Sprague Cleghorn

Sprague Cleghorn has one of the all time great hockey names. But was he good enough to be in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

In this episode, we talk about Sprague and where he ranks among the old timer D of his era. Listen here:

Sergei Zubov, Chris Pronger, Sprague Cleghorn

Sprague Cleghorn’s Career

  • NHL:
    • 1918-28; 10 seasons, 9 quality
    • Totals:
      • 83G (17th All Time at his retirement),
      • 55A (5th) for
      • 138P (13th) in
      • 259 games (6th);
      • 47.6 PS
    • Per Game: Doesn’t qualify; however, if a games requirement is set low enough, tt his retirement, Cleghorn was
      • 20th All Time in APG
    • 82-game average: 26G, 17A for 43P
    • 3-year peak (1922-25): 30-game average of 10G, 9A for 19P
    • Playoffs:
      • 4G (4th All Time at his retirement),
      • 3A (2nd All Time at his retirement) for
      • 7P (2nd All Time at his retirement) in
      • 21 games (2nd All Time at his retirement)
      • Per Game: At his retirement, Cleghorn was
        • 12th All Time in playoff GPG
        • 8th All Time in playoff APG
        • 11th All Time in playoff PPg
    • Adjusted:
      • Hockey-Reference:
        • 127G,
        • 286A for
        • 413P
        • Adjusted 82-game average: 40G, 91A for 131P
        • Per Game: Doesn’t qualify
      • VsX: Doesn’t qualify
    • Trades:
      • Claimed in a dispersal draft at 28
      • Rights transferred to Toronto at 30 but failed to report
      • Transferred to Hamilton at 31
      • Traded at 31 to Montreal for Harry Mummery (32) and Amos Arbour (26)
      • Traded at 35 to Boston for cash
  • NHA:
    • 1910-17; 7 seasons, 5? Quality
    • Totals:
      • 84G (as good as 11th All Time),
      • 33A (possibly most All Time) for
      • 117P (as good as 9th All Time) in
      • 115 games (as high as 7th All Time)
    • Per Game: If the qualifier is set to 82 games, Cleghorn might be as high as
      • 9th All Time in GPG and PPG, and
      • 2nd in APG
    • 20-game average: 15G, 6A for 20P
    • Didn’t calculate a 3-year peak
    • Playoffs: 0P in 2 games
    • Never traded.

Sprague Cleghorn’s Accomplishments

  • Top 5 in Hart voting twice (’24, ’26)
  • Backcheck MVP (’19)
  • Top Player:
    • Top 5 Player (by PS) four times (’19, ’20, ’22, ’24),
    • Top 10 five times (’23)
    • Best Defensive Player (dy DPS) twice (’19, ’23),
    • Top 5 six times (’20, ’22, ’24, ’25),
    • Top 10 seven times (’21)
  • Goals:
    • Scored 15 goals twice (1 of only 2 D to do so at his retirement)
    • Top 10 in Goals once
    • Top 10 in GPG once
  • Assists:
    • Top 5 in Assists once, Top 10 thrice
    • Top 10 in APG once
  • Points:
    • Top 10 in Points once
    • Top 10 in PPG once.

Srague Cleghorn’s Great Teams

  • NHL:
    • Best D (by points) on two Stanley Cup Champions (’21 Senators* – signed for final only, ’24 Canadiens) and one Stanley Cup Runner Up (’25 Canadiens),
    • Best D? (by points) on two NHL Runners Up (’21 St. Patricks, ’23 Canadiens) and one NHL/Stanley Cup Final Four (’28 Bruins),
    • Top 2 D (by points) on one NHL/Stanley Cup Runner Up (’27  Bruins),
    • Top 2? (by points) D on one Stanley Cup Champion (’20 Senators),
    • Top 4 D (by points) on one NHL Runner Up (’19 Senators)

How it is possible that Cleghorn could have been on the playoff roster for both the Toronto St. Patricks and the Stanley Cup Champion Ottawa Senators in the 1920-21?

No, it’s not a typo. Cleghorn was released from the St. Pats after they lost the NHL final to the Senators. The Senators then signed him for the Stanley Cup final the next week.

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