Horne, George - french
Right Wing  R. 5`6" 165 lbs.
6/27/1904 Sudbury, Ontario
Deceased
George "Shorty" Horne, the youngest of seven children, was born on June 27th, 1904 in Sudbury, Ontario. Standing at just 5 feet 6 inches, there is little question of how he got his nickname. Shorty learned to play hockey on the frozen surface of Ramsay Lake in Sudbury where he took part in many amateur sports and attended Central Public School. He also worked in his parent's hardware store while not in school. His junior hockey exploits began with the Sudbury Cub Wolves (NOJHA) and later the Wolves where he became the protégé of future Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Shorty Green. The following year he headed to North Bay to play with the Trappers where he soon took on the central role. In the 1923-24 finals, he scored a series leading 13 goals in 5 games and led the team to the Northern Ontario junior championship and a meeting with the Owen Sound Greys for the Ontario title. The Trappers would lose the title to Owen Sound 4 - 2, but Shorty grabbed the headlines of Toronto sports writers who wrote reams in his praise and commented that pro scouts were camped on his doorstep. Also with the Trappers were Leo Bourgeault, Gerry Lowrey and Bud Maracle, who would all eventually leave their mark on NHL hockey. Despite their efforts, Shorty spurned the advances of scouts and went on to play for the Grimsby Peach Kings for the 1924-25 season. Generally considered a marginal team, the Peach Kings created what was dubbed "One of the greatest surprises in the history of the game" when they defeated the great Sault Greyhounds machine in the Allan Cup playdowns. As a result of his display in this series, the scouts knocked even louder at Horne's door, and he was made a most attractive offer by the Montreal Maroons. Horne signed as a free agent on October 8, 1925 where he was a substitute. Although the Maroons won the Stanley Cup that year, it was largely without much help from Shorty who was plagued by illness, appearing in only 13 games. It is unclear what his illness was, but it did not appear to be related to hockey injuries, requiring several operations over the years. Regardless, he always was able to recover and return to the game he loved. Shorty would start the next season with Montreal, but was placed on waivers, permitting the Stratford Nationals of the Can-Pro league to acquire him on February 1, 1927, after only having played in 2 games that season for the Maroons. Friend and fellow Maroon Toots Holway would also join him in Stratford shortly there after. After a short time in Stratford, he moved on to the London Panthers where he finished the season with a respectable 6 points in 9 games. The arrival of the 1927-28 hockey season found Shorty back in Stratford. After having played on three teams in one year, Horne quickly made himself at home and finally began to shine as the star he was meant to be. The Stratford Nationals were in their third, and what would be their final season in Stratford, and Shorty's arrival couldn't have been better timed. Scoring in almost every game he suited up for, his play was referred to as "wizardry" and "effortless", and he soon became the team's scoring leader and a local celebrity. As the season progressed, the team stayed near the top of the standings, thanks in large part to Horne's play. Nearing the end of the season, with the possibility of the "Nats" making the finals looking fairly certain, Horne dug his heels in and continued finding the net, bringing his goal total to a league leading 32. He became so popular that he began to write a daily column in the Stratford Beacon-Herald titled "Short Sniffs from Shorty", which was a truly bizarre column written in a detached way with 3 asterisks separating every 3 words to form a long narrow strip. He wrote about everything from receiving letters from fans, people who dropped by the garage he worked in by day to buy tickets to the game and flirting with ladies at the rink. One article poked fun at players from another team who were apparently jealous and angry when he and Toots Holway chatted with their girlfriends who had made the trip to Stratford with the opposing team. All the hard work would pay off for the Nationals, who finished at the top of the Can-Pro league, earning them an invitation to the finals in Detroit, where they won the championship over the home team. The papers ran celebratory ads featuring the players. It would prove to be a bitter-sweet victory, but the best way to cap the end of the team's time in Stratford. Then like now, pro teams had a hard time in small markets, and the franchise relocated to Buffalo, becoming the Bisons. Although Shorty had spent the better part of two years in the minors, his NHL rights were still the property of the Montreal Maroons, who traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Fred Elliot on October 1, 1928. With another shot at the game's premier league, Shorty wanted to make it last this time and wasn't ready to take it easy. After he was signed by the Buds, he began a vigorous training campaign while stationed at a fire ranger's camp in northern Ontario, where he was employed in the summer months. When the 1928-29 season opened, Shorty was "rarin' to go", which led some sports columnists to say he was trying too hard. Whether he was trying too hard or not, Horne soon found his place in the Leafs lineup and played a full season netting 9 goals and 3 assists, but was kept scoreless in his 4 playoff appearances. Fellow Leaf "Hap" Day commented that he was one of the most promising players in the league. The summer of 1929 must have been a great one for Shorty. He was a 25 year old bachelor and an NHL star. Like most players, he returned to his hometown for the off-season. On July 31, accompanied by two childhood friends and another prospector named Vic Perdue, Shorty embarked on a prospecting trip by canoe on Lake Sagatosky, in the Gogama area which is situated some 145 kilometers northwest of Sudbury. The men were performing assessment work on mining claims. As the paddled across the lake about 100 yards from the shore in their heavily laden canoe, an unexpected storm broke and the resulting large waves began flooding the boat, finally throwing the foursome into the water. As they clung to the capsized canoe, they decided to free themselves of their heavy clothing and boots to facilitate swimming in the now very rough waters. Shorty was unable to remove his boots, and tried to swim with them on, but quickly became exhausted. Perdue caught up to Shorty and helped him for a distance, before going ahead to the shore to get a log to help Horne reach safety. As he headed back toward the exhausted swimmer, Horne suddenly vanished below the water and would not resurface. The frozen and frantic survivors searched for Horne to no avail, and finally decided to go for help clothed in only their undergarments, walking some seven miles through swamps and bush. Many friends and relatives joined the search, as did the Police, who scoured the lake and rugged lake shore. Four days later, there was still no sign of Horne's body, and the Ontario government sent in a water plane to aid in the recovery. Ironically, when the plane landed, the wake and currents caused by the pontoons brought the body to the surface. When the plane transporting his remains returned to Sudbury, it landed on Ramsay Lake, where Shorty discovered the magic of hockey some 20 years earlier. Shorty's funeral, held in Sudbury, was attended by fellow Maple Leafs Hap Day, Art Smith, Ace Bailey, Red Horner and manager Con Smythe. A representative of the mayor traveled from Grimsby for the service who delivered many messages of sympathy. Stratford also sent condolences. Player Notes
Signed as a free agent by Montreal Maroons, October 8th, 1925. Claimed on waivers by Stratford (Can-Pro) from Montreal Maroons, February 1st, 1927. Traded to Niagara Falls (Can-Pro) by Stratford (Can-Pro) for George Herrington, February 2nd, 1927. Traded to Toronto by Montreal Maroons for Fred Elliot, October 1st, 1928. Drowned in Sagatoski Lake, Ontario, July 31st, 1929.

Awards and Trophies
Stanley Cup  1925-26