The all-time leader in games, goals and points by an American Hockey League player in the city of Springfield, Jim Anderson spent all but a fraction of his 16-year AHL career with the Indians and Kings.
A native of Pembroke, Ont., Anderson made an immediate impact in Springfield, scoring 39 goals and claiming the Dudley “Red” Garrett Award as the AHL’s outstanding rookie in 1954-55.
Anderson would become one of the offensive leaders on the Indians’ record-setting clubs of the early 1960’s as Springfield became the first – and still the only – franchise in league history to capture three consecutive Calder Cup championships.
In 1960-61, Anderson earned a Second Team AHL All-Star berth at left wing, posting a career-best 81 points and leading the AHL with 43 goals, his first of five straight 30-goal efforts. More accolades followed in 1963-64 as another 40-goal output resulted in another Second Team All-Star nod.
In 1967, the NHL’s expansion Los Angeles Kings took over hockey operations in Springfield. Anderson continued to don his familiar number 10 and recorded the 12th and final 20-goal season of his AHL career in 1967-68. That year, at age 37, he also finally made his debut in the National Hockey League with Los Angeles.
Anderson closed out his playing career with 426 goals and 821 points in 943 games, good for a place in the AHL’s all-time top 10 in all three categories.
Anderson also served two stints as Springfield’s head coach (1969-70, 1975-76), and was the first head coach in the history of the NHL’s Washington Capitals.