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04-09-2011, 07:32 AM
  #126
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First a bit of perspective on that Victoria Cup winning team of 1924-25, which was the last western league Cup winner (the Vics would defend their Cup and lose to the Maroons in the finals the next year before the WHL teams were sold to NHL interests). There are two relevant articles on this page - one a main article about the Victoria Cougars, and one a "Sporting Periscope" bit down towards the bottom. I will post the Sporting Periscope text first. From the Edmonton Journal - April 1, 1925:

Quote:
Lester Patrick's prediction away back in November of last year that his Cougars would bring the Stanley Cup back to the west panned out right, and it's likely that already the battered old mug is on exhibition in the B.C. capital. For a long period of lean years the Victorians have been striving for a place in the hockey sun, and the fact that they have finally won the highest honors should give the game considerable fillip in the Island City.

When the Cougars grabbed off the cream of Seattle's talent, following the disbanding of that team, it was generally conceded around the western loop that the Victorians would be there or thereabouts when the curtain was rung down at the end of the season. The addition of Holmes in goal, Fraser on defense and Walker and Foyston on the firing line certainly rounded the team into a sweet functioning machine. But it speaks well for the class of hockey in President Richardson's circuit when it is mentioned that the Cougars did not outclass the other western teams. What the Cougars did to the Canadiens could have been done by other western clubs if they'd had the chance.

Like all the other contenders, the Cougars struck rough spots in the schedule, and were lucky to squeeze into the playoff. But once they qualified to compete for the western title they never looked back, and in their games against Saskatoon and Calgary they displayed lots of class and as much fighting spirit. There is no gainsaying the fact that they whipped the easterners thoroughly in the Stanley Cup series, the scoring summary showing that they nailed twice as many goals as their opponents in the four games, sixteen to eight being the official record. Congratulations, Lester!
A rather interesting piece of information. I guess one could have deduced it by looking at the rosters, but I had not known before that Lester Patrick essentially plundered the Seattle Mets for his own Victoria team when the PCHA folded. So those Vics were in a somewhat unique situation, especially with the addition to Foyston and Walker, who added unprecedented (at the time) depth to the team's forward core. What Lester Patrick ended up doing with this depth is quite interesting, and speaks very highly for him as a hockey mind. This next bit is from the main article on the same page:

Quote:
Leo Dandurand is sold on the west's anti-defense rule in hockey. He will advocate adoption of this rule at the annual session of the National Hockey League. Mr. Dandurand declined to express an opinion on other angles in which western rules differ from the east. "I prefer to keep any further impressions I may have gathered," he said, "until I reach home again."

The beaten Canadiens left for the east this morning. They return without the Stanley Cup, but admit they left it in the keeping of a better team. "We tell the world, including Toronto," said Mr. Dandurand, "that the west has a wonderful hockey team, the best ever got together west of the great lakes. All credit is coming to them for their great victories, and we give it to them unhesitatingly."

...

New Role For Freddy

Frank Fredrickson, versatile star of the world champions, stepped into a new role Sunday night at the Capital, when he ascended the pulpit at the invitation of Rev. Celem Davies and gave a seven-minute talk on "Clean sport".
So the beaten Habs seem to have had a very high opinion of that Victoria team, and we see Fredrickson called "versatile" by a first-hand source, though what exactly that means is not yet clear.


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04-11-2011, 01:52 PM
  #127
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As the 1925 Cup finals were the topic that got me started on Frank Fredrickson, I figured what better than to research the goings on in 1925 thoroughly. Sadly, I cannot find a game report for Game 1, but I have source material for the rest of the series, which ended up being highly enlightening, but for unforseen reasons. This first article is the first report of Game 2 that I found, from the Calgary Daily Herald - March 24, 1925:

Quote:
Canadiens Are Beaten Second Time in West

Smashing their way through the Canadien defence for three goals, while Joliat was sensationally collecting the easterners' only point, Victoria Cougars took a stranglehold on the Stanley cup and a world championship here last night, while over 11,000 enthused fans cheered impartially...

