An outstanding stickhandler and playmaker, Melville’s George Abel was a member of the Edmonton Mercurys Hockey Team that captured Olympic gold for Canada during the 1952 Winter Games in Oslo, Norway.
Abel’s fans called him “Mr. Production” because he centred a line that scored the majority of the team’s points during a 51-game international tour that included the Olympic Games. The Mercurys won the gold medal at the Olympic tournament after recording seven wins and one tie. The United States finished second and Sweden took third.
The Edmonton Mercurys lured 35-year-old Abel away from Melville where he played for the newly reorganized Millionaires, a Saskatchewan Intermediate “A” hockey team. Except for one season with the Mercurys, Abel was the mainstay with the Millionaires between 1946 and 1956. After one season with the club, he became the Millionaires player/coach. The team went on to win the Saskatchewan “A” championship four times, taking the title three straight seasons between 1948 and 1950 and securing another in 1956. During his career in Melville, Abel was awarded the league’s scoring title three times.
Before 1951, Abel was offered positions on a number of hockey teams, including Streatham Professional Hockey Club in England, the Detroit Red Wings’ farm team in Indianapolis and the Maple Leafs in Lethbridge. Earlier, he played two seasons with the Flin Flon Bombers. Despite breaking his collarbone early in the 1937-38 season, he reappeared during the playoffs to help the team capture the Saskatchewan Senior Hockey Championship.
Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on June 19, 1993.