"Who invented the drop pass?"
That was a question posed to me via email today. It turns out that unlike a lot of hockey's innovations, the drop pass actually was invented as opposed to evolved.
Bun Cook literally dreamed up the idea one night, and soon after he and Bread Line line mates Frank Boucher and brother Bill Cook were exploiting unsuspecting defenses on a regular basis.
That New York Rangers trio must have been something to watch. Historians often tried to compare the Bread Line's intricate passing offense to that of the Soviets several decades later. And none other than Frank Selke acknowledged Bun Cook as the key their attack.
"Men who would know credit Bunny Cook with the introduction of the passing attack," wrote Frank Selke. "The Cook-Boucher line introduced a style of attack completely their own — each member kept working into an open spot, passing the puck carefully and adequately and frequently pushing the puck into the open net after confusing the defensive force of the opposition. This was a repetition of lacrosse as played by the great Indian teams."
Selke wasn't the only fan of theirs. Ed Sullivan, then a sports reporter and television-legend-in-waiting, was a big fan of Bun in particular.
"When Bun Cook is hot, he is one of the most amazing players in hockey," wrote Sullivan. "At such moments, he attempts plays that stagger the imagination. At his peak, there is no player so enjoyable to watch."
You can read all about Bun Cook, the newest addition to Greatest Hockey Legends.com