With the 318th pick in MLD2010, The Regina Capitals are proud to select:
Billy Nicholson, G
- 5'10, 220 lbs
- Stanley Cup (1902, 1903)
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1904)
- Intermediate CAHL Champion (1900)
- IHL and US Pro Champion (1905)
- Fit-Reform Cup (1909)
- ECAHA 2nd All-Star Team (1908)
- TPHL 1st All-Star Team (1909)
- League GAA Leader (1900-CAHLi, 1905-IHL, 1909-TPHL)
- League Wins Leader (1902-CAHL, 1904-FAHL, 1905-IHL)
- Had a record of 87-86-1 in 177 official games, with a cumulative GAA of 4.03 and 11 shutouts
- 4-2-2 in Stanley Cup play, with a 1.88 GAA and 1 shutout
- Retired in 1917, at age 39
Originally Posted by Ultimate Hockey
William Nicholson was one of the fattest men ever to play hockey at the semi-professional or professional level. Originally the goalie for the Montreal AAA "Little Men of Iron" -- circa 1901 -- he has been called the first true "butterfly" goalie. He was flopping to the ice to make saves at least 10 years before Clint Benedict, the goalie who has been generally credited with pioneering the style.
Throughout most of his career Nicholson was a solid, dependable goalkeeper. He played on some poor teams, such as the 1907-08 Shamrocks and 1912-13 Toronto Tecumsehs. He rounded out his career with the Toronto Arenas in 1916-17.
The sight of Nicholson in full uniform, wearing his trademark toque and weighing anywhere from 250 to 275 pounds, must have been delicious. Apparently, whenever he crashed down onto the ice to make a save, everyone would hold their breath in fear that the ice would crack. He was surprisingly athletic, though, despite the constraints of his plus-sized frame. His career, while not of Hockey Hall of Fame caliber, compares favorably to the goaltending standard of his era.
Up until now, not much is known about Nicholson aside from that he was portly and acrobatic and won a Cup. Let's take a look at what else I could find:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, 1900-02-19
Nicholson, the Montreal goalkeeper, was in great form.
This is about where the characterization of "Nicholson the Martyr" begins:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, 1903-01-19
The holders of the Stanley Cup, the Montrealers, were defeated by the Ottawas at Dey's rink, Saturday night, by a score of 7 to 1. Nicholson's exceptionally good work between the poles was the reason for the score not being larger... Billy Gilmour threw in some cannonball shots at Nicholson, and it was only hard luck that prevented him from adding more goals to his list... Suddie shot hard and accurately when opportunity offered, but bothered Nicholson not a little.
Really good account of Nicholson at his peak. He was a major part of Montreal's success, a very aggressive goalie who in this case actually made the play that started the rush back for a goal, thanks to his aggression on the puck carrier.
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen, 1904-01-21
Nicholson was in fine form and he needed it... the last couple of minutes, the Maroon jerseys sent in shot after shot and Nicholson had to move his padding over the glacial... Caps came very close to scoring when Sims got in, but Nick did his old trick of sliding out and falling down on the puck. It worked, and ***** got away for a shot by Marshall which scored.
Looks like the next goalie was being judged by the standard Nicholson set:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, 1904-12-27
Brighton, who guarded the nets for the Wanderers, made good, and is certainly a worthy successor of his predecessor, Billy Nicholson, now with the Calumets.
Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Press, 1905-01-08
Nicholson played a wonderful game, stopping shot after shot that looked like a score for the gold and black.
Originally Posted by 1905-01-10
If the locals happened to get past Stuart and ********, they had Nicholson to reckon with, and the score shows that none of the shots directed at his net were permitted to land on the inside.
Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Press, 1906-01-27
Pittsburgh would have rolled up a bigger score against Calumet last night had it not been for the great work in goal of Nicholson, who stopped many clever shots.
Nicholson may have had a temper, too:
Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Press, 1906-02-12
****** had rushed the puck down to the Calumet net and passed close to the goal, when Nicholson gave him a mighty smash on the hand. After the game, ******** told Nicholson that he had no reason in the world to make a play like that, and asked why he had done it. Nicholson answered that the Pittsburgh seven had been showing him up all game, and he had to do something to get even. Be that as it may, there is no doubt that the condition of *******'s hand is such that it will keep him out of the game for quite a while.
Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Press, 1906-02-15
********** and Nicholson are both at the top in the goaltending line, and their phenomenal stops Tuesday night saved their teams many goals.
Originally Posted by Pittsburgh press, 1907-01-28
Reports from Calumet say the playing of ********** at goal was the finest ever witnessed on the ice in that city, and this is saying a great deal, for it must be remembered that that team has a good goaltender in Nicholson that is second to none in the country.
