Bill Quackenbush played with the Detroit Red Wings and the Boston Bruins in his 14 year career in the NHL. The 5'11" 180lb blueliner was not only one of the best defensive blueliners, but also, much like Niklas Lidstrom in the modern NHL, was as gentlemanly as he was efficient.
While playing with the Red Wings he was teamed with such pugilists as Terrible Ted Lindsay, Black Jack Stewart and of course Gordie Howe. Later Bill would play for the Big Bad Boston Bruins. Quackenbush's play was completely contradictory to that of his teams. Instead of using violence and brute strength, he would use a clean, pure version of defense. He seemingly knew what the opposing team would do before it would happen and he'd break-up the play without having to resort to physically manhandling the player. His positioning was perfect, his defense as elegant as it was disciplined
Quackenbush was an extraordinary thinker. To play NHL defense and to do it without taking many penalties requires an incredibly intelligent level of hockey sense. That being the case, Quackenbush certainly would have to qualify as one of the games most intelligent players ever.
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