Harold Richardson Laycoe (June 23, 1922 – April 29, 1998) was a Canadian ice hockey defenceman and coach.
Laycoe grew up in rural Sutherland, Saskatchewan. He played junior hockey in Saskatoon, but he saw his dreams of turning pro in the sport interrupted by World War II. Laycoe served in the Royal Canadian Navy and played on travelling teams while completing his military service. He started his National Hockey League career with the New York Rangers after signing with this team in 1945.
In 1947, Laycoe joined the Montreal Canadiens. Despite wearing eyeglasses during games due to his poor vision, Laycoe gained a reputation as one of the most physical players in the league. However, he struggled to find playing time on an exceptionally deep team. He was a midseason trade acquisition by the Boston Bruins in 1951, and he received an increased number of minutes on the blue line with his new club. His high stick on and subsequent fight with French-Canadian superstar Maurice Richard was the catalyst for the infamous Richard Riot. Laycoe retired after the 1955-1956 season.
Laycoe coached the New Westminster Royals of the Western Hockey League in 1956–57 and remained with the franchise when it moved to Portland, Oregon for the 1960–1961 season and was renamed the Portland Buckaroos. The Buckaroos won the league championship Lester Patrick Cup its first year in existence. Laycoe coached the Buckaroos for nine seasons and won another league championship in 1964–1965. In 1969, Laycoe moved to the National Hockey League, coaching the Los Angeles Kings for part of one season and then moving on to the expansion Vancouver Canucks for two more seasons. He later coached the Dutch national team in the 1977 B Pool World Championships. His final position in hockey was as a scout with the New York Islanders.
In 1984, he was named to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.
By Dean Hanley
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