More dirty stuff:
Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Press, 1907-02-13
Even Nicholson got in his dirty work. Once, as captain Campbell skated across the ice in front of the Calumet net, Nicholson deliberately took his stick and slashed him across the ankles.
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen, 1908-01-20
Laviolette and ******** were the pick of the Shamrocks, Nicholson doing fine work in the nets.
A mixed review from 1908. Apparently Nicholson was excellent aside from two softies:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, 1908-01-22
Nicholson, who stopped a dozen times when he seemed helpless before Stuart, Russell, or Blachford, was twice beaten out by Johnson on long range shots, which looked easy to stop... Hern had a comparitively easy time of it, while Nicholson was doing a big night's work in the second half. This was due largely to the fact that the Shamrock centremen were not taking advantage of their chances... The Shamrock defense again proved itself to be a good one, Pitre, Laviolette and Nicholson all in turn doing fine work in keeping down the score, especially when the line in front of them began to weaken. Nicholson was beaten by two long shots, but clever dives to meet oncoming rushes and heady work in baffling scrimmages around the net saved the Shamrocks.
This one was after a 12-7 loss!:
Originally Posted by NY Times, 1908-03-19
The goalkeeping of Nicholson was the star feature of the game.
When Edmonton was trying to assemble a team of ringers to challenge for the cup in 1909 (Lester Patrick, Tommy Phillips, Didier Pitre, Fred Whitcroft), Nicholson was one player they pursued as a goalie. They eventually went with a different guy, but Nicholson did stick around and win two games to help them win the Fit-Reform cup (I have no idea what this is, but the stats for it are listed in SIHR and the newspaper mentions it too) - Nicholson played two of the 7 games, sporting a 3.50 GAA, compared to the 4.50 and 5.67 the other two goalies had.
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, 1908-12-22
Another local addition to the ranks of the challengers today will be Billy Nicholson, goalkeeper of the Shamrock team of last winter that had the best defense record in the ECHA. "Nick" last night agreed to turn out today and help Edmonton during their training for the cup series, and it would not be surprising if he appeared in the challengers' lineup before the series is over. At his best there are few better net guardians in the business than the big fellow who has played successfully with Montreal, Wanderers, Calumet and Shamrocks.
When he returned, there was no shortage of interest in his services:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, 1909-01-22
Billy Nicholson, who went west with Fred Whitcroft's Edmonton team, is back in Montreal, having left the Stanley Cup challengers after the Winnipeg series. Nicholson has three offers to play with teams in the Cobalt league, but has not decided whether to leave Montreal or not.
Another quote showing that Nicholson was considered a good goalie:
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen, 1909-09-21
For goalkeepers, they ought to be well-satisfied. Besides Billy Nicholson, who performed in the flags last year, they have Percy Lesueur, of last year's Ottawas...
A quite humourous story about Nicholson from 1910:
Originally Posted by The Renfrew Millionaires
...finally Art Ross passed to ****** **** who shot the puck past *****. Haileybury had won! From the galleries, crowded with Cobalt supporters, there came cries of despair. Suddenly from the weight of humanity, the railing collapsed; many fans tumbled 15 feet to the ice and some were so seriously injured that they had to be taken to the hospital in sleighs. Thy hysteria continued. Winning fans showered pennies, dimes, quarters, even dollars on the ice. The air was filled with greenbacks and the players were trying to catch their floating fortune on the fly. But Billy Nicholson somehow obtained a tub and any money iced in his vicinity was quickly snared and tubbed. When he could find no more loot, and the sweat was pouring from his brow, he calmly turned the tub and its contents upside down and sat on it so that no one could dislodge him or the money. How much money he collected, Nick never admitted, but there were guesses that he wouldn't have to work for a long time.
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, 1913-02-10
Nicholson played a remarkable game in goal... Both ***** and Nicholson were called on to turn many shots aside.
Originally Posted by Toronto World, 1914-02-05
NICHOLSON, THE GREAT, IN GRAND FORM - Billy Nicholson, who was re-signed after being released on Monday, played a game in goal that has not been surpassed here all season...
Moran, LeSueur, Hern.... Nicholson?
These four are truly contemporaries, all born between 1877 and 1891. The earliest of their statistically recorded careers started in the 1900 season (Nicholson) and ended in the 1917 season (Nicholson, Moran). During this time, they all played in a variety of leagues, getting a good sample of competition, scoring level, and rules. For an eight-year period from the 1904 season, when Lesueur started, through 1911, when Hern retired, these four were all active in top-level hockey together.
