Inducted November 2, 2002
Joe Lundrigan started to skate when he was seven years old and played his first organized hockey game in 1955 when Corner Brook’s Humber Gardens opened its doors. In his first year of play he played in the squirt division and in his second year he moved up to the pee-wee division. During his first year in the pee-wee division his team won the provincial tournament and travelled to Quebec City to take part in an International Tournament. The team enjoyed tremendous success before losing to a Quebec team. From that time on Joe continued to play minor hockey in Corner Brook and began to develop and show his talents while playing in the bantam and midget divisions. In 1967 Joe was a rookie with the Corner Brook Royals in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League. That year the Royals won the Herder Memorial Trophy as provincial champions and went on to play in Allan Cup competition but lost to Victoriaville, Quebec.
In 1968 Joe attended St. Francis Xavier University and was a member of the University’s hockey team for the next three years. A player on his team noticed his ability and recommended him to the General Manager of the Tulsa Oilers, the Toronto Maple Leafs Farm Team. Joe was invited to attend the Leafs training camp in 1971. He worked hard and won a contract with the Leafs. He was sent to the Tulsa Oilers and played the 1971-72 season in the Central Hockey League. While there he was named the Oilers’ Top Defenseman and was selected to the league’s Second All-Star Team. In 1972 Joe returned to the Oilers team. Good fortune once again came his way and he was called up by the Toronto Maple Leafs. That season he played 54 games with the Maple Leafs and he scored 2 goals and 8 assists while being a stay-at-home type defenseman. During that season he was selected as second star in a game played against the Los Angeles Kings. Joe remembers that game well. Being selected second star turned out to be his favourite moment in professional hockey. During the next season, Toronto drafted three new defencemen – Borje Salming, Ian Turnbull and Bob Nealy. Joe was sent to Oklahoma where he played out the 1973-74 season. At the start of the 1974 season Joe was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the National Hockey League expansion draft. Joe played 12 games with the Capitals before injuring his shoulder. He was sent back to the minor league affiliate of the Capitals in Richmond, Virginia. In 1975 Joe played his last professional season with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. After his professional career ended Joe returned to Newfoundland in 1976-77 and played for the Corner Brook Royals in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League. That year his team won the Herder Memorial Trophy. Team captain Terry Gillam described Joe as a dominant force both on and off the ice. He was a great leader and always made his presence known. Joe continued to play for the Royals from 1978 to 1984. His involvement with the league ended in 1984-85 when he coached the Port-aux-Basques Mariners. Joe Lundrigan is another Newfoundland hockey player who had the talent, desire and determination to make it to the top in the sport of hockey in Canada. In an interview several years ago, Joe stated that he had no regrets about his brief time in the NHL spotlight. “I enjoyed every minute I was there and I will always remember it for the rest of my life.” Joe is a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame. Joe was Prairie Region Manager for St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance and resides with his family in Calgary, Alberta.