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Elimination of the Rover?

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Old
01-13-2012, 10:25 AM
  #1
Shootmaster_44
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Elimination of the Rover?

When exactly did hockey of all sorts eliminate the rover? Also, why was this move made?

For those unaware until the 1920s some professional hockey was played 6 vs. 6 with goalies. There were three forwards and three defencemen and the third defenceman was known as the rover. He was more or less like the centreman of the defensive line. Not having seen games from that era I am unaware whether the defence played a basketball style zone defence where the rover and the other two defencemen kept to their sides of the ice or what.

I know the WCHL and PCHA played with a rover until their demise, but was that the end of the rover or did it live on in Europe or youth hockey longer than that?

On this note, does anyone know whether this caused any outrage by eliminating the position? Since the rover seemed to be a Western Canadian thing, I could see this being seen as an attempt to be more like Toronto (or Ontario or whatever the derisive term for the "East" was at the time) and eliminate the unique aspects of the "Western" game. Much like how Canadian football fans bristle whenever an American football fan suggests the CFL adopt American rules.

Who was the last player who was regularly a rover in the NHL? What I mean is when the NHL eliminated the rover (which I think came with the transformation from the NHA to the NHL), what player who was a rover ended up playing the longest after that change? Did most rovers end up becoming defencemen or did they transform into forwards instead?

The whole 6 on 6 plus a goalie game has intrigued me for awhile. It would have been interesting to see how the game would have developed if the rover hadn't been eliminated. I'd think scoring wouldn't have been as high simply because there was another defender on the ice. Granted that could also mean since there were two extra bodies on the ice, the likelihood of the goalie being screened is much higher also. Interesting things to ponder though.

Is hockey the only sport to have undergone such a radical change in the number of players? Other than Harvard rules in football reducing from 12 to 11 in the early days of football (at such a point where nothing was really codified yet), I can't think of any other sport that changed the number of participants so far into its development. By that point hockey had been played as hockey for around 50 years. 50 years in, in the development of baseball, it had basically solidified their rules. Yes they added the Designated Hitter in 1972, but it wasn't on both the offensive and defensive side of play that this made a difference. So I don't really count that, if the DH became a 4th Outfielder than that would count. Basketball I believe also was entrenched at 5 players 50 years after development. The list could gone on and on, but hockey decided that it needed to reduce the number of players.

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01-13-2012, 11:17 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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This doesn't quite answer your question, but I found a game recap of the game when Sprague Cleghorn made his famous attack on Newsy Lalonde. It was supposed to be an exhibition of the virtues of six-men hockey (meaning no rover).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Note and Comment
Hockey of the pro. six-a-side variety was tried Saturday night in the Arena and was not found wanting. This style will be the vogue the first part of the championship season, which opens up Wednesday night, Canadiens v. Tecumsehs

The exhibition incident was in real earnest, both sides doing their level best, and the big crowd was evidently well satisfied with everything, except the unprovoked attack on Newsy Lalonde by Sprague Cleghorn.

Those connected with the Arena and the two local clubs were pleased with the game, believing that the public will never miss the seventh man. In fact, they may still insist on the sextet the second part of the season, when according to agreement, they are to play seven-a-side.

It might be argued that the fewer numbers would please the owners for economic reasons. However, with six to a team, the game is more individually tougher, necessitating more frequent change of players and a greater number of substitutes.
The Toronto World, Dec 23, 1912

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01-13-2012, 01:39 PM
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Iain Fyffe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shootmaster_44 View Post
When exactly did hockey of all sorts eliminate the rover? Also, why was this move made?
Around 1912 for professional eastern hockey, 1920s for western hockey. Eastern amateur hockey held on to the position for a number of years before eliminating it.

It was done to open up the ice. Some cynics suggest the NHA owners did it to require one less player on the payroll, but the fact is they generally just used one additional sub per game, so they kept the same number of players around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shootmaster_44 View Post
For those unaware until the 1920s some professional hockey was played 6 vs. 6 with goalies. There were three forwards and three defencemen and the third defenceman was known as the rover. He was more or less like the centreman of the defensive line. Not having seen games from that era I am unaware whether the defence played a basketball style zone defence where the rover and the other two defencemen kept to their sides of the ice or what.
Until very late in its existence, the rover was a fourth forward, not a third defenceman, and was generally the player most responsible for a team's offence. This article might interest you.