Victoria tucked the game away in that first uproarious period, when Walker, the star of the playoffs and the series to date, flipped his backhander past Vezina, and was followed seven minutes later by the whirling Fredrickson. The goal by Walker was a lucky one. He dallied about with the puck in front of the Canadiens net, went behind, came out in front to stickhandle around Sprague Cleghorn and shoot. The puck struck Boucher's legs and Vezina found it impossible to cross to the other side of the net and shut off the goal. Boucher was upset by the stroke of fate that made him the medium for the goal and he crashed into Walker and stretched him upon the ice...

The eastern style of hockey does not impress. As the Canadiens played last night, too much devolves on fast skating supermen, like Joliat and Morenz. They skated all out in two periods, and it was not till then that Sprague Cleghorn and Billy Coutu seemed to realize that it is not infra dig (???) for a defenseman to attack...

Headley looked the best of the spares. Odie Cleghorn, subbing for Morenz at times, seemed fat and indifferent. Mantha and Maiz are simply not capable of offering real opposition to stars like Victoria paraded. Frank Fredrickson gave the finest exhibition of superlative centre ice work of the year. He skated rings around the Canadiens, snaked the puck from under their very feet, lost it, recovered by sheer speed, and fought right in to Vezina time after time. He tricked the veteran Cleghorn time after time. In fact, the Cougars did most of their penetrating in Cleghorn's territory, tricking him and skating aside as the old boy shot the body at them.

The game was strenuous. Stiff body checking ruled throughout, and all that Cleghorn and Coutu or Headley handed the Cougar forwards was returned with equal vehemence by Fraser and Halderson at the other end. Leo Dandurand informed us on arrival that, under eastern rules his club played the open game. Mr Dandurand was spoofing us. As the team played last night the entire team plays defense. Three men on a line with another roving in front is their defense, and when Morenz, Joliat or Boucher went up, they returned fast enough to cut off Cougar rushes that had broken past the defense time after time.
Interesting business here, but not as interesting as the second report I found of Game 2 - or rather the article just below that game report. This one is from the Regina Morning Leader - March 24, 1925:

Quote:
Blame Dandurand For Wide Margin

Victoria Paper Declares Canadiens Were Crippled by Failure to Use Subs

Commenting on Saturday night's game the sporting editor of the Times says: "Canadiens might have held the score much closer had they taken the game and particularly the western rules more seriously. An effort was made to explain fully the new forward pass to them, but they thought they could familiarize themselves with it within a few minutes of play. They never solved the play, which Victoria had developed on this new rule, once during the night, and that is why Sprague Cleghorn and Coute were made to look so foolish so many times. After the game Vezina said he never saw so many pucks in his life.

"Manager Dandurand made a grave error in making Joliat, Morenz and Boucher go the full distance. This trio had to work against two forward lines which Lester Patrick operated at ten minute stretches. Morenz, brilliant though he was, could not cope with Fredrickson for ten minutes and then have the tricky Foyston thrown at him for another ten minutes. The same applied to the wings, Hart and Meeking working shifts against Boucher while Walker and Anderson paired off against Joliat.
Now here is an interesting document. It seems that Lester Patrick may well have been the first coach in hockey history to implement a regular shift system, and that this system succeeded in getting performance out of a couple of players in Foyston and Walker who had looked somewhat past their primes before the PCHA folded. As we will see later, Patrick's system was most likely essentially a system of "pressure hockey" - high energy, tight checking hockey that wasn't unusually potent offensively, but left the opposition breathless with its defensive energy.

The report of Game 3 (a Canadiens victory) doesn't contain too much useful information on my particular subject, but it is still an interesting document, nonetheless.

Moving onto Game 4 (the Vics' clincher), we again see descriptions of Lester Patrick's hard skating shift system, considered a novelty at the time. This article is from the Regina Morning Leader - March 28, 1925:

Quote:
Lester Patrick tonight realized an ambition he has cherished for 12 years when his Cougars handily trimmed the Canadiens in the fourth and deciding game of the world series for possession of the Stanley Cup. The score was 6 to 1 and left no question as to which team was the superior. Victoria skated the visitors to death and in the final period had 21 shots on goal while Dandurand's former Stanley Cup holders had but six. As a result of the win, Victoria becomes the home of the world's championship for 1925.

In the opening period the Cougars looked like a different team to the one which floundered to defeat before the Canadiens here last Friday night. They set a terrific pace all the way and Lester Patrick substituted his line every five minutes to as to give the Frenchmen no chance to catch their breath.

