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January 19, 2017

Gordie Howe - Mr. Hockey

Nine Gordie Howe Books

Gordie Howe was once quoted as saying "Hockey is a man's game." In the game of hockey, Gordie is the man.

Hall of Famer Bill Gadsby claimed "He was not only the greatest hockey player I've ever seen, but also the greatest athlete."

The right winger was a giant in his time at 6'1" and 205 lbs. He had the build of a heavyweight boxing champion. And he knew how to fight.

Part of the legend of Gordie Howe is his unmatchable toughness. He had "windshield wiper elbows" and like to give "close shaves" to anyone who dared to challenge. Ask any hockey experts who they'd choose as the toughest NHLer ever, and most would put their money on Gordie Howe against anyone else.

Those who knew Gordie away from the rink would never believe his on ice instincts.

"Despite an even temperament and a real distaste for combat, there is a part of Howe that is calculatingly and primitively savage," Mark Kram wrote in Sports Illustrated in 1964. "He is a punishing artist with a hockey stick, slashing, spearing, tripping and high-sticking his way to a comparative degree of solitude on the ice." 

Gordie had a nasty habit of never forgetting and always getting even. One hockey legend serves as a fine example of this would have been an exchange with Maple Leaf defenseman Bob Baun. In 1957, Baun knocked Howe down with vicious intent. Howe had to be helped to the bench. 10 seasons later in 1967, Baun was playing for Oakland and was defending Howe on a one-on-one rush. Howe took a shot and the follow through of the stick caught Baun in the throat. Baun was down on the ice bleeding. Howe mercilessly stood over him and said "Now we're even."

While few in the game were tougher than "Mr. Hockey," even fewer were more talented. In his prime in the 1950s and 1960s he was routinely described by coaches as the smartest player, the finest passer, the best playmaker and the most unstoppable puck carrier in the game. Aldo Guidolin, an opponent of Howe back in the early days, understatedly remarked "Gordie plays a funny kind of game; he doesn't let anyone else touch the puck!" 

Gordie Howe not only outperformed everybody, but outlasted everybody. Gordie played from 1946 until 1980. In his last season he was a 51 year old grandfather playing with and against players the were old enough to be his son! Howe played 33 seasons in the pros. One with Omaha of the USHL, 26 in the NHL (25 with Detroit) and 6 with the WHA.

While Wayne Gretzky has since dwarfed all of his statistical achievements, Howe dominated the game over many different eras.

His credentials speak for him. He won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player in 1952, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1960, and 1963. He led the NHL in scoring in 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1957 and 1963. He finished in the top 5 of NHL scoring in 20 consecutive seasons. He was a 21 time All Star.

During the 1950s the standard argument was "Who's better? Howe or Maurice ("The Rocket") Richard. Upon The Rocket's retirement, Richard admitted Howe was the best. "Gordie could do everything" he said.

When it comes to who is the greatest player of all time, one of Howe's chief rivals is the Boston Bruins stand out Bobby Orr. Howe was already a NHL star when Bobby Orr was born in 1948, and was still in the big leagues when Orr retired in 1979. No skater can compare to Howe when it comes to the test of surviving time.

It's too bad the New York Rangers did not have a crystal ball. They were the first NHL team to discover him, and at age 15 invited him to their junior training camp in Winnipeg. A homesick Howe performed poorly and wanted to go back to the family farm in Saskatchewan. The unimpressed Rangers never thought twice about it, and let the quiet kid go without signing him to their organization.

The next year, a Red Wings scout discovered him and invited him to the team's training camp in Windsor, Ontario. A more mature Howe impressed, as the Red Wings acquired his playing rights. Two years later, at 18, Howe was playing in the NHL. 

Howe did not set the league on fire right away. Howe spent more time establishing his physical reputation in that time, scoring a total of only 35 goals but dropping the gloves with any and all comers. The Red Wings were able to convince him that he would be better served to stay out of the penalty box, the ambidextrous shooter scored 35 goals in 1949-50, second in the NHL to Rocket Richard's 43.

A playoff game in March 1950 defines the essence of Gordie Howe. It happened in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Red Wings bitter rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs. The result almost ended his life, never mind his hockey career. Teeder Kennedy was carrying the puck when Gordie attempted to intercept him. A fraction of a second before impact, Kennedy pulled up, catapulting Gordie head first into the boards. He laid crumpled on the ice with a fractured skull. He was considered extremely lucky to survive such a blow and was told he'd never play hockey again. The next year he was the league's scoring leader by 20 points. It was the first of four consecutive Art Ross trophies as scoring champion. 

