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02-07-2011, 12:31 PM
Leafs Forever
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Between 1940 and 1952, Nels Stewart was the NHL's all-time goal-scoring leader. One of the most lethal offensive players of his day, he earned the nickname "Old Poison" because of his deadly accurate shot. Stewart also had a dark side, and he was more than willing to use his stick or mix it up with members of the opposition whenever the mood struck him. -Legends of Hockey
He earned the nickname "Ol' Poison" in part because of his deadly shooting around the net and in part for a mean streak that made him doubly dangerous to opponents.-Canadian Sports Hall of Fame
Stewart, whose ability to score from almost any angle caused fans to say he was a dose of "Ol' Poison"...A big, rugged, 200-pounder, Stewart was hard to knock off stride and at the peak of his career possessed cat like speed in front of the net.- Canadian Press
The fiery center burst onto the NHL scene in 1925-26, scoring a league-high 34 goals in his first season...In 1929-30, Stewart was teamed with Siebert and Hooley Smith to form the dreaded S Line. This formidable trio fused talent and physical play at a level rarely seen in NHL history.- Legends of Hockey

"In today's game," said Smeaton back in the 1980s, "Nels would have scored 100 goals. He was terrific in front of the net, a big strong fellow who had moves like a cat. Stewart never seemed to be paying any attention to where the puck was and, if you were checking him, he'd even hold little conversation with you; but the minute he'd see the puck coming his way he'd bump you, take the puck and go off and score."- Cooper Smeaton, NHL referee
Stewart was a big man for his day, standing six foot one and weighing nearly 200 pounds. Clearly, he was no shrinking violet and the ice. He was involved in two of the more spectacular fights of the thirties.- Liam McGuire, "What's The Score?"
This sensational NHL rookie who won the MVP for the regular season went above the call of duty in the playoffs for the Maroons. Usually a center, he played almost every shift on defence when captain Dunc Munro was slowed down by a severe flu. Despite playing out of position he scored six of the Maroons ten goals as Montreal completely outplayed Victoria. Had the game winner in all three wins over Victoria and a goal in the 3-2 loss. -Retro Conn Smythe 1926 explanation
Truculent Nels Stewart was nicknamed "Old Poison" as he was the most feared goal scorer of his time.-Joe Pelletier
Joe Pelletier thoughts on some of the Nels Stewart detractors:

Its hard to believe a Hart Trophy winner and NHL goal scoring champ could have scored 324 goals by being lazy. Perhaps Stewart was more deceptive than lazy. After all, detractors also mislabeled more modern big men of the game such as Frank Mahovlich and Mario Lemieux.
After fifteen years of organized hockey one would imagine that a man would just about be ready to retire to a quiet life. But not so Nels Stewart, star centre and defence man of the Montreal Maroons of the national hockey league. Nels is still at it and they still call him "Old Poison". There are plenty of big men in the NHL, and there are plenty of brainy men, but there are few who combine both weight and brains. Nels Stewart is one of the few. He tips the scales at over two hundreds pounds but only uses his weight when necessary. He relies more on the gray matter between his ears. Perhaps that is why he has lasted so long. Stewart set the hockey world on fire almost over night....The remarkable thing about it all is that he is just about as effective now as he ever was.- Ottawa Citizen, Jan 27, 1931
He is a two-fisted fighting player and the greatest inside player in the game.- Art Ross on Nels Stewart
Nels Stewart stopped a rush by Ching Johnson, got the puck and skated back to be stopped by Murdoch, Ranger spare.- The Pittsburgh Press, Apr 15, 1928
Some proof of Left-Wing eligibility:

Nels Stewart, Montreal Maroon Left Winger, is leading all scorers in either section of the National Hockey League...- The Border Cities Star, Dec 4, 1928
....came off the stick of Stewart, Maroon wingman....-Ottawa Citizen, Jan 28, 1931
Stewart, high scoring left wing of the Montreal Maroons, is now the undisputed scoring leader of the Canadian section of the national hockey league- New York Times, Mar 12, 1929
Nels Stewart, Montreal Maroon left winger, is leading all scorers in either section of the National Hockey League.- The Border Cities Star, Dec 4, 1928
Nels Stewart, high scoring left-wing of the Montreal Maroons, is now the undisputed scoring leader of the Canadian section of the National Hockey league- New York Times, Marc 12, 1929
Nels Stewart, big Montreal Maroon left winger, has been a powerful factor in leading his club in (word cut out) rush from a lowly position to top most position in the National Hockey League race.- The Pittsburgh Press, Dec 7, 1928
A post from Sturminator:
I can help with this a bit. I've got a NYT article from April 11th, 1928 on a Cup finals game between the Maroons and Rangers in which Stewart is clearly a left wing - both described as one in the text and listed as one on the lineup card. Smith centered him and their right winger is undrafted. [left_wing] was on the blueline for that series. Yeah...he got jerked back to defense during his prime, as well. This is not out of line with a whole lot of what I've read about the Maroons teams of that period. The famed S Line doesn't seem to have spent really all that much time together as a line, with both Smith and [left_wing] getting periodically moved back to defense and Stewart getting moved around between center and the left wing, depending upon where everyone else was playing.

