Cast & Crew
George E. Stone
When ace college hockey player Gabby Dugan is recruited by the manager of a professional hockey team, his talent sends the team straight to first place. On a busman's holiday at the local skating rink, Gabby and his teammate, Jumbo Mullins, meet Kathleen O'Rourke and her young sister, Peggy. Gabby is immediately attracted to Kathleen and even though she resists his attempts to get friendly, Peggy takes his side, encouraging the entire O'Rourke family to attend the hockey game that night to see Gabby in action. Realizing how dependent the team is on Gabby, gangster Nick Torga offers him a payoff if he will throw the game. Jumbo sees Gabby talking to Torga, but does not hear Gabby's vehement refusal. At the following game, Gabby spots Kathleen seated behind the penalty box and deliberately fouls so he can spend time talking to her. Although his team wins the game, both Torga and Jumbo believe that he was responding to the offer of money. Jumbo's suspicions are confirmed when Torga sends Gabby a large amount of money, but once again he does not realize that Gabby has refused the offer and returned the money to Torga. Kathleen and Gabby start to date and Gabby continues to spend time in the penalty box. Furious, Jumbo accuses him of taking money from Torga, after which they fight and Gabby is injured. He returns from the hospital to find that his roommate Jumbo has moved out of their apartment. Gabby's vision is affected by the head injury, consequently his playing gets worse, and the team loses. Jumbo then reports his suspicions to the manager, and Gabby is fired without being allowed to explain. When Gabby becomes completely blind, he is ashamed to see his old friends, and a concerned Kathleen searches for him. Jumbo finds him, but Gabby does not want Kathleen to know that he is blind. Nonetheless, Kathleen is determined to help him and finally convinces Gabby to have an operation to restore his sight. His troubles cleared up, Gabby gets his old job back thanks to Kathleen's efforts.
George E. Stone
Max Hoffman Jr.
King of Hockey
Costarring are Anne Nagel as the estranged sweetheart whose love Gabby reclaims after finding redemption, and Wayne Morris as the teammate whose blow to Gabby's skull causes the hero to lose his sight. Also on hand are juvenile actress Ann Gillis and ultimate dumb blonde Marie Wilson, a decade away from her success in radio, television and feature films as "My Friend Irma." Hockey players from University of Southern California and Loyola University also appear in the film, lending considerable credibility to the action.
Purcell, a natural for his role because he had played hockey at Fordham University, had entered films two years earlier and was top-billed for the first time in King of Hockey. He played many rugged roles, both heroes and villains, until his death in 1944. Purcell succumbed to a heart attack in his late 30s after playing a round on the golf course.
Producer: Bryan Foy
Director: Noel M. Smith
Screenplay: George Bricker
Cinematography: Lewis William O'Connell
Original Music: Howard Jackson, M.K. Jerome (both uncredited)
Editing: Harold McLernon
Art Director: Carl Jules Weyl
Principal Cast: Dick Purcell (Gabby Dugan), Anne Nagel (Kathleen O'Rourke), Marie Wilson (Elsie), Wayne Morris (Jumbo Mullins), George E. Stone (Nick Torga), Ann Gillis (Peggy O'Rourke).
by Roger Fristoe
King of Hockey
Hockey players from the University of Southern California and Loyola University were used in the movie.
The film's working title was Shrinking Violet. According to Motion Picture Herald, Dick Purcell had been a hockey player for Fordham University, writer George Bricker was a former New York sports writer, and the film used players from the hockey teams of the University of Southern California and Loyola University.