View Single Post
12-10-2012, 05:47 PM
Registered User
Canadiens1958's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 12,036
vCash: 500
Harry Lumley

Originally Posted by ContrarianGoaltender View Post
I don't see how it could even be considered close between Rollins and Lumley strictly in terms of their Chicago careers. First of all, Rollins had way better numbers, with 81-171-56, 3.03 compared to Lumley's 29-85-19, 3.67. Lumley's best GAA in Chicago was worse than Rollins' in all five of his seasons as a starter for the club.

On top of that, Rollins had substantial award recognition as a Black Hawk while Lumley received no votes for anything. Rollins had a first and second in Hart voting, plus a 3rd in All-Star voting in 1953-54 and 4th in All-Star voting in 1956-57 (and presumably was 3rd in 1952-53 given that some votes are missing from the data in the HOH thread, and in my opinion Rollins got completely robbed of at least a 2AST by whoever voted for Gerry McNeil). Chicago only made the playoffs once in a 12 year stretch from 1947 to 1958, in 1952-53 with Rollins in goal. Finally, there is the fact that Lumley was Chicago property from May 1956 to January 1958 yet played zero games for the club.

Here's Wilf Cude in the Montreal Gazette in October 1955:

I think Lumley was clearly outplayed by Rollins in Chicago and slightly outplayed by Don Simmons in Boston.
What that means for his legacy I'm not sure, maybe he was past his prime in Boston and the Chicago teams of the very early '50s were just that awful, but it does make one wonder how much of a difference there was between guys like Lumley and guys like Rollins or Jim Henry who were solid starters but never had extended periods as starters on one of the league's top teams.

Both goalies were in training camp, Lumley signed a contract with Chicago that season and still ended up playing zero NHL games. How would you describe that other than Rollins beating out Lumley?

Al Rollins was actually an injury replacement for Worsley in 1960:

The Rangers of that time seemed to prefer to carry only one goalie with the team, so Worsley was demoted a couple of times.
In 1953-54 it was because he lost his job to Johnny Bower. In 1957-58 Worsley partly lost his job due to injury, as after Marcel Paille got hot when filling in for Worsley as an injury replacement the Rangers went with Paille for a while after Worsley returned from injury. In 1959-60 Worsley went through a slump and was briefly demoted, then suffered a season-ending injury after he had reclaimed his job in New York.

I guess you can support that claim if your only definition of success is All-Star Teams and Cups. I think Worsley's save percentage record is pretty strong considering the teams he played on in New York.

From 1952-53 (the first year we have complete save percentage stats) to 1964-65 (Jacques Plante retires for the first time, two years after Worsley is traded to Montreal), all Rangers goalies other than Worsley had a 3.21 GAA and a .906 save percentage, compared to a league average of .912. Worsley had 3.09 and .911 (.910 average). And when Worsley was swapped for Jacques Plante, the Rangers' fortunes didn't suddenly improve:

Worsley, 1961-62: 22-27-9, 2.96, .912
Worsley, 1962-63: 22-34-10, 3.30, .914
Plante, 1963-64: 22-36-7, 3.38, .910
Plante, 1964-65: 10-17-5, 3.37, .901
Paille, 1964-65: 10-21-7, 3.58, .890

I would agree that Giacomin may well have the worst playoff record of any goalie up to vote yet. His career playoff save percentage was just .895, while the playoff league average throughout his career was .909. The Rangers were very good in terms of shot prevention in Giacomin's playoff career, allowing just 27.6 shots against per 60 minutes, 3.5 below league average, which suggests that the biggest problem was the goaltending.

It might look like Giacomin's career GAA didn't drop much in the playoffs (2.81 regular season, 2.82 playoffs), but that is mainly because his regular season GAA is inflated by a number of post-prime seasons where he either didn't make the playoffs or did not advance very far. If you weight his playoff average by multiplying his regular season GAAs by his playoff minutes played, Giacomin's regular season GAA drops to just 2.65, giving an increase of 0.17 come playoff time.

The only thing to mitigate Giacomin's record is that he probably did face much stronger than average competition, given that the Rangers were eliminated by the Bruins or Canadiens six times in his nine year playoff career.
Again overlooking the players that accompanied Al Rollins to Chicago from Toronto. Chicago also received Gus Mortson a 1st team AST in 1950 and Cal Gardner a 23 goal scorer with the Leafs, 1950-51.

So the Hawks had more talent and depth as a result of the Lumley trade. Then the NHL teams - specifically the Canadiens and Toronto started helping the Hawks by selling them talent - 1952 Detroit sold them Sid Abel, 1956 Tony Leswick,1954-55 onwards Canadiens sold the Hawks Ed Litzenberger,Dick Gamble, Ken Mosdell,Paul Masnick, John McCormack while Toronto sold them Harry Watson,Eric Nesterenko. Dave Creighton, Earl Balfour. Net result was that Al Rollins was playing for a much better Chicago team.

1956-57 is a key season in hockey history. Origins of the players' union.A number of the teams purged the leaders by trading or selling them to bad teams within a year. This has been the subject of books, films and online discussions.

Lumley was sold to Chicago with Eric Nesterenko. Lumley did not want to play in Chicago, held out as you posted then returned to play for Buffalo in the AHL This was common for veteran Canadian players. Ken Mosdell left the Hawks after 1/2 because it was more advantageous to play in the QHL for the Royals, live at home, run his business then pay rent and employees. Others simply refused to report, retiring or playing senior hockey.

When the Bruins offered an advantageous contract he accepted and beat - out Don Simmons. Starting all seven games in the 1959 playoffs and the majority of 1959-60 games.

Your Worsley/Plante analogy overlooks a number of key factors. Loss of Doug Harvey once Red Sullivan was named coach and the Rangers deciding to rebuild - during the 1963-64 season when they made the Andy Bathgate trade with Toronto.

Also the Rangers at various times carried two goalies - Worsley/Paille at times, 1960-61 Worsley/McCartan for a few weeks. Teams usually were within a few hours of their farm teams and one of the trainers had experience as a goalie. Canadiens, as an example shared the Forum with their top QSHL/QHL/EPHL teams, junior teams and within 3-4 hours of 6 sponsored teams.

Canadiens1958 is offline   Reply With Quote