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11-09-2012, 10:33 AM
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Don "Bones" Raleigh

Position: Center
Born: June 27, 1926 - Kenora, Ontario, Canada
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 150 lbs
Shoots: Left
Team: New York Rangers

Points Finishes
86, 26, 36, 30, 16, 4, 50, 12, 19, 77

Points Per Game Finishes (>40GP)
X, 26, 24, 33, 18, 5, 39, 14, 24, X

Regular Season
1942-43 16 Winnipeg MJHL12 8 1 9 0
1943-44 17 Brooklyn EAHL26 23 20 43 6
1943-44 17 NYR NHL 15 2 2 4 2
1944-45 18 Winnipeg MJHL 5 14 9 23 2
1944-45 18 Winnipeg Army WNDHL 4 3 1 4 0
1945-46 19 Brandon MJHL 10 24 24 48 2
1946-47 20 2 Teams WSrHL 6 12 7 19 2
1947-48 21 NYR NHL 52 15 18 33 2
1948-49 22 NYR NHL 41 10 16 26 8
1949-50 23 NYR NHL 70 12 25 37 11
1950-51 24 NYR NHL 64 15 24 39 18
1950-51 24 New York EAHL 2 0 0 0 0
1951-52 25 NYR NHL 70 19 42 61 14
1952-53 26 NYR NHL 55 4 18 22 2
1953-54 27 NYR NHL 70 15 30 45 16
1954-55 28 NYR NHL 69 8 32 40 19
1955-56 29 NYR NHL 29 1 12 13 4
1955-56 29 Providence Reds AHL13 4 20 24 0
1955-56 29 Saskatoon QuakersWHL 25 17 19 36 2
1956-57 30 Brandon Regals WHL68 13 47 60 14
1957-58 31 Saskatoon QuakersWHL 40 10 23 33 8

1942-43 16 Winnipeg MJHL 2 1 1 2 0
1943-44 17 Brooklyn EAHL 11 16 9 25 4
1944-45 18 Winnipeg MJHL 7 5 7 12 19
1944-45 18 Winnipeg Army WNDHL 2 1 2 3 0
1945-46 19 Brandon MJHL 7 7 11 18 18
1946-47 20 Winnipeg WSrHL 4 3 15 18 0
1946-47 20 Winnipeg Al-Cup 8 8 7 15 0
1947-48 21 NYR NHL 6 2 0 2 2
1949-50 23 NYR NHL 12 4 5 9 4

MJHL Scoring Champion - 1946
Rangers Playoff MVP - 1950
Rangers Team MVP - 1951
NHL All Star Game - 1951, 1954
Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame - 1998
Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame
Brandon University Hockey Hall of Fame

Rangers Captain - 1953-55
Rangers Points Leader - 1951, 1952
Rangers Assists Leader - 1950, 1951, 1952, 1955
Holds Rangers record for fastest 3 assists (1:10, 11/16/1947)

Originally Posted by New York Times 8/23/2012
Playing 10 seasons in the N.H.L., all with the Rangers, Raleigh was a fine scorer and playmaker, but he weighed only 150 pounds or so, with a 5-foot-11-inch frame, bringing him the nickname Bones.

Raleigh became the youngest player in Rangers history when he made his N.H.L. debut in 1943 at age 17, when many players were in the military in World War II.

After serving in the Canadian Army, Raleigh returned to the Rangers in 1947 and had a few spectacular games that season, getting three assists in a span of 81 seconds against the Montreal Canadiens and four goals in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

But Raleigh’s signature moments came in April 1950, when the Rangers met the Detroit Red Wings for the Stanley Cup championship. The Rangers had to play all their games on the road — five in Detroit and two on neutral ice in Toronto — with the circus at Madison Square Garden.

Raleigh scored the winning goals in the first overtime period at Detroit’s Olympia arena in Games 4 and 5.

I’ve always said the best shot in hockey is a one-timer — shooting the puck right off the pass,” he told John Halligan and John Kreiser in the oral history “Game of My Life: New York Rangers” (2006). Raleigh recalled that both his overtime goals came on just that kind of shot.
Raleigh’s feat in the finals was unmatched until 1993, when John LeClair of the Montreal Canadiens scored in two consecutive games against the Los Angeles Kings.