It is my contention that Nicholson's goaltending stats stand up very well to those of these three HHOF goaltenders:
Why did they get in the hall and he didn't?
They are all multiple cup winners; however, he faced probably the stiffest competition in his cup matches, along with Hern, yet, he has the best playoff GAA of the four.
Was it a longevity thing? No, he played more games than LeSueur and a lot more than Hern.
Was it his GAA? Doesn't look like it. His career average edges Hern and is significantly better than Lesueur and Moran.
Then it must be his win%, barely over .500. However, Moran made it into the Hall with a losing record. And although GAA is a team stat, it tells a better story of his individual performance than win% does.
What about honours and awards? That's not it, either. Nicholson was a champion in two other leagues, a league all-star in two leagues, and led leagues in GAA and wins multiple times, just as often as the other three did.
In all honesty, it's pretty hard to tell what made them any better than him.
Finally, as this picture from 1914 will attest to, the rumours of his weight being 250-275 pounds are very exaggerated. His SIHR-listed weight of 220 pounds is almost certainly the best guess.
Last edited by seventieslord: 07-12-2010 at 09:18 PM.
With the 323rd pick in MLD2010, The Regina Capitals are pleased to select:
Hugh Bolton, D
- 6'3", 186 lbs
- Stanley Cup Champion (1951)
- Allan Cup Champion (1950)
- Top-10 In scoring by defensemen twice (6th, 8th)
- Placed 5th, 9th in Norris voting (1955, 1956)
- Played in NHL All-Star Game (1956)
Originally Posted by loh.net
Hugh Bolton was a natural, all-around athlete in the form of a standout first baseman in baseball, a strong-passing quarterback at football and a hard-hitting rearguard in hockey. He also had a life-long passion for learning, especially about things related to electricity. He started his post-secondary training at Queen's University, but was enticed to join the Toronto Marlboros junior squad which, at the time, was coached by former Leaf great Syl Apps.
...From there, Bolton joined the Leafs as one of the tallest players in the league. But that was about the only distinguished aspect of his game. Otherwise he played an unspectacularly conservative, stay-at-home game in his own zone.
Over his seven-plus seasons with the club, he was also frequently beset by injuries and ailments. One year he developed mononucleosis, an illness that was not fully understood at the time. On another occasion, his jaw was cracked by a shot from the stick of Boom Boom Geoffrion. But through it all, Bolton managed to improve his game from year to year. Near the end of his career, he was usually good for an average of one point per three games played.
But one night in 1956, his NHL career came to a sudden halt while killing a penalty in the Montreal Forum. His skates got stuck along the boards, causing an impact that broke his leg so severely that the bone split right up the middle.
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen, 1952-12-02
He's a rugged, hard-hitting type of blueline operator. He'll make it rough for incoming puck carriers.
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen, 1952-12-03
Hugh Bolton, a husky defenseman...
Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1953-03-21
Hugh Bolton, rugged defenseman...
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen, 1953-12-29
Hugh Bolton, outstanding defenseman who has been starring with Ottawa Senators (QHL) and Toronto Maple Leafs this winter...
Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1954-12-11
Hugh Bolton, former Hornet now playing defense for the Maple Leafs, is getting more rave notices in Canada for his play than any other player...
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, 1954-12-22
Doug Harvey, Hugh Bolton and Red Kelly are in the running for the James Norris Trophy... Red Kelly is going to get a real run from Hugh Bolton, one of the surprises of the first half of the season. Up and down between the big league and the minors like a punchy fighter in the past, he appears to have matured overnight and has become a bulwark on the Toronto defense.
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, 1955-04-02
Sport Magazine had the captains of the six NHL teams select an all-star team, here it is: Goal, Harry Lumley. Defense, Doug Harvey and Red Kelly. Center, Jean Beliveau. Wings, Rocket Richard and Sid Smith. On the second team are Terry Sawchuk, Bob Goldham, Hugh Bolton, Ted Kennedy, Gordie Howe and ***** *******.
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, 1955-12-08
Hugh Bolton has returned and is credited with putting a lot of thump into the team. Toronto writers say the return of the belting Bolton indicates that the heavy-hitting pattern recently set by newcomers is spreading to the veterans.
Originally Posted by thecanadianencyclopedia.com
Barilko and other toughs like Bill Eziniki were “ruffians” to Granny. She reserved her praise for the classy Syl Aps and the tenacious Ted Kennedy. She encouraged the underdogs and unappreciated soldiers like Hugh Bolton, master in her mind of the effective “poke check,” which obviated the need for violence.
Originally Posted by Danny Lewicki: From the Coal Docks To the NHL
Hugh was one of the defensemen in the league that would drop down in front of a player coming in to shoot.
