JAMES C. HENDY
THEY SAY that fifty million Frenchmen can’t be wrong. That may be true, but if fifty million Frenchmen tried to select an all-star National Hockey League team, their selections would please few of Canada’s millions of hockey fans.
Hence, Maclean's does not bother to consult anyone but the eight National Hockey League managers when they assemble their annual hockey all-stars. If such a thing as perfection is possible in the selection of an all-star team, then it seems reasonable to believe that the consensus of opinion of the eight master minds of the hockey world should give us the perfect all-star team.
This, the fourth annual Maclean's all-star team, is well sprinkled with new names. The collapse of the Detroit Red Wings, Stanley Cup champions in 1935-36 and 1936-37, resulted in such outstanding stars as Ebbie Goodfellow, Larry Aurie, Herbie Lewis and Normie Smith dropping completely from the team, and has caused Marty Barry to be relegated to the third line.
The honor of being the most valuable player, in the opinion of the eight managers, based on their votes, goes to Cecil “Tiny” Thompson, Boston goal tender, who was the unanimous choice for the first team ! There wasn’t any doubt in the minds of the pilots as to who the No. 1 puckblocker of hockey was, and for the third time in four seasons, Thompson finds himself on top of the heap. Once before—1935-36—Tiny also turned in a perfect score of 24 points.
Wilfie Cude, voted the best in the league last season, tied with David Kerr, with four votes each for a total of eight points, for the goalkeeper’s job on the second team.
The battle for positions on the defense was particularly keen, with the managers finally deciding on Eddie Shore at right defense and A. C. “Babe” Siebert at left defense on the first team, and Earl Seibert and Art Coulter on the second.
Sylvanus Apps, who skyrocketed into fame last season when he jumped from the amateur ranks to the majors and gained the honor of being the outstanding rookie of the season, just managed to beat out Bill Cowley by the narrow margin of one point for the honor of being the starting centre. Marty Barry, who was rated the leading centre last season, was placed on the third line this year.
^ Along the right alley, Gordon Drillon, Cecil Dillon and Charlie Sands, in that order, were the lads who caught the eyes of the managers. On the port wing the voting was the closest of all, only one point separating the players on the various lines. The starting assignment goes to Paul Thompson, with Hector “Toe” Blake on the second line, and Harvey Jackson on the third.
A capable utility man is always important to a wellrounded squad, but most of the managers have their own ideas as to the qualifications of an ideal utility man. Ralph “Cooney” Weiland, Boston veteran, and Bob Davidson, Toronto’s combination forward-defenseman, will have to flip a coin to see which one gains this mythical honor, as they tied on points.
Canny Conny Smythe, Toronto manager, comes up for the second successive season with the season’s outstanding rookie. Last year it was Apps, and this year Conny gives us “Murph” Chamberlain, another centre. We don’t know who he has up his sleeve for next season, but it would be fairly safe to wager that he will have another top-notch rookie out there showing his heels to the field.
Thompson is Tops
'T'HERE isn’t very much you can say about Tiny Thompson that hasn’t been said many times before. Had Charlie Gardiner lived, it is possible he might still have been up there battling Thompson for top net-minding honors. But since Thompson joined the Boston Bruins in 1928, he has been one of the best. He is the only goalie who has had his name engraved on the Georges Vezina Memorial Continued on page 54
Hockey's All-Stars 1937-38 As picked by team managers of the N.H.L. First Team Player Position Points C. Thompson (Boston) Goal 24 E. Shore (Boston) R. Defense 16 and 3* A. C. Siebert (Canadiens) L Defense 18 S. Apps (Toronto) Centre 15 and 2* G. Drillon (Toronto) R. Wing 18 P. Thompson (Chicago) L. Wing I I * Additional points awarded to this player for another position.
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Trophy three times, and from the manner in which he has been kicking ’em out this season, he has an excellent chance of winning it again this year.
Gardiner and Vezina are both dead and fast becoming mythical figures. Their place is secure in hockey’s Hall of Fame. But there are several managers who think that Thompson is even better than either Gardiner or Vezina at their best.
“Iodine” Eddie Shore, although no longer the dashing figure on the attack of a few years ago, is still one of the best defensemen in the game. The Bruin veteran can still do everything anyone else can do on the ice. Concentrating chiefly on defensive tactics this season, Eddie no longer bears the title of the “Puck Prima Donna.” There was a time when Eddie would-crash heavily into a speeding forward, seize the puck himself and flash up the ice, his legs pumping at breakneck, sjieed. He usually got through for a shot, but when he was heavily dumped he invariably went into a “Dying Swan” routine which lacked only Saint-Saen’s music to make you think you were witnessing Sonja Menie give one of her inimitable performances. Although Shore has lost some of his “zip” he still brings the crowd to its feet when he goes hustling up the ice.
