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August 08, 2013

William "Peggy" Duval

William Duval, a promising but tragic hockey star with Ottawa and Pittsburgh at the turn of the 20th century had a most interesting nickname - Peggy! I'm not sure what the story is behind the nickname but it is an unusual one I am sure. It was often shortened to just "Peg."

Duval was born in Ottawa in 1877 and promised to be a top defense prospect for the powerful Ottawa team at the turn of the century. But he would leave for Pittsburgh of the WPHL in 1902, playing with the "Victorias" until his release in 1905.

The circumstances surround his release are murky but are an early hint of Duval's tragic death a few months later. Duval, who found employment with the Pennsylvania Rail Road company, was cut officially for not being in shape to play. Some speculate his ailment at that time was alcohol. 

Six months later alcohol was undeniably the reason for his death at the age of 27. Speculation was he could not handle the failing of a relationship with a woman and began drinking excessively. On June 7th, 1905 he was found dead. The cause of death was alcohol poisoning. 

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