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Aubrey (Dit) Clapper

Aubrey (Dit) Clapper is renowned as the first to play 20 seasons in the National Hockey League. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1947, the same day he retired as a player.

While he was born in Newmarket and grew up in Hastings, Dit called Peterborough home from 1945 until his death in 1978. He played for Boston Bruins from 1927 to 1947. He was only 13 when he started playing junior at Oshawa, and 19 when he became an NHL regular, going on to nine seasons as a right wing and 11 on defence. A 200-pounder who stood more than six feet tall, he used his size mostly to stop fights. He was named three times to each of the NHL’s first and second All-Star teams.

Dit played on 3 Stanley Cup winners — 1929, 1939, 1941 — and his No. 5 jersey was retired by the Bruins when he ceased playing. He later coached the Bruins for two seasons and Buffalo of the AHL one season. As a Peterborough resident, he coached Jr. B clubs and sponsored many sports teams, as well as lending his efforts to numerous community endeavours.

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