The left defense post went for the third successive season to Babe Siebert ! Siebert is undoubtedly the best defenseman in hockey today. This is truly remarkable when you consider that just five years ago the Babe was considered definitely through, and was shipped to the New York Rangers by the Montreal Maroons. After a season in which he didn’t show very much, he was traded by Les Patrick to Boston for Vic Ripley. When Art Ross put him back on the defense beside Shore he immediately showed his worth, and has been head man among the port-side defensemen ever since. Siebert was a useful player as a forward when he was an important cog in Montreal's famous “Big S” line of Neis Stewart and Hooley Smith, but he has been invaluable since going to the back line.
The forward line of Apps, Drillon and Thompson would be a heavy scoring one, but it would also be much scored upon. In fact the only weakness the Toronto pair have shown this season has been their reluctance at times to back-check. This is especially true on the road.
Apps, a big rugged fellow, is a real hockey player. He has a keen eye on the net, makes plays—-although in this respect he is not yet a Frankie Boucher nor even a Joe Primeau and can rough it with the toughest. Last season Apps was on the managers’ third line.
Gordon Drillon, the pride of the maritime provinces, is a wizard around the net. The eagle-eyed youngster seldom makes a mistake once he is in scoring position. But Drillon doesn’t always get back as rapidly as he might. Possibly Toronto’s wide-open style of play is in part responsible for this. The Maple Leafs know they can usually step out and bag their quota of goals, and might figure that it is the charitable thing to do to let their opponents get a few. This is Drillon’s first apjiearance on the managers' all-star team, but if he continues at his present pace it will not be his last.
The left wing, Paul Thompson, is a veteran who isplaying better hockey today than at anytime during his twelve seasons in the majors. A brother of Cecil’s, this is the first time since the 1933-34season that brothers have won berths on the first team. That year the Conacher boys, Charlie and Lionel, both won places on the starting team. Thompson has been on two other Maclean s teams. He made the third line in 1934-35 and the second team the following season. Last year he failed to poll even a single vote, but this season jumps to the top. He is a clever stick-handler, has one of the most deceptive shots in the game,
and, despite his twelve years in the majors, will not lie thirty-one until this fall.
A Second-Team Tie
'"PHIS IS the first time since the managers have been selecting their teams \ for Maclean's that goal tenders have tied for a position. With Cecil Thompson reI ceiving eight first-team votes, the pilots were evenly divided in their opinions for j the second-team net guardian. Willie ! Cude of the Montreal Canadiens received four and Davie Kerr of the New York Rangers a like number, for a total of eight points each.
Last season Cude led the net-minders and was placed on the starting team. He has played great hockey during this campaign, but his support has not been the equal of last season’s. To lie able to play goal well, one of the most important assets is courage. In a group of men where courage is taken as a matter of course, Wilfie’s ability to keep going under a terrific physical pounding is frequently commented upon by hockey players.
Sold down the river by the Montreal Maroons after being kicked around the minors for several years, Davie Kerr has shown improvement each year for the New York Rangers until now he ranks right up with the top ones. While the Rangers have one of the youngest and strongest teams in hockey, they can thank the quiet little Scot for much of their success. The Rangers play a wide-open, rushing type of hockey. Their four defensemen are all scoring threats and, with the impetuosity of youth, they frequently fly up the ice on the attack, leaving David very much alone back there in his net. It is on occasions like this that you are bound to admire him. He remains cool, and invariably forces the attacker to make the first move.
Since joining the Rangers he has dominated his old teammates on the Maroons, and the victories which they have scored on him during that time may be added up on the fingers of one hand.
The managers found some difficulty this season in deciding on their alternate defenseman. Earl Seibert, who wins the right defense assignment, topped Art Coulter by one point for the berth, polling eleven points to Art’s ten. But the managers couldn’t seem to find a really stand-out left defenseman after they had selected Babe Siebert, so that you find some of them voting for Earl Seibert, Coulter, Shore, Heller and Horner, all right-hand shots, for their left defenseman on the alternate team. In addition to tallying eleven points for the right-defense post, Earl registered five for the left side, second only to Bate Siebert. Art Coulter totalled thirteen points, ten for right and three for left, to give him the position over his closest rival, Red Horner, who received only one firstteam vote for three points.
This second-team defense is particularly strong, and there isn’t much doubt that, if placed on the market for sale, they would bring a much higher price than Shore and Siebert, because of the difference in age and playing years ahead of them. Both Earl and Art are savage checkers, fast j breakers, and scoring threats. When their team is putting on a power play or has ; gone into enemy territory, they may be moved up on the attack without fear of being trapped flat-footed by a fast-skating forward. Chicago thought so much of Earl’s speed this season that they tried to convert him into a right wing, but after performing creditably in a number of ; games, Manager Bill Stewart decided there wasn’t much sense in trying to make a fair wing out of a star defenseman.
