Is Bill Cowley one of the GOAT?

It’s easy to look at Bill Cowley’s numbers and think he might be one of the greatest offensive NHL players ever, and certainly one of the league’s greatest passers.

But his best years came during World War II when a number of NHL players were in the military and so competition wasn’t as good. Also, Cowley sometimes wasn’t even the first line centre on his own team.

The question isn’t just, does Bill Cowley belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame? It’s how do we evaluate his gaudy numbers given when he played and his role when Milt Schmidt was on the team? And why did it take the Hall 20+ years to induct him?

Listen here:

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Best and Worst Original Senators Trades of All Time

So far, in covering our Best and Worst Trades by Point Shares, we’ve focused on either the best or worst for each franchise. However, the Original Ottawa Senators are a special case. The most successful early hockey franchise, they existed for decades before the NHL existed, but then they only made it to the 1930s.

So, there are two issues with creating this list:

The first is that there aren’t that many NHL trades compared to the Original Six franchises.

The second is that, due to the length of the season at the time, the trades didn’t result in huge point share increases or decreases.

So we’ve combined the two into one post. See the methodology in how we rank trades here.

The Top 4 Original Ottawa Senators/St. Louis Eagles Trades of All Time

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Syd Howe

Career

  • NHL: 1929-46; 17 seasons, 12 quality
  • 237G (6th All Time at his retirement), 291A (2nd) for 528P (1st[1. Howe was the career leader in points from 1944-45 to 1946-47]) in 698 games (4th); 55.8 PS (21st)
  • At his retirement, Howe was 8th in GPG, 2nd in APG and 5th in PPG[2. Minimum 500 games, 34 qualifying players]
  • At his retirement, Howe was 15th All Time in Offensive Point Shares
  • Era: 2nd in Goals and GPG, 1st in Assists, APG, Points and PPG, 3rd in OPS and Games, 5th in PS[3. Of the 6 players to play in at least 600 games between 1929 and 1946, as only 3 played in 650 games over that span]
  • 82-game average: 28G, 34A for 62P
  • 3-year peak (1942-45): 50-game average of 25G, 35A for 59P
  • Playoffs: 17G, 27A[4.¬†Howe was the career leader in playoff assists in 1944] for 27 points[5.¬†Howe was the career leader in playoff points from 1944 to 1946] in 44 games
  • Adjusted: 343G, 506A for 849P
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 40G, 59A for 100P
  • Traded once in his prime, traded to the AHL[6. I.e. waived] at the end of his career, claimed in a dispersal draft.

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