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01-24-2013, 11:03 PM
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C/D Cyclone Taylor

2x Stanley Cup Champion
2x 2nd in NHA Points Among Defensemen
2nd in ECAHA Points Among Defensemen, 06-07
3rd in ECAHA Points Among Defensemen, 07-08
36 points in 29 games in IHL as Forward
5x Led PCHA in Assists
5x Led PCHA in Points
3x Led PCHA in Goals
1st all-time points in PCHA
1st all-time assists in PCHA
2x Retro Norris Trophy Winner
3x Retro Hart Trophy Winner
Hockey Hall of Fame Member

In addition, Taylor was named to the first all star team in every season in his career up to 1918, at defense in the beginning of his career and later at rover.

Here are the two best attempts I've seen to put how dominant Taylor was in perspective compared to the rest of professional hockey, and within the PCHA

After adjusting to equalize the assists per game ratios, I have a new set of consolidated finishes for the 3 split league players who were selected.

Cyclone Taylor
Points 1st(1914), 1st(1918), 1st(1919), 2nd(1915), 2nd(1916), 12th(1913)
Goals 1st(1918), 1st(1919), 2nd(1916), 5th(1914), 8th(1915)
Assists 1st(1913), 1st(1914), 1st(1915), 1st(1919), 2nd(1916), 2nd(1918)

Newsy Lalonde
Points 1st(1921), 3rd(1919), 4th(1912), 4th(1920), 5th(1913), 5th(1916), 7th(1918), 8th(1917), 9th(1923), 14th(1914)
Goals 3rd(1916), 4th(1912), 4th(1919), 4th(1920), 4th(1921), 5th(1913), 5th(1923), 7th(1918), 8th(1917), 12th(1914)
Assists 2nd(1919), 8th(1921), 10th(1920), 13th(1917), 15th(1916), 15th(1918), 19th(1924)

Frank Nighbor
Points 1st(1917), 5th(1913), 5th(1919), 5th(1920), 10th(1921), 11th(1926), 12th(1915), 15th(1916), 16th(1924), 18th(1918)
Goals 1st(1917), 5th(1913), 6th(1919), 7th(1920), 11th(1921), 12th(1915), 12th(1916)
Assists 1st(1926), 2nd(1920), 3rd(1917), 3rd(1919), 5th(1924), 8th(1921), 11th(1918), 15th(1915), 16th(1916), 17th(1922), 18th(1927)

Keep in mind, this only encompasses seasons after the PCHA began. Anything before 1912, is not listed here. That ignores large chunks of both Taylor's and Lalonde's careers, but hold all of Nighbor's.

Note that this study appears to be missing Taylor's 1916-17 season, where he had 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points in 11 games, which would add another impressive finish in there.

Here is the second study, examining Taylor's dominance within the PCHA after adjusting for spotty assist recording, which underrated his abilities as the best playmaker in maybe the first 30 years of hockey's existence:

Frederick Wellington Taylor performed exceptionally well at several positions during his legendary career. His dynamic rushes and memorable scoring feats made him one of hockey's first superstars. He was one of the few players in the history of the game capable of skating backwards as fast as many could forwards.

Taylor joined his new team in time for only the last six games of the season, but the "Listowel Wonder" wasted little time in making an impact. He took the league by storm, scoring 11 goals in the half-dozen matches and garnering a place on the IHL All-Star Team. The following year, Taylor was a major component of the Houghton club's league championship.

In 1907-08, Taylor joined the Ottawa Silver Seven of the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association. It was here that he made a name for himself as an explosive rushing defenseman, scoring nine goals in 10 games. The nickname "Cyclone" was first accorded this exciting figure by local reporters after a cartoonist with the Ottawa Journal depicted one of his cyclonic rushes in vivid detail.

Taylor's excellent play helped Ottawa win the ECAHA championship in 1909 and the team became holders of the Stanley Cup. In a transaction that caused a stir across Canada, Taylor was signed in 1910 by the Renfrew Millionaires franchise, which was preparing to join the newly founded National Hockey Association in 1910. The salary paid to him was the highest ever for a Canadian athlete up to that time and remained so for many years. Taylor scored 22 goals in 28 games over the next two seasons before the team was disbanded.

While employed on the West Coast, Taylor averaged more than a goal per game in a formidable display of offensive prowess. His second Stanley Cup triumph came in 1915. He scored six goals in the Millionaires' three-game domination of Ottawa in the championship showdown. The sheer magnitude of Taylor's excellence in the series elevated him to the status of hero right across Canada.