Last edited by seventieslord: 07-12-2010 at 05:31 AM.
With the 324th pick in MLD2010, The Regina Capitals are pleased to select:
Frank Rankin, Rover
- 5'5", 145 lbs
- Inducted into the HHOF in 1961
- SOHA 1st Team All-Star (1910, 1911, 1913)
- SOHA 2nd Team All-Star (1912, 1914, 1915)
- SOHA Scoring Leader (1911, 1913)
- 63 goals in 21 games in SOHA from 1911 through 1915
- 15 goals in 13 SOHA playoff games from 1911 through 1915
- In 7 of 9 seasons, led his team either to the championship or to the finals
As a point of reference, Frank Foyston played two seasons with Rankin where statistics are available. During these two seasons, Foyston scored 29 goals in 12 games (2.42) and 5 in 4 playoff games (1.20); Rankin scored 21 in 10 games (2.10) and 7 in 6 playoff games (1.17).
The only other players of an established value to play in the SOHA during Rankin's career are Alf Skinner (4 goals in 6 games, 0.67) and Harry Meeking (16 goals in 6 games, 2.67)
Originally Posted by loh.net
...He moved to Toronto in 1910 to join the Eaton Athletic Association that had been formed that year by John C. Eaton, president of the eponymous department store. Membership was limited to amateurs and many were imported to Toronto to play for the team. Rankin was one of these imports and was made team captain upon his arrival.
The Eaton Athletic Association won the Ontario Hockey League senior title in 1910-11 and repeated the following year before losing the Allan Cup final to the Winnipeg Victorias. Rankin lead the senior league in goals during the 1910-11 season, scoring 15 times in just four games. His performance earned him a First Team All-Star selection for the second consecutive year.
In 1912-13, Rankin moved uptown to Toronto St. Michael's, a team that lost the OHA final to the Toronto R. and A.A. both that season and the one following. He was chosen as a First Team All-Star for the third time in 1912-13 based on his league-leading 22 goals in five games. Rankin earned a berth on the Second Team All-Star squads in the 1911-12, 1913-14, and 1914-15 seasons before joining the Canadian Armed Forces during World War 1.
Originally Posted by Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide of Everyone Who has Ever Played in the NHL
One of the finest rovers of his era
Here is a little glimpse into what kind of player Rankin was. He was the captain in every article I could find. He was very strong offensively, and appeared to be a very courageous player who was conscientious defensively, too:
Originally Posted by Toronto Sunday World, 1911-01-09
Rankin was the fastest skater and best stickhandler on the ice, and scored some nice goals, his shots being well-placed... Rankin rushed all by himself and scored...
Originally Posted by Toronto Sunday World, 1912-12-16
Rankin seemed to develop condition overnight, and he tore through those easterners like a will o' the wisp, and they kept hitting spots where Frank had been. He shot several goals, some of them under difficult circumstances, netting a couple from the side through a throng of players... Gerard was sent to the fence for tripping Dissette and Rankin accompanied him soon afterwards for slugging... Rankin took the puck and came through the whole team and scored the fourth one unassisted with a bullet-like shot... Dissette shot from the side, but Slack blocked and Rankin knocked it in before he could recover it... Rankin eintercepted the puck from Davidson, rushed and shot. Slack stopped it over his head, but Frank slipped the puck between his feet when it fell to the ice.
Originally Posted by Toronto World, 1913-01-24
Rankin, after playing a waiting game in the first half, was like a crazy man in this session, and was all over the ice. Nothing could stop him, and he gave Laird dozens of shots that were dead on...
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, 1913-02-21
No wonder Frank Rankin complained of a sore shoulder. The St. Mike's management had an x-ray examination made, and it was ascertained that the shoulder had in fact been dislocated. The fact that he played through the initial half of the first game at Midland in that condition is a tribute to Rankin's pluck.
Originally Posted by Toronto World, 1913-03-08
Rankin was the only St. Mikes man to really be in the hunt when it came to skating with the speed from the (Winnipeg All-Stars). Frank gave battle back all the way, and netted the only two tallies that fell to the Saints.
Originally Posted by Toronto Sunday World, 1914-03-06
Frank Rankin netted the first goal of the game by carrying the puck down the east boards and, stickhandling his way through the defense, he went right up to the net and put it past Smith... Torontos could only get their men strung across the ice at rare intervals, for Laflamme, Rankin, Richardson and McCamus never left them for a second with their pestering checking...