His 1951-52 MVP season was even sweeter. After leading the NHL in scoring (86 points) and goals (47), he led Detroit to an 8-0 record in the playoffs in its sweep to the Stanley Cup.

In 1952-53, Howe became the first player to score at least 90 points, notching 95, with a career-high 49 goals. The Red Wings, who were upset by Boston in the first round of the playoffs that season, rebounded by winning the Cup in 1954 and 1955, giving them four championships in six years. The Wings enjoyed one of hockey's greatest dynasties, but it proved to be Howe's last Stanley Cup. 

Howe would continue to dominate in this six-team, 70-game era. He became the NHL's career scoring leader in 1960 when he passed Richard's 946 points on Jan. 16, 1960. In 1962-63, Howe won his sixth MVP and scoring championship (86 points). On Nov. 10, 1963, he became the league's all-time leading goal scorer with 545, passing Richard again.

In 1968-69, in the second year of expansion, Howe achieved his first 100-point season. On the day before his 41st birthday, he scored four points in the season finale to give him 103. 

Gordie retired from the Detroit Red Wings in 1971 to take a front office job. But after two years of inactivity, Gordie made one of the most astonishing come backs in pro sport history. At the age 45, he signed with the Houston Aeros of the WHA where he was teammates with his two sons Mark and Marty. The Howes lead their team to the WHA title twice under his leadership. 

In 1977 he and his boys joined the WHA's New England Whalers. When the Whalers joined the NHL as the Hartford Whalers in 1979-80, Gordie made his triumphant return to the NHL at the unthinkable age 51! He drew capacity crowds as the fans wanted to see the 50 year old grandfather play against the young stars like Bryan Trottier, Marcel Dionne and Wayne Gretzky. In the Whalers first year they made playoffs. Then-Whalers president Howard Baldwin credited Howe, who scored 15 goals, with that feat. Howe wasn't exactly in his prime at that age, but he didn't look out of place on many nights either.

Over a period of 32 years (combining NHL and WHA totals) Gordie Howe scored 1071 goals 1518 assists and 2589 points. Only Wayne Gretzky's career totals are better. Howe was a gifted power forward, an accomplished defensive player, a feared giant and the only player to have dominated three different eras - postwar NHL, the Golden Era of the 1960s and the Expansion Era.

January 17, 2017

Bobby Hull - The Golden Jet

Long before he joined the NHL, Bobby Hull was labeled a sure-fire NHL player. And he didn't disappoint anyone.

Although he didn't invent the slap shot, his uncanny accuracy and amazing power popularized the shot to this day. Goalies would cower when he wound up. Hull led the league in goal scoring in seven seasons. He scored an amazing 610 regular season goals, and over 300 more with the WHA's Jets. He was the first player to record more than 50 goals in one season (54); won the Art Ross Trophy three times, the Hart Trophy twice, the Lady Byng once, and the Lester Patrick Trophy once; Bobby also dominated all-star selections, being named to 10 first all-star teams, and 2 second teams. No wonder why Bobby is considered by many to be the best left winger in the history of the game.

Hull helped bring a Stanley Cup to Chicago, in 1961, as the Black Hawks beat the Detroit Red Wings four games to two. Hull, in his first Stanley Cup Finals, scored two goals in Game One, including the game-winner. The Black Hawks went to the finals twice more, losing in 1962 to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and in 1965 to the Montreal Canadiens.

Hull represents a link to another era, when pro sports weren't such big businesses, when the innocence of the sport fostered unabashed adoration of idols. Hull, the charismatic, goal-scoring goodwill ambassador who throughout the 1960's simply was the Chicago Blackhawks, takes us back to another day, when it was so much easier to be young at heart.

Here's the full Bobby Hull biography

January 16, 2017

Rocket Richard

The Stare.

The stare was Rocket Richard's trademark. When he came at a goalie with his eyes lit up, the opposition was terrified. Glenn Hall once was quoted sharing his memories of Rocket Richard - "What I remember most about the Rocket were his eyes. When he came flying toward you with the puck on his stick, his eyes were all lit up, flashing and gleaming like a pinball machine. It was terrifying."