Originally Posted by New York Times 8/25/2012
By then, Raleigh, known as Bones, was in the latter half of his career, and hockey was changing. Slight players who could dart past or stickhandle around opponents, players like Raleigh — 5 feet 11 inches and 150 pounds “soaking wet,” in the words of his Rangers linemate Pentti Lund — had thrived since the game’s inception.

I knew how to collapse my body so that when guys hit me, I didn’t get hurt,” Raleigh told John Halligan and John Kreiser in the 2006 oral history “Game of My Life: New York Rangers.”
Bones Raleigh was the quintessential antihero,” said the hockey historian and commentator Stan Fischler... “He was an intellectual; he would write poetry on the Staten Island Ferry,” Fischler said. “He would get the puck behind his net and just wend his way up ice on spectacular rushes. Problem was, Bones being so skinny, by the time he got inside the enemy zone, he was usually body checked. But we didn’t mind because he was our guy.”
You couldn’t hit him,” said Chuck Scherza, who played alongside Raleigh on the wartime Rangers. “He was fast, a great skater and he could stickhandle so well. I knew he’d make it.”
Both also recalled him as a dedicated player who convened his teammates at the Belvedere for pregame strategy talks, a quality that helped elevate him to the Rangers captaincy from 1953 to 1955.
the emphasis under the new Rangers’ coach, Phil Watson, was being revised away from finesse, as it was throughout the game.

Watson wanted us to be physical and run around and hit people and get hit,” Raleigh said in 2006. “That wasn’t for me, so after 1955-56, I left.”

Howell said: “We were all disappointed when he left. He’d been our mentor for a couple of years.”

Originally Posted by Hockey Hall of Fame
Although Kenora born, Don Raleigh spent his brief junior career with the Winnipeg Monarchs of the MJHL. With the ranks of the NHL having been depleted by the call to enlist for World War II, young players such as 17-year-old Raleigh were called up to fill out the NHL's rosters.

He joined the New York Rangers for 15 games in 1943, although he spent the majority of the year in the minors with the Brooklyn Crescents. But during the campaign that followed, he was unable to return to the Rangers because an unusual wartime law prevented him from crossing the border. Instead, he returned to junior for a brief spell and then joined the Canadian Army until 1945. He then kicked around, skating for the Brandon Elks, the University of Manitoba, and the Winnipeg Flyers before resurfacing with the Rangers in 1947.

During the 1950 playoffs, he played heroically as the Rangers upset the Canadiens in the first round. Then, during the finals against the Wings, Raleigh scored overtime winners against goalie Harry Lumley to claim games four and five of the series. The Wings, however, roared back to take the final two games and the Stanley Cup.

Raleigh remained a steady scorer and playmaker with the Rangers until 1955-56 when he was dispatched to the minors to round out his career with the Providence Reds, Saskatoon Quakers, and the Brandon Regals. He hung up his blades for good in 1958.

Originally Posted by The Globe and Mail 8/25/2012
A learned man, he was a rarity among the hard-bitten fraternity of hockey players. He was a poet and a philatelist, an admirer of classical music, especially of Mozart. Raleigh even grew a mustache at a time when players were expected to be clean shaven, though he complained no one noticed because his facial hair was a wispy blond.

He stood 5-foot-11, yet weighed no more than 150 pounds, making him one of the leanest players in hockey. His coach Lynn Patrick jokingly called him the toughest body checker in the league. "When he hits them," he said, "he cuts them."
The Rangers finished fourth in the 1949-50 season and were underdogs heading into the playoffs. Raleigh centred a line with Pentti Lund and Ed Slowinski, who kept Rocket Richard off the scorecard while netting goals of their own. The Rangers eliminated Montreal to face the Red Wings in the finals.

Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
At 5'11" and 145-150lbs, the slender center was never a physical player. But he was a skilled puck technician. Best known as an elusive playmaker, he was an underrated goal scorer with a knack for scoring big goals.

Born in Kenora, Ontario, Raleigh was raised and became a junior hockey star in the Winnipeg area. His knack for winning championships at the bantam, midget and junior hockey levels assured him entry into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Rangers teams sunk back to mediocrity for much of the next couple of decades, but Raleigh emerged as the team's offensive heart until his departure in 1955. In fact, in 1951-52 Raleigh set a team record (since surpassed) with 42 assists, and led the team with 61 points, the 4th best total in the entire league.

