Howie Morenz was the most dazzling player of his generation. Boston's great defenseman Eddie Shore knew "The Stratford Streak" was as good a player who had ever skated in hockey:
"I was as fast as any man in hockey except Morenz," marveled Shore, who was noted for his belligerent play. "He was that little extra bit faster."
How fast was Morenz?
"Nobody ever knew how much speed Morenz might have generated if he had ever had to turn it on for one full stretch of 60 minutes," Shore offered. "He used to have to spot Aurel Joliat 30 feet before he even started skate. I've seen him give away as much as 50 feet to fast skaters and catch them before they got to the end of the rink."
One time Shore and partner Lionel Hitchman did catch Morenz with a big check, but they could not believe his ability to dust it off.
"I steered Howie into a pocket and Hitch took care of the rest. At least we thought he was taking care of the rest. The first time Morenz fairly flew into Hitch, and bounced straight back as though he'd run into a brick wall. Hitch and I exchanged looks of regret over the body, mentally dusted it off our hands and prepared for an evening of relative peace and quiet."
Five minutes later Morenz was back, and at full speed.
"If I hadn't known better I'd have sworn it was a mirage," Shore said. "But I moved up again and drove him over into the same pocket. Hitchman did the clean up job even more ernestly this time. I'm still wondering why the rink didn't fall in right there.
"Five minutes after that, here he came again. If he'd been travelling on an express schedule before, he was carrying a special delivery tag this trip. We were lucky enough to steer him over to Hitchman's beat again. Hitch caught him square . Howie gasped like the air going out of a punctured tire, did a reverse jackknife and landed on the back of his neck several yards from the scene of the accident.
"Hitchman and I skated sorrowfully over to see if there was any point in carry him away. Howie's right eye opened slowly. He peered at us in silence for a moment, and then shook his head and said:
'Say, don't you guys ever get tired?' "
His skating, puck skills and desire made Morenz the greatest player of his generaton. He was something to behold.
“(Morenz) had a heart that was unsurpassed in athletic history and no one ever came close to him in the colour department," said Shore. "After you watched Howie you wanted to see him often, and as much as I liked to play hockey, I often thought I would have counted it a full evening had I been able to sit in the stands and watch the Morenz maneuvers. Such an inclination never occurred to me about other stars."