Fred Thurier was one of the first bona fide stars in the fledgling days of the American Hockey League.
Thurier’s pro debut came with the Springfield Indians in 1937, and two years he later he was the club’s leading scorer with 60 points in 54 games. Thurier was named a First Team AHL All-Star as he recorded 60 points in 41 games in 1940-41, and he added 44 points in just 22 AHL contests in 1941-42, splitting time between Springfield and the NHL’s Brooklyn Americans.
The native of Granby, Quebec, missed parts of the next two seasons while enlisted in the Canadian Army during World War II, but quickly returned to dominance with the Buffalo Bisons. He scored 33 goals and totaled 73 points in only 39 games during the regular season and added 18 points in nine playoff contests as the Bisons rolled to the 1944 Calder Cup championship.
After skating for the New York Rangers in the NHL in 1944-45, Thurier finished his career over seven seasons with the AHL’s Cleveland Barons. He helped the Barons to a Calder Cup in 1948 after scoring a personal-best 36 goals, and in the following years continued to climb the AHL’s career leaderboard. On the final day of the 1950-51 season, Thurier notched both his 300th goal and his 700th point, becoming the first AHL player ever to reach either of those plateaus; a month later, Thurier and the Barons were Calder Cup champions again.
Freddie “The Fox” Thurier retired in 1952 with more points in professional hockey than any other player to date, including 319 goals, 425 assists and 744 points in 642 AHL games and a league-record 85 points in postseason play. Thurier’s post-playing career didn’t take him too far from the action; he served as an AHL linesman from 1953 to 1962.
Thurier passed away in 1999 at the age of 82.