February 21, 2013

Si Griffis

This is Silas "Si" Griffis. Born in Kansas but raised in Ontario, he first gained hockey fame as a member of the Kenora Thistles when they unthinkably won the Stanley Cup in 1907. He later captained the Vancouver Millionaires to the Stanley Cup in 1915 and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1950.

Griffis was said to have been remarkable sight on the ice due to his huge frame and great skating ability. He sped down the ice like a locomotive as teams were unable to stop him. He dominated the game first as a rover and later as a defenseman.

In 1907 he led Kenora (formerly known as Rat Portage) to an improbable Stanley Cup victory. The team won a thrilling two-game series with the Montreal Wanderers. Tommy Smith scored seven of the 12 Kenora goals, while Griffis and Art Ross dominated the games. Kenora is the smallest city to have ever won the Stanley Cup.

Griffis headed west soon after the Stanley Cup victory. A friend of Lester and Frank Patrick, Griffis sort of disappeared from the hockey scene for a while but statistical evidence suggested he played a couple of seasons in the British Columbia logging town of Nelson. The Patricks were also in that area, making big dollars logging while dreaming of a west coast hockey league to challenge the powers that be in the east.

Griffis re-emerged  with the Vancouver Millionaires of the Patrick brothers' newly formed Pacific Coast Hockey Association in 1912. He would serve as the team's captain until his retirement in 1919.

Griffis went on to become the managing news editor of the Vancouver Sun. He died in 1950.

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