Mervyn “Red” Dutton was a solid performer on the blueline and in the board room. As a rugged defenceman, Dutton scored 171 points and recorded 1,273 penalty minutes in 616 games with Calgary Tigers of the Western Canada Hockey League and Montreal Maroons and New York Americans of the NHL.
Born in Russell, Dutton almost did not play pro hockey at all. In World War I, he was pulled out of a chalk pit after lying for three days with a dozen pieces of shrapnel in his right hip and leg. There was talk of an amputation but Dutton limped out of the hospital 18 months later, determined to play hockey again. And he did, first with Winnipeg in 1919-20 and then with Calgary. Dutton retired as a player after the 1935-36 season and coached the New York Americans for six years until the club folded as the Brooklyn Americans in 1942.
Frank Calder was the President of the NHL since 1917. When Calder died in 1943, Red Dutton agreed to fill in, on an interim basis, for his close friend. He remained president until September, 1946, the only Manitoban to have held the position.
In 1967, Dutton, a St. John’s College alumnus, returned to Winnipeg to officially open the Dutton Memorial Arena at St. John’s- Ravenscourt School. The rink was dedicated to the memory of two of his sons, Joseph Mervyn Dutton and Thomas Alexander Dutton, who were killed while serving with the RCAF in World War II. The international sized rink was intended for the school teams and also as practice ice for Canada’s National Team. It was built through the inspiration and generosity of Dutton, Max Bell, James Richardson and others. Red Dutton was inducted into the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958.
b. July 23, 1897
d. March 15, 1987