Jean-Paul (J.P.) Gladu
Born: June 20, 1921 (Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec)
Died: February 1, 2015 (Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec)
Paul Gladu spent a wartime season with the Boston Bruins, a team struggling after the high-scoring Kraut Line enlisted for military service.
Gladu joined the Bruins at age 23 for the 1944-45 season. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound left winger skated on a line with Bill Thoms and Armand Gaudreault. Gladu scored six goals and recorded 14 assists in 40 games. Among the goalies he scored against were Harry Lumley of Detroit, Ken McAuley of the New York Rangers, Mike Karakas of the Chicago Black Hawks and Frank McCool of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Gladu scored twice more against Lumley in the playoffs, though his Bruins were eliminated by the Red Wings in seven games.
After his lone NHL season, Gladu became a scoring star in the American Hockey League with the St. Louis Flyers from 1945-51. He had seasons of 25, 30 and 34 goals, topped by an outstanding 1948-49 campaign when he netted 51 goals and 34 assists in 67 games.
The forward also skated in the AHL with the Hershey Bears, Cleveland Barons and Providence Reds. He wound up his playing career senior hockey with the Trois-Rivieres Lions in his native Québec.
Born in Saint-Hyacinthe, Gladu played his junior hockey with the Verdun Maple Leafs on a line with Maurice (Rocket) Richard. In 1940, the Leafs lost the Eastern finals of the Memorial Cup playoffs to the Oshawa Generals. Gladu played senior hockey with the Shawinigan Cataracts. In one game against Villery, he scored four goals and added four assists in a decisive 17-3 Cataracts’ victory.
In 1941, Dick Irvin invited Gladu to join the Montreal Canadiens at training camp at Saint-Hyacinthe, but a wrist injury prevented him from participating. During the war, he helped build warships in Québec City while playing for the local intermediate team, the Sea Gulls.
Gladu’s stint in the NHL was limited by the return of Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer from military service.