One of the games greatest goal scorers, he recorded a then-NHL record with 544 regular season goals. That record stood until 1963 when it was surpassed by Gordie Howe. He was also the first to score 50 goals in one season, and the only player to have reached that figure in a 50 game season.

Rocket Richard did everything by instinct and brute strength. He would run, not glide, down the ice and cut fearlessly to the slot. Some describe him as the greatest opportunist the game has ever known. He was probably the greatest goal scorer from the blue line in.

Richard's fierce temper and dedication were also hallmarks of his. He got into frequent scraps with players and officials. His suspension by NHL president Clarence Campbell in 1955 for attacking a Boston player with his stick and punching a linesman precipitated the now famous riot in the Montreal Forum.

Winning at all costs best sums up Richard's approach to hockey.

In a playoff game, the Bruins Leo Labine knocked Richard unconscious and doctors said he was done for the series. Richard refused to be hospitalized and returned to the game as the teams battled. Rocket Richard scored the game winning goal.

But the legend of Rocket Richard almost never came into fruition. Early in his career he missed a lot of time with various ailments such as a broken wrist and badly sprained ankle. Too injury prone they said. The Canadiens supposedly came close to trading the young firecracker, reportedly to the New York Rangers. Thankfully they didn't!

In addition Maurice initially started on the left wing, where he struggled in comparison to what he would do on the right wing. Once he changed sides, he began achieving great success. However his early accomplishments came during the second World War.

"He was a wartime hockey player," onetime Canadiens general manager Frank Selke once told a reporter. "When the boys come back, they said, they'll look after Maurice. Nobody looked after Maurice. He looked after himself. When the boys come back, they said, they'll catch up with him. The only thing that caught up with Maurice is time."

Even in these tough early days, you could tell Maurice was special. The local media had dubbed him The Comet. Later teammate Ray Getliffe, in an intra-squad match during a practice, was wowed by Richard and compared him to a rocket. The name stuck.

Things really turned around in 1943-44. Perhaps it was the switch to the right wing, or perhaps a superstitious switch in number. Richard asked coach Dick Irvin Sr. if he could change his number from 15 to nine to mark the occasion of the birth of his first daughter - 9lb Huguette. Richard scored 32 goals -- the fourth-highest total in Canadiens history at that time -- in his first full season. Combined with rookie Bill Durnan in goal, the Canadiens re-emerged as a top team. Richard added 12 more goals in the playoffs and the Canadiens took their first Stanley Cup since 1931. In one game in the final series against Toronto, Richard scored all Montreal's goals in a 5-1 victory

50 Goals in 50 Games

1944-45 was the Rocket's greatest season. Richard raced through the 50 game schedule at an incredible goal-per-game pace, becoming the first player to score the magical 50 goal total. He is the only player to do it in a 50 game schedule.

Rocket's amazing drive for 50 goals in 50 games is considered to be perhaps the greatest achievement in the history of hockey. Critics argue that the League at that point was watered down by the World War, but it remains among the greatest achievements in professional sports.

The eyes of the world were focused in on Rocket as he chased down what once seemed unthinkable. In game number 48 he scored goal number 49. In the 49th game Montreal easily defeated the Chicago Blackhawks, yet somehow Rocket was blanked. That left him only one last chance to make 50 in 50. The final game of the season was in Boston at the dreaded Boston Garden. Montreal won 4-2 and Rocket managed to hit the twine behind Bruin goalie Harvey Bennett for his 50th goal that season! That amazing feat would not be equaled until 1980 when Mike Bossy would score 50 goals in the first 50 games of an 80 game schedule.

Richard and the Canadiens didn't sip from the Stanley Cup that season, but they did the following year. Richard "slumped" down to 27 goals but erupted for a league high 7 playoff goals in 9 games as the Habs won their second Cup under Richard's firepower.

Despite twice leading the NHL in goal scoring in the regular season and some fine playoff performances, the Habs failed to win another Cup until 1952-53. By this time the Habs were just establishing themselves as the most dominant team in NHL history, and were just a couple years way from a 5 year reign as Cup champions.

The Infamous Richard Riot

Perhaps the Canadiens could have won a Cup in 1954-55 that would have been the first of 6 in a row, but they suffered a daunting blow when the NHL unthinkably suspended their most dynamic superstar for the rest of the regular season and playoffs. Years later, the infamous 'Richard Riots' are stuff of legend in hockey history.

