Bernie Wolfe (ice hockey)

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Bernard Ronald Wolfe (born December 18, 1951) is a Canadian businessman and former professional ice hockey player. Wolfe played 120 games over four seasons in the National Hockey League.

Bernie Wolfe
Born (1951-12-18) December 18, 1951 (age 68)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight 165 lb (75 kg; 11 st 11 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for Washington Capitals
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 1974–1979

Early lifeEdit

Wolfe was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and is Jewish.[1][2][3] His mother, Fay Wolfe, observed upon his becoming a NHL hockey player: "Of course I would have preferred him to be a doctor, or some kind of professional man. But if Bernie is happy, then we're happy."[4][2] His father, Mickey, had played goaltender for the Canadian Army team.[4] He attended, majored in financial management, and played hockey at Sir George Williams University in Montreal, where he was named the school's top male athlete.[5][2] Playing for Sir George Williams, he was a Quebec University Athletic Association First Team All-Star goaltender in 1972 and 1974, and a CIAU First Team All-Star in 1974.[6] Later, while he was playing in the NHL, he took courses at George Washington University.[5]


Signed as a free agent in 1975 by the Washington Capitals, Wolfe played for four seasons before retiring in November 1979 at age 27.[2] Playing in 40 games for the Capitals during the 1975-76 season, he set club records for seasonal goals against average (4.16) and consecutive scoreless minutes (80:43).[6] He showed flashes of brilliance and was a solid performer on a team that struggled in those early years.[7] A former all-Canadian goalie in college, Wolfe was cool under pressure with a poor team in hockey's most difficult position. He retired with one year remaining on his guaranteed contract, saying he "just didn't enjoy it anymore".[2] In 120 games, his record was 20-61-21, with 424 goals against, a 4.17 goals against average, and one shutout.[3][2]

Wolfe retired from professional hockey in 1979 and began a financial planning practice.[3] He earned his Certified Financial Planner designation in 1981. Bernard R. Wolfe & Associates Inc., which in 2014 managed $14 billion in assets,[2] was recognized in 2009 and 2010 by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the Washington, D.C. area's top financial planning firms as voted by its peers.[citation needed]

In 1992 when he was 40 years old, the Capitals attempted to re-sign him in order to make him the goaltender they would expose in the 1992 NHL Expansion Draft. League rules required every team to make a goalie available for the draft who had at least one game of NHL experience.[8] Wolfe agreed to sign for the league minimum salary of $100,000; he promised to donate his salary to charity if his contract were approved by the league, but it never was.[8] The attempt was immediately denied by the NHL[2] for obvious reasons; Wolfe had long retired from the NHL and was well into his career as a financial planner. Phil Esposito, who had recently become part owner of the expansion Tampa Bay Lightning, was quoted as saying about the incident: "I didn't just pay $50 million for Bernie Wolfe. He wasn't any good when I played against him".[8] Since the Capitals were unwilling to expose any of their current goaltenders, they eventually signed Steve Weeks for that purpose.[8]

Wolfe also co-wrote a book, How to Watch Ice Hockey, with journalist Mitch Henkin.[9]

Wolfe was the president of the Washington Capitals Alumni Association from 1992 to 2007.[8] In 1999, he had both of his hips replaced.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Jews In Sports: Exhibit Page". Archived from the original on 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2018-05-05.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Goaltenders' Union, The: Hockey's Greatest Puckstoppers, Acrobats, and Flakes - Greg Oliver, Richard Kamchen
  3. ^ a b c The Great Book of Washington DC Sports Lists - Len Shapiro, Andy Pollin
  4. ^ a b "My Son, The Goalie" - The Washington Post
  5. ^ a b The Washingtonian
  6. ^ a b Legends of Hockey - NHL Player Search - Player - Bernie Wolfe
  7. ^ "Washington Capitals Legends: Bernie Wolfe"
  8. ^ a b c d e f "The time the Caps signed a 40-year-old financial planner to circumvent NHL rules" - The Washington Post
  9. ^ American Bookseller

External linksEdit