As a player, “Terrible” Ted Lindsay was a never-say-die pitbull of a hockey star, who made up for his diminutive stature (he was just 5’8) with a rough-house rink-style and a penchant for elbowing his way through games. He formed part of the Detroit Red Wings’ “Production Line”, alongside fellow future hall-of-famers Sid Abel and Gordie Howe, as the side won four Stanley Cups between 1950 and 1955.
However, it was off the court Lindsay had his biggest impact. He was the organiser behind the first truly significant professional sports players union in the US, the National Hockey League Players’ Association. For his temerity of asking for pensions and a minimum wage he was immediately traded to the struggling Chicago Black Hawks (where he promptly missed the playoffs for the first time in his career). He returned, after the Association reached full recognition and his reputation cleared, to the red Wings in 1965, where they promptly won the regular season for the first time since he was forced out of the club seven years earlier.