A Stanley Cup champion, Rothschild was the pioneer Jewish player in the NHL. The left-handed left winger signed his contract with the Montreal Maroons on September 20, 1924, ten days before Joe Ironstone signed with the Ottawa Senators!
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Oct. 16, 1899 - d. April 15, 1987
In 1924, Rothschild signed with the new NHL franchise, the Montreal Maroons, thus becoming the first Jewish player in the NHL! The Maroons were allowed in the league because the Montreal Canadiens' owner wanted an English Montreal team so he could move the Canadiens into the Forum when his lease expired at the Mount Royal Arena. In that first season, the Maroons had a record of 9-19-2 and finished out of the playoffs, but Sam played in 27 games and had a career-high 9 points.
The following year, however, Montreal surprised everyone by finishing 20-11-5 and heading to the Stanley Cup Finals by defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Ottawa Senators. In the Finals, they faced the Victoria Cougars (with Gizzy Hart), the Western Hockey League champions (and defending Stanley Cup champs). In what turned out to be the last Stanley Cup final involving a non-NHL team, the Maroons defeated the Cougars three games to one in the best-of-five series. Rothschild played in all ten playoff games, but did not register a point.
In 1926, Rothschild returned to the Maroons, playing in 21 games and scoring two points. Montreal finished the year 20-20-4 but in postseason play, was eliminated in the quarterfinals. Sam was released by the Maroons in 1927 and then signed by the New York Americans midway through the 1927-28 season. After playing in five games for the Americans, Sam was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates halfway through the year. He appeared in 12 games for the Pirates before being suspended for breaking training rules. Rothschild did not return to the NHL. He finished his career with 99 regular season games and 10 playoff games, although he never scored during his postseason appearances.
Rothschild played left wing in the NHL with the Montreal Maroons from 1924-1927. In 1927-28, he played for the New York Americans who traded him for cash in the middle of the season to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
5'6", 145 pounds
In the NHL:
Penalty minutes: 24
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)