Coulter, captain of the New York Rangers, is known as “Gentleman Art” to his teammates, not so much for his conduct on the ice where he is a fighter from the
opening whistle until the last, but because of his decorum oil the ice. On the ice, if an opposing player decides to pick on one of the smaller Rangers, he must always take into consideration the fact that he must be able to lick Coulter, because Art rushes to the defense of his teammates regardless of whom he has to face.
The narrow margin of one point which separated Bill Cowley from Syl Apps for the starting centre-ice berth, gives you a fair indication of the respect which Cowley enjoys from the pilots. Cowley has everything a top-notch centre needs. He is a clever playmaker, a consistent scorer, back-checks well, and when Art Ross signals him to go on the defensive it is quite a task to get past him at centre ice.
“Two-Gun” Cecil Dillon, the N. Y. Rangers speedy right-winger, wins the right-wing assignment on the second line. But in addition to receiving thirteen points for this position, the American-born star also received five for left wing.
One manager, who, of course, must remain nameless because of Maclean's promise to the managers that their individual selections will be treated confidentially and just the consensus released, thinks Dillon would be the greatest left-winger in hockey, and picks him for this position on the first team.
“No matter what Les Patrick says,” this manager tells us, “I think Dillon belongs on left wing, and if played on that side might make us forget the Joliats, Jacksons, Georgie Hays and other star portsiders of the past decade.”
But Brother Patrick doesn’t believe this, and a quick look at the three lines he uses now will show that the starting line of the Colville brothers, Neil and Mac, and Alex Shibicky are all right-handers. The second line of Clint Smith, Lynn Patrick and Dillon are all left-hand shots, and the third line has the right-hand shot, Phil Watson, at centre ice, with Rookie Hextall, Dutch Hiller and Butch Keeling, the remaining forwards, all firing from the port side.
The point on which all agree, however, is that Dillon is a great hockey player and belongs on any all-star team. His total of eighteen points ties Gordon Drillon’s total, but Gordie has been placed on top because all of his were polled for the right-wing berth.
We have a newcomer at left wing on the second line this season in Hector “Toe” Blake of the Montreal Canadiens. Many habitant followers were bemoaning the slowing down of little Aurel Joliat, the Mighty Mite, and wondering where Cecil Hart would get a suitable replacement. While Blake is far from a Joliat at the present time, he has everything a star III a y er needs. In addition to Blake, Hart also had another top-notch left-winger in Georges Mantha, possibly the fastest skater in the game today, and with Joliat still giving startling exhibitions of stickhandling, the wearers of the bleu-blancrou&e were possibly the strongest team on the left side of the line in the league this season.
Jackson on Third Line
SEVERAL times during the past campaign, hockey teams were forced because of injuries to struggle along with only two forward lines available. It was immediately apparent that, although these two lines battled gamely and almost managed to hold their own in a single game against their opponents, modern hockey demands not only a third forward line but also a utility man who is available to step on the ice at any moment and fill in for an injured player. That is the reason why Maclean's always offers a full squad of sixteen players instead of just two teams.
Managers are always on the lookout for a club with a weak third line, and try by manoeuvring their lines to get their highscoring trio facing their opponent's weakest line. That is why you will find that the teams which lead the league and win championships always have three strong lines. Sometimes a line’s strong points will be its back-checking ability, and a manager is always happy to have a really strong back-
hecker or two on his roster. Occasionally you will hear a fan ask why so-and-so is kept on the team when he seldom scores. They don’t seem to realize that a star defensive forward can bring victory to his club by keeping the opponent’s best scorer from breaking through.
But although our third line has a lot of defensive ability, it is also a high-scoring trio. Marty Barry, w'ho centres the line, w'ould undoubtedly have retained the firstteam honors which he gained last season had his wings clicked this year as they did last. The big fellow had different wings practically every game for a considerable part of the season, as Jack Adams shuffled his players, hoping to strike a winning combination.
Another centre who was well liked was Clint Smith, ex-University of Saskatchewan star, who looks like the greatest playmaker in hockey today. One manager, in commenting on Smith, stated that with a little more weight he would run away with centre-ice honors for many seasons to come.
Barry’s right wing, Charlie Sands, is a player who has come along slowly. Signed originally by Conny Smythe of Toronto, Charlie wasn’t aggressive enough to suit Conny, who likes his players rough. He was traded to Boston, and Charlie has gone about minding his own business and at the same time improving each season until today he is ranked the third best rightwdnger in the league, with ten points to his credit. His nearest rivals for the thirdstring spot have but two points each.
Sands is a great back-checker, and in addition gets plenty of scoring points. Players like this are not very plentiful, and he will undoubtedly be playing hockey when some of the crowd-pleasing one-way players are back on the farm.
