George Vallance Aitken
Born: January 4, 1931 (Toronto)
Died: April 7, 2015 (London, Ontario)
Member: Chatham (Ont.) Sports Hall of Fame (2002)
George Aitken won two consecutive Canadian senior hockey championships with two different teams in the early 1960s.
The pugnacious left-winger, who never shied from a fight, won his first Allan Cup with the Chatham (Ont.) Maroons in 1960. The Maroons defeated the Trail (B.C.) Smoke Eaters in five games (4-0-1) in Trail.
After the Maroons were eliminated from the cup playoffs in 1961, the feisty forward was added to the roster of the Galt Terriers. The Ontario team, playing at home, defeated the Winnipeg Maroons in five games (4-1).
Born in Toronto, Aitken played junior-A hockey with the Toronto Marlboros on teams including such future NHL players as George Armstrong and John MacKenzie.
After a season with the junior Stratford Kroehlers of the Ontario Hockey Association, the winger moved up to the senior ranks with the Stratford Indians. In 1951-52, he scored 54 goals in 80 regular season and playoff games. The Indians won the OHA title and the Eastern Canadian championship before losing the Allan Cup to the Western champion Fort Frances (Ont.) Canadians.
After the Indians folded following the 1956-57 season, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound forward skated for the Cornwall Chevies of the Eastern Ontario Hockey League. He scored 13 goals in 45 games.
After one season, he joined the Chatham Maroons, the team with which he was most often associated. He scored a league-leading 32 goals in 34 games for the Maroons in 1961-62, finishing second in scoring.
In his 16-season career, Aitken scored 391 goals with 498 assists in 850 games of junior and senior hockey, including playoffs. He also accumulated 1,862 penalty minutes.
A highlight of his playing days included a five-game exhibition tour of Sweden and the Soviet Union in late 1960.
After retiring as a player, he spent more than a decade as a coach of the junior and senior Maroons.
Aitken worked for Chatham Hydro for 32 years.
George Aitken looks at his scrapbooks. (Photograph by the Chatham Daily News.)