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04-20-2011, 05:56 PM
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Well, I've been meaning to post this for awhile, but here goes. Awhile back, I noticed that Babe Pratt was ranked the 47th best Ranger all time in the "top 100 Rangers" book. I found this interesting, since most of what we know about Babe was after he was traded to Toronto. I had always assumed his Rangers years were fairly unimpressive. I asked LL, and he was kind enough to scan the book and send me scans of the section on Pratt. Here's some of what it said:

A rollicking defensemen, both on the ice and off, and one of the most unique individuals ever to pull on a Rangers sweater, Pratt was a winner from the first time he laced up the skates. His teams won 15 championships, from the junior ranks to the NHL during his 26 years in the game.

Al Ritchie, the Rangers' legendary scout during the 1930s and 1940s, called Pratt "the finest prospect I have ever seen," when the Rangers signed him to his first NHL contract on October 18, 1935. He spent just 28 games with the Philadelphia Ramblers of the Canadian-American League before the Rangers called him to New York. It would be 12 more years before Pratt would play another minor league game.
Sounds like Pratt really was one of the biggest natural talents ever.

Now, a description of his "color" that seems to have prevented him from taking that next step:

The swift summons to New York would mark the beginning of the love affair between Pratt and the Big Apple, The City That Never Sleeps. After seeing Broadway for the first time, he joked, "Where has this place been all my life? I looked out at all those beautiful lights and said, 'Babe, you are going to personally look behind every one of them."

No doubt he did.
Seems like Babe spend a lot of time in the apartments of other people...

And he chose his partner in crime unwisely:

Babe's running mate on the Rangers was usually defenseman Murray (Muzz) Patrick, son of Lester Patrick, the team's patriarch, general manager and coach. One year, as the Rangers were fast developing into one of the National Hockey League's strongest franchises, Pratt remarked, "This team has balance. We've got some hungry rookies and two thirsty veterans: me and Muzz."
I'm not sure if "thirsty" referred to an appetite for women or booze, but the conservative Lester Patrick was not pleased:

That remark surely never sat well with boss man Patrick. Neither did Pratt's oft-stated description of Patrick's frugality: "I wouldn't say Lester was cheap, but he was certainly adjacent to cheap."
I'll be back to post more on Pratt's style with the Rangers and what the Maple Leafs did to tame the wild horse.

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