Regulars Play Whole Game

Manager Dandurand made his six regulars go the full route and they lay back on the defense quite often in order to recuperate from the hard going and the particularly stiff body-checking of the Victoria defense. The Canadiens did not take any too kindly to the bouncing methods of Victoria, and Coutu ran into a fight with Loughlin, and Joliat alse resented a jolting hip from the Victoria skipper.

Five minutes after the start Fredrickson, whose flashing attack was the bright light of the first period, fooled Vezina with a wicked shot. Despite the terrific pressure by Victoria, Vezina failed to ease up on any more shots.
I think the above articles give us a clearer picture of what happened in the 1925 finals than do the quotes from Dreakmur's book. It seems that Victoria swamped the Canadiens with depth and speed and simply skated them into the ground, using perhaps the first short shift (if one can call five minutes short) system in hockey history to great effect.

We will see later that Frank Fredrickson was considered a good two-way player, but in the context of this Cup series, the credit for keeping the Canadiens and specifically Howie Morenz under wraps (other than his Game 3 hat trick) has to be spread around. Jack Walker, the old hook check master, was the Vics' best defender in open ice, and surely helped defend not only his own lane, but also the entire ice with his hook checking. Frank Foyston also got half of the icetime against Morenz, and seems to have played quite well. And then of course there is Lester Patrick, the old fox, the brain behind the system. So while it's a nice feather in Fredrickson's cap to have been part of a tight defensive pressure system that shut down the Flying Frenchmen, he was far from alone in the effort.

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04-11-2011, 02:52 PM
  #128
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So moving on to information specific to Frank Fredrickson:

This first one is a bit of bubblegum from not long after those 1925 finals in a Sports Queries section the Regina Morning Leader - April 21, 1925:

Quote:
Which one of the following players is the best - please name them in the order they stand - Duke Keats, Howie Morenz, Frank Frederickson? Who is the best goaltender in the world?

- Anxious, Stoughton

Your questions, of course, cannot be answered finally. In my opinion Frederickson outshone either Keats of Morenz for the 1924-25 season. He was right at the top of the W.C.L. scoring list and starred when the Victoria Cougars outclassed the Canadiens in the Stanley Cup final, Morenz being the pick of the Montreal team. Vezina was recently picked for an all-star team but on last season's play Happy Holmes, of Victoria, would be my selection as the best goaltender.
Yeah, yeah...I know. Not exactly the soberest of reporting, but still interesting.

This second article is from the first meeting of Fredrickson and Dick Irvin - from the Regina Morning Leader - March 27, 1923:

Quote:
Fans who had never seen Dick Irvin and Frank Fredrickson on opposing teams were afforded this opportunity last night, and in all due respect to Fredrickson's great reputation it must be said that Dick earned a shade on the night's play. Irvin was directly reponsible for three of his team's goals and on two occasions stick-handled his way clear through the Victoria defense to lash the rubber past Fowler. Fredrickson, however, was a marked man all night and in spite of the fact that he was watched closely and given little chance to bore through he managed to notch two counters and was far more effective in the art of back-checking than his elusive rival.
Now that is more substantive stuff, and I think the text of the article pretty much speaks for itself. Regarding the Victoria Cougars, it really seems to have been largely a case of strong backchecking from the forwards (of which Fredrickson obviously played an important role) rather than three-man "kitty bar the door" defense (common at the time), even before the merger with Seattle. This next article is from the Regina Morning Leader (no idea why I ended up using that periodical so often here) - December 26, 1924:

Quote:
The Christmas game served to introduce the Cougars to the home fans. It was their first appearance here and they certainly have a lineup of champions. Vancouver tried the three-man defense, but the consistent rushing of the Cougars was too smart for ever these stalwart defence tactics. Victoria placed every reliance in the two defense man system and had three men breaking abreast on each rush. The result was that the Cougars were on top of the Maroons all the way and only some splendid net guarding by Charlie Reid prevented the score from going higher.