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Originally Posted by Shootmaster_44 View Post
I know the WCHL and PCHA played with a rover until their demise, but was that the end of the rover or did it live on in Europe or youth hockey longer than that?
I believe that the western pro league was the last holdout in terms of eliminating the position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shootmaster_44 View Post
On this note, does anyone know whether this caused any outrage by eliminating the position? Since the rover seemed to be a Western Canadian thing, I could see this being seen as an attempt to be more like Toronto (or Ontario or whatever the derisive term for the "East" was at the time) and eliminate the unique aspects of the "Western" game. Much like how Canadian football fans bristle whenever an American football fan suggests the CFL adopt American rules.
I doubt very much it was seen as a western thing, since the position (and the game) originated in the east. I'm sure there were protests (as there are to any change), but given that every league ultimately followed suit, it seems to have been accepted as a positive change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shootmaster_44 View Post
Who was the last player who was regularly a rover in the NHL? What I mean is when the NHL eliminated the rover (which I think came with the transformation from the NHA to the NHL), what player who was a rover ended up playing the longest after that change? Did most rovers end up becoming defencemen or did they transform into forwards instead?
The rover was long gone before the NHL arrived in 1917. But this is an interesting question, and I'll have a look at my records and get back to you.

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Originally Posted by Shootmaster_44 View Post
Is hockey the only sport to have undergone such a radical change in the number of players? Other than Harvard rules in football reducing from 12 to 11 in the early days of football (at such a point where nothing was really codified yet), I can't think of any other sport that changed the number of participants so far into its development. By that point hockey had been played as hockey for around 50 years.
Well, they had only standardized the number of skaters to six for the first Montreal Winter Carnival in 1883. In the famous McGill game in 1875, for example, they used nine men a side.

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01-13-2012, 04:50 PM
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1910/11 was the last full season that the NHA used a rover. The rovers that season were Newsy Lalonde and Didier Pitre for the Canadiens, Pud Glass for the Wanderers, Jack Darragh for Ottawa, Ken Mallen for Quebec, and Steve Vair for Renfrew. These are all career forwards, although both Lalonde and (especially) Pitre played a not-insignificant amount of cover-point in their careers.

1921/22 was the last season that the PCHA used a rover; the following season they played an interlocking schedule with the WCHL, which did not use the position. Rovers in this final season were Jack Walker for Seattle, Mickey MacKay for Vancouver, and Harry Meeking for Victoria. Again, these are all career forwards, even though the rover was more of a defensive position near its end. These are all forwards with excellent defensive reputations (Walker in particular), but forwards nonetheless.

The Ontario Hockey Association used the rover until 1915/16 - it's possible that wartime player shortages contributed to their decision to decrease roster sizes. I believe they were the last eastern league to keep the rover, but I might be mistaken there.

The Manitoba league dropped the position after 1917/18, and the Alberta league after 1919/20. Just like the game itself in the 1880s and 1890s, it seems the five-skater game worked its way westward across the country.

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02-19-2015, 03:11 PM
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Bumping this old thread because it's a good place to stash this article:

(context: CAHA abolished the rover in fall 1919, making 5-skater hockey standard in the amateur leagues)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Calgary Daily Herald 12/5/1919
For the past ten or twelve years Winnipeg hockey has been noted for its "parlor" like tactics -- not meaning that it wasn't strenuous, but that it has been the general idea to play the puck instead of the man, and body checking, particularly against the boards, has been a minus quantity.

This year it is going to be different if the Manitoba teams are going to benefit from the system of play shown by the O.H.A. teams in the Allan cup and junior championship matches last spring. The professional methods of six-man [ed: 5-skater] hockey were seen at their best in the titular series at Toronto, and the Selkirk boys came home chock full of new ideas in playing the abbreviated style of hockey. Winnipeg introduced the six-man game here last winter. It proved very popular, but the boys did not get away from the seven-man style of play. They stuck to the old method of following the puck into the corners and lingering around the goal-mouth in an effort to push the puck into the net from a pass from the corner.

