Letter to Ken MacKenzie from a player of whom I have determined to be, Earl "Spiff" Campbell - November 11th, 1924
This remarkable letter, addressed to Ken MacKenzie, Edmonton Eskimos, had no signature or name indicating who had written it. It simply had the salutation "I remain, Yours Truly".
Upon reviewing the content of the letter and piecing together the clues that might lead to determining who had written it, I was able to determine without a doubt, that it was written by Earl "Spiff" Campbell.
Earl Campbell was a member of the Edmonton Eskimos of the WCHL for parts of the 1922-23 and 1923-24 seasons. According to the Society for International Hockey Research, he was loaned to the NHL Ottawa Senators on December 23, 1923 for the remainder of the 1923-24 season.
This November 11th, 1924 letter starts off by indicating there had been a contract offer made to the writer of this letter from Edmonton Eskimos GM, Ken MacKenzie, but the person proceeds to negotiate an additional $200 if they make the playoffs and to pay his transportation both ways. He also indicates he has a pair of Strauss skates that he would like to bring to Edmonton with him but asks Ken MacKenzie to contact Tommy Gorman to clear that with him. Also he states that he would like to stay in Ottawa but would like to go "back to Edmonton".
With this information it becomes clear that the player in question had to have played previously with the Edmonton Eskimos and also to have played for the Ottawa Senators. The only player that fit that category is Earl Spiff Campbell. The SIHR also indicated that his contract was sold to Ottawa (NHL) by the Edmonton Eskimos on November 19th, 1924. This is verified by the fact that Earl Campbell did not play again with the Edmonton Eskimos.
So apparently this letter from Earl Campbell to Ken MacKenzie was an attempt to get more money from him to sign with Edmonton. Ken MacKenzie apparently decided to divest himself all together from the contract and sold his rights to Ottawa after having first loaned him to Ottawa in December of 1923.
I have included a photo of Spiff Campbell from his 1924 William Patterson hockey card picturing him in the Ottawa Senators Uniform. After his time with Ottawa he would go on to play for the NHL NY Americans in 1925-26 then finishing his pro career in the Can-Pro league with the Hamilton Tigers, Stratford Nationals and Kitchener Dutchmen.