March 25, 2016

Rusty Crawford

Rusty Crawford was born on November 7, 1884 in Cardinal, Ontario.

Rusty was known for his fast skating and his left handed shot. He was a very versatile as a forward giving a strong performance as either right or left wing or center. The early bible of hockey "Trail of the Stanley Cup" described him as "a tireless backchecker," something not always practiced by forwards of his day. He also played with a physical edge and more than once found himself losing his temper and getting into trouble.

After dominating Saskatchewan hockey as an amateur, Rusty went on to play for the Quebec Bulldogs of the National Hockey Association during the 1912-1913 season. He helped the Bulldogs defend their Stanley Cup in his first of five seasons there. He established himself as a dangerous scorer, notching 51 goals in 61 games at his hottest stretch.

When the NHA essentially became the NHL in 1917-18, the Bulldogs sat out the season for financial reasons.  As a result Rusty went on to play for the Ottawa Senators in the NHL's inaugural season. Soon after, Toronto signed him as a free agent where he won yet another Stanley Cup, defeating Vancouver in a five game series. Rusty stayed with Toronto for one more season, concluding his NHL career with just 39 games with 10 goals and 18 points.

Crawford headed out west in 1920, continuing to bounce around with Saskatoon, Calgary and Vancouver in the WCHL. He continued to be a productive player in the high-quality western circuit.

Crawford finally finished his career with Minneapolis in 1929. He was forty-five years old when he finished playing hockey - impressive in any era and basically unheard of back then. He was said to have never missed a game of hockey due to injury in his entire 21 year career.

His career earned him a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962.

He passed away on December 19, 1971.

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