Photo provided by the St. Clair Shores Historical Commission

Looking Back: St. Clair Shores hockey

St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 28, 2020


ST. CLAIR SHORES — The St. Clair Shores Hockey Association was established in 1957. Almost 200 boys attended the first clinic. Eight teams were established in two divisions (under 12 and 12-14 years). Over the next several years, more divisions were added.

The big problem was finding ice. Frequently, outdoor rinks and out-of-town arenas were used. By the early 1960s, three of the four divisions played all of their “home” games in Windsor, Ontario. The solution was a new rink, and it would be under a roof.

In 1964, Gordie Howe Hockeyland opened at 33101 Harper Ave. in St. Clair Shores. The rink was larger than some professionals used: 85 by 185 feet. Initially, the ice could be rented for $25 an hour, and there was seating for 700. The right wing for the Detroit Red Wings was listed as “chief instructor” for the Gordie Howe Hockey School, which held classes at the arena. There were participants ages 5-20 in a range of divisions.

This image shows the interior of the arena in its first year of operation.

To view this image and other historical photographs, visit the digital media archive at

— Submitted by Heidi Christein, archivist, St. Clair Shores Public Library