Originally Posted by Toronto World, 1915-02-17
Rankin was the first to be marked. He got a slash over the nose in the first period and had to retire for repairs, but was soon back in the game... Rankin was a better puck carrier and wiggled his way through closer than Stephenson... Rankin opened up a rush, and shoved it across the goal mouth, but Richardson was unable to bat it in with four men checking him. Rankin drew the next penalty for charging Gooch... Rankin's work was more effective than Stephenson's... St. Mikes tore right back and Frank Rankin notched one a minute and a half later when Mccamus shot the puck on ahead, the rubber hitting Heffernan's skate and putting Rankin onside. The Saint rover had no trouble in batting it past McGiffin.
Rankin almost went pro, but never did:
Originally Posted by Toronto World, 1913-01-14
The Toronto Club have made him a handsme offer and if he makes the jump he will be assured of a hockey job next season that will make him one of the highest salaried men in the NHA.
Last edited by seventieslord: 07-12-2010 at 03:51 PM.
With the 329th pick in MLD2010, The Regina Capitals are pleased to select:
George Richardson, LW
- Inducted into HHOF in 1950
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1906)
- Won intercollegiate title (1903, 1904, 1906)
- Won OHA Senior title (1908)
- Went to Senior finals (1907)
- Won Allan Cup (1909)
- Scored three goals for the outmatched Queens University Team in their Cup challenge, 2nd on the team after HHOFer Marty Walsh
- 40 goals in 14 recorded SOHA games from 1907 through 1909
- 34 goals in 9 SOHA playoff games from 1907 through 1910
- 23 goals in 12 recorded CIHU games with Queen's University
- CIHU First Team All-Star (1905, 1906)
- SOHA First Team All-Star (1907, 1908)
Points of reference: Allan "Scotty" Davidson, who went on to be a great NHA plyer before going off to war, scored 8 goals in 4 games (2.00) and 4 in 4 playoff games (1.00)in the SOHA playing with Richardson, whose career 40 goals in 14 games and 34 in 9 playoff games gives him averages of 2.86 and 3.78.
With McGill University, there are a few strong comparisons to be made, using guys whose CIHU careers overlapped Richardson's:
- Richardson scored 23 goals in 12 games (1.92)
- Billy Gilmour scored 18 goals in 15 games (1.20)
- Marty Walsh scored 33 goals in 12 games (2.75)
- Frank Patrick scored 12 goals in 7 games (1.71), though he was likely a defenseman.
Originally Posted by loh.net
George Richardson was an outstanding amateur hockey player who grew up in the Kingston area at Limestone City. He made his debut with Queen's senior hockey team in 1903 and was known as a clean, gentlemanly player, a fine stickhandler, and prolific scorer. He scored five times against Princeton University in New York and was prominent against Yale University as Queen's won the intercollegiate title of America in 1903. Queen's was also the Intercollegiate Hockey Union champions in 1904 and 1906.
Richardson starred at left wing for the 14th Regiment of Kingston hockey team that went on to the Ontario Hockey Association finals three consecutive years from 1907 to '09. He posted a record seven-goal game as Kingston won the OHA Senior crown, 9-7 over Stratford, in 1908.
In a 1921 tribute the Toronto Telegram called him "a hero in sport and war." The British Whig of Kingston described Richardson as "the best amateur in Canada."
Originally Posted by Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide of Everyone Who has Ever Played in the NHL
On ice and in battle, no man accorded with greater pride and dignity of purpose than Goerge Richardson.
Originally Posted by Honoured Members
Richardson was considered a great hockey player on many counts. He was a fine stickhandler and a powerful skater, and he possessed a hard shot.
Besides the stock comments from the books, I thought I'd provide for the first time, some first-hand accounts of how Richardson performed. Seems he was an all-around player with great individual skills. He sparkled wherever he played, and no one, with the exception of Marty Walsh, outshone him.
Originally Posted by NY Times, 1903-02-19
For the visitors Richardson excelled in dribbling tactics and in general all around play... Queens made four goals in the first half, Richardson shooting two of them after a run on each occasion of half the rink.
Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Press, 1906-01-21
On the Queens team are Richardson and Walsh, Said to be two of the fastest forwards in Canada.
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, 1906-02-28 (regarding failed Cup Challenge by Queens University)
Marty Walsh at rover for the Queens seven was not surpassed in brilliancy by any member of the Ottawas. The little fellow did good work for his team, but it counted for very little, owing to the fact that he received poor assistance save for that of Richardson and sometimes Crawford.
Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Press, 1907-01-02
Richardson, Queen's University's left wing, is said to be the bright star of the aggregation.
George Richardson in action caused a buzz in the hockey world:
Originally Posted by Toronto World, 1912-01-30
George Richardson, former Queens and 14th Regimen star hockey player, was out with the Frontenacs for his first workout and played his old position of left wing. He will play in the game on Wednesday night against Varsity and will fill the gap caused by the loss of Boyer, who had his collar bone broken. Hockey fans are delighted to get him back again.