That this style of play, though more spectacular, is not as effective as far as winning games is concerned, was proven beyond any doubt at Toronto last spring... the western speed could be adapted most fittingly to the "play-the-man" style of game...

The team that can pick up the eastern style of play the quickest will be a hard aggregation to be in Manitoba this winter. ... So a great deal rests upon the managers this year in acquiring the new style very[sic] of six-man hockey. It is a style very much after that shown by the Victoria lacrosse team here this summer. It is a case of getting the man more than the puck. There is little or no checking in centre ice, as it is up to every player to cover somebody, and nearly every play starts from outside the defense. It is a much more strenuous kind of play than what has been played in Winnipeg. Good, hard body-checking and cross-checking is very prevalent, at least what we would call cross-checking, as it is a very common occurrence to stop a man with a stick when he is trying to get an opening to take a pass.

Observations:

First bolded - This is a nice little snapshot of eastern-style hockey progressing westward.

Second bolded (straddling the two paragraphs) - Interesting to see the real-time realization that transitioning toward eastern-style hockey required an increase in physicality. It's hard to say whether this was specifically because of removing the rover, or because tighter-checking hockey is simply a better way to win hockey games. But it does provide a bit of extra insight into why the PCHA teams gradually started using the rover in a more defensive role around this time -- it was another element of the gradual easternization of the game as a whole.

Third bolded - Note the direct parallel between strategic evolutions in both lacrosse and hockey.

Fourth bolded - Hard to say if "at least what we would call cross-checking" is a comment on terminology, or a comment on officiating standards. Interesting either way.

General - It's fascinating how provincially-specific the styles of play were during the transition period.

Also, the language nerd in me can't help but notice that the writer says parlor (not parlour) and defense (not defence) but centre (not center). A whole different kind of evolution!

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02-19-2015, 04:27 PM
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January 1918

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
1910/11 was the last full season that the NHA used a rover. The rovers that season were Newsy Lalonde and Didier Pitre for the Canadiens, Pud Glass for the Wanderers, Jack Darragh for Ottawa, Ken Mallen for Quebec, and Steve Vair for Renfrew. These are all career forwards, although both Lalonde and (especially) Pitre played a not-insignificant amount of cover-point in their careers.

1921/22 was the last season that the PCHA used a rover; the following season they played an interlocking schedule with the WCHL, which did not use the position. Rovers in this final season were Jack Walker for Seattle, Mickey MacKay for Vancouver, and Harry Meeking for Victoria. Again, these are all career forwards, even though the rover was more of a defensive position near its end. These are all forwards with excellent defensive reputations (Walker in particular), but forwards nonetheless.

The Ontario Hockey Association used the rover until 1915/16 - it's possible that wartime player shortages contributed to their decision to decrease roster sizes. I believe they were the last eastern league to keep the rover, but I might be mistaken there.

The Manitoba league dropped the position after 1917/18, and the Alberta league after 1919/20. Just like the game itself in the 1880s and 1890s, it seems the five-skater game worked its way westward across the country.
January 1918, 1917-18 season, Montreal schools eliminated the rover position in high school hockey. Per the Montreal Herald.

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02-19-2015, 07:32 PM
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I met "Steamer". I would see him at the Jr. hockey games in Winnipeg, but never got to discuss his playing days with him.

http://www.legendsofhockey.net/Legen...io&list=ByName

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02-20-2015, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Bumping this old thread because it's a good place to stash this article:

(context: CAHA abolished the rover in fall 1919, making 5-skater hockey standard in the amateur leagues)
Another article from the same week, with similarly interesting detail about how rovers were perceived:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saskatoon Phoenix 12/10/1919
Under the old style, the rover had to do the bulk of the checking back. In baseball parlance, it was the duty of the rover to back up every play. He had to check any man who got away from his cover; in short, he had to assume the responsibility for any weak spots on the team. One thing that characterised a good rover was his ability to get goals off rebounds. Another way of putting it is that he almost had to play "inside home". He likewise had to go into the corner after stray pucks. He had to be an almost superhuman player.[lists "superhuman" rovers: Rat Westwick, Russell Bowie, Lester Patrick, Pud Glass, Newsy Lalonde, Si Griffis, Bruce Stuart]

Today under the six-man game a new school of players has sprung up. Very few of the great centre men of the seven-man game have ever starred under the present rules. Newsy Lalonde and Joe Malone are two of the few of the old game players who have maintained their "reps" under the shortened style. This is because the centre men depended too much on the rovers to do their checking back. The late Marty Walsh, one of the greatest centre ice men the game has ever known, did not last long under the new rules. The same can be said of Ernie Russell of the Wanderers.

Frank Nighbor of the Ottawa, acknowledged as the best centre man in six-man hockey did not come into any great prominence under the seven-man rules although he did star at the coast. This is for the simple reason that he had been taught to play centre in the proper way for six-man hockey by Alf. Smith. Newsy Lalonde is not a flashy or even brilliant centre ice man; it is his old goal-getting tactics that has left him so long in the ring.

The centre ice man today must bear the brunt of the work of the forward line. He must be a rugged player, a back checker and a goal getter. He has to face off the puck, watch the front of the nets the same as both the centre ice men had to do in the old game. The wing men too must share a certain amount of the work of the rover. During a face-off, one of the wing men usually stands half way between his wing and where the rover usually stood during a face-off. The defence men must also take on a part of the work of the deposed player.
First bold - Good general description of the rover's duties. Particularly interesting is that it's so specific about the rover's role in scoring off rebounds.

Second bold - This line, along with the fourth paragraph's line about hanging around in front of the net, provides an interesting parallel with the other article's mention of the same habits which needed to be eliminated in the post-rover landscape.

Third bold - Insight into the way centers were weeded out according to their defensive habits after the rover disappeared. Interesting about Marty Walsh, and this paragraph also contains a rare bit of indirect praise for Joe Malone's backchecking.

Fifth bold - Interesting explanation for why Nighbor seemed to be light years behind Taylor and MacKay offensively during his time in Vancouver.

Sixth bold - This is tantalizingly close to describing just where rovers stood on faceoffs.

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02-20-2015, 01:37 AM
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^^^ Jesus tarheeel. Great. Grand stuff. Coffee table puleaze.

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02-20-2015, 01:57 AM
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Absolutely outstanding find, tarheel. Best contemporary information on the rover that I've ever seen.

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02-20-2015, 03:13 AM
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The HHOF has, according to its site, 19 Rovers inducted. Seems a bit ridiculous considering the position was completely eliminated by the early 1920s. In contrast, only there are just 37 goalies in the Hall.

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02-20-2015, 07:37 AM
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At that time players weren't as bound to a position as today. Many of those 19 or something guys listed as rovers in the Hall played other positions as well, such as cover point, center & wing.

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02-20-2015, 09:45 AM
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Great Find

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Another article from the same week, with similarly interesting detail about how rovers were perceived:



First bold - Good general description of the rover's duties. Particularly interesting is that it's so specific about the rover's role in scoring off rebounds.

Second bold - This line, along with the fourth paragraph's line about hanging around in front of the net, provides an interesting parallel with the other article's mention of the same habits which needed to be eliminated in the post-rover landscape.

Third bold - Insight into the way centers were weeded out according to their defensive habits after the rover disappeared. Interesting about Marty Walsh, and this paragraph also contains a rare bit of indirect praise for Joe Malone's backchecking.

Fifth bold - Interesting explanation for why Nighbor seemed to be light years behind Taylor and MacKay offensively during his time in Vancouver.

Sixth bold - This is tantalizingly close to describing just where rovers stood on faceoffs.
Great find, especially the detailed responsibilities, capsule review of individual player skills and faceoff positioning.

Now if we can only find similar détails for faceoff stratgies, responsibilities and tactics for the six and early five skater game.

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02-20-2015, 09:46 AM
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Substitution

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Originally Posted by the edler View Post
At that time players weren't as bound to a position as today. Many of those 19 or something guys listed as rovers in the Hall played other positions as well, such as cover point, center & wing.
With little or no substitution, players would rotate thru positions for tactical reasons and to catch a brief rest.

