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Arnott Whitney, left, and Don Cherry, right, were teammates on defence with the AHL’s Hershey Bears for parts of three seasons in the 1950s

Serving as a steady defenceman, while having a penchant for contributing offensively with timely tallies, Arnott Whitney was a solid blueliner throughout his playing career.

Born in New Brunswick in November of 1931, it was Whitney’s arrival in the Lakehead as a youth where he made his inroads on the ice.

Whiteny earned a roster spot with the storied Port Arthur West End Bruins organization prior to his 18th birthday. He went on to aid in them winning back-to-back Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League titles in 1950 and 1951.

Then when it was the upset-minded Fort William Hurricane-Rangers’ turn to garner TBJHL laurels in 1952, by knocking off the four-time defending champions from Port Arthur. They too wanted Whitney’s services.

So well thought of for his exploits, the Herks were quick to add Whitney to their squad as a pick-up player the rest of the way.

This included a run all the way to the Abbott Cup western Canadian final.

Next came the transition to the professional ranks where Whitney signed on with the New Haven Nutmegs of the old minor-pro Eastern Hockey League.

Whitney topped the club in markers among rearguards and was second in points from the back end.

That in turn brought about a contract with the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears, a farm team at the time of the NHL’s Boston Bruins.

As a rookie, Whitney supplied 20 points in 70 contests.

The Bears went all the way the AHL Calder Cup final that year but fell to the upstart Cleveland Barons, who boasted Lakehead product Ray Ceresino on their team.

They also sported other recognizable hockey names such as Andy Bathgate, Emile (The Cat) Francis, Glen Sonmor and future two-time Stanley Cup-winning coach, Fred (The Fog) Shero.

Meanwhile, Whitney’s 1954-55 campaign in Hershey saw him suit up on defence with a rookie rearguard from Kingston, Ont., by the name of Donald Stewart Cherry.

This is of course the same individual who went on to be synonymous for many years with his Coaches Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada.

That same campaign, Whitney paced all Bears’ blueliners in assists with 17.

Also on that squad was Port Arthur’s Gordon (Junior) Wilson, the son of Hockey Hall of Fame Honoured Member, Gordon (Phat) Wilson.

The Whitney-Cherry duo would be teammates on the Hershey blueline for parts of three years.

After starting the 1955-56 season in Hershey, Whitney’s playing rights dealt by Boston to the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Cougars, when the WHL still operated as a pro loop.

Following a brief return to Hershey, Whitney’snext stop was with the fabled Quebec Aces, who captured the Quebec Hockey League crown in 1957.

After an additional WHL stint with the Winnipeg Warriors, Whitney returned to the place that would eventually be his home for 75-plus years, for a couple of campaigns with the Port Arthur Bearcats.

There he was yet again recruited by another team as the Fort William Beavers tapped him to join them on their 1958 Allan Cup run that ended prematurely with first-round series loss at the hands of the Winnipeg Monarchs.

Then, like his initial campaign a decade earlier, he went out on top as the Bearcats clipped the Beavers in four straight games to claim the local senior crown in 1959.

In over 400 games played on the point, Whitney chipped in with 41 goals and nearly surpassed the century mark in assists.

Featuring a quick wit and never shy to share an interesting and humourous hockey-related anecdote to anyone within earshot, Arnott Whitney was a solid contributing defenceman on all the teams he played for.

The same could be said for those he suited up against as well, who equally wanted him in their lineup, when the opportunity arose.

Tom Annelin’s column appears weekly in The Chronicle-Journal. Contact Tom at tommyhockey@tbaytel.net.