Eddie Olson, one of nine brothers from a great American hockey family, came out of Michigan's Upper Peninsula to create a visibility for American's in hockey at a time when that visibility was its lowest ebb â€“ the decade of the 1950s.
Olson performed principally in the American Hockey League (AHL) where he attained honors that remain today virtually unmatched for an American player at any level of professional hockey. While playing for the Cleveland Barons, he twice won AHL scoring titles, 1952-53 and 1954-55, was AHL most valuable player in 1952-53, and was named to the first all star team in 1952-53 and 1954-55. It was no surprise that during these particular years, the Barons were Calder Cup (league champions) twice and were in the playoffs the other year. The Marquette skater later coached for three seasons, including one with Victoria of the Western Hockey League, making him the only known American to coach a professional team in Canada.
Olson's brother Wesley originated the kick shot and the future Hall of Fame used it in his pre-AHL days. He was described by a Vancouver sports writer as the most feared shot in the old Pacific Coast League. The writer said that "Even Ripley wouldn't believe this. Placing his stick firmly on the ice in the shooting position, Mr. Olson rears back like and Army mule, and brings his right foot forward with a crashing intensity on the back of the bladeâ€¦"
Olson had gotten his start in hockey in his hometown with the Marquette Sentinels. With war breaking out, he joined the famed Coast Guard Clippers Team which featured such United States Hockey Hall of Fame enshrinees as Frank Brimsek and John Mariucci. The Clippers played in the Eastern Amateur League and in 1943-44, Olson led that league with 96 points. The prior season he was team scoring leader with 85 points. After that, it was on to the Pacific Coast League and then stardom in the American League first with St. Louis and then Cleveland.