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Tiny Thompson

Cecil Thompson was better known as "Tiny," even though at 5'10" and 170 pounds he had good size for a goalie, especially in the 1920's and 1930's when Thompson played.

Thompson was born in British Columbia, making him one of the first West Coast born and raised NHL stars. In the early days the vast majority of players came from the far more populated Quebec and Ontario.

Thompson joined the Bruins prior to the 1928-29 season and immediately took over as starting goalie from Hal Winkler. Thompson quickly proved himself to the Bruins faithful, registering a 1-0 shutout victory in his National Hockey League debut on November 15, 1928.

That was just the beginning for Thompson and the Bruins that first season. Thompson heroics led the Bruins all the way to their first Stanley Cup championship. The Bruins became the talk of New England because of this championship, and to this day remains perhaps the hottest hotbed for hockey in the United States.

Thompson, the brother of Chicago/New York standout forward Paul Thompson, would play for 10 seasons with the B's before being replaced by Frank Brimsek. He earned an unprecedented four Vezina Trophies and four NHL All Star team selections in that time. He recorded an absolutely staggering total of 81 shutouts in his 12 years of hockey.

He would finish out his career with a couple of seasons in Detroit, arriving with great fanfare in exchange for Normie Smith and a reported $15,000. In his short term he was Detroit's most popular player, and turned the NHL worst team around into a Stanley Cup semi-finalist.

Tiny will forever be remember as the goalie in the 1933 marathon playoff game between Boston and Toronto. The game featured over 104 minutes of overtime in addition to the regulation 60 minutes before Toronto's Ken Doraty finally found the net in a 1-0 Stanley Cup playoff classic.

Thompson is also the answer to an interesting trivia question. During the 1935-36 season, Thompson entered the record book when he fed a pass to defenseman Babe Siebert, who went on to score. Thompson became the first goaltender to register an assist in NHL history.

Tiny Thompson retired with 284 wins, 194 losses, and 75 ties with a career 2.08 GAA. Elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1959, Cecil "Tiny" Thompson died on February 9, 1981.


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