The Quebec Senior Hockey League was formed for the 1945-46 season and later on it rose to prominence in the hockey world. History will remember the Quebec Hockey League as the league that Jean Béliveau built. The young Quebec Aces star put the QHL on the map with his dogged loyalty to his team. While the Montreal Canadiens actively pursued him, Béliveau, out of loyalty to his organization and the fans of Quebec, put off turning pro to continue to play with the Aces. Béliveau proved to be such a great draw that the Colisée, the arena that eventually housed the NHL’s Quebec Nordiques, had to be rebuilt to accommodate fan interest, following the fire of 1949. After three full seasons, Béliveau finally joined the Canadiens full-time in 1953-54 and the heyday of the Quebec Senior League ended. The league ceased operations in 1959.

Herb Carnegie along with his brother Ossie Carnegie and Manny McIntyre, made headlines in the late 1940’s when they became the first all-black hockey line, playing for the Sherbrooke Red Raiders, later called The Saints. The center on that line was Herbie, and he was the Quebec League’s MVP for three straight seasons between 1946 and 1948. Despite a social climate that didn’t fully accept a black hockey player, Carnegie made it impossible to ignore him, scoring 127 points in just forty QHL games. Despite his incredible skills, Carnegie never got the opportunity to play in the NHL, though he played an important pioneering role for a QHL player who followed him, Willie O’Ree, the first black hockey player in the NHL in 1957-58.


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