Frank Fredrickson, Icelandic Cyclone, turned in his best game on local ice since turning pro. He notched three goals and missed others simply because he was skating so fast that he was on the top of the goal before he knew where he was. Frank Boucher, MacKay, Duncan and Arbour worked hard to bring on scores, but the severe back-checking of the Victoria line ruined a lot of their efforts.
This next article isn't about Fredrickson's defense, but it is partially about Fredrickson and is rather funny and sort of strange. No link forthcoming, as it's from the Chicago Daily Tribune - December 10, 1927:

Quote:
Something besides the desire to win will be in the air at the Coliseum rink tonight when the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins clash in their National Hockey League game. The teams were bitter rivals in their games last season and the one meeting between the Hawks and Bruins this year was a vicious battle. A feud started last season between the Boston and Chicago squads, and in the last two games of the 1927 schedule, officials were forced to hand out twenty six penalties in an effort to keep peace. But that didn't stop the fighting between the players and when the Bruins eliminated the Hawks from the playoffs series for the league title in Boston last spring, Referee Lou Marsh was busy all evening putting Hawks and Bruins off the ice.

After that game Marsh was escorted off the rink by a corps of Boston policemen who had difficulty in clearing the way through the knots of players and spectators. So unless the players have agreed to bury the hatchet there is likely to be more rough play and more demonstrations by the fans at the Coliseum tonight. Boston has a powerful team. In Eddie Shore the Bruins have one of the few really great scoring defense players in professional hockey. Shore is a big, fearless fellow, but is given to outbursts of temper which brought him no end of penalties last season. Early last year he started a war with Hooley Smith of the Montreal Canadiens (sic), and this pair battled it out all during the season.

Boston's big star is Frank Fredrickson, another temperamental chap. Frederickson's frequent outbursts of temperament in other seasons gained him the name Temperamental Freddie. Frederickson is an Icelander. Although he weights 190 pounds he can play a full sixty minutes of hockey at top speed. He has inherited strength and endurance from his ancestors who played a game called "Glima", a form of wrestling in which the grapplers use their legs to obtain the desired holds.

Percy Galbraith and Harry Oliver play the wing positions alongside the giant Frederickson and their work this season has been consistent. Lionel Hitchman, a tall rangy fellow, is the other defenseman. Hitchman is a former member of the northwest mounted police.
The business about Icelandic wrestling is pretty amusing. It's also interesting to note that Fredrickson was considered a greater star than Shore in 1927, was described as a "giant", and seems to have had a bit of a foul temper. Fredrickson was only a big PIMs guy once in his career, the season before the above article when the placed 5th in the W.H.L in PIMS with 77. Interestingly enough, Duke Keats led the league in penalty minutes with a whopping 144, miles ahead of Eddie Shore in 2nd place with 92. I have no insight as to what went on in Victoria in 1925-26 (which was also by far the worst scoring season of Fredrickson's peak), but Fredrickson seems to have been a bit angry that year. And Keats...I just don't know what to make of those numbers.

Ok, the last article here is from shortly after Fredrickson's trade to Pittsburgh, from the Pittsburgh Press - December 29, 1928:

Quote:
Blame Linemen For Weak Buc Defense

A two-game winning streak was the best the Pittsburgh hockey team could maintain, but even the defeat by Toronto could not dispel entirely the idea that the club now is ready to make a real fight to get somewhere in this year's race. Frank Frederickson failed to maintain the stride on Thursday evening that he showed on his first appearance with the local skaters, but his class is not to be denied, and his off-color exhibitions will be far overbalanced by the clever games he will play. In connection with the defensive weaknesses that the Pirates have usually displayed, a competent hockey man says:

"Don't blame the two defensemen always. Sometimes they have plenty of excuses for apparently leaving Miller unprotected in the nets. When the first line fails to meet a combination assault be the opposing team it drops back in a kind of demoralization on the defensemen. this screens from them the movements of the attacking line, and they have no chance to make plans to meet the assault. Pittsburgh's trouble so far on the defense has been poor checking by the line, and not sloppy work by the defensemen."

Fredrickson's experience, and the fact that Milks is again playing his natural position, should go far toward remedying the faults pointed out by the critic.
Obviously Fredrickson had a good enough reputation as a defensive forward to justify such comments. All-in-all, the information about Fredrickson's defensive work does not suggest that he was ever a dominant defensive player, but was a good one who could work well within a defensive system when asked to do so.

