|Home court||Maple Leaf Gardens|
|Colors||Blue and White|
|Head coach||Ed Sadowski, Lew Hayman, Dick Fitzgerald and Red Rolfe|
|General manager||Lew Hayman|
|Owners||Ben Newman, Eric Cradock and Harold Shannon|
The Toronto Huskies were a team in the Basketball Association of America (a forerunner of the National Basketball Association) during the 1946–47 season, based in Toronto, Ontario. The team compiled a 22–38 win-loss record in its only season before formally disbanding in the summer of 1947.
Main article: 1946-47 Toronto Huskies season
The Huskies were founded in the BAA's inaugural season of 1946–47. In 1946 a group of men who owned or operated the larger arenas in America held a meeting in New York, which was designed to establish what we now know as the NBA, the majority of them were involved with the NHL and needed to fill empty dates. The only Canadian delegation invited was from Maple Leaf Gardens. Frank Selke Sr who was in charge of the gardens while Conn Smyth was overseas got in touch with Ben Newman. Selke not only knew Newman because of his success coaching two Canadian national championship winning teams but also from holding a game in the gardens previously. The franchise cost approximately $150,000.00 funded mostly from Bay street backers in Toronto. “ I honestly think we could have made a go of the team” Newman once said “ But we were given the worst possible home dates.” Unfortunately Bens father took ill soon after the first game and had to leave the team to take over the family scrap and steel metal business in St. Catharines. Lack of co-operation from the papers, lack of talent on the court combined with thinning crowds despite the use of such gimmicks that included free stockings to all women in attendance could not make the team successful.
On November 1, 1946, they hosted the first game in BAA league history losing 68–66 to the New York Knickerbockers before an opening night crowd of 7,090. Ossie Schectman scored the opening basket for the New York Knickerbockers against the Toronto Huskies.
On that night, anyone taller than George Nostrand, the tallest Husky at 6'8", was given free admission. Attendance quickly dwindled and the Toronto Star published an estimate that team owners Eric Cradock (co-owner of the Montreal Alouettes football team) and Harold Shannon lost $100,000 in one season of operations.
Managing director of the Huskies was Lew Hayman, coach and general manager of the Alouettes and future president of the Toronto Argonauts and the Canadian Football League, who had been a star basketball player at Syracuse University. Charles Watson was team president. Ben Newman and Salter Hayden were the other co-founders. Annis Stukus was also a member of the front office.
Future all-star Ed Sadowski began the season as player-coach and was initially the team's top player. Three weeks into the season, with the team off to a poor start, the Star reported that the players had divided into two or three cliques that rarely spoke to each other. Sadowski's coaching was openly questioned and, just a month after the first game, he quit the team. After four games with interim coaches—Hayman coached one game, and Huskies player Dick Fitzgerald ruled the bench for three games—Hayman hired former Major League Baseball player Red Rolfe, who had also been coach of Yale University's basketball team.
Hayman traded the playing rights to Sadowski to the Cleveland Rebels for Leo Mogus, at the time one of the league's top scorers. Hayman had previously traded Nostrand to the Rebels for another 6'8" giant, Kleggie Hermsen. In February 1947 the Huskies acquired the tallest player in the league, 7'1" Ralph Siewert, from the St. Louis Bombers. Despite his height, Siewert averaged just 1.1 points per game with the Huskies and had the lowest field goal percentage on the team.
The team's leading scorer was Mike McCarron, with 649 points in 60 games. He and Fitzgerald were the only players to appear in every game. Sadowski had the most points per game, averaging 19.1 points over his 10 games with the Huskies. Hank Biasatti and Gino Sovran were the only Canadians on the Huskies, each playing just six games.
Neither of the Huskies' head coaches (or their interim coaches) would coach another game in the BAA/NBA after their time in Toronto. Of the 20 players to make it to the floor for the Huskies, only five would go on to play 10 or more games in the BAA/NBA following the 1946–47 season: Sadowski, Mogus, Hermsen, Nostrand, and Dick Schulz.
A certain group of Toronto basketball fans have created a 'Bring back the Huskies' campaign. A website was established, TorontoHuskies.org, to abolish the current Toronto Raptors name and revert it back to the historical 'Huskies' name.
On December 8, 2009, the Raptors introduced a throwback jersey to commemorate the Huskies. The uniform was the same except the shorts were longer than the originals. These uniforms were worn on six games that season and then used in the future as retro jerseys. In addition, on the Raptors' website, a Huskies banner was introduced and during the game, the team was often referred to as the Huskies, rather than the Raptors.
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, % = Win–Loss %
|Toronto Huskies (BAA)|
|1946-47||22||38||.367||Did not qualify|
- Mike McCarron G
- Leo Mogus F/C
- Red Wallace G
- Dick Fitzgerald F
- Kleggie Hermsen F/C United States
- Dick Schulz F/G United States
- Roy Hurley F/G United States
- Bob Mullens G
- Ed Sadowski C United States
- Harry Miller F/C
- Charlie Hoefer G
- Frank Fucarino F United States
- Bob Fitzgerald F/C United States
- George Nostrand F/C United States
- Nat Militzok F United States
- Ray Wertis G
- Ralph Siewert C
- Ed Kasid G
- Gino Sovran F/G Canada
- Hank Biasatti G Canada