Adams is the only man in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup as a player, coach and general manager. But while he's best remembered for his 36-year career as coach and GM of the Detroit Red Wings, Adams was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1959 as a player.
The native of Fort William, Ontario, was a center who played junior and senior hockey before turning pro with the Toronto Arenas late in 1917-18, the NHL's first season. He was scoreless in eight regular-season games but helped Toronto win the initial NHL championship. He did not play in the Stanley Cup Final, when Toronto defeated the Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association in the best-of-5 series.
Adams played 17 games for Toronto in 1918-19, then signed with Vancouver of the PCHA in December 1919. He blossomed as a player in his new home, leading the league in scoring in 1921-22 with 30 points (26 goals, four assists) and helping Vancouver advance to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to Toronto (which had been renamed the St. Patricks).