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04-12-2011, 03:35 AM
  #129
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http://news.google.ca/newspapers?id=...ver+-gum&hl=en

NEW LIFE IS SHOWN - Champions laud Dr. Crapo

seems a health specialist somehow whipped the Vancouver team into shape midway through the 1922 PCHA season. I can't tell how serious this is. There's an ad for the doctor right below what appears to be a reprinting of the previous day's "story".

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04-14-2011, 09:42 AM
  #130
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Savard's injury was very early in his career. Boucher's was fairly late, correct?
Looks like it happened in February of 1924. From the Ottawa Citizen - February 4, 1924:

Quote:
Boucher went out of commission in the second period, the result of a collision with Sprague Cleghorn. There was no blame attached to the latter, it appears to have been purely an accident but Boucher's knee was badly wrenched and he was unable to return to the game.
After this incident, we start seeing references to the injury (indicating that it was quite serious). From the Ottawa Citizen - January 9, 1925:

Quote:
It was announced last night that Lionel Hitchman, substitute defenseman of the Ottawa N.H.L. hockey team, has been loaned to Boston for the remainder of the season. The deal is dependent on Hitchman coming to terms with manager Art Ross, of the Bruins, to whom he is to report on Saturday.

...

At the start of last season he alternated on the defense with Clancy, teaming up with Boucher. About the first of the year, he was playing regular and then when Boucher was forced out of action with a bad knee, he and Clancy formed the famous "kid defense", for a number of games.
From basically 1925 onwards, we see references to Boucher's "bad leg", and the frequent struggles he had with it. Here is a good example - from the Calgary Daily Herald - April 12, 1927:

Quote:
George Boucher suffered a wrench of his bad leg near the close of the first period, but he started out again...
It should be noted that the timing of the injury matches the end of Boucher's peak quite closely. The injury occured late in the 1923-24 season, and Boucher's last peak season came in the next season 1924-25. He was 28 years old. It seems quite likely that Boucher was able to squeeze one more good season out of the knee before his leg problems forced him to slow down, and he spent the twilight of his career (he would play for seven more years) as a slow, physical, stay-at-home defenseman.

As I have found no mention of Boucher's skating (either positive or negative) before the occurence of the knee injury, I think it is safe to assume that he was an average skater through his years as a forward and then peak as an attacking defenseman, before succumbing to the realities of his injury, and changing his style of play. He is likely mentioned as "not the greatest skater" (which I believe comes from LOH) because he played as an immobile stay-at-home defenseman for seven full seasons, and that is the last image anyone had of him.


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04-14-2011, 09:54 AM
  #131
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Looks like it happened in February of 1924. From the Ottawa Citizen - February 4, 1924:



After this incident, we start seeing references to the injury (indicating that it was quite serious). From the Ottawa Citizen - January 9, 1925:



From basically 1925 onwards, we see references to Boucher's "bad leg", and the frequent struggles he had with it. Here is a good example - from the Calgary Daily Herald - April 12, 1927:



It should be noted that the timing of the injury matches the end of Boucher's peak quite closely. The injury occured late in the 1923-24 season, and Boucher's last peak season came in the next season 1924-25. He was 28 years old. It seems quite likely that Boucher was able to squeeze one more good season out of the knee before his leg problems forced him to slow down, and he spent the twilight of his career (he would play for seven more years) as a slow, physical, stay-at-home defenseman.

As I have found no mention of Boucher's skating (either positive or negative) before the occurence of the knee injury, I think it is safe to assume that he was an average skater through his years as a forward and then peak as an attacking defenseman, before succumbing to the realities of his injury, and changing his style of play. He is likely mentioned as "not the greatest skater" (which I believe comes from LOH) because the immobile stay-at-home defenseman because he played that game for seven full seasons, and that is the last image anyone had of him.
I think this is most likely correct.

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04-14-2011, 10:33 AM
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Now that is more substantive stuff, and I think the text of the article pretty much speaks for itself. Regarding the Victoria Cougars, it really seems to have been largely a case of strong backchecking from the forwards (of which Fredrickson obviously played an important role) rather than three-man "kitty bar the door" defense (common at the time), even before the merger with Seattle. This next article is from the Regina Morning Leader (no idea why I ended up using that periodical so often here) - December 26, 1924:
Saying someone backchecked better than Dick Irvin is like saying someone backchecked better than Ilya Kovalchuk. Irvin, to my knowledge, was an entirely one dimensional center who never checked back.

