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07-11-2011, 02:23 AM
Iain Fyffe
Hockey fact-checker
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Violence was getting big in hockey, a symptom of wanting to win at all costs, with money and glory on the line.
If you think there was no violence in the game in the 1890s, you need to read some game reports from the era. Writers were decrying the violence in the game almost from day one. The idea that 1890s hockey was a genteel, gentlemanly pursuit is a false one. That might have been the stated ideal by many writers, but it was only really referenced with respect to how the game failed to meet those standards.

Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
There's an important distinction between that, and leisurely hockey where an undetermined amount of effort was exerted.
This is an unfair characterization of the game in that era. Players who loafed and didn't put in a full effort were derided in the papers. Sport was taken very seriously at that time, in a way that is not done today.

Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
but the HHOF committee had every opportunity to induct players of that earlier generation and they didn't... not even one.
Where are you drawing that line? Mike Grant? His career started the year after Paton retired. Graham Drinkwater? He played against Paton in 1893. Dan Bain? His first action was in 1894. Are you saying that 1893 was worlds apart from 1888?

Harvey Pulford? Harry Trihey? Dickie Boon? These are all pre-pro players. The game in 1900, when Trihey dominated, was much closer to the game of 1890 than it was to the game of 1910.

Maybe the problem lies with the idea that only the Stanley Cup matters, an idea perpetuated by Trail of the Stanley Cup, which pretends that hockey began in 1893. This is why we have to reference a decent-but-full-of-holes book like Ultimate Hockey, because so little attention has been paid to the game before 1893.

Besides that, if previous selection committees looked anything like the current one, there's no reason to think they have any real understanding of this era. There are a few journalists but no real historians. Mostly it's the boy's club, hockey executives who may or may not know anything about the game from before their day.

Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Ever notice how almost no one from that 1900s generation lasted very long into the 1910s? We've come to the conclusion that the 1910s generation was much stronger. The same thing can be said for the 1900s versus the 1880s/1890s.
Has this been studied systematically? Spefically, has the fact that amateur athletes retire earlier than professional ones been taken into consideration? When you're not getting paid to play, you tend to retire when work and family life start putting more demands on your time. Russell Bowie retired before hitting age 30, and he certainly had no trouble keeping up with the pros in 07 and 08. Amateur players simply retired earlier; playing at age 37, as Paton did, is quite rare for the era.

Last edited by Iain Fyffe: 07-11-2011 at 02:33 AM.
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