A common tactic that teams used to keep him off the score sheet was to simply sucker him into a fight. Richard was not one to back down to anyone, and sometimes he let his anger get the best of him. He was suspended numerous times by NHL President Clarence Campbell for violent slashing penalties and abusive behavior towards referees.

His most memorable suspension, and one of the most traumatic incidents in NHL history occurred in Montreal in 1955. The "Richard Riot" came about after an incident on March 13, in a game between Richard's Canadiens and the Boston Bruins. Boston defenseman Hal Laycoe cut Richard over the eye with a high stick and drew a delayed penalty. Once the play was stopped, Richard showed the referee that he was cut and promptly went after Laycoe, hitting him with his stick. Richard was pulled off of the Bruins defenseman twice, but he broke free, picked up another stick off the ice and started attacking Laycoe again. Linesman Cliff Thompson finally was able to pin Richard down on the ice. When they let Richard back on his feet, he was still mad as hell and wanted a piece of anyone he could find. Unfortunately, Thompson was the closest one around. Richard struck him twice before anyone could intervene.

President Clarence Campbell had given Richard many suspensions and fines in the past for actions such as this, but this time it seemed as if he said enough was enough. Campbell suspended the Rocket for the remainder of the regular season and all of the playoffs.

Fans in Montreal were shocked by Campbell's decision. The suspension was thought of as an extreme blow to the team's chances of taking the Stanley Cup away from the Detroit Red Wings. Canadiens supporters threatened both the league offices and Campbell himself. However, Campbell was a stubborn man who was not intimidated easily. Despite pleas by both the mayor and police not to attend, Campbell showed up at his usual seat for the next Montreal home game. He was bombarded with rotten fruit and vegetables throughout the early portion of the game, and by the time Detroit took a 4-1 lead, the crowd had enough. A group of fans started to make their way towards Campbell's section. The police had to step in and try to keep the peace. All of a sudden, someone threw tear gas right next to the president's seat and all hell broke loose. The fire marshal announced that the game must be stopped for fear of a disastrous fire, and Campbell announced that the game was to be forfeited to the Red Wings. A mob of angry fans took off down St. Catherine Street, throwing stones, breaking store windows and looting shops. Over 60 people were arrested during the melee, and Richard had to plead for calm on Montreal radio stations in order for people to settle down.

This was one of the most severe penalties ever handed out in the NHL, and it was especially painful for Richard. At the time he was leading the league in points and was a shoo-in to win the Art Ross Trophy. The Art Ross was the one trophy that Richard desperately wanted in his career, but, because of his suspension, he lost probably his best chance to win it. Finally, on the last day of the regular season, Richard's teammate Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion moved ahead of him in the scoring race, taking the Art Ross from the Rocket by a single point. The fans actually booed Geoffrion for surpassing the Rocket.

The next year, the Canadiens began their record string of five consecutive Stanley Cups, but the torch was already being passed from Richard to the next great Canadiens star -- Jean Beliveau.

Richard was injured for most of his last three seasons. The injuries slowed the Rocket so that he was no longer able to accelerate on skates as he once did.
Perhaps sensing that the Habs dynastic reign would be coming to an end, Richard made the tough decision to retire following the 1960 Cup victory. By this point he wasn't the warrior he once was, but was still number one in the hearts of the fans.

Richard ended his career of 18 years playing 978 games, scoring 544 goals, assisting on 421 more for 965 points. He also accumulated 1285 penalty minutes and 8 Stanley Cup rings. He had a then-record 82 playoff goals in 133 games, plus 126 points and another 188 PIM. The 14 time all star also won one Hart Trophy.

He was only a hockey player often preached Richard. However he was for more than that as the Riot attests. He was an absolute hero to French Canadiens in particular. Some suggest it is more than just coincidence that tension between French and English in Quebec coincided with Richard's presence. Not that he ever did anything to promote or deny any Quebecois movement - he was very careful not to get involved - but he remained the hero. And many Quebecois would employ a similar fierce pride and win at all costs attitude in their political endeavors/

"He carried the flag for an entire population -- and that's pretty heavy," the Gazette's Red Fisher said. "He felt he had to live up to that responsibility and he did it the way he knew how -- by scoring goals and responding to every challenge on the ice."

