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12-23-2012, 08:52 AM
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When the Ottawa Senators suspended operations for the 1931-32 season, the Detroit Falcons picked up Connell and several other Ottawa players. Here's a season preview of the Falcons from Gazette staff writer L.S.B. Shapiro.

In one fortunate deal made at a meeting of the National Hockey League one month ago, Adams filled out his team. He obtained fire, polish, and ability when he obtained Hec Kilrea, Alex Smith, Alec Connell, and Danny Cox from the crack-up of the Ottawa Senators. They may prove the driving force of a machine was strong but sluggish last year. Given condition and the right spirit, the Ottawa quartette is almost a team in itself. Surround them with hard-working rookies and they should produce results.
How good is the Ottawa delegation and will they merge with the Falcon machine? Much depends on their frame of mind, and if newspaper reports of salary disputes are true, the temperamental Ottawans are not quite satisfied. Hec Kilrea, for one, must make good. Three years ago one of the sensations of the league, Kilrea has gone back considerably. They say last year it was lack of spirit and condition. Whatever the causes of his poor showing, Kilrea is facing the crisis of his career. He must make good with the Falcons or else pass from the major hockey picture, a man who had the ability but let life get the best of him. Connell and Alex Smith were effective with the Ottawa Senators last year and should do well again. Danny Cox is coming along by leaps and bounds and understudying for Ebbie Goodfellow at centre will do his career no harm.

The acquisition of Connell will make for a great improvement in goal. Dolly Dolson, at times a sensational performer, was inconsistent last season, and Connell will bring a steadiness and confidence to the team. Reg Noble and Alex Smith know almost all the tricks in the game, and Harvey Rockburn will give them relief. Rockburn needs a little instruction in the art of being rough without being obvious and your correspondent can think of few better teachers than Alex Smith.
But whatever combinations Adams develops, the one the fans are going to have their eye on is that of Kilrea and Goodfellow. Here are two fast skaters, two accurate shots, two established stars coming together for the first time. They may be sensational.
First of all, I don't know the hockey credentials of Mr Shapiro. A quick google search shows that he is better known for his work as a war correspondent in WWII.

Shapiro is very optimistic about the chances of the Falcons for improvement. They would improve with the addition of the Ottawa players, but only from a 0.443 W% to a 0.479 W%. So maybe he was a bit too high on the value of Connell, Smith, and Kilrea, who were coming from a team that had only won 10 games in the previous season, after all.

Hec Kilrea seems to get the most attention from the author, possibly because his performance is a bit of a wild card and could be a key to the season. Connell seems to get grouped with defenceman Alex Smith as an "effective" and "steady" performer. He is projected to bring a "great improvement" in goal, but that may be attributed as much to the past performance of Dolly Dolson (who would not appear in another NHL game) as to Connell's projected performance.

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