Last edited by seventieslord: 07-12-2010 at 07:48 PM.
With the 330th pick in MLD2010, The Regina Capitals are pleased to select:
Lou Fontinato, D
- 6'1", 195 lbs.
- 7th in Norris voting (1959)
- 9th in Norris voting (1963)
- Placed 10th, 13th among NHL defensemen in points
- NHL PIM leader (1956, 1958, 1962)
- NHL PIM runner-up (1957, 1959, 1960)
- Memorial Cup (1952)
Originally Posted by loh.net
Lou Fontinato was a rugged defenceman who played 535 NHL games with the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens in the 1950s and '60s. Considering his physical style, he was a durable player who missed relatively few games until, ironically, suffering a career-ending injury late in the 1962-63 season.
During his first full year in the NHL, "Leapin' Louie" made his presence felt and led the league with 202 penalty minutes. He spent five more years in New York where he roughed up opposing forwards and jumped into the rush on occasion. On June 13, 1961 he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in a much-publicized deal for Doug Harvey.
Originally Posted by Heroes: Stars of Hockey's Golden Era
Fontinato staked his spot as a policing defenseman for the NY Rangers in 1954. " We just practised what we were told to do from junior on. They always want a guy out there hitting, being a policeman", Leapin' Louie comments. "there are no regrets. What the hell. You're in the big top and you play the only way you know how. Mind you, on the way up, you had people encouraging it."
Originally Posted by Blueline Magazine, December 1957
Lou Fontinato was considered by most hockey experts as a clown when he first broke into the National Hockey League because of his antics on the ice... however since that time he has grown so much in stature that at the end of last season he was considered one of the top defensemen in the NHL. The controversial Louie is one of the hardest-hitting rearguards to appear in the NHL in some years. He has knocked many an incoming forward silly by his jarring bodychecks.
Originally Posted by Gordie, by Roy MacSkimming
Fontinato, the defenseman who had built a reputation as the premier battler of the NY Rangers, and perhaps the league... Fontinato had taken on many of the other NHL heavyweights, such as Fern Flaman, at one time or another. The Rangers' coach used to send Fontinato out to run at stars like Howe and Beliveau to throw them off their game.
Of course, we know Gordie beat up Fontinato, but there's no shame in that!
Originally Posted by Red's Story
Fontinato was brought up by the Rangers in 1954 to give the team some backbone. One night I said to him, "Lou, what is the matter with you? Every damn game I have with you, you're in a brawl. We can never have a pleasant evening with you on the ice." He told me he knew why the Rangers had hired him, which was to fight. "But I'm gonna tell you something," he added. "Everyday I'm learnin' a little more how to play hockey." He was the only man I ever saw in the NHL who would be out on the ice between periods trying to perfect his skating and working on other little things. When he was traded to the Canadiens in the 1960s, he didn't fight as much and had developed into a pretty darn good defenseman before he suffered a serious neck injury and retired.
Originally Posted by Red's Story
The Rocket finished almost every fight he was in. One exception was a night in January, 1956, when the Canadiens were in New York and he clashed with Lou Fontinato at the blueline. The Rocket very seldom lost a fight, but this time Fontinato really connected on his jaw. His arms went limp and his legs buckled, although he didn't go down. Fontinato, seeing he was out on his feet and defenseless, backed off and ended the fight after just the one punch.
Originally Posted by Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide Of Everyone Who Has Ever Played In the NHL
He set records for penalties and fought bravely. He was a fan favourite and a solid defenseman...
Originally Posted by Hockey Chronicle
One of the game's roughest competitors was Leapin' Louie Fontinato...a fearless fighter and a friendly, colorful character.
Originally Posted by Hockey's Glory Days
Lou Fontinato added much-needed toughness to the New York Rangers... Fontinato consistently ranked among the league leaders in PIM, but he was more than just a tough guy; Leapin' Louie was also an effective defenseman.
Originally Posted by Doug: The Doug Harvey Story
"You know a defense guy I'd like to see on our team?," Reardon said to Elmer Ferguson in 1957. "I'd like to see that Leapin' Lou Fontinato in a Canadien uniform. What a pair he'd make with Harvey. There'd be Doug doing the smooth work, hooking the puck away from invaders, breaking out with those quick starts. And there would be Fontinato bouncing around, battering into everybody, knocking them down. An ideal combination."... He was called Leapin' Lou for the way he would leave his feet to pile into an opposing player.
Originally Posted by The Game We Knew: Hockey In the Fifties
...mostly known for his toughness... Fontinato caught Richard with a punch over the eye that quickly ended a fight... The one-punck knockout gave Fontinato the reputation he was looking for - heavyweight champion of the NHL. Gordie Howe, however, terminated that title in a much-celebrated 1959 fight.
Originally Posted by Dick Beddoes' Greatest Hockey Stories
Newsy Lalonde, before he died in 1970, picked an All-Mean-Team, capable of spilling enough corpuscles to gratify any blood bank in North America. He said he'd have been delighted to coach these "very perfect gentle knights":
Joe Hall, Sprague Cleghorn, Eddie Shore, Lou Fontinato
Leo Labine, Bill Ezinicki, Ted Lindsay, Cully Wilson, Bill Cook, Ken Randall
Originally Posted by The Thinking Man's Guide To Hockey
Fontinato was the sort who banged everyone in an enemy uniform.
Originally Posted by Years Of Glory
a heavy bodychecker and brawler...
Originally Posted by 100 Ranger Greats
Fontinato was a one-of-a-kind rearguard. His rhinoceros-like rushes up the ice made him a fan favourite, the "people's choice", in fact, in an era that was as colorful as any in Rangers' history... his nickname, Leapin' Lou, came from two sources: His crisp, clean bodychecks were often preceded by a leap from his skates. Another leap, this one straight up in the air, often followed to protest the many penalties he drew.
make no mistake - Fontinato was a solid defenseman, a fearsome bodychecker, and well skilled at getting the puck out of the Rangers' zone. But it was his fighting, brawling, really, that brought him fame. He took on all comers, big and small alike, won most all of his bouts and seemed to enjoy it heartily, smiling widely before and after many of his altercations.
Originally Posted by Boom Boom: The Life and Times of Bernie Geoffrion
Fontinato wasn't very smooth, but he could hit and he could fight. Like myself he was very emotional and every once in a while he would leap at a player... In a sense Fontinato was a bully and in another sense he wasn't. A bully is a big, tough guy who picks on someone he knows doesn't fight. Fontinato liked to do that. He would constantly run Big Jean although well aware that Beliveau was not a fighter. He did that with some of our smaller players as well. But to give Fontinato credit he'd fight with tough guys too...
(after being acquired in exchange for Harvey) no one was on the spot more than Fontinato, who had replaced Harvey. The Forum fans, who were quite capable of running a guy right out of the NHL, watched Leapin' Louie closely in the first few games. He didn't let them down. When we went to New York and beat the rangers 5-2 Fontinato was the best player on the ice. As much as I missed Harvey, I had to admit that Louie was doing the job for us... Selke was pleased as well. His acquisition of Fontinato turned out to be a very wise one. Leapin' Louie reminded me of myself in some ways. He was high-spirited and it was catching. It rubbed off early on the young fellows like Rousseau and Gilles Tremblay and some of us veterans couldn't help but be affected by it...
In the first half all-star balloting not one Canadien made it to the first team. Even though he was a bit on the crude side, Lou Fontinato would have gotten a vote from me. It was interesting to see how Louie would have been welcomed into our dressing room after being so hated when he played for the Rangers. The thing was, whoever came into the dressing room became a Montreal Canadien and we didn't hold a grudge. We welcomed Louie and we liked him because he was funny... but nobody on the opposition laughed at him. Louie was tough. He wasn't afraid of anybody.
Originally Posted by NY Times,10-26-1959
Lou Fontinato was again a standout on defense.
Originally Posted by NY Times, 01/07/1960
Lou Fontinato and Bobby Hull, the Hawks' leading scorer, began slashing eachother with their sticks...Hull began to swing his stick at Fontinato and Lou accepted the challengeb... Fontinato and the 6'3", 210 pound Elmer Vasko, tangled in the first period. they also sought to high-stick eachother.
Originally Posted by NY Times, 04/04/1962
Mikita, skating into Montral ice in the opening minute, was flattened by Lou Fontinato. The Hawk slid 20 feet into the boards.
...and, one more picture for good measure:
Last edited by seventieslord: 07-13-2010 at 12:54 AM.
Awards and Achievements:
Stanley Cup Champion (1925)
2 x Stanly Cup Finalist (1925, 1926)
PCHA First Team All-Star (1924)
PCHA Second Team All-Star (1923)
WHL Second Team All-Star (1925)
Points among Defensemen – 5th(1922), 6th(1923), 2nd(1924), 6th(1925)
Goals among Defensemen – 4th(1922), 6th(1923), 2nd(1924), 5th(1925)
Assists among Defesnemen – 5th(1923), 5th(1924)
Point among Defensemen – 1st(1927)*, 13th(1930)
Goals among Defensemen – 1st(1927)*, 10th(1930)
Assists among Defensemen – 3rd(1927)*
Play-off Points among Defensemen – 1st(1925), 3rd(1927)*
Play-off Goals among Defensemen – 1st(1925), 1st(1927)*
*- may or may not have played some forward during 1927
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
“Defenceman Gord Fraser was a physical player who could also contribute on offence… Before the next season began, the rugged defender was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks who were also entering the league.