Richard always remained number one with the fans, and likely always will be. In 1995, some 35 years after he last played and in front of a sold-out stadium of fans - many of whom too young to have ever seen Richard play - gave Richard the longest standing ovation in hockey history. It was a sad day as the Canadiens were closing the Cathedral of Hockey - The Montreal Forum. In typical Habs class, they brought out all the old legends in a torch passing ceremony - to symbolize the passing of greatness from the old building to the new one. A tearful Richard stole the show.

A couple of years later Richard came down with an inoperable form of cancer of the abdomen.

The scare moved the Canadiens outgoing president Ronald Corey, who grew up idolizing the Rocket, to push for the creation of the Maurice Richard Trophy for the league's top goal-scorer. The trophy was granted, forever immortalizing Richard.

On May 27th, 2000, Rocket Richard lost his battle with cancer. The celebration of his life that shortly followed was unmatched in Canada, and in very few places around the world. A state funeral was held for a hockey player. Tens of thousands of people - one estimate had over 50000 a day - lined up to pay their respects to Richard at center ice of the Montreal Molson Center - the new Forum. The actual funeral was broadcast nationwide and throughout the world. It was eerily similar to the passing of Princess Diana just a short time earlier.

He was just a hockey player, but no one hockey player meant so much to so many people on such a personal level.

January 11, 2017

Top 1000 Players In Hockey History

Yes, you read that right. While the NHL is preparing to celebrate their Top 100 Players, GreatestHockeyLegends.com is preparing to celebrate the Top 1000.

Of course, the GreatestHockeyLegends.com 100 Greatest Hockey Players of All Time is the most popular feature in the website's long history.

Now I'm adding the Top 100 Hockey Players by decade, too

Here are some quick links to the decades completed so far:

January 04, 2017

Milt Schmidt

Time eroded the legacy of Milt Schmidt, Mr. Boston Bruin. He last played in 1955, in a long forgotten era that was vastly different than hockey today. With little video evidence of his greatness to preserve his stature, modern fans who do know of Schmidt have to do some heavy research and understanding of the players and the era.

Thanks to the memories of the decreasing old time fans, writers and most importantly on ice peers, Schmidt is still recognized as one of the greatest players in NHL history. In 2000, The Hockey News assembled 50 hockey experts to definitively rank the top players of all time. Milt Schmidt came in at number 27, ahead of the likes of Paul Coffey, Henri Richard, Bryan Trottier, Patrick Roy and Boom Boom Geoffrion.

In fact, only two players of Schmidt's approximate era ranked ahead of him. Eddie Shore and Howie Morenz. Contemporaries such as Syl Apps, Charlie Conacher, Dit Clapper, Bill Cook and Max Bentley finished below Schmidt. Scmidt's legendary rivals, namely Elmer Lach, Sid Abel and Ted Kennedy, all Hall of Famers, didn't even make the list.

Schmidt was considered to be the ultimate two-way player of his day, a Trottier or Steve Yzerman of the 1940s. He was small but determined. He was a strong skater and clever puck distributor but also a great finish. As beautiful as he was to watch on the offense, the Bruins long time captain took equal pride in the defensive zone, and was not afraid to get his nose dirty. While he usually played cleanly, one reporter described his play as "angry."

Yet the 1940 NHL scoring champion and 1951 NHL most valuable player might not have ever come to Boston if it hadn't been for a couple of friends in Kitchener, Ontario.

The Bruins had previously signed wingers Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer. The duo immediately began campaigning for the club to sign the center they played junior hockey with. The B's weren't as interested in Milt but signed him too, and assigned Schmidt to Providence of the AHL. Schmidt joined the Bruins for the second half of the 1936-37 season, and he quickly established himself as the leader of the Bruins.

Schmidt was reunited with the high scoring Dumart and the smooth skating Bauer. Known in the less politically correct era as the Kraut Line (changed temporarily to the Kitchener Kids during World War II), the trio was as complete and balanced a line as the NHL had ever seen. In fact they were so dominant the trio finished 1-2-3 in the NHL scoring race one year.

The Bruins of 1938-39 won the second Stanley Cup in franchise history. It wasn't just the Kraut Line that was responsible for that. Eddie Shore, Dit Clapper, brilliant rookie goalie Frank Brimsek, and veteran scorers like Bill Cowley, Flash Hollett and Roy Conacher made for one of the greatest teams of all time.

