Born in Kenora, Don “Bones” Raleigh enjoyed a remarkable hockey career. As an amateur, he played for Vince Leah’s Excelsior A championship teams. In 1942 Raleigh was a member of the Winnipeg Junior Monarchs. At the tender age of 17, he hooked up with the NHL’s New York Rangers in 1943 for a brief stint. He was back with the Monarchs in 1944 before enlisting in the Canadian Army.
In 1945, Raleigh suited up for the Brandon Elks and led the league in scoring. 1946 saw a lot of hockey for “Bones”; he attended Brandon College, playing for them and five other clubs, including University of Manitoba, the Catholic Hockey League’s St. Mary’s / St. Alphonsus and Senior for the Reo Flyers. The 1947 edition of the Flyers fell one goal short of the Allan Cup finals.
Raleigh spent his entire ten year NHL career with the Rangers. In 535 regular season games, he scored 101 goals, 219 assists for a total of 320 points with only 96 PIMS. He finished among the NHL’s top ten scorers four times reaching as high as 4th. In 18 playoff games, Raleigh scored 6 goals and added 5 assists for 11 points (6 PIMS) including a pair of consecutive overtime goals (an NHL record) in the 1950 Stanley Cup final against eventual champion Detroit. He also owned the record for the quickest 3 assists prior to Gus Bodnar’s performance on Bill Mosienko’s 3 goals in 21 seconds in 1952.
Don Raleigh was also inducted into the Manitoba and Brandon University Hockey Halls of Fame. New York retired the former captain’s #7 which he shared with other Ranger greats Frank Boucher, Phil Watson, Red Sullivan and Rod Gilbert. Never considered a large man (his playing weight was approx. 150 lbs.), “Bones” Raleigh’s large heart and competitive fire more than made up for it.
b. June 27, 1926