Category Archives: Hockey
Frank Boucher (Hockey. Born, Ottawa, Ont., Oct. 7, 1901; died, Ottawa, Ont., Dec. 12, 1977.) Many observers familiar with the team’s first half-century of existence contended that center Frank Boucher was the best all-around player ever for the New York Rangers. Boucher was a player for the Rangers’ first 12 seasons, later serving as coach and then general manager before retiring in 1955. Boucher played for the Rangers’ first two Stanley Cup winners (1928, 1933) and coached the third in 1940. He was the Rangers’ leading scorer five times and led the National Hockey League in assists three times (1929, 1930, 1933). He was also the winner of the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly play seven times in eight years. He won the trophy so often the league finally gave the original statuette to him permanently. He was the N.H.L. All-Star center three straight seasons (1933-1935). In 1934, he collected 44 points and had only two minutes in penalties. The following season, Boucher had a career-high 45 points and again had only two penalty minutes but wasn’t given the Lady Byng since he already had the trophy. In his 13 playing seasons with the Rangers (including a 15-game return in 1943-44), Boucher had 152 goals and 261 assists for 413 points and only 114 penalty minutes in 533 games. Boucher’s last full season as an active player was 1937-38 and he became the Rangers’ coach in 1939, succeeding Lester Patrick. He coached through 1948 (plus a half-season in 1953-54). He served as general manager from 1946 (again succeeding Patrick) until 1955.
Martin Brodeur (Hockey. Born, Montreal, P.Q., May 6, 1972.) The winningest goalie in N.H.L. history, Martin Brodeur was the backbone of three New Jersey Devils Stanley Cup champions. He started his first N.H.L. game Mar. 26, 1992, in a 4-2 defeat of Boston at New Jersey, making 24 saves. Brodeur got his first shutout Oct. 20, 1993, against Anaheim (2-0 at New Jersey) and, with 11 in 2003-04, has 75 career shutouts. He got his 105th Dec. 30, 2009, also 2-0 but this time against Pittsburgh, breaking George Hainsworth’s professional record. (His 104th had broken Terry Sawchuk’s N.H.L. record.) He made the All-Rookie team in 1994, was a Second Team All-Star in 1997, 1998, 2006, and 2008, and First Team All Star in 2003, 2004, and 2007. Brodeur won the Vezina as the top goaltender four times in five seasons starting in 2003, and was awarded the Jennings Trophy for fewest goals allowed five times. A 10-time All-Star, he played in six straight All-Star Games (1996-2001) and returned in 2003 and 2004. Brodeur has a career record of 403-217-105 for his first 12 seasons and also was 4-0-1 for the Canadian Olympic team in the 2002 Winter Games, winning the gold medal game against the United States at Salt Lake City, Utah. He also represented the Canadian gold medal team in 2010. In Stanley Cup play, he has earned 23 shutouts (tied with Patrick Roy for most all-time), including seven for the 2003 champions (the last in the seventh game of the final).
Herb Brooks (Hockey. Born, St. Paul, MN, Aug. 5, 1937; died, Columbus Township, MN, Aug. 11, 2003.) Celebrated as head coach of the 1980 U.S. Olympic gold medal team, Herbert Brooks also coached in the N.H.L. as head man for the Rangers, the old Minnesota North Stars, Devils, and Pittsburgh Penguins. Brooks was hired by the Rangers June 4, 1981, and compiled a 131-113-41 record before being dismissed Jan. 21, 1985. In his three full seasons with the team he introduced a more European attacking style, in contrast to the linear, dump-and-chase approaches most other teams had, often using smaller, quicker players who were dubbed “Smurfs.” All three seasons, his Rangers were eliminated by the dynastic Islanders in the playoffs. He led the Devils from June 5, 1992, until a first-round playoff loss to Pittsburgh (four games to one) at the end of the 1992-93 season. He was 40-37-7 with New Jersey. Brooks also coached in Switzerland, at the Unversity of Minnesota, and in the A.H.L.
Pat Burns (Hockey. Born, St.-Henri, P.Q., Apr. 4, 1952; died, Sherbrooke, P.Q., Nov. 19, 2010.) A former Montreal police officer, Pat Burns became an N.H.L. head coach in 1988 and coached the Devils to their third Stanley Cup victory in 2003. Burns became head coach of the Devils in July 2002, succeeding Kevin Constantine. His first season, he led the Devils to a 108-point regular season and then to a seven-game victory over Anaheim in the Cup final. On Apr. 18, 2004, at the end of his second season with New Jersey and after the Devils’ first-round elimination by Philadelphia in the playoffs, Burns announced that he had colon cancer. He was to sit out the start of the 2004-05 season to undergo treatment but a lockout canceled the season. On July 9, 2004, Burns had surgery to remove a malignant tumor. By April 2005 he was declared cancer-free and intended to resume coaching. But on July 8, the club announced that Burns was suffering from another cancer and was forced to retire. He was 89-53-22 in his two seasons with the Devils. Burns’ coaching career began with Montreal (1988-92). He also coached Toronto (1992-96) and Boston (1997-99) before taking over the Devils. Burns coached 1,019 N.H.L. regular season games (501-367-151).
Clarence Campbell (Hockey. Born, Fleming, Sask., July 10, 1905; died, Montreal, P.Q., June 24, 1984.) After service at the Nuremberg trials, Clarence Campbell, a former on-ice official and an attorney, became the third president of the National Hockey League in 1946, succeeding Mervyn Dutton. During his 31 years at the N.H.L.’s helm, Campbell dealt with major discipline problems, including the suspension of Montreal’s Maurice Richard for the entire 1955 Stanley Cup playoffs that led to riots. He also helped oversee the expansion of the league from six teams to 18. Unfortunately, his reputation was tainted by a business scandal several years after his 1977 retirement.
Colin Campbell (Hockey. Born, London, Ont., Jan. 28, 1953.) A journeyman defenseman in a 12-year career in the W.H.A. and N.H.L., Colin John Campbell became the 28th head coach of the Rangers Aug. 9, 1994, succeeding Mike Keenan, who led them to the Stanley Cup that spring and then resigned. Campbell got a late start on the job when a labor dispute shortened the 1994-95 season to 48 games. His first three teams all made the playoffs and advanced at least one round (the 1996-97 team bolstered in part by the addition of Wayne Gretzky). But the Rangers were only 17-24-16 when Cambpell was fired during the league’s Olympic hiatus Feb. 18, 1998. Campbell was 118-108-43 during his term. He later became executive vice president and director of hockey operations for the N.H.L., essentially the league’s majordomo of discipline.
Lorne Carr (Hockey. Born, Stoughton, Sask., July 2, 1910, Calgary, Alta., June 9, 2007.) On Mar. 28, 1938, the longest hockey game in Madison Square Gardem history ended in the fourth overtime. Lorne William Bell Carr won it with a goal at 40 seconds of the seventh period to give the Americans a 3-2 victory over the Rangers in the third and deciding game of their quarterfinal series. The game had begun on Sunday night, Mar. 27, and finished early Monday morning as the Americans eliminated the Rangers from the playoffs for the first time. Carr had briefly played for the Rangers in 1933 but became a regular at right wing for the Amerks in 1934-35, missing just six games in seven seasons. On Oct. 30, 1941, he was traded to Toronto, where he played for two Stanley Cup winners before retiring in 1946. Carr had 99 goals and 101 assists in 330 regular season games for the Americans.
Bill Chadwick (Hockey. Born, New York, NY, Oct. 10, 1915; died, Cutchogue, NY, Oct. 24, 2009.) Known affectionately as “the Big Whistle” to generations of Rangers fans, William Chadwick holds many unique distinctions, chief among them being that he was the first American-born referee in the National Hockey League. In 15 seasons, he worked over 1,000 games in the regular season and 105 more in the Stanley Cup playoffs in what was then a six-team league. After playing with the New York Rovers in the Eastern League (where he was a teammate of Muzz Patrick), Chadwick became an N.H.L. linesman in 1939. The following season, he was elevated to referee and began a distinguished career in which he, among other things, developed and introduced the system of hand signals now used by referees around the world for signaling penalties and other infractions. Following his retirement in 1955, Chadwick became an executive with Weissberger storage and moving company in New York but, in 1967, was persuaded by Rangers general manager Emile Francis to join the club’s radio team. He began by handling between-periods interviews and became the color commentator in 1969. Two years after that, Chadwick was made the color man on Rangers television broadcasts (with play-by-play man Jim Gordon) and began a whole new career. For the better part of two decades, Chadwick’s colorful commentary, insightful rules explanations and interviews entertained and informed a generation of Rangers fans, winning new followers for the sport. In 1975, he was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy for “outstanding service to hockey in the United States.”
Art Chapman (Hockey. Born, Winnipeg, Man., May 29, 1906; died, Winnipeg, Man., Jan. 1, 1963.) Obtained from Boston in 1934, Arthur Chapman was a mainstay of the Americans for most of six seasons. Chapman, a rangy center, led the N.H.L. in assists his first two seasons with the Starshirts, posting 34 in 1934-35 and 28 in 1935-36. He was Second Team All-Star in 1936-37 and retired in 1940. Chapman scored 36 goals with 137 assists (173 points) in his 245 career games with the Amerks.
Lionel Conacher (Hockey. Born, Toronto, Ont., May 24, 1901; died, Ottawa, Ont., May 26, 1954.) A defenseman obtained from Pittsburgh, Lionel Conacher, the elder of two brothers to play for them, was with the Americans for most of four seasons (1926-30). He was traded after the 1929-30 season to the Montreal Maroons for defenseman Red Dutton. His brother, Charlie, a star for much of his career with Toronto, later also played for the Americans (1939-41). Lionel later served in the Canadian Parliament.