Chick Zamick

One of the greatest European players during the post-war years was Britain's Victor 'Chick' Zamick of the Nottingham Panthers.

Between 1947 and 1958, the 5'7", 140lb centerman accumulated a staggering 1,423 points, including 778 goals and 645 assists in 624 games.

Born August 16th, 1926 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Victor Zamick was one of twelve children of parents who previously had emigrated from Ukraine. His nickname "Chick" is a shortened form of "Chicklet" the famous chewing gum, something all of his 10 surviving siblings were know by.

Although he grew up in Manitoba, apparently he did not take up the game until the age of 15. He mastered the game quickly, even getting a tryout with the AHL Cleveland Barons. He did not consider himself good enough and so chose to return the Ontario Hockey Association to work on his game. He played with the St. Catherine's TeePees, where his coach was future Chicago Blackhawks coach Rudy Pilous.

Zamick enlisted in the Canadian Army during World War II, playing hockey with military teams. He may have also started boxing.

In the summer of 1947 British Olympic legend Sandy Archer, who had grown up in Winnipeg, convinced Zamick to jump across the Atlantic ocean and join the Nottingham Panthers.

With his laser-like shot Zamick was an instant success. He won over the fans with his brainy play and his gentlemanly demeanor. He found instant chemistry with another Winnipeg recruit in Nottingham - Les Strongman.

Over the next 11 years he would own the British record book, along with the 1951 and 1954 British championship. He would also begin coaching the team in 1955.

Zamick surprised everyone by leaving for Switzerland in 1958. He signed a three year contract to coach Servette Geneva, capturing the Swiss championship in 1959.

He would return to Britain at the conclusion of that contract, first playing with the newly formed Altrincham Aces and later the reformed Wembley Lions. The Nottingham Panthers, like much of the glory day teams of the post-war BNL, had folded in Zamick's time away.

After retiring from hockey Zamick remained in Nottingham where he ran a number business franchises ranging from a dry cleaners to a sauna and squash club to a hair dresser's salon to an Italian eatery.

Chick Zamick died on October 8, 2007. He was 81 years old.

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