Malcolm Kenneth Gordon

The ultimate recognition of your contributions to the hockey world is to have a rink named in your honor and to be elected to the US Hockey Hall of Fame.

Malcolm Kenneth Gordon, who lived to be 96, achieved both honors.

Gordon’s name is on a rink at St. Paul’s School in Concord, hung there posthumously in 1966. His induction into the US Hockey Hall of Fame happened in 1973.

In each case, he was honored as a visionary, an organizer, a guiding influence in hockey’s early development and as an outstanding athlete-all major contributions to the sport. 

His connection to St. Paul-s School began in 1882 when he arrived as a young student. He graduated in 1887 as ice hockey in the US was becoming a refined, streamlined game with specific rules, moving quickly toward becoming the modern game we all now know so well.

Although the 11-man game of shinny is known to have been played at SPS in the early 1870s, it wasn’t until the afternoon of November 17, 1883, out on SPS’s Lower School Pond, that the first old style game of hockey was played in the USA. More than a decade later, in 1895-generally acknowledged to be The Year- the modern game was established, and Malcolm Gordon was right there in the middle of it all, making much of the evolution possible. While still a student, he was an enthusiastic admirer of the game. In 1889 he became the SPS hockey coach and his career spanned 28 years. During that time, he brought Canadian rules to campus, massaged them judiciously, and created the basis for what became American rules.

As a coach with the ear of the alumni, he bucked the tide that was already running towards athletic specialization. He encouraged diversity in accomplishment rather than specialization. This led to his creation in 1892 of The Gordon Challenge Medal, now the school’s highest athletic award.

Among his many players was the legendary Hobey Baker, who played at SPS in 1905-1909 and later achieved great fame as an athlete at Princeton University.

Coach Gordon left St. Paul’s School in 1917, entered World War I and founded the Malcolm Gordon School in Garrison, NY. Originally, Gordon Rink on the SPS campus stood as a single facility, completed in 1966. The current hockey center, completed in 1998, has two ice surfaces. Gordon Rink was renovated and Ingalls Rink was added. Malcolm Gordon, indeed, left an indelible mark on the game.

Malcolm Kenneth Gordon – Class of 2008. 

Please welcome David Gordon, accepting for his grandfather, the late Malcolm Kenneth Gordon.