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04-14-2011, 10:41 AM
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Saying someone backchecked better than Dick Irvin is like saying someone backchecked better than Ilya Kovalchuk. Irvin, to my knowledge, was .
I think you are going way too far with that assessment, but yes, I have never seen anything to substantiate Dick Irvin as providing much more than offense.

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04-14-2011, 10:44 AM
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I think you are going way too far with that assessment, but yes, I have never seen anything to substantiate Dick Irvin as providing much more than offense.
If you read my Duke Keats bio, you would have noticed a line that read something like "Irvin is a one way man".

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04-14-2011, 11:08 AM
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yeah, I saw that, but I think the paper was just reinforcing his heterosexuality.

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04-14-2011, 11:45 AM
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Saying someone backchecked better than Dick Irvin is like saying someone backchecked better than Ilya Kovalchuk. Irvin, to my knowledge, was an entirely one dimensional center who never checked back.
I think you are overstating the point, and at any rate, a phrase like "far more effective" makes it clear that Fredrickson was not marginally better than Irvin as a backchecker, but much better. What does it mean to be much better than a questionable defensive player? I dunno, but it is far from the only piece of information about Fredrickson's two-way play.

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04-14-2011, 11:45 AM
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yeah, I saw that, but I think the paper was just reinforcing his heterosexuality.
Nice.

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04-14-2011, 01:26 PM
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I think you are overstating the point, and at any rate, a phrase like "far more effective" makes it clear that Fredrickson was not marginally better than Irvin as a backchecker, but much better. What does it mean to be much better than a questionable defensive player? I dunno, but it is far from the only piece of information about Fredrickson's two-way play.
I'm not saying that Fredrickson wasn't good defensively, just saying that saying he was better than Irvin doesn't say all that much. Much better puts him where.. adequate? Good? I just don't know..

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04-15-2011, 12:31 AM
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I think this is most likely correct.
Yeah. I certainly don't consider Boucher fast, but I don't think we can consider him to be one of the slugs of the draft anymore. I always wondered how someone that slow could out up such numbers.

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04-15-2011, 11:56 AM
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Yeah. I certainly don't consider Boucher fast, but I don't think we can consider him to be one of the slugs of the draft anymore. I always wondered how someone that slow could out up such numbers.
Nels Stewart.

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04-15-2011, 12:37 PM
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Nels Stewart.
We know how Stewart scored though - cherrypick and then stand in front of the net. Not speed needed. Just seems weird from a defenseman, even back then.

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04-15-2011, 04:54 PM
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We know how Stewart scored though - cherrypick and then stand in front of the net. Not speed needed. Just seems weird from a defenseman, even back then.
Oh, GEORGE Boucher. I thought we were talking about Frank.

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04-17-2011, 02:52 AM
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http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...dq=kerr+hockey


Really good article describing some old hockey stars like Bowie, Phillips, McGee, and Kerr.

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04-17-2011, 08:36 AM
  #144
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A note on Frank Foyston, combination play and PCHA assist stats.

Prewar assist stats are a remarkably unreliable source from which to judge a player's general creativity, his ability to execute the short passing game, puck-carrying, etc. Specifically in the PCHA, the rate at which assists were given out is so low as to suggest that they were only awarded for passes which directly led to a goal - backdoor passes, passes to set up open-net shots on a rush, etc. The assist rate out west was so low as to be an almost wholly meaningless reflection of a player's ability to perform many of the other plays which are associated with what we today think of as playmaking.

A good example of this is Frank Foyston, a player whose stats suggest that he was a pure goalscorer who couldn't pass the puck to save his life. In his most extreme season, Foyston scored 26 goals and 3 assists. From the numbers, he looks like a comically bad playmaker, but this is a false assumption.

The Seattle Mets and specifically Frank Foyston and Jack Walker were actually known for being great at combination play - that is the short passing game which teams use to move the puck up ice without any one player carrying it for long periods of time. In fact, the PCHA, with it's seven man hockey, was generally a league which encouraged this sort of play moreso than the eastern six man rules.

This first article is from the Montreal Gazette, December 25, 1912:

Quote:
Hockey on an ice area the size of the Toronto Arena requires at least seven men a side for the best exposition of the fine points of the game. The prettiest thing about hockey is the combination team attack, the passing and the repassing and the backchecking, which are apparently impossible under the six man rule.

The exhibition on Saturday by the professionals was a succession of one-man rushes (some of them brilliant) with little or no attempt at combined play. Had there been five men a side or even four men a side, it would have been just as sensible, with more openings for individual rushes.
This makes sense. The more men you have on the ice the fewer lanes there will be for individuals to hold onto the puck themselves, and the more players will be forced into combination plays with their linemates.

This next article is a Christian Science Monitor piece, so I cannot link it. I stumbled upon it while I was researching the end of the PCHA and the sale of many of its players to other interests. From the CSM, October 30, 1924:

Quote:
Sale of four former stars of the old Seattle Metropolitans of the Victoria Cougars and the Vancouver Maroons, of the Western Canada Hockey Association, was recently announced. Walker, Holmes and Fraser will join the Victoria lineup and the opening of the season, while Foyston will go to Vancouver.

Purchase of Walker, Holmes and Fraser means that the Victoria team, contrary to all expectations, will be almost completely changed this year. Holmes will replace Fowler in goal, the former Victoria goalie being slated for one of the prairie teams, probably Edmonton, which recently released its goaltender. Fraser's playing on the Seattle defense last year was so spectacular that he is expected to take a regular place on the Victoria team, probably replacing Halderson, whose work last season was disappointing. Walker, though one of the veterans of the old Coast League, is regarded as one of the greatest strategists in the game in the west and is credited with inventing the hook check now used everywhere. He always played in rover's position before the introduction of the six-man game and has never been as effective on the wing as in his old position.

Foyston is expected to replace Frank Boucher in center on the Vancouver lineup. For the last half dozen years Foyston has been considered one of the greatest forwards in the game, being excelled in the west only by Frederickson, the crack Victoria center ice man. He is in the veteran class now and has lost a good deal of his old speed. As a stickhandler, however, he has few equals.

The transfer of Walker, Foyston and Fraser breaks up a trio who have made hockey history. Foyston and Walker have been playing together since 1915 and in that time have developed remarkable combination play. With Arbour of Edmonton playing on the wing, and the three former Seattle players in the lineup, the Victoria team will be scarcely recognizeable. Frederickson, Louchlin and Hart are expected to wear the blue Cougar jersey this season, but no definite announcement on his plans has been made yet by Lester Patrick, Victoria manager.
I think the text speaks for itself. This next article is from the Vancouver Sun, December 7, 1922:

Quote:
The play was exceedingly pretty at times. The visitors seemed perfectly at home in the local rink, which they declare is much the same size as their own. Their center ice passes, long speedy shots, that someone always seemed to get, were better than the locals, but their short passing game, the one that after all stands the opposition on its head, didn't compare with the work of the Mets.
Seattle seems to have been specifically known for executing the short passing game. This next article is from just a few weeks earlier. From the Calgary Daily Herald, November 14, 1922:

Quote:
Foyston, Riley and Morris were in their element the whole route. Foyston and Riley, particularly, could not be held by the Vancouver defense, and repeatedly broke through with combination and individual play, and tested Reid with hard drives. Reid saved a multitude of them, but on the majority of the counters he had but slight chance to save, as the Mets worked through the Vancouver defense and passed the puck.
This last quote is from an article that nik has posted already - from the Montreal Gazette, March 31, 1920:

Quote:
Played Combination

The pace continued fast and the Seattle players showed pretty combinations, Foyston, Morris, Walker and Rowe being prominent. The puck was passed back and forth with such dexterity and accuracy that the Ottawa team appeared bewildered.
This is a fairly meaningful quote given the opponent, that Sens team being arguably the greatest defensive team of all-time. At any rate, I think this information is sufficient to demonstrate a few points:

1) The Seattle Mets were great at executing the short passing game.
2) Frank Foyston, in particular, was quite good at it.
3) Foston's assist totals do not reflect this skill
4) PCHA assist totals, in general, do a very poor job of reflecting the various aspects of what modern observers consider to be playmaking skills.