We were a little surprised to find Harvey Jackson on the third line, but that is where hockey’s supreme court have placed him and they should know. We thought that Harvey was enjoying an excellent season, and for a while he was leading in the poll. But the final consensus shows him finishing third with nine points, only two less than Paul Thompson.
Harvey can still do everything a great hockey player is supposed to be able to do, and he frequently crosses up his opponents and surprises the spectators by doing the unusual which invariably results in a goal or a real threat.
Utility Men and Rookies
THE MANAGERS couldn’t get together on a utility man. Bob Davidson and Cooney Weiland both received a pair of votes, while Babe Pratt, Hooley Smith,
Dit Clapper and Herbie Lewis polled one vote each.
Davidson and Weiland are both smart hockey players. Bob is one of those great back-checkers we mentioned before. He fits in on the defense or at any position on the forward line, and in the crucial games usually comes through with a goal.
Weiland, who holds the National League record of 73 points—44 goals and 30 assists—in a season, has slowed down a little since coming to the majors. But he is still dangerous every moment he is in action, and has been used extensively this season by Manager Art Ross of the Bruins when his club has been a man short. When Boston has the advantage in man power, Cooney acts as the spearhead of the Bruins’ famous [X)wer plays.
The manner of selecting a rookie invariably works hardships on many youngsters. This has been especially true this season, when first-year stand-outs have not come up to the high standards set by Schriner, Karakas and Apps, who in their initial major league trial literally turned the league upside down.
Players who have seen service in even one game prior to the current season are not eligible. This eliminates such sterling warriors as Clint Smith, the class of them all, Rookie Hextall, Cliff Goupille, Bobby Bauer, Woody Dumart, Eddie Wares and one or two others. These boys all played in one or two games during the 1936-37 season, which eliminated them from consideration this year. But a few managers think that a player should be permitted to play in at least five games before he is considered ineligible for this award. They refuse to eliminate these boys from consideration, with the result that Clint Smith and Eddie Wares, both of whom were up for two games last season, received votes, Smith getting two and Wares one.
“Murph” Chamberlain, Toronto’s backchecking, play-making centre, received the votes of three of the league’s pilots to give him the title of the season’s "outstanding rookie,” while Des Smith of the Maroons and Cully Dahlstrom of Chicago received one vote each.
The managers are enthusiastic in their endorsement of Maclean's method of selecting the season’s all-star team, and all joined wholeheartedly in working out the team. We wish to thank Arthur Ross, Boston; Les Patrick, Rangers; Red Dutton, Americans; Cecil Hart, Canadiens; Tom Gorman, Maroons; Conny Smythe, Toronto; Jack Adams, Detroit; and Bill Stewart, Chicago, for their kind co-operation in assembling the squad.
The complete team and those receiving honorable mention follow:
FIRST TEAM Player and Team Points C. Thompson, Boston..... 24* E. Shore, Boston.......... 16-3** A. C. Siebert, Canadiens.. . 18 S. Apps, Toronto......... 15-2** G. Dril Ion, Toronto....... 18 P. Thompson, Chicago..... 11
SECOND TEAM Position Player and Team Points Goal D. Kerr and W. Cude Rangers-Canadiens...... 8 R. D. E. Seibert, Chicago....... 11-5** L. D. A. Coulter, Rangers...... 3-10** Centre W. Cowley, Boston....... 14 R. W. C. Dillon, Rangers........ 13-5** L. W. H. Blake, Canadiens...... 10
Third line: M. Barry, Detroit (8); C. Sands, Boston (10); H. Jackson, Toronto (9). Utility: R. Davidson, Toronto (6); or R. Weiland, Boston (6).
Outstanding Rookie: Chamberlain, Toronto.
Goal Tenders: None.
Defensemen: D. Young, Detroit; E. Heller. Rangers; W. Buswell, Canadiens; S. Evans, Maroons; R. Horner, Toronto; J. Fowler, Toronto.
Centres: N. Colville, Rangers; C. Smith. Rangers; E. Romnes, Chicago; L. Patrick, Rangers; P. Drouin, Canadiens; P. Haynes, Canadiens.
Right Wings: E. Wiseman, Americans; H. March, Chicago; R. Lorrain, Canadiens; J. Gagnon. Canadiens; R. Bauer. Boston.
Left Wings: D. Schriner, Americans; L. Patiick, Rangers; G. Mantha, Canadiens;
C. Dillon. Rangers; S. Apps, Toronto.
Utility: W. Pratt, Rangers; R. J. Smith, Americans; A. Clapper, Boston.
Outstanding Rookie: C. Smith, Rangers; E. Wares, Detroit; C. Dahlstrom, Chicago;
D. Smith, Maroons.
* Points are allowed on the following basis: Three points for a first-team vote, two for a second and one for a third in the case of the third line. Twenty-four points represents a ;>erfect score.
** Players who received points for more than one position and their totals.