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03-01-2013, 03:24 PM
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Montreal select Tommy Gorman , coach

Forecheck Wins in Hockey Title

Forechecking, a new development in professional hockey, instead of the usual rushes and back-checking won the Stanley Cup for the Chicago Blackhawks according to Manager Tommy Gorman. The radical idea developed in the last six weeks of the season, will be generally used throughout the National Hockey League before the end of another season, he added.

The idea of "forechecking", he explained, is to bottle up the opposing forwards in their own defensive zone. Our system consisted of the center and wings doing right down into the opponents' territory while our defense men moved over our own blue line
. The Canadiens gave us more trouble than any of the other clubs because of the speed of Howie Morenz and the great stickhandling of Aurel Joliat.

"Forechecking" Becomes Latest Hockey Style
Tommy Gorman Discusses Success of System

Forechecking, a new development in professional hockey, won the Stanley Cup and world championship for Chicago, Tommy Gorman, manager of the victorious Black Hawks, explained today. Before leaving for his Ottawa home, Gorman told about the system he believes will be generally used by National League teams next season.

The Hawks, he said, used a revolutionary idea for the last six weeks of the season and in downing Montreal Canadiens, Maroons and Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs. Perhaps it explains why the Hawks had more shots on goal than their foes and yet played near-perfect defensive hockey.

"True, our backchecking was great," said Gorman, "but it was our forechecking that downed all our rivals. About five weeks ago, just prior to playing the Rangers in New York, we conceived the idea of bottling up the opposing forwards - not letting them our of their own zone.

"We studied and developed a system which consisted of the centre and wings going right down into their opponents' territory while our defensemen moved over our own blue line. Canadiens gave us more trouble than any of the other clubs because of the terrific speed of Morenz and the great stickhandling of Joliat and Gagnon.

"In Montreal, in the first game of our series against Maroons Johnny Gottselig scored the first goal for us in less than a minute when he dashed in and stole the puck off the goaltender's pads. We carried the play right to them and scored in 40 seconds.

"In the third period, when they expected us to lay back, having obtained a lead of one goal, we again gave Maroons the works and scored twice in less than two minutes. When Maroons returned here we tallied the opening goal in 25 seconds. Against Detroit, we carried out the same system with equal success. We scored on them in 28 seconds in last Sunday's battle here and would have made it three straight if Chuck Gardiner had been himself.

"Jack Adams was the first of the opposing managers to see through our new system. He tried to beat it by having the defensemen trap the puck and then whip it over to their forwards at the blue line. In Sunday's game it looked as though Jack had us bewildered, but our forwards kept on going in and the Red Wings could never get organized

"The forechecking fo the Black Hawks in Tuesday's game won the championship. Weiland, Lewis, Auris and other Detroit forwards were completely baffled. Lewis became so disgusted on one occasion that he golfed the puck down the ice. Goodfellow could never get going as MacFayden followed in like a leech and kept poking the puck off his stick.

"It was necessary to change our attack every minute or so, but all three lines stood up wonderfully well. In each playoff series we stam-rollered our opponents and wore them down. Instead of backing out of the enemy zone, the Black Hawks kept charging in. The system worked much better than we expected.

"Here are examples of what our prowling forwards did in close. Thompson's winning goal in the first overtime game at Detroit was scored after Romnes had poked the puck off Teddy Graham's stick. In the instance of March's winning goal here, our defensemen moved up and refused to let Detroit get the puck out of their own territory.

"Conacher finally trapped it behind the Red Wings' net and then March held it against the boards. Both Coulter and Conacher moved up and when Romnes drew the puck from Weiland, he had three men to pass to. Goodfellow was off at the time and March was uncovered. Then followed his winning shot."

Gorman, who built the Hawks into a championship outfit in one season, said he expected every club in the NHL would employ some variation of forechecking next season. "They will have to," he said, "just as they had to follow suit when Major McLaughlin, owner of the Hawks, introduced his three forward lines four years ago."

Montrealers Score Second Win in Final Stanley Cup Series

Thomas P. Gorman, king of optimists, painter of dreams that come true, whooped "three straight for us" tonight, and his obedient Montreal Maroons promised to make this extraordinary Stanley Cup series as short and painless as possible for Conny Smythe's Toronto Maple Leafs.

To the great consternation of a thrilled crowd of 14,147 last night, Maroons accomplished three bits of spectacular sniping to overthrow the aroused champions of the National Hockey League, 3-1, and reach a point only one win distant from the most prized bauble in the hockey world.

They won the first of the best-of-five series Thursday night here, 3-2, in overtime, largely because of defensive perfection. They made it two straight, in spite of being shaken for two periods by crackling Toronto artillery that every minute threatened to blast the Redmen from the rink entirely.

Maroons Have Edge

The chuckling Gorman, the mastermind behind Montreal's drive, took his Maroons back home after the triumph with the hope that the series would be all over Tuesday night. If a fourth game is necessary, it will be played on Montreal ice also. The Leafs must square the series by winning both games away from home, if a fifth is to be played back here.

