July 01, 2013

George "Buck" Boucher

George "Buck" Boucher came from a great sporting family. His father Tom was a great rugby/football star.  George was one of six sons, four (George, Billy, Bob and Frank) of which went on to play professional hockey.

Buck Boucher started out as a forward with the Ottawa Senators in 1915. The Sens were part of the National Hockey Association back then, the predecessor of the NHL.

But Boucher, a wizardly stickhandler of his time, switched to defense, and became star. The Senators had a lot of great defensemen back then, as Boucher counted the likes of Eddie Gerard, Sprague Cleghorn, Lionel Hitchman and his long time partner King Clancy as teammates.

But Boucher was as good as all of them. He starred in the NHL from 1917 through to 1932, scoring 122 goals and 184 points in 457 games. He helped the Senators win four Stanley Cups between 1920 and 1927.

Boucher, the first NHL defenseman to score a hat trick in Stanley Cup play, was a clever defender, at both ends of the ice. Offensively he wowed defenses and audiences with his puckhandling, often "rolling" the puck unlike anyone else. Defensively he was solid and rambunctious. He played with zeal and passion, and was an emphatic presence in most games.

Boucher would later step behind the bench, coaching in the NHL in Ottawa, Boston, St. Louis and Chicago. He would also coach the Ottawa Senators of the Quebec Hockey League to the Allan Cup in 1949.

Buck Boucher was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1960, just weeks before he died. He had battled throat cancer for six years.

No comments: