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The long-awaited Billy Breen post

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09-17-2012, 11:28 AM
  #1
Iain Fyffe
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The long-awaited Billy Breen post

I've been asked several times what I have on Billy Breen. Here it is.


Last edited by Iain Fyffe: 09-17-2012 at 11:36 AM. Reason: Fixy linky.
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Old
09-17-2012, 11:32 AM
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Hawkey Town 18
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Link did not work for me


EDIT: Fixed


Last edited by Hawkey Town 18: 09-17-2012 at 12:03 PM.
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Old
09-17-2012, 11:36 AM
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Iain Fyffe
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Try it now.

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09-17-2012, 12:03 PM
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Hawkey Town 18
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Try it now.
Fixed. Thanks!

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09-17-2012, 03:06 PM
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Rob Scuderi
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Great read, thanks for the post.

Very interesting to see all those quotes. Looking forward to your thoughts on why he seems to be overlooked.

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09-17-2012, 04:53 PM
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Yeah really interesting stuff. The playmaking was of course something I asked about like two months ago after drafting him in the MLD. I know that you kind of touch on it in your post, but if you had to choose one of McGimsie or Breen it would probably be Breen, correct? That was kind of my impression from my (compared to this at least) limited research I was able to accomplish on him.

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09-17-2012, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by vecens24 View Post
Yeah really interesting stuff. The playmaking was of course something I asked about like two months ago after drafting him in the MLD. I know that you kind of touch on it in your post, but if you had to choose one of McGimsie or Breen it would probably be Breen, correct? That was kind of my impression from my (compared to this at least) limited research I was able to accomplish on him.
In general I would take Breen, yes. Depends on what you're looking for. McGimsie may have been better on pure offence, but it seems pretty clear to me that Breen was very much a complete player while McGimsie was all about the goals. Of course, McGimsie generally benefited from playing with Phillips so perhaps he's not really even ahead on offence.

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09-17-2012, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
Great read, thanks for the post.

Very interesting to see all those quotes. Looking forward to your thoughts on why he seems to be overlooked.
I think it's largely for two reasons:

1. He played his entire career in Manitoba leagues, and

2. He was not part of a big story. The Vics are remembered for being the first western team to win the Cup. The Thistles are remembered for being from a tiny town and still winning the Stanley Cup. If Breen had won the Cup, he'd probably be more remembered today, but even then, Winnipeg teams had won the Cup before then so that wouldn't have been a big story anyway.

More people know about the Dawson City challenge, which realistically had zero chance of ever winning the Cup, than know about Billy Breen. He doesn't have the narrative to associate his name with.

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09-17-2012, 09:19 PM
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Rob Scuderi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
I think it's largely for two reasons:

1. He played his entire career in Manitoba leagues, and

2. He was not part of a big story. The Vics are remembered for being the first western team to win the Cup. The Thistles are remembered for being from a tiny town and still winning the Stanley Cup. If Breen had won the Cup, he'd probably be more remembered today, but even then, Winnipeg teams had won the Cup before then so that wouldn't have been a big story anyway.

More people know about the Dawson City challenge, which realistically had zero chance of ever winning the Cup, than know about Billy Breen. He doesn't have the narrative to associate his name with.
Dawson City is a good example of why it's silly so little seems to be known about the Manitoba leagues. I guess you're right that in the grand scheme of things, Breen's scoring didn't mean as much when his teams weren't winning the league title and he couldn't play for the Cup.

Do you make much of the Rowing Club beating Ottawa in one of the Cup challenge games in '04? It seems significant that their two blemishes in this period came against the Thistles and Oarmen when no one else managed to do it. I mean outside of the Wanderers, Brockville (FAHL) was the only other team that managed to beat Ottawa once.

I managed to find a report of Game of the Rowing Club's challenge when they lost 2-0 and it didn't sound as if they were handily beaten as I imagined.
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...94016&dq&hl=en


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09-17-2012, 09:40 PM
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Iain Fyffe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
Dawson City is a good example of why it's silly so little seems to be known about the Manitoba leagues. I guess you're right that in the grand scheme of things, Breen's scoring didn't mean as much when his teams weren't winning the league title and he couldn't play for the Cup.
I wouldn't say it wouldn't mean as much in that way, I was referring to later years, when stories are more important than boring facts when deciding what to research and especially what to write about.

It's really the Thistles that kept Breen out of more Cup challenges I think. His team were champions in 1903, 1904 playing in a different league (taking down the Vics), then second in 1905 and 1906 to the Thistles. In 1907 champions again, again in a different league than the Thistles.

So there were at least three potential Cup challenges. Obviously 1904 was accepted, and I believe the team challenged in 1907 but then decided not to pursue it for some reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
Do you make much of the Rowing Club beating Ottawa in one of the Cup challenge games in '04? It seems significant that their two blemishes in this period came against the Thistles and Oarmen when no one else managed to do it.
My next blog post discusses this very thing. It's scheduled for Wednesday.

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09-18-2012, 10:38 PM
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... wonderful read Iain. Thank you!.

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Old
09-19-2012, 06:25 PM
  #12
Iain Fyffe
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My next blog post discusses this very thing. It's scheduled for Wednesday.
As promised.

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09-19-2012, 07:53 PM
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Rob Scuderi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Pretty unbelievable they were twenty minutes away from pulling it off, definitely worth remembering.

Even if you ignored who they almost beat, would their roster compare to any of the other challenge-era cup winners? It seems like they'd have to be the weakest winner in those 20 years.

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09-19-2012, 09:01 PM
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Iain Fyffe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
Pretty unbelievable they were twenty minutes away from pulling it off, definitely worth remembering.

Even if you ignored who they almost beat, would their roster compare to any of the other challenge-era cup winners? It seems like they'd have to be the weakest winner in those 20 years.
I don't know, several of their roster suffer from the Manitoba effect I think, other than Joe Hall obviously; Art Brown was a heck of a goaltender. Tammy Hamber was well-regarded at the time. But yes, I think I'd agree with your point - the team was certainly Breen-centric, which is really further evidence of just how good he was.

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