Round 2, Vote 2 (HFNYR Top Centers)
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05-20-2013, 03:04 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
And Don Raleigh...
Last summer, the club was ripped apart. Bill Cook, the 1952-53 coach, was fired and Frank Boucher, a firmer coach who yielded the active reins to Lynn Patrick so that he might concentrate on his duties as general manager in 1948, has returned to the bench in this year of decision for the Rangers. The club had a new goalie in Johnny Bower, who won the job from Gump Worsley despite the latter was the rookie of the year in the NHL last year, a couple of new defensemen, a flock of new forwards and, in the early going, new incentive and drive. Yet, ironically, the man the Rangers were conting on the most to reestablish them as one of hockey's solid teams was an old hand who has been around the Garden, off and on, since he broke in as a raw kid of 17 in the season of 1943-44.
That, of course, would be James Donald (Bones) Raleigh, a lean and cadaverous-looking young man who is sometimes known around the NHL rinks as the "Loveable Screwball". To be sure, there is nothing screwy about him on the ice. Despite a few odd mannerisms such as his continual shifting and feinting even when there is nobody near him,
Raleigh is a thoroughly sound center, one of the most brilliant puck-carriers and playmakers in the business, and a fine shot.
Originally Posted by
What you like best about him, though, is that he is a tireless worker.
He keeps going all the time. He never lets up, which is something you can't say for a lot of the guys in this bruising business that requires such a constant perfection of physical condition.
He has as much will to win as any player I've ever seen.
Any coach would just sit back and relax if he had just a dozen Raleighs going for him.
Originally Posted by
He's a ballet dancer on the ice with that weaving, rhythmic style. I just wish I had a lot more like him.
It is significant that he wears No. 7 on his Ranger jersey. Only two Rangers have won the numeral - Frank Boucher and Phil Watson. They were two of the greatest centers the league has had and they wore that number with distinction for 22 years between them - Boucher for 13 seasons and Watson for nine. When Watson quit at the end of the 1947-48 season to become a farm team manager for the Blue Shirts, both he and Boucher naturally wanted to make sure that a player of real stature wore it after them.
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