Paul Hurley inducted into Mass Hockey Hall of Fame

Jun 15, 2017 by

Published in the June 16, 2017 edition

PAUL HURLEY, pictured at his home in Revere, will be inducted into the Mass. Hockey Hall of Fame on Saturday. Hurley was a professional and Olympic hockey player after graduating from Melrose High in 1963. (courtesy photo)

PAUL HURLEY, pictured at his home in Revere, will be inducted into the Mass. Hockey Hall of Fame on Saturday. Hurley was a professional and Olympic hockey player after graduating from Melrose High in 1963. (courtesy photo)

By JENNIFER GENTILE

MELROSE—Melrose native son Paul Hurley (MHS 1963) will be inducted into the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame on June 17 in a ceremony and dinner to be held at Hotel 1620 in Plymouth. Hurley joins other 2017 inductees including Joe Bertagna, Shawn McEachern, Bernie Michaels and coach Paul Vincent.
Paul Hurley was an offensive and defensive standout as a professional and Olympic hockey player. As a Boston College senior in 1969, Hurley was selected All-American, All-East and All-New England before embarking on an Olympic and pro career.
However, Hurley’s roots began in Melrose, where he played as a Melrose High Red Raider and helped lead the 1962 Raiders to a state title and New England championship. He was inducted into the Melrose Athletic Hall of fame in 1995 and the Boston College Varsity Club for his prolific collegiate career. Professionally, he played with the Boston Bruins for three years, and then the Hartford Whalers, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. He finished his career in 1978 and is now father to three daughters: Carla, 46, Kristen, 43 and Joselyn, 35, and has made Revere his home for 25 years.
When reached by The Melrose Weekly, Hurley spoke of his gratitude for the award. “In high school I was very fortunate to be coached by the great Henry Hughes, who is up there as the best who’ve coached me over the years. And I was very lucky to play with great athletes like Jim Umile, Billy Hardy, Charlie Holden Pete Greenlaw and Paul Flaherty.”
Hurley and his teammates assembled one of the best Melrose High School hockey teams in 1962 when Melrose High won the state and New England title after going undefeated at 22-0-1. “That was a special season and probably my favorite moment at Melrose High,” Hurley says. “Being undefeated and going all the way and then beating our New England opponents 8-0. A big moment for a kid in high school.”
Hurley stood out. He was named not only All Scholastic by all Boston papers, but also All State, All New England and first team All-American. In his senior year at MHS he led the league in scoring as a defensemen with 25 goals and was once again named All American. Newspaper scribe Will McDonough referred to him as “the shot” and Hurley was scouted early by the Boston Bruins, who put him on the protected list at age 16. After a year of prep school at Deerfield Academy (where he scored 31 goals and made all conference) Hurley played for Boston College. There he led the school as a scoring defensemen as a freshmen with 23 goals, led the team in assists his sophomore year and as a junior scored 32 goals and 55 points. For a long time he held the record there for 6 hat tricks in a season.
It’s no wonder he was invited to play his senior year for the 1967 US National Team and participated on the 1968 Olympic team in Grenoble, France.
It was a memorable moment for Hurley. “I remember getting the phone call from the great Milt Schmidt, who invited me to the US National team,” he recalls. When Hurley was picked up with the Bruins in 1963 there only six teams in the NHL, less than 100 players. Talk about beating the odds.
Hurley is now retired and has had endured ten knee operations over the years. He still recalls his early days at Melrose High as his fondest. “We had the best players in the state, a legendary coach. It wasn’t just about me,” he says.
In 1995 he was inducted into the first class of Melrose High Athletic Hall of Fame. The committee knew greatness when they saw it.
And though Paul Hurley has traveled across the world pursuing a career young athletes dream of, he still remembers his roots. Especially that distinct thrill of playing locally. Says Hurley, “There is no doubt, if I could play one more game it would be at Melrose High.”

 

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