HAROLD 'BULLET JOE' SIMPSON
Inducted in 1975
Won Allan Cup with Winnipeg's 61st Battalion
Newsy Lalonde called him the best player alive, a great compliment indeed since most hockey fans of the first quarter century of the 1900s considered Lalonde himself to be the best player. Simpson played in Winnipeg prior to the First World War, winning an Allan Cup with the 61st Battalion in 1916. After two years with the 43rd Cameron Highlanders, Simpson returned home and played for Selkirk and later Edmonton until 1925 when the Big 4 league folded. He had played for Edmonton in the 1923 Stanley Cup playdowns, the closest he ever got to hockey's greatest prize. At 32, he made his NHL debut with the New York Americans in 1925 and the rest of the hockey world got to see what Lalonde already knew. Simpson was a great skater, a defenceman whose end-to-end rushes wowed fans wherever he went. The nickname 'Bullet Joe' was well deserved and his fame well understood by everyone who watched him play the game at