Defenceman Art Hodgins was born November 17th, 1927 in Timmins, Ontario of Scottish parents and first crossed the Atlantic in 1946 to play for the Paisley Pirates.
At the end of his first season in this country, he was voted ‘Rookie of the Year.’ He was to play a second season in Scotland before moving south to join Streatham of the English National League. Whilst there, he was again named ‘Rookie of the Year,’ thus becoming the only player ever to be so honoured both sides of the border.
Hodgins remained with the Streatham club until the rink closed its doors on hockey in 1954, whereupon, like several of his teammates, he crossed London to join the all-conquering Harringay Racers in the inaugural British League. However, eighteen months later he was forced to cease playing suffering from a recurring sinus ailment. He made a short-lived comeback with the Brighton Tigers, and didn’t reach his previous level of play until in 1959/60, he iced for the Nottingham Panthers.
With the collapse of the British League, he was appointed player/coach of the newly formed Altrincham Aces in 1961. He then went to play for Milan in Italy, returning to Britain when Wembley re-opened its doors to hockey in 1963, and he finally retired when the Lions folded in 1968.
An almost perennial all-star in the national leagues of the forties and fifties, Art Hodgins was arguably the best defenceman to play in Britain in the post-war era and in the opinion of many, would have had a good chance at making the NHL. He was renowned as the master of the perfectly timed body-check and although primarily a defensive defenceman, he possessed a powerful and accurate shot from the blue line.
Although a formidable opponent on the ice, Art Hodgins was a gentleman off it and an intelligent conversationalist. After retiring from hockey, he settled with his wife and family in the Midlands where he died in 1988, following a long illness.
His career statistics read :GP 659 Goals 86 Ass 176 Pts 262 PIM 665
Compiled with research, provided by Martin C.Harris – April 1989.