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12-06-2012, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Thompson was from B.C - joined confederation in 1871. Gardiner from Manitoba-joined confederation in 1870,Saskatchewan and Alberta provinces that joined confederation in 1905 took longer to produce hockey players and goalies. Insufficient population and infra structure.
I believe Thompson was born in BC but grew up in Calgary. He was among the very first star NHL players to grow up in Alberta or Saskatchewan, along with Eddie Shore. (In fact his younger brother Paul was the first Alberta-born NHLer.)

Manitoba hockey was advanced enough to produce star players in the 1910s. Dick Irvin, Joe Simpson, and Frank Fredrickson were all Manitoba stars a decade before Gardiner. Hal Winkler was the best Manitoba goaltender of this generation, but wasn't in Lehman's class. I guess we could name Hec Fowler as another Western goalie of that generation (from Saskatchewan). But none of these Western goalies appear to have reached the level of the best Ontario and Quebec-born goaltenders (including Lehman) until Gardiner and Thompson arrived.

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