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02-20-2015, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Interesting explanation for why Nighbor seemed to be light years behind Taylor and MacKay offensively during his time in Vancouver.
Definitely. Great article, tarheel!

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02-20-2015, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CpatainCanuck View Post
The HHOF has, according to its site, 19 Rovers inducted. Seems a bit ridiculous considering the position was completely eliminated by the early 1920s. In contrast, only there are just 37 goalies in the Hall.
Quote:
Originally Posted by the edler View Post
At that time players weren't as bound to a position as today. Many of those 19 or something guys listed as rovers in the Hall played other positions as well, such as cover point, center & wing.
In addition to what the edler said, a very high percentage of the best players of the time (and therefore HHOFers) played rover - it seems to have been the most important position on the ice in the early years.

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02-20-2015, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
First bold - Good general description of the rover's duties. Particularly interesting is that it's so specific about the rover's role in scoring off rebounds.
This varied greatly from rover to rover, and can't really be taken as a blanket statement about everyone who played the position. Early in hockey history the rover was generally an offensive position, but even then there were exceptions (Rat Westwick for example). Over time it became more and more a defensive position, but again with exceptions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Fifth bold - Interesting explanation for why Nighbor seemed to be light years behind Taylor and MacKay offensively during his time in Vancouver.
I don't know if this really holds much water. 1913/14 was only Nighbor's second season in "major league" hockey, and he was about as productive as he had been the year before in Toronto (without the rover). And then the following season he actually played with both MacKay and Taylor, he was on the wing.

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02-20-2015, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CpatainCanuck View Post
The HHOF has, according to its site, 19 Rovers inducted. Seems a bit ridiculous considering the position was completely eliminated by the early 1920s. In contrast, only there are just 37 goalies in the Hall.
Do you want to provide a list? Chances are good that they're off in some cases, that the player did not primarily play rover.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
In addition to what the edler said, a very high percentage of the best players of the time (and therefore HHOFers) played rover - it seems to have been the most important position on the ice in the early years.
That would be cover-point, really, and I think that was recognized fairly explicitly at the time. The rover was the most important offensive position, but the best players were generally the cover-points.

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02-20-2015, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Do you want to provide a list? Chances are good that they're off in some cases, that the player did not primarily play rover.


That would be cover-point, really, and I think that was recognized fairly explicitly at the time. The rover was the most important offensive position, but the best players were generally the cover-points.
I'll answer your second point first - Russell Bowie, Cyclone Taylor - both rovers. Newsy Lalonde was generally a rover when the position existed. I could go on.

Specific to the PCHA, the best players absolutely tended to play rover.

Anyway, this is a list of players the HHOF lists as rovers:


Hobart Amery Hare (Hobey) Baker
Russell (Dubbie) Bowie
Thomas Dunderdale
Silas Seth (Si) Griffis
Edouard (Newsy) Lalonde
Duncan McMillan (Mickey) MacKay
Fred G. (Steamer) Maxwell
Francis (Frank) McGee
Lester Patrick
Didier Pitre
Frank Rankin
Ernest (Ernie) Russell
Thomas J. Smith
Bruce Stuart
Frederick (Cyclone) Taylor
Henry Judah (Harry) Trihey
John Phillip (Jack) Walker
Harry (Rat) Westwick
Frederick Whitcroft

The thing is that the HHOF lists players under multiple categories. Lester Patrick, for example, is also listed under defenseman.

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02-20-2015, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I'll answer your second point first - Russell Bowie, Cyclone Taylor - both rovers. Newsy Lalonde was generally a rover when the position existed. I could go on.
To be fair my mind was still in "early hockey" mode when I wrote that, later on I would agree that the rover took on more overall importance.

As for the list of players, many of those named were not rovers. I'll go over my notes later tonight to provide more detail.

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02-20-2015, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
To be fair my mind was still in "early hockey" mode when I wrote that, later on I would agree that the rover took on more overall importance.

As for the list of players, many of those named were not rovers. I'll go over my notes later tonight to provide more detail.
I think the HHOF lists them as a "rover" if they ever played the position at any point. Like I said, guys are listed under multiple positions.

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02-20-2015, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I think the HHOF lists them as a "rover" if they ever played the position at any point. Like I said, guys are listed under multiple positions.
Sure, but it doesn't mean that have them all right.