Two years later it was Schmidt who led the Bruins to another Cup. After a relative off-season (13-25--38pts in the regular season), Schmidt led the Bruins to their second Cup in three years by collecting five goals and six assists for 11 points in as many playoff games. In this era prior to a MVP award for Stanley Cup playoff competition, it is unanimously agreed Schmidt was the key cog. The Bruins lost NHL scoring leader Bill Cowley to a knee injury in the very first game of the playoffs. Schmidt came through with a hard-checking style that earned him mention as a game star in four of the games against Toronto, then was great in the finals with points in all four games. He led all playoff scorers by 3 points.

That Bruins team might very well have become known as the greatest team ever, however World War II wiped out Boston's chances at establishing a true dynasty. Schmidt and his linemates enlisted, left for the Royal Canadian Air Force near the end of the 1941-42 season, and weren't seen again in Boston until the fall of 1946.

Schmidt was 28 years old by the time he returned. Many other NHL players had difficulty starting their careers again, but Schmidt actually seemed a better player after missing more than three seasons. In his first year back, Schmidt scored more goals (27) and points (62) than he ever would in a career that would cover 16 NHL seasons.

Schmidt was elected Boston's captain after he and the Bruins suffered through a miserable 1949-50 season, in which the club missed the playoffs and Schmidt scored a somewhat average 41 points (19 goals, 22 assists) in 68 games. With the 'C' on his sweater, Schmidt rebounded strongly for 22 goals, a career-high 39 assists and 61 points in 1950-51. He was awarded the Hart Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player, and earned the last of his three first-team All-Star berths.

Schmidt had a strong, second-team All-Star season in '51-52 (21-29--50), and his career-high five playoff goals in 10 post-season games a year later helped Boston to a surprise berth in the Stanley Cup final despite a sub-.500 regular season.

Schmidt didn't complete his final season on the ice. General Manager Lynn Patrick, Schmidt's coach starting in 1950-51, asked Schmidt to move behind the bench in 1954-55, and Schmidt became Boston's coach on Christmas Day, 1954. He'd hold the post through 1960-61, getting Boston to the Cup finals in 1957 and '58, then returned to the bench for four more seasons after a two-year hiatus.

Schmidt succeeded Hap Emms as GM in 1967-68. The B's, already on the rise with the addition of Bobby Orr, took off like a rocket after Schmidt's first big trade brought Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield to Boston from Chicago.

Schmidt, who had been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961, oversaw Stanley Cups in 1970 and '72 before retiring as GM. He returned to work as the expansion Washington Capitals' first GM in 1974-75, but left that post a year later, only return to the Boston.

Schmidt returned to the Bruins, if only in a ceremonial role, until his death on January 4th, 2107.

January 02, 2017

Top 100 Hockey Players of the 1910s and 1920s

Cy Denneny - Ottawa scoring sensation led all NHLers in scoring in this time period, and it was not even close. 333 points to 251 for the second place scorer.

Reg Noble - Those 251 points belong to Noble. The big man would have scored move but he played a lot of defense in the second half of the decade.

Babe Dye - Seriously deserves more consideration as best Toronto based NHL player ever.

Frank Nighbor  - A complete player in an era when forwards didn't often pay much attention to backchecking.

Joe Malone - NHL's first superstar with 44 goals in 20 games in inaugural season

Cyclone Taylor - Hockey's first superstar was hired gun before NHL era

Howie Morenz - Morenz only played last six seasons of decade, but captured national psyche unlike any other hockey player except Cyclone Taylor of even earlier fame.

Georges Vezina - Hockey's first great goaltender

Buck Boucher - Doesn't get as much recognition as some of this era but was sixth highest NHL scorer of his era

Aurel Joliat - Teamed with Morenz for hockey artistry

Newsy Lalonde  - Early great had 125 goals in 99 career NHL games before leaving NHL to play in Saskatchewan. Also led all players in scoring in 1910s.

Corb Denneny - Hockey has always been a family sport

Punch Broadbent - Fiery winger once scored goals in sixteen consecutive games

Harry Cameron - The top scoring defenseman of the era. 88 goals in 128 games.

