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September 20, 2014

Cecil Blachford

Cecil Blachford, an old-time chap you likely have never have heard of, was Montreal hockey legend before anyone had even heard of the Montreal Canadiens or the National Hockey League.

Blachford won the Stanley Cup no less than five times. The first came in 1903 as a member of the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association's hockey team. He, and several other members of the AAA, lefter to join James Strachan's newly formed Montreal Wanderers hockey team in 1904. Blachford would serve as team captain when the Wanderers won three consecutive Stanley Cup championships in 1906, 1907 and 1908.

Blachford would leave the game briefly in 1909 but returned in 1910 to help the Wanderers win another Stanley cup title.

Despite captaining one of hockey's early great teams, Cecil Blachford is not a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Several of his teammates are, including Lester Patrick, Moose Johnson and Ernie Russell.

Perhaps part of the reason for the HHOF snub is how much playing time he missed. Twice he was sidelined with serious ailments. One time he suffered from a horrible blood poisoning. Another time he was viciously elbowed by a player named Charlie "Baldy" Spittal of Ottawa. Spittal would tried in court over that assault. He was fined $20, only to find himself in court again for another on-ice incident the following year.

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