Ivan “Ching” Johnson was born in Winnipeg and was a football and lacrosse star. However, he did not begin playing competitive hockey until 1919 when he joined the senior Monarchs after returning home from the Great War. He then played in the US Amateur league with the Eveleth Miners (1921-23) and then the Minneapolis Millers (1924-26). He turned professional with the newly formed New York Rangers in 1926 and began his twelve-year NHL career at the age of 28. Johnson toiled for the Rangers from 1926-37, winning two Stanley Cups (1928 & ’33). He was named NHL First Team All-Star three times (1927/32/33), Second Team twice and played in the inaugural 1934 All-Star Game in benefit of Ace Bailey.
Johnson finished as the 1932 Hart Trophy (NHL’s Most Valuable Player) runner-up by one vote. He finished his NHL career after the 1937-38 season with the New York Americans and “retired” at aged 41. He continued to play until he was 46 for teams in Minneapolis, Marquette, Washington and Hollywood. His NHL career stats read 436 regular season games played with 38 goals, 48 assists for 86 points and 808 penalty minutes; and 61 playoff games played with 5 goals, 2 assists for 7 points and 161 penalty minutes. Ivan “Ching” Johnson was elected to both the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.
b. December 7, 1897
d. June 16, 1979