July 05, 2011

The Silver Fox

My girlfriend advised me that my hair is getting grayer by the day.

I told her it's because of her kids. She fired back that it's more likely because of my Canucks.

She may be right. Don't tell her that.

When I think of grey hair in hockey I always think of "The Silver Fox," Lester Patrick. Patrick is arguably the most influential man in the history of hockey.

Lester Patrick, along with his brother Frank, made countless contributions to the game of hockey throughout his lifetime as a player, coach, manager, owner and National Hockey League governor.

Sure he was a great player, and a good coach (best known for his "taking matters into his own hands" approach in the 1928 playoffs). But together with Frank, through their own league - the Pacific Coast Hockey Association - Lester Patrick pioneered hockey as big business.

Their key innovations include:

  • Numbered Jerseys
  • Artificial Ice
  • Blue Lines
  • Penalty Shots
  • Allowing of goalies to leave their feet to make a save
  • Allowing of players to kick the puck
  • Rewarded assists on goals
  • "On the fly" line changes
  • Encourage rushing defensemen
  • Inaugurated a farm team system
  • Devised a profitable playoff system which is now used universally.

1 comment:

Ron "Scoreboard" JOHNSTON said...

Great story - Joe, keep up the great work. Enjoy reading those biography. Regina Pats also had "The Silver Fox" in their franchise.