Bernie Wolfe was the only Jewish player in professional big time hockey
as of the end of 1977. A competent, popular goalie for the Washington Capitals, Wolfe
showed moments of brilliance with a weak club - and won consistent attention on the sports
pages of the country's newspapers, with particular emphasis on the English-Jewish press,
which found him good copy.
In June, 1974, the Capitals sent out a press release which read like
this: "The Washington Capitals have signed All Canadian goalkeeper Bernie Wolfe of
Sir George Williams University to a multi-year contract . . . The 5'9" 165-pound
finance major starred four years on the collegiate team which finished second this year in
the Canadian CIAU competition, i.e., second in the nation. In addition to being named to
the All Canadian first team, Wolfe was the Most Valuable Player in the CIAU tournament and
was a four-time conference all-star. The twenty-two year old Montreal resident played
international hockey against the USSR, Czechoslovakia and Sweden, for Quebec all star
teams and an all star team from Ontario. As a senior, he had a 3.41 goals against average
and a .910 fielding average (saved 91 per cent of all shots against him)."
This is how his professional career began. Clearly, he