Skip to main content

Bert McCaffrey


Bert McCaffrey was the ultimate substitute player back in the 1920s. He could - and did - play any position equally well. Though he was primarily a right winger, he also played stretches on defense.

McCaffrey had a very long and very storied career. From 1916 through 1923 he was a Senior hockey star in Toronto. He was a member of two Allan Cups in 1922 and 1923, and then went to the Olympics with the University Granites in 1924. Canada easily won gold, thanks to the big line of McCaffrey, Harry Watson and Hooly Smith. That line scored an amazing 74 goals in just five Olympic contests. McCaffrey alone scored 21!

McCaffrey joined the NHL in 1924 with Toronto as a 31 year old rookie - which instantly made him one of the oldest players in the NHL at that time. He would switch to defense by the 1926-27 season.

By 1928 he was playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates and by 1930 he was helping the Montreal Canadiens win a Stanley Cup.

Bert McCaffrey retired from pro hockey by 1933. In 260 NHL contests he 42 goals and 72 points - not bad for a part time forward who seemed to play more defense as he aged. When he left the NHL he was 37 - an almost unthinkable age to still be playing back in those days.

Described as "speedy" and "burly," McCaffrey was on the verge of tears when he played his final game with the Montreal Canadiens. Newspaper reports said he was very touched by the club's gift of a "a purse" in front of his teammates. He was also given a new suit.

Perhaps McCaffrey wore the suit during his return to the NHL as a referee.

Bert McCaffrey passed away on April 15th, 1955. He was 62 years old.

Comments

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