Hap Holmes - Western goaltending star

Sprague Cleghorn  - Hockey villain

Clint Benedict - Praying Bennie

Billy Burch - New York born star was one of 12 NHLers to score over 100 goals in this era.

Jack Adams - Before he was a great coach, he was a great player

Odie Cleghorn - Played in his brother's shadow, but very good player, too

Billy Boucher - See Cleghorn, Odie.

Nels Stewart  - More of a 1930s star, but debuted with 4 seasons in this decade and scored 99 goals.

Ken Randall - Aggressive and controversial

King Clancy - Ottawa's impish defenseman was a game changer

Bert Corbeau - Big physical defenseman scored big goals too

Frank Patrick and Lester Patrick - Hockey's most influential builders were great players, too

Frank Frederickson - Noted for Olympic dominance and PCHA play as much as swan song days in NHL.

Jack Darragh - Ottawa's home grown Stanley Cup hero

Eddie Gerard - Some eye witnesses of this era said that defenseman Gerard was better than Eddie Shore

Sailor Herberts - Also known as Herbert.

Didier Pitre - "Cannonball" was one of the early Quebecois stars

Mickey MacKay - Perhaps the most exciting western player before joining NHL

Goldie Prodgers - Vagabond hockey star played complete game

Carson Cooper - Distinct goal scorer dubbed "Shovel Shot."

Cully Wilson - Another of hockey's early bad boys

George Hainsworth - Shutout King

Shorty Green - Instrumental figure in hockey history

Red Green - Shorty's brother, but not that Red Green.

Billy Coutu - As mean as they come

Lionel Hitchman - Steady defender was as much of a presence in Boston as Eddie Shore

Sylvio Mantha - Another early great defender

Mickey Roach - consistent but forgotten player

Bert McCaffrey - A very versatile player

Louis Berlinguette - The original utility forward

Frank Finnigan - The Slumbering Romeo

Hib Milks - Spent most of his NHL career with long ago extinct Pittsburgh and Philadelphia teams.

Leo Reise, Sr. - His son would play in the NHL, too

Butch Arbour - He was a butcher by trade.

Harry Mummery - "Mum" was the heaviest player of his era, reportedly as high as 265lbs.

Dave Ritchie - He scored the first goal in NHL history.

Alf Skinner - Excellent two way forward blessed with speed

Merlyn Phillips - Quick Scorer

Dunc Munro  - Montreal Maroons captain was reportedly the highest paid player of the 1920s

Harry Watson - 1924 Olympic star never played in NHL

Perk Galbraith - Defensive forward extraordinaire

Lorne Chabot - Stanley Cup winner in 1928

Tiny Thompson - Stanley Cup winner in debut season of 1929

Taffy Abel - Big defenseman was excellent shot blocker, heavy hitter

John Ross Roach - The Port Perry Woodpecker

Jake Forbes - Jumping Jakie

Slim Halderson - Slim was actually very big for his era at 6'3" and 200lbs

Jack Walker - Another early defensive forward great.

Battleship Leduc  - another for the all nickname team.

Red Dutton  - Future NHL president was a thundering defenseman too

Dick Irvin - Future NHL coaching great was a Hall of Fame player, too

Duke Keats - Another Western star

George Hay - Western star was Hockey Hall of Famer despite barely playing in NHL

Harry Oliver - Long time New York American from Manitoba

Jack MacDonald - Pre-NHL star

Harry Hyland - Hockey Hall of Famer

Rusty Crawford - Early day two-way star

Bert Lindsay - Ted's dad was a goalie

Alec Connell - Fireman

John Ross Roach  - Played more games than any NHL goalie in the 1920s

Shrimp Worters - Small Wonder

Holes Lockhart - Played admirably, but you gotta wonder about a goalie with that nickname.

Hal Winkler - Western star stopped pucks in NHL too

Pit Lepine - One of the early great Montreal Canadiens players.

Johnny Shepard - Western scorer found home in NHL

Gerry Lowrey - Famous Lowrey family of Ottawa

John McKinnon - Goal scoring defenseman

Herb Drury - Olympic star

Edmond Bouchard - Veteran forward didn't score much but played often.

Russell Oatman - Detroit Rebel

Dinny Dinsmore - Played For A Dollar

Percy Traub - Long time prairies star

Toots Holway - Imposing Defender

Len Grosvenor - Ottawa hometown boy

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