that Canadiens defenseman Doug Harvey knocked into his own net.
Following the Red Wing’s Cup win in 1955, he was traded to the Black Hawks, where he played five seasons. He would be traded to the Canadiens, along with Terry Gray, the rights to Danny Lewicki, Bob Bailey and Lorne Ferguson for Ab McDonald, Reg Fleming, Bob Courcy and Cecil Hoekstraon on June 7, 1960.
Skov saw three games in a Habs sweater in the 1960-61 season, but the Canadiens had plans for him. He was given the roll of player-coach for their Hull-Ottawa (EOHL) farm team. There he guided the Canadiens (which featured future Habs Bobby Rosseau, J.C. Tremblay and Jacques Laperriere) to a first place 41-20-9 record (playing in 67 games). The club to went on to take the league championship in the playoffs.
The Canadiens organization hoped to install Skov behind the bench in the nation’s capital for the following season, possibly grooming him to be a successor to Toe Blake in Montreal. “I did not want to be a playing coach. We were very successful. We won the championship,” Skov said. “I just felt it would be better to be behind the bench.” Unfortunately contract negotiations broke down and he opted for retirement from hockey.
The Windsor Star, September 13, 2013, Bob Duff, “Ex Wing Skov starred on Three Cup Winners”