Center seems to have been his "natural" position, as in, he played center most often, but considering that his game was basically to stand in front of the goal and hack at the puck (while spitting tobacco juice at whomever was foolish enough to approach him), I see no reason why he can't do that just as well on the left wing. It's not like his game would have varied much from one position to the next. I'm sure that his talent for ignoring defensive responsibilities was in no way reduced by moving him from center to the wing. You could probably make him a goalie, and he'd play the same game, just with more pads on.
A writer picks his all-star teams for the first half of the 1928-29 season picked Nels Stewart as the first AST LW. Here is what the writer said about him(credit to TDMM for the find):
"a big man, dangerously rough at times, a very hard man to check, and one of the most finished players around the goal. In one game at Montreal I saw Stewart back-check like a most enthusiastic rookie, but after his team had scored two goals, he assumed his careless manner, merely standing around until someone brought the puck up to him... must drive a manager frantic... but when bearing down, he is the best left wing in the game."
The Toronto St. Pats are happy to select, an extremely tough player who is also one of the greatest goalscorers of all-time...


Awards and Achievements
2 x Hart Trophy Winner(1926, 1930)
1 x Stanley Cup Champion(1926)
1 x Retro Conn Smythe Winner(1926)
1 x Retro Art Ross Winner(1926)
2 x Retro Maurice Richard Trophy Winner(1926, 1937)

Ranking Finishes:
Goals: 1st(1926), 1st(1937), 2nd(1929), 3rd(1928), 3rd(1934), 4th(1930), 4th(1931),5th(1935), 7th(1932), 8th(1927), 8th(1938), 9th(1933), 9th(1939), 15th(1936),

Assists: 6th(1926), 8th(1928), 11th(1931), 12th(1934), 14th(1928), 14th(1933), 18th(1939), 19th(1930), 20th(1935), 22nd(1936), T-25th(1938),

Points: 1st(1926), 2nd(1929), 4th(1934), 5th(1928), 6th(1930), 7th(1931), 8th(1937), 9th(1933), 10th(1935), 10th(1938), 15th(1939(, 17th(1932), 17th(1936), 18th(1927)

% finishes(of 2nd place scorer):

Goals: 128%, 104%(of 3rd place; T-1st) 100%, 96%, 95%, 95%, 83%, 83%, 81%, 78%(of 3rd; tie for 1st), 68%, 67%, 67%, 61% Total: 1111%

Assists: 67%, 67%, 63%, 58%, 57%, 57%, 56%, 53%, 52%, 51% 50% Total: 630%

Points: 117%, 100%, 89%, 87%, 85%, 85%, 82%, 81%, 79%, 78%, 72%, 72%, 66%, 58% Total: 1151%

Long-Term Percentages
From 1926-1940 (career), Nels Stewart is 1st in goals(141% of 2nd place Morenz), 4th in assists(93% of 2nd place H.Smith in 6 more games), and 1st in points(123% of 2nd place Morenz).

He is 2nd in GPG(only a 200+ less game Conacher is ahead), T-34th APG, and 6th in PPG(playing at least 150 games more than everyone ahead of him)

From 1926-1936 (10-year peak), Nels Stewart is 1st in goals(114% of Bill Cook in 25 more games), 8th in assists(77% of 2nd place Joe Primeau), and 2nd in points (1 less point than 1st place Morenz playing 12 more games)

He is 2nd in GPG (to Conacher who played over 100 games less), T-23rd in APG, 4th in PPG amongst 100+ game players(playing 100 or more games than everyone ahead of him except Morenz)

From 1926-1931 (5-year peak), Stewart is 2nd in goals(3 less than Morenz playing 7 more games), 8th in assists(80% of 2nd place Morenz), and 2nd in points(17 less than Morenz in 7 more games)

He is 2nd in GPG amongst 76+ game players, 22nd in APG, and 3rd in PPG amongst 100+ game players.
Goals: T-3rd(1926)*, T-2nd(1928)*, T-7th(1933)*, T-11th(1938)*

Assists: T-1st(1926)*, T-3rd(1928)*, T-8th*(1938),

Points: T-3rd(1926)*, 3rd(1928), T-8th(1938)

*Achieved with particularly low totals due to era

Last edited by Leafs Forever: 04-29-2011 at 04:55 PM.
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