March 16, 2015

Gord Fraser

Gord Fraser was a rough and tumble defenseman with a knack for scoring goals. Described as a talented and robust defender with a heavy shot and a zest for hitting opposing puck carriers, he also filled in as a forward throughout his career.

Though he born in Pembroke, Ontario way back in 1894 (officially, though debate about his actual birth year exists), Fraser ventured out west to chase his hockey dreams. He spent a couple of years in Calgary before landing in PCHA/WCHL in 1921. That league was, briefly, the Western big league alternative to the eastern based National Hockey league.

Fraser played three seasons with the Seattle Metropolitans before moving to the beautiful British Columbia capital city to play for the Victoria Cougars. Fraser was a PCHA/WCHL all star from 1923 through 1925, one of the best players in the league.

It was with Victoria in 1925 that Fraser helped his team win the Stanley Cup - the last non-NHL team to win the Stanley Cup. A broken leg derailed Fraser's 1926 season, though he did return in time for the playoffs to see Victoria return to the Stanley Cup final but were unable to successfully defend their title.

The western pro league collapsed in 1926-27. The Victoria Cougars franchise was essentially bought out by NHL expansion interests. The team moved to Michigan to become the Detroit Cougars - later renamed the Red Wings.

Fraser did not join his Cougars teammates in Detroit, at least not right away. He was traded to the other new American NHL franchise - the Chicago Black Hawks - in exchange for Art Duncan. But two years later he finally did join Detroit, traded back in exchange for Duke Keats.

Fraser never found NHL success like he did out west before he broke his leg. He played a season and a half in Detroit before bouncing around, also playing for the Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Quakers. He also played several more years in the minor leagues in a long, 17 year professional career.

In 144 NHL games Gord Fraser scored 24 goals and 36 points while accumulating 224 penalty minutes.

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