Born on June 23rd, 1884, Frederick Wellington "Cyclone" Taylor, MBE was a Canadian ice hockey player.
He played professionally from 1906 through 1922 for the Portage Lakes Hockey Club, the Renfrew Creamery Kings, the Ottawa Hockey Club, and the Vancouver Millionaires. Yeah, at one time there really was a pro team named the "Millionaires."
Taylor was one of the first real hockey superstars. He was one of the fastest skaters and highest scorers. In fact, Taylor won five scoring championships in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. He also won the Stanley Cup twice – with Ottawa in 1909 and Vancouver in 1915. Fittingly, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1947.
Hockey was a bit different at a century ago when Taylor earned his nickname "Cyclone" by being one of the game's speediest skaters. "Hockey was strictly amateur in Canada at the time," according to his 1977 biography (Cyclone Taylor: A Hockey Legend, Toronto: Doubleday Canada). "Taylor was offered room, board and $25 a month in spending money to join the team."
On June 27, 1908, Taylor was arrested during a game for punching the referee in the face after receiving a penalty. The referee declined to press charges, but the league president was in attendance and recommended Taylor be given a lifetime suspension. The league governors only issued a censure. Yeah, times were different.
A year later, Taylor signed a huge contract for a reported $5,250 for just one season. This made him the highest paid Canadian athlete in 1909, and he made more money than the Canadian Prime Minister at the time.
Taylor remained involved in the sport long after his playing days ended. He was President of the Pacific Coast Hockey League (1936 to 1940). Taylor dropped the puck in the ceremonial faceoff that preceded the expansion Vancouver Canucks’ very first home game when the team joined the NHL in 1970.
Cyclone Taylor passed away in 1979. Gone but never forgotten by Canadian hockey fans.
Note: The Cyclone Taylor Award is the award given each year to the most valuable player on the Vancouver Canucks.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
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