Fraser scored 14 goals for the Hawks in 1926-27 and was an intimidating presence on defence. He began the next season in Chicago before he was traded back to the Cougars for Duke Keats. His offensive totals decreased, but Fraser continued to play tough in his own end.”
Originally Posted by Salmon Kings official website
“The series remained deadlocked until Gord Fraser stole the puck and went straight down center ice, split the defenders and fired a bullet shot that ended the game after 8 minutes of overtime.”
Defenceman Mario Marois was a fine playmaker with a hard shot from the point that also thrived by playing it rough in his own end....the rugged defenseman....Marois' offensive talent suited the Nords' fast-paced game and his tough work on defense pleased coach Michel Bergeron. His crisp passes and willingness to fend off opposing forwards made him a valuable asset to the club when it reached the semi-finals in 1982 and 1985" -- Legends of Hockey
Defenceman Hy Buller played five NHL seasons in the 1940s and '50s. He was a fine passer who could also deliver jolting bodychecks and play with a chip on his shoulder in his own zone.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
He was outstanding in his first big league season, scoring 35 points, delivering a host of thunderous hits and earning a place on the NHL second all-star team.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Buller established himself as one of the all time greats in the American Hockey League, first with Hershey and then more so with Cleveland from 1948-1951. In those 3 1/2 seasons with the Barons, t he "Blue Line Blaster" was a two time all star and posted some great statistics. For instance, in what proved to be his final season in the AHL he scored 16 goals in 57 points in 66 games. Those are mind-boggling numbers for a defenseman in 1950!
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Buller was not an aggressive defenseman, which drew comparisons to the great Bill Quackenbush.
Originally Posted by Who’s Who in Hockey
He was a seasoned pro who could play a solid defense yet bolter the attack with his hard shot from the point.
Originally Posted by Frank Boucher
Sure, I’d like to see him crack (the opposition), but you can't have everything. Bill Quackenbush doesn't hit them either, and he's quite a defenseman. They're both exceptional stick checkers, fine stickhandlers and rushers. Buller, like Quackenbush, is very good on point in power players. He has our best shot from the blue line and can it away without a windup. The most noticeable thing about Buller is his coolness and quick thinking under fire. He'll adapt himself to any situation.
Originally Posted by Edgar Laprade
He was really good on the point. Some people would get rattled when they got the puck...but he was very cool and he took his time. He never let a wild shot go at the net.
Originally Posted by Conn Smythe while Buller was in the AHL
I'd rate him right up with the top 10 defensemen in all hockey today.
Originally Posted by Chuck Rayner
We were surprised to hear he was retiring. He was one of the best defensemen in the league...he was a real smooth skater, a good stickhandler, and a real good playmaker.
Originally Posted by Jews In Sports Online
His impressive numbers, considered good for any player but outstanding for a defenseman, attracted the attention of NHL teams, but the Cleveland owner did not want to part with his star defenseman….
There have been many questions about why Buller retired so early, and some people believe that anti-Semitism may have been a factor. A hero to New York's Jewish community while he played for the Rangers, Buller refused to play on Yom Kippur. Unfortunately, his Judaism made him a target on the ice as he was forced into many altercations and fights; he led the Rangers with 96 penalty minutes his rookie season despite complaints that he was not aggressive enough. In his final year in the NHL, 'Terrible Ted' Lindsay swung his stick at Buller twice during a game -- many believe that Hy was never the same after the incident. Buller always claimed that the years in the minors had taken a toll on his body and that he did not retire out of intimidation.
NHL Awards and Statistics
Second Team All-Star (1952)
Points among Defensemen - 2nd(1952), 4th(1953), 12th(1954)*
Goals among Defensemen - 2nd(1952), 3rd(1953)
Assists among Defensemen - 3rd(1952), 6th(1953), 9th(1954)*
*-Missed 29 games
Over his 3 year career, he was 4th in scoring among defensemen. Only Red Kelly, Doug Harvey, and Bill Gadsby outscored him, and he had the same points per game pace as Gadsby.
AHL Awards and Statistics
3 x Calder Cup Champion (1947, 1948, 1951)
2 x AHL First Team All-Star (1949, 1951)