Russell Bowie is also listed at centre; he didn't play centre.

Tommy Dunderdale is also listed at centre, which is correct, but he should also be listed at RW.

Newsy Lalonde played little rover in his career, and mostly played centre, by quite a margin. But they don't list him at centre at all. They do list him at defence, which is correct, but he probably didn't play much more rover than defence in his career.

Frank McGee is also listed at centre, which he was. He was not a rover.

Didier Pitre is also listed at RW and D, which are correct, but he probably played about as much LW as he did rover but he's not listed there.

Ernie Russell only played rover in his first season, played mostly centre and RW; they list him at C but not RW.

Tommy Smith also only played one season at rover, he's also listed at C and LW which are correct, but the played more RW than rover and is not listed at RW.

Harry Trihey is also listed at centre, which is correct, he was not a rover but a centre.

Jack Walker is also listed at C and LW, but should also be listed at RW. In terms of how much he played, he'd be R/LW/C/RW I think. Versatile to say the least.

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02-20-2015, 11:01 PM
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Near the end of the six-team era, one hockey columnist suggested that the rules be changed to allow for only five players to a side. This, he claimed, would effectively make the rink bigger and open up play. Teams might go with two forwards and two defensemen, or with two forwards, one defenseman and a rover.

With the upcoming expansion scheduled to double the number of teams, this was one point in time when they could have gotten away with this without any major leaguer losing his job.

It's fun to speculate on how that move would have changed history as we know it.


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02-21-2015, 09:36 AM
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Rink Size

Interesting effect resulting from the Westmount Arena fire in 1918.Seems that Montreal high schools decided to go from seven man hockey to six man hockey because they lost dates at the big rinks - Westmount and Victoria and had to make do with dates at smaller, partially covered rinks that were too crowded for seven man hockey.

The PCHA had large rinks which may explain their preference for seven man hockey.

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03-07-2015, 03:41 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Another article from the same week, with similarly interesting detail about how rovers were perceived:



First bold - Good general description of the rover's duties. Particularly interesting is that it's so specific about the rover's role in scoring off rebounds.

Second bold - This line, along with the fourth paragraph's line about hanging around in front of the net, provides an interesting parallel with the other article's mention of the same habits which needed to be eliminated in the post-rover landscape.

Third bold - Insight into the way centers were weeded out according to their defensive habits after the rover disappeared. Interesting about Marty Walsh, and this paragraph also contains a rare bit of indirect praise for Joe Malone's backchecking.

Fifth bold - Interesting explanation for why Nighbor seemed to be light years behind Taylor and MacKay offensively during his time in Vancouver.

Sixth bold - This is tantalizingly close to describing just where rovers stood on faceoffs.
Hey tarheel, excellent find! I know this is a rather old thread but I wanted to discuss Marty Walsh.

Based on my readings of him, his style of play seems to have been exactly what was described for the rover. This post contains a passage that details Walsh and provides a nice summary of what I've read about him and how he played in his career. The two things that stick out particularly for me is that he was a very effective front of net man, and he was a strong back checker.

Unfortunately, the Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette do not have papers available during the 1911-1912 season on Google News. However, I did find some game reports in the Toronto World:

He started in at least the first two games, but I only have the game summary for the first game. He scored a goal but otherwise was not mentioned.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...5393%2C5047909

He was no longer the full-time starting center by game 5.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...=5357%2C308685

Taylor played very poorly in this game. The article mentions that Ottawa probably would have lost instead of won if they kept him in. Walsh started but was not mentioned.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...2786%2C1564037

Ronan once again starts.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...4544%2C2021013

The last game I could find, and an interesting one. The article suggests that Ottawa played better once the subs (one of which was Walsh) came in to play.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...4544%2C2021013

This article explains that Walsh intended to go out west to start a cattle ranch with Dubbie Kerr. Kerr was lured to the PCHA while Walsh remained retired. My suspicion is that Walsh, as early as the beginning of the 1911-1912 season, decided he did not want to play full time anymore and relegated himself to utility forward before finally quitting for good after this season.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...3758%2C2522318

What is to be made of this?

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