To say Lester Patrick played in the NHL is a bit of an exaggeration – he played two games over two seasons in his mid 40s while he was the coach of the Rangers. His career as a player was mostly spent in the PCHA (which he co-founded).
Lester Patrick is one of the major figures in the early history of hockey. His role as a builder is so important you could argue there were few others as important.
But how about his career as a player? Was he a Hall of Famer?
Mickey MacKay was one of the PCHA’s great hockey players. When the PCHA merged with the WCHL, he was a star in the WCHL as well. With his mediocre NHL numbers, does he belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?
We talk about MacKay’s case for the Hall of Fame on our latest episode. Listen here:
Jack Adams is an obvious Hall of Famer, the only person to win the Stanley Cup as a player, a coach and a GM, and that Jack Adams, he of the NHL’s Coach of the Year award. But was he really a Hall of Fame player?
Dick Irvin Sr. is arguably not as famous as his son to anyone who isn’t a Habs fan or who isn’t a really old Leafs fan.
But before he was a great coach, he was a player. In this episode of The Back Check we try to decide whether he was a player who was good enough to be inducted just as a player, and not due to his coach record, because that’s a conversation we can have.