Skip to main content

Dolly Swift

Once upon a time the world of hockey had a healthy infatuation with nicknames. The best are always the handles that permanently replace the player's given name. Cylone Taylor. Newsy Lalonde. Toe Blake. Rocket Richard. Boom Boom Geoffrion. King Clancy. Happy Day. Gump Worsley.

Oh those were the glory days of ice monikers. 

But which player was the earliest to be known by his nickname? 

The answer would appear to be Arthur "Dolly" Swift, an outstanding player who starred in Quebec from 1880 through 1899. The sporadic statistics also hint he played at least one season in Montreal. He later became a Brigadier general in the Canadian Army in World War 1.

I have no idea why he was dubbed Dolly, but he was one of the top players pre-1900. SIHR's database has him scoring 56 goals in 62 games. Now statistics from that time period are sporadic and incomplete at best, but that would place him right near the top of scoring leaders for that time period. Some sources claim he is the top scorer of the 1890s.

Swift was also memorable for his ongoing feud with Ottawa's Weldy Young. It was one of the earliest player feuds recorded in print. There is even a story - be in factual or fictional I do not know - that Dolly was so convinced that Young was faking an injury in order to draw a penalty that he doused the fallen Young with a bucket of water!

Comments

Quebec Bulldogs said…
Nice article. Two things : It's not Arthur but Albert Edward Swift. And today, I finally found a proof of death. http://quebecbulldogs.com/2015/12/30/albert-edward-swift-est-mort-en-1948/

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M