Winnipeg native Art Stratton played for seven teams in the American Hockey League and five more in the National Hockey League over his 20 professional seasons, but he will likely always have a home in the AHL record books.
Stratton made his pro debut with the AHL’s Cleveland Barons in 1955-56, skating in one regular-season game and one playoff contest. In his first full season in the league, Stratton put up 76 points in 62 games for Cleveland in 1958-59, and after parts of two years with the Springfield Indians, he joined the Buffalo Bisons in 1961.
Stratton’s reputation as an elite playmaker was solidified in 1962-63, when he led the AHL with 70 assists and finished fourth in the league scoring race with 90 points, earning his first of three consecutive First Team AHL All-Star selections and eventually helping the Bisons to the Calder Cup championship. On March 17, 1963, Stratton tallied nine assists and nine points in Buffalo’s 11-2 win over Pittsburgh, both single-game AHL records that still stand today.
Stratton was named league MVP in 1964-65 after leading the league with 84 assists and 109 points, then returned to the AHL in 1971 with the Tidewater Wings. He led the Wings in scoring in 1972-73, setting an AHL career high with 30 goals, and with Rochester in 1973-74 he captured his second MVP award after tallying a league-leading 71 assists and a team-high 95 points. Stratton made his final AHL appearance with the Richmond Robins in 1974-75, averaging nearly a point per game at age 38.
Stratton, who also holds the AHL record for most times leading the league in assists (four), ranks sixth all-time with 555 helpers while totaling 766 points in 669 career AHL games.