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04-17-2011, 10:29 AM
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The second quoted piece means a lot more to me than the third and fourth. Those in-game quotes only really reflect what happened for one game.

I agree PCHA assist stats can be unreliable, thanks in part to the overall low numbers we are dealing with. It's very possible that over the course of a season or two, these numbers just didn't reflect his playmaking ability. But over the course of a career?

It's also concerning that his own linemate (Morris) was, over the years they played together, credited with many more assists than Foyston was. Enough, at least, that it should be considered statistically significant, even considering the low overall numbers.

Foyston's status as a star is greater than Walker's and Morris', and he was likely the line's primary puck carrier and missed out on some secondary assists, in a Kharlamov sort of way, but we should be able to trust that generally, Foyston was not likely to be the one making the pass that directly led to a goal.

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04-17-2011, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
The second quoted piece means a lot more to me than the third and fourth. Those in-game quotes only really reflect what happened for one game.
Of course. Actually, the quotes after the second I really could have just saved (the second is enough), but I found them interesting as a description of how Seattle played hockey, generally. They probably say as much about Pete Muldoon as they do any of the players involved.

Quote:
Foyston's status as a star is greater than Walker's and Morris', and he was likely the line's primary puck carrier and missed out on some secondary assists, in a Kharlamov sort of way, but we should be able to trust that generally, Foyston was not likely to be the one making the pass that directly led to a goal.
Yep...I agree. Foyston is sort of a strange bird. Offensively, he was a terrific stickhandler and puckcarrier, very strong in the short passing game, but much more a finisher than a playmaker. It's an unusual combination of skills.

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04-17-2011, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Of course. Actually, the quotes after the second I really could have just saved (the second is enough), but I found them interesting as a description of how Seattle played hockey, generally. They probably say as much about Pete Muldoon as they do any of the players involved.



Yep...I agree. Foyston is sort of a strange bird. Offensively, he was a terrific stickhandler and puckcarrier, very strong in the short passing game, but much more a finisher than a playmaker. It's an unusual combination of skills.
Sounds like someone who passes the puck with the expectation of getting it back. Give and go type plays. Just guessing, but you see that kid of thing with good players at lower levels where there is less structure, and hockey was a more primitive game back then.

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04-18-2011, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...dq=kerr+hockey


Really good article describing some old hockey stars like Bowie, Phillips, McGee, and Kerr.
Very nice article, I enjoyed reading it. It increase my 'newly' formed perception that Percy LeSueur was greater than the likes of Riley Hern, Paddy Moran etc ... Was Billy Gilmour even picked in this draft? My first MLD selection is clearly underrated. It also nice to read that Harry Westwick had everything, but the shot, which has been my perception for a while.

Very nice find.

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04-18-2011, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by EagleBelfour View Post
Very nice article, I enjoyed reading it. It increase my 'newly' formed perception that Percy LeSueur was greater than the likes of Riley Hern, Paddy Moran etc ... Was Billy Gilmour even picked in this draft? My first MLD selection is clearly underrated. It also nice to read that Harry Westwick had everything, but the shot, which has been my perception for a while.

Very nice find.
Yes, Gilmour was drafted, but no, I don't think he is underrated. The guy played so few games, that even if you think he was absolutely brilliant in them (and the stats don't really say he was, not like, say, Frank McGee) that he just didn't do it for long enough to warrant selection over a number of other guys.

As far as his place in the pecking order among other HHOFers, his selection at 844th was fairly reasonable, IMO. I think there should be room for every HHOFer in the top-1000 but we missed out on about 7, if I am counting correctly.

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04-18-2011, 09:44 AM
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It's not high on my priority list, personally, but if anyone wants to look at devising an "adjusted size" system that works better than my rough system, here is a good place to start:

http://www.sihrhockey.org/public_nhl_team_vitals.cfm

you can see every team's average weight for every year. they are all in drop-down menus so going through them all would be a bit tedious initially, but once you get it into excel, you are laughing. Yearly averages can easily be made, and a formula can be devised from that.

Weight only, though... no height.

it didn't ask me to log in, so I think this is available to "civilians".

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