Originally Posted by Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame
In 1945, Raleigh suited up for the Brandon Elks and led the league in scoring. 1946 saw a lot of hockey for “Bones”; he attended Brandon College, playing for them and five other clubs, including University of Manitoba, the Catholic Hockey League’s St. Mary’s / St. Alphonsus and Senior for the Reo Flyers. The 1947 edition of the Flyers fell one goal short of the Allan Cup finals.

Originally Posted by The Blueshirts Blog
“Bones” wore No. 9 for his historic NHL debut but spent the rest of his career wearing No. 7. He was the second-to-last player to wear No. 7 before it went to Rod Gilbert and then was retired in Gilbert’s honor. Raleigh attended the jersey retirement ceremony on Oct. 14, 1979 at the Garden.

Originally Posted by Rangers official website
One of the most popular players in Rangers history

Originally Posted by Rangers obituary press release
a true fan favorite... Extremely popular with the fans... His fame boomed during the early 1950s, and in 1952 he became the first winner of the Boucher Trophy, given by the Rangers Fan Club to the team’s Most Popular Player. The nickname “Bones” was given to Raleigh by New York sportswriter Barney Kremenko, who was also responsible for nicknaming baseball legend Willie Mays “The Say Hey Kid”.

Originally Posted by "An Ode to Don Raleigh", Stan Fischler
One of the outstanding Rangers playoff heroes of the post-WWII era...

Raleigh's game resembled the smarts we see now in Brad Richards. Plus, "Bones" centered one of the NHL's best lines, doling smooth passes to left wing Ed Slowinski and Pentti Lund.
Raleigh gradually worked his way to the big club and emerged as one of New York’s most popular athletes. He was considered something of an oddball since he lived on Staten Island and commuted to The Old Garden on the Staten Island Ferry. The center was “mod” 20 years before his time. He lived alone on the remote New York borough of Staten Island; wrote poetry; grew a moustache; and always gave the impression that one more turn on the ice would be his last.
Raleigh got his nickname from the New York Journal-American -- American hockey writer Barney Kremenko. As it happened, Kremenko won some money at Belmont race track betting on a horse named Bag of Bones. That night, Raleigh had a big game and Kremenko decided to call him after his winning horse, shortening it simply to “Bones”. And that’s how the lightweight Ranger was known until he retired in 1956.

Originally Posted by Edmonton Journal 10/19/1943
Commenting on Raleigh, who has been a sensation in pre-season workouts here, Patrick said he was the nearest thing to his former forward line star, Phil Watson, he's seen.

"He moves around in the same helter-skelter fashion as Phil," Patrick said. "And he can also skate like the blazes."

Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix 10/23/1943
"Raleigh is the sweetest rookie I have looked at for quite a few seasons," Patrick said. "In fact, he's a jewel."

"He's a better player at 17 than Phil Watson was at 20 . . ." the veteran New York manager said. "He really flashes around on the blades, and he's here, there and everywhere. If he doesn't click I'll be very disappointed."

Coach [Frank] Boucher also goes out on the limb for Raleigh...

Originally Posted by The Leader-Post 9/13/1949
Don Raleigh, stick-handling expert of New York Rangers team

Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette 4/11/1950
The surprise of the Canadiens-Rangers series was the work of the Rangers' attacking lines. Don Raleigh looked like one of the league's better pivotmen in that series, and it may be that he inspired both Ed Slowinski and Pentti Lund. Anyway, this line was a standout and if it is half as effective against the Red Wings, it will give the latter plenty of trouble.

Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen 3/30/2008
"What I remember when we were down 3-2 was that we had a big meeting in Toledo, where we stayed during the playoffs," Pronovost said. "[Sid] Abel was (defenceman Black Jack Stewart’s) roommate. Bones Raleigh was playing for New York and he was Sid’s check. Jack said, ‘Don Raleigh is making a fool out of you.

"I remember Sid said, ‘I was afraid to go to bed that night.’"

Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star-Phoenix 2/12/1954
[Rangers coach Muzz Patrick]"Raleigh's forechecking throughout was wonderful. He kept the pressure on Detroit all night. He's done that well for us right along, but last night he played his best game of the season."

Raleigh didn't score any goals or get credit for any assists but the mere fact that he kept a team like the Red Wings off balance for a fair part of the game should be enough to convince the skeptics.

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