Reign of Forechecking and Sponsor Unbroken

The reign of forechecking and its chief sponsor, Thomas Patrick Gorman, extended through 1935 in the National Hockey League, although the former Ottawa newspaperman changed his place of abode, took charge of a complete new set of players and faced one of the strongest hockey teams in the world, Toronto Maple Leafs.

Gorman accomplished this spring with Montreal Maroons exactly what he accomplished the previous year with Chicago Black Hawks. He kept the Stanley Cup at his elbow and became professional hockey's most successful administrator. Those critics who said Gorman wasn't a great manager were made to eat their words.

In a campaign that brought some of the most sensational developments in years, some of the best individual feats and a dramatic coup by Maroons at the finish, Gorman was always in the midst of the fight. Sometimes he was merely talking for the fun of it, and these funny sayings made interesting reading along in April when they had all come true.

Gorman was merely talking, they said, on January 1 when he predicted his Redmen would win the Stanley Cup and probably beat the Maple Leafs in the final. Toronto's Charlie Conacher was on the way to his second straight scoring championship at the time and the Leafs didn't look as though they ever would be beaten. Eddie Shore, staging a great comeback after his collapse following the Ace Bailey accident in the late 1933, had Boston Bruins moving steadily ahead.

Detroit Red Wings looked powerful, Clem Loughlin was scoring a success with the Chicago club and on one was counting out New York Rangers. That was in January 1, 1935. By April, Gorman's Maroons had won second place in the Canadian section and polished off the Black Hawks and Rangers. They were ready for the big test.

The Leafs had won the Canadian section and beaten Shore and the Bruins in four grueling games for the NHL title. To the astonishment of the hockey world, they were then humbled in three straight by Maroons in the classic Stanley Cup series. That is how Gorman consolidated his position of head man.
Here is an article from 1938 showing that the Leafs had adopted Gorman's forechecking system by then:

Toronto's Maple Leafs, noted for their penchant for an incessant attack, did an about-face last night at the Forum and resorted to strictly defensive hockey. The strategy was immediately successful because it enabled the Leafs to shut out Canadiens, 2-0, but it failed to provide a crowd of 7,000 with much in the way of spectacle.


Thomas Patrick Gorman, the Forum's manager who this year looks on at hockey as merely another spectator, must have had his eyes opened by the Leafs' display of a defensive system he evolved at Chicago in 1933-34 which helped the Black Hawks win their first Stanley Cup, said system being forechecking. For the Torontonians gave a remarkably effective demonstration of this type of play bs repeatedly, at Canadiens' blue line and in the centre-ice area, before they were well started.


The Leafs, despite their defensive attitude, had more good chances than the Habitants, because they broke faster, but they managed to capitalize on only two of them. Busher Jackson, skating as smoothly and as fast as ever on left wing, started the play for the initial goal. He went in on the left after a loose puck and passed to Gus Marker, the ex-Maroon on right wing. Marker bumped into Thoms on the play, touched the puck, but Thoms grabbed it and drove an off-chance backhander at Wilf Cude. Cude kicked at the low shot and missed, and the puck entered the net on the short side.
Saskatoon Star-Phoenix - 17-4-1934:
While Joliat was the pick of the sports writers he was not without competition. Big Lionel Conacher, defensive bulwark of the Hawks, around whose bulky figure Tommy Gorman built up the strategy which resulted in the Stanley Cup going to the Western United States city for the first time in history, ran Aurel a close race.
Ottawa Citizen - 11-4-1934:
To Tommy Gorman and his Blackhawks must go unlimited credit. They were not rated prospective Stanley Cup winners before the playoffs started on March 22 last. But, they marched through all opposition to the finals, won two games on Detroit ice and the necessary one of two played in Chicago.

When Gorman took charge of the Hawks late last season, they weren't much, but by judicious re-building, he moulded them into a Stanley Cup winning team in one season.

Jack Adams and his Red Wings are also entitled to great credit. Like the Hawks, the Wings were "outsiders" in opinion of the experts, yet they won the National Hockey League championship and were worthy opponents for the new world champions in the Stanley Cup series.
Rochester Journal - 27.11.1935:
It seems to bring a special sort of pleasure to Tommy Gorman, the man of a few million words who coached the Chicago Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup triumph two years ago, then won the same trophy last season with the Montreal Maroons, to prove that his system of hockey is a little better than any other.

Since Gorman left Chicago, the Blackhawks have abandoned the tight "fore checking" system he taught and done pretty well in the National Hockey League with a more open style.
The Calgary Daily Herald - 21.3.1938:,2105428&hl=en
Cecil Duncan, president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, last night gave out a decision regarding the rule about "icing" the puck in amateur hockey. The rule has been enforced to date this season with a view to preventing a team from deliberately delaying the game, play being stopped and the puck brought back and faced-off in the defending team's zone when a shot from that zone has crossed the second blue line.

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