Lester Patrick. Numbered Jerseys. Blue Lines. Penalty Shots. Assists. On The Fly Line Changes. Farm Teams. Playoff Format. All, plus so much more, visions of the Patrick brothers.
Yet all of Lester's many accomplishments as a player and innovations as a builder are shadowed by one night in the 1928 NHL playoffs.
Game one, Stanley Cup finals, and Rangers goalie Lorne Chabot can not play due to injury. With no back up goalie to be found, Patrick, at the age of 44, decided to put the pads on himself. This move energized his Rangers. They played inspired hockey and the game went in to overtime. In a game that Hollywood couldn't dream of, Frank Boucher went on to score in overtime for the Rangers. The Rangers went on to win the Stanley Cup.
Full Lester Patrick Biography
Lester and Frank are 2 of my favorite historical figures in the game. Following their trail from Renfrew to Vancouver to New York is an amazing journey. I like to the call them "the men who built hockey".
Anyone interested in the game's history should read all they can on the men. Consider it a Hockey 101 starter course.
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