Roberts may be the only player in NHL history who began and ended his career as an emergency goalie. In 1925, at the age of 20, Moe was called from the stands to play for the Boston Bruins when their starting goaltender was injured. In 1952, at the age of 46 (an NHL record at the time), he was a trainer for the Chicago Blackhawks when their goalie was injured and Moe had to put on pads and finish the game! In the 26 intervening years, he played mostly in the minors, but did appear in a total of 10 NHL games in his career. Moe retired from active playing when he joined the armed forces in World War II.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Dec. 13, 1904 - d. Feb. 5, 1975
Moe had one of the most unusual starts in professional hockey. In 1925, he was an amateur goaltender in New England, mostly in the Boston area. On December 8, he attended a Boston Bruins game and when the Bruins' goalie was injured, Moe was called in from the crowd to play! He immediately lost his amateur status and played in parts of two games for the Bruins, giving up 5 goals in 90 minutes of action and finishing with a record of 0-1-0. For the next six years, Moe played in the Canadian-American League. In 1932, he returned to the NHL, playing for the New York Americans and defeated the Rangers, 5-1, in his one appearance that season. The following year, he earned his first legitimate shot in the NHL when the Americans recalled him from the IAHL. Roberts played six games for the struggling New York team and finished with a record of 1-4-0 and a 4.46 GAA. He returned to the minors, remaining there until he retired in 1946.
Roberts spent much of his minor league career in Cleveland, and was a key contributor to the Cleveland Barons' success in the AHL in the late 1930s and early 1940s. In 1937-38, Moe was named AHL All-Star second team; and the following year, he led the Barons to the AHL Championship. He had 4 playoff shutouts (in 9 games) and a 1.13 GAA. In 1939-40, Moe was named AHL All-Star first team, and led the league with 5 shutouts and a 2.24 GAA. He decided to retire in 1942, but changed his mind three years later to play with the Washington Lions of the EHL. Roberts retired for good at the end of the 1945-46 season.
After the 1946 season, the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL hired Moe as a trainer. Roberts occasionally put on pads and allowed the players to have extra shooting practice. This allowed him to retain some of his skills, which came in handy in 1952. On November 25, 18 years after his last NHL game and 26 years after being called in from the stands to replace the Bruins' goalie, Roberts was once again asked to serve as an emergency goalie. When the Blackhawks' starting goalie went down with an injury, Roberts was asked to suit up, and played one shutout period against the Detroit Red Wings. At the age of 46, he was the oldest player in NHL history, a record broken later by Gordie Howe.
Roberts played goalie in the NHL for the Boston Bruins in 1925-26; with the New York Americans in the 1931-32, and 1933-34 seasons; and for the Chicago Blackhawks in 1951-52.
5'9", 165 pounds
In the NHL:
Goals Against Average: 3.68
Use links below to navigate through the hockey section of Jews In Sports.
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
Total Hockey: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Hockey League, edited by Dan Diamond, James Duplacey, Ralph Dinger, Igor Kuperman, and Eric Zweig (New York: Total Sports, 1998)