Ted Walton is one of the most successful coaches in the rich hockey history of Kingston, Ont.
It started back in 1967 when Walton felt the need to form a second senior team in the Limestone City.
Not everyone could play for the senior ‘A’ Aces so the Merchants hit the ice that year as a senior ‘B’ squad and enjoyed tremendous success.
In their first season of operation, the Merchants captured the Ontario Hockey Association’s Senior B championship, beating the Wallaceburg Hornets in three straight games.
The following year, they won the Ontario Intermediate A title with a two-game sweep of the Brantford Bears.
“We had a very good team,” said Walton.
“We had what it takes to be successful. Solid defense, loads of offense, some physicality and two outstanding goaltenders in Wayne Nichols and Dave Gavel.”
Now, 83, Walton looks back on those accomplishments with fondness.
“I didn’t do that much,” said the humble bench boss. ” I was able to get my message across to the guys and I put the lines together but they did the rest. It’s a team game and the boys played together as a team. I wasn’t on the ice. They deserve all the accolades.”
The Merchants served as a farm club for the Senior “A” Aces and the two teams played a couple of exhibition games against each other.
“They might not admit it,” continued Walton, “but we beat them on both occasions. Their coach at the time, Danny MacLeod, was not a happy camper.”
With no league to play in, the Merchants folded in 1969, and Walton began playing oldtimers hockey.
As a player-coach in 1978, he guided the Kingston Greenwoods to a world oldtimers championship in Denmark. Four years later, he coached another Kingston oldtimers team to a world title in Toronto.
The long-time Kingston pharmacist refuses to take credit for his coaching success though.
“I had some leadership qualities but once again, it was the players who did the work on the ice,” added Walton. “I had some talented teams and that talent helped me win a couple of provincial and world championships. They are memories I will always cherish.”