Taylor led all PCHA goal scorers in 1918 and 1919 with 32 and 23 goals respectively. Even though the Toronto Arenas defeated Vancouver in the 1918 Stanley Cup championship, Taylor proved to be the most revered performer in the match-up. He finished ahead of all playoff scorers with nine goals in seven games.

Cyclone retired following the 1920-21 schedule but delighted the fans one more time by making a one-game cameo appearance for Vancouver two years later. He accumulated 194 goals in 186 regular-season games while carving out a reputation as one of hockey's surefire drawing cards. He earned the remarkable distinction of being named to the First All-Star Team everywhere he played from 1900 to 1918.

In an extraordinary career that established him as one of hockey's earliest superstars, the Stanley Cup championship of 1915 was the pinnacle of Cyclone Taylor's remarkable career.

Long before there was such a thing as the National Hockey League, Fred "Cyclone" Taylor was already established as the first legend of hockey.

Cyclone's amazing ability to skate from one end of the rink to the other and score became so well known that it wasn't long before people all over were talking about him. In fact many claimed to have seen him score a goal while skating backwards. When asked about this Cyclone replied by saying, "No, I never did score a goal while skating backwards. I know there are a lot of elderly people in Ontario today who would swear they saw it happen. But it's just one of those stories that was blown up."

What many consider one of the best skaters ever to grace the ice, Fred "Cyclone" Taylor died on June 9, 1979, leaving behind a legend of a player who will never be equaled.

Nicknamed "Cyclone" for his breathtaking speed, Fred Taylor was hockey's first superstar. Though known for his squeaky clean game, Taylor was often caught up in the politics and turmoil of hockey's early professional years.

One of the first hockey superstars, Fred "Cyclone" Taylor was a talented, high-scoring rover/centerman who played for nine successful seasons with the Vancouver Millionaires of the PCHA. His reputation as a scorer, however, as well as his flamboyant nickname, was earned back east, where he broke into hockey as one of the game's earliest rushing defensemen.

His blazing speed dazzled both players and fans alike, and when he used it to dominate the game, scoring five goals in his very first game in the league, it was reported that the governor general turned to his aide and commented, "They should call that man the Cyclone-his speed blew the other team out of the rink."

The rover's place on the ice wasn't clearly defined, but like a centreman, his responsibilities encompassed essentially the entire sheet of ice. Cyclone Taylor was truly one of the best. In fact, some long time sportswriters consider Taylor to be hockey's first superstar. From 1900 to 1918, he was named to the First All Star Team of every league in which he played.

Hockey first national superstar, the superb skater and defecenman-turned-forward Cyclone Taylor, led Vancouver to its one and only Cup victory.

Taylor was famous from coast to coast for his hurricane speed and agility.

"Taylor got the puck on a pass" reported the Mercury, "and skating down the ice in his usual fine fashion, he turned, going backwards, he skated a piece and then sent the shot home to the Ottawa nets with skill and swiftness

Taylor was effective, and managed to win over the hostile crowd, but was held off the scoresheet. As Gorman reported, eleven minutes into the second half, "The one and only Taylor, the cynocosure of all eyes, eventually carried the puck through to Whitcroft who, amidst a wild demonstration on the parts of the Renfrew backers, tied the score." The wire services said that, "The crowd towards the close were unable to retain a demonstration in favour of Taylor. When he carried the rubber down and give it over to Whitcroft, who tied the score, nearly everyone in the rink broke into cheers. Nine out of ten people expect Taylor to go up in the air, but, on the contrary, he was as cool as an iceberg.

Taylor picked up the puck in his own end and raced towards the boards, sharply cutting up ice. He isolated the point men with a feint inside and moved around them. In just a few strides he was alone in on LeSueur. He pivoted around, his back to the goalie and while continuing backwards, lifted the puck past the startled Ottawa netminder."

As usual, it was Taylor who stole the show and got raves such as "...Taylor's cyclonic rushes electrified the audience..." and "...the player they so aptly call 'Cyclone' almost literally explodes with excitement. There is nothing quite like him in American sport..."

Just before leaving east, he had refereed a benefit game, ahd been caught in a collision on the boards and suffered a badly gashed left hand. As he could barely hold the stick, he was asked to play just a few minutes of the first game and none of the second. But, after all the buildup, the pressure was on for more of Taylor in the final game back in Vancouver, and Frank was all for it.

The story of the game is more fully told in my earlier book, "Cyclone Taylor: A Hockey Legend", so suffice to say here that Taylor came out just like his nickname and all but blew the West All-Stars off the ice with his blinding speed and hell-for-leather aggressiveness. The arena was in an uproar as he broke up a rush, stole the puck, and then split the defense before slipping a silk-slick pass to Art Ross for the go-ahead goal. The fans were on their feet minutes later when Taylor repeated the maneuver, this time setting up Jack Darragh for the score. He got a two-minute ovation for that little gambit.

Frank Patrick, who had been beaten badly in the second rush, must have had mixed emotions.

Although he had played brilliantly in that night's losing cause, it was the beginning of the end for Taylor. This was to be his last season after 17 years in pro hockey as the game's most exciting performer.

So would another player of that season of 1907-8 a tough, wily ittle bolt of lightning named Fred "Cyclone" Taylor of the Ottawa Senators.

At 23, Taylor was fresh from 2 brilliant seasons with Houghton of the 6 team International league that had just closed shop after a brief but turbulent life as the game's first fully professional circuit. In those 2 seasons, he had dazzled the fans in the tough Michigan copper country with a blinding speed that was matched only by his remarkable stick-handling. He was the player about whom Lester Patrick would one day, after ending his long reign as boss of the New York Rangers, say, "There will never be his equal."

Taylor, a center in Houghton, had been switched to cover-point, a more independent role that made better use of his great speed. A prime factor in the switch was the fact that the Ottawa forwards simply couldn't keep pace with him.

Taylor proved to be the sensation of the night. Such marvelous defensive play and individual work has never before been seen in Ottawa. He himself scored four goals, but was directly responsible for many more. Taylor arrived here with the appellation "The Whirlwind of the IHL" tagged on him.

As for Frank Patrick, high up in the cheap seats at that historic unveiling, he was stunned by Taylor's performance. "I had never," he recounted, "seen such an explosive hockey player, nor one with such skills. I was literally mesmerized by the man. I knew right away that he was something special."

On the ice, the two brothers, even as every other player in the league including the redoubtable Lalonde, had to get used to the idea of playing second fiddle to Taylor, the master showman who hogged the headlines wherever he played.

The night following a game in which Taylor had again electrified the fans and mesmerized reporters with his dazzling end to end rushes...

Of Taylor himself, Frank has written: "Taylor was the ultimate hockey player. There'll never be another like him. He was blessed with the complete skills, quite apart from a unique excitement he generated every time he stepped onto the ice. I watched him very closely, and some of our ideas, such as creating the two blue lines to open up the center-ice area for passing, were inspired by his marvelous style.

Despite the horrible conditions, the eccentric Fred Taylor was there playing in all his glory...always he kept an opponent guessing. He loved to race ahead and then suddenly double back with the puck. this exasperated the enemy, but the coolness of it provoked thunderous cheers from the fans.

Barney Holden took a swipe at Taylor's head with his stick. Cyclone retaliated in kind, bloodying Barney's nose.

Taylor, the man of immense skills who packed the arenas wherever he played, was the classic example of this. In a game where another player might get 4, 5, or 6 goals while he was being held to one or two or maybe none at all, it was invariably Taylor who got the headlines.

Taylor represented the best that the professional game had to offer. Although not a big man, he was a tenacious, skillful, speedy, and flamboyant player...Like Wayne Gretzky in the late 20th century, Taylor's fame and drawing power extended beyond Canada.

'Cylone' Taylor, the Wayne Gretzky of professional hockey in the early decades of the 20th century. Well known for his stellar play, on-ice antics, and high salary...

Despite the claim of modern historians that "the game was different back then," meaning slower, there is no diminishing the agility and savy of Taylor.

Fred "Cyclone" Taylor was probably hockey's first true superstar. Playing as he did in a time when a hefty percentage of skaters were Hall of Fame bound, Taylor outshone all of his peers

...Cyclone's great ability-his marvelous speed, backward or forward, his great goal-scoring record and his superb temperament.

"I'll concede Taylor was the best skater I ever saw, bar none."(quote from Bullet Joe Simpson

As long as hockey is played the name Fred (Cylone) Taylor will be remembered, but the man who set the yardstick years ago for speed and for being spectacular on the ice...

"Cyclone" Taylor was the best man on the ice, and his spectacular skating greatly pleased the crowd.

He supplied the only "rough stuff" of the game when he made a vicious attack with his stick on Meeking as the latter was lying on the ice. The Toronto boy in checking Taylor, fell and his stick caught "Cyclone" on the back. He left the puck and twice hit the fallen player with his stick. Randall went to Meeking's rescue and both he and Taylor exchanged jabs.

Cyclone Taylor, the rover of the Vancouver team, is credited with being the individual star of the league and the best scorer in the organization.

During the first period, Taylor, who is really on the sick list and should not have been on the ice, delighted the crowd with some of his sensational rushes and they had no eyes or yells for the first period for anything but "Fred".

Fred Taylor, the Renfrew star, over whom there was a long wrangle as to whether he should play or not, when Ottawa substituted him for Fred Lake, after the Wanderers had scored twice in the first period, was the most spectacular man on the ice. For cleverness in carrying the puck down the rink his equal has never been seen here. A giant almost in stature he brought the crowd to its feet whenever he started down the ice, Taylor captivated his audience and was warmly applauded after each rush.

Fred Taylor and Art Ross were the shining lights in tonight's fracas which was one of the cleanest exhibitions played here this winter. Taylor was in fine form and his grand stand work was frequently applauded. He scored half of the goals for his team.

"Cyclone" Taylor, Vancouver's star centre player and boss scorer of the PCHA, is on the hospital list. Playing for the past 2 weeks with a sore back, the scoring wizard suffered a further severe strain in the groin, in the game last Thursday in Seattle. While the veteran, who has been playing in wonderful form of late, is a mighty sick man, it is expected that he will be able to take his place on the lineup against Portland here tonight.

Vancouver, who lacked punch, suddenly came to life. Taylor took a pass from Stanley at centre ice and wiggled through Cameron and Mummery registering a direct hit. He took the rubber from beside his own goal and scored the second tally, one minute after.

The trouble came after the referee had been obliged to order off the ice for palpably rough play Taylor, Walsh and Lake, all of the Ottawa team. Taylor had been particularly conspicuous for rough work, and Russell promptly ordered him out of the game for good.

Taylor, who was on the line the night the team was beaten in Quebec, was in Moore's position at cover point, increasing the efficiency of the defence about 50 percent. He was ruled off 4 times in the game, twice for heavy bodychecking and twice for slashing Wanderer forwards over the arms. His play, while on the rough side, was very effective; he was a hard man to get by and towards the end he stirred up the crowd by lightning rushes from end to end of the rink. He scored Ottawa's sixth and seventh goal on such dashes and was also responsible for the twelth, although Phillips landed teh disc in the twine.

With Taylor off, the Wanderer forwards found it easier to work in on the Otttawa defence...

Taylor made it 11 to 1 on an end to end run and a pretty shot. Taylor immediately after the face repeated the run and Phillips scored from the rebound of Taylor's shot.

Taylor brought the crowd to their feet by stealing the disc from Hooper at the Ottawa end and going through the whole Wanderer team for Ottawa's sixth goal. Taylor went in and out through Glass and Ross and taking his time picked out the open corner of the net.

There are many who say the Cyclone was faster than Morenz.

Trail of the Stanley Cup on Cyclone Taylor:

"Was regarded as a speedy rushing defender in the east. (Played rover and center upon moving west) He was a great goal scorer and inspirational leader. He was named many times to western all-star teams.

"When the O'Briens decided to pack the Renfrew team in the newly formed NHA, their plans wo win the Cup were predicated on securing Taylor from Ottawa. Altough Renfrew never got anywhere in their quest for the Cup, they put on a good show and Taylor was the star."

"Great players like Smokey Harris, Frank Nighbor, Mickey Mackay, Barney Stanley, and Gordon Roberts appeared on the Vancouver forward lines, but Mackay was the only one who seriously challenged Taylor."

Upon his arrival in Houghton/Portage Lakes in 1906 the local newspaper stated:

"Taylor is one of the fastest and most effective, if not the very best player that western Canada has ever produced." (I guess Ontario was considered Western Canada in those days.)

And also: "Taylor is a whirlwind, and has a superior on not any of the league teams."

The likes of Lalonde and several other Hall of Famers played in this league.

Legendary Pittsburgh shortstop Honus Wagner claimed Taylor "was as fine of an athlete as he has ever seen".
He was as near perfection as we shall probably ever see. He had the speed of Morenz, the grade of Bun Cook, the poke check of Frank Boucher, the shot of Tom Phillips.
-Lester Patrick

Last edited by BillyShoe1721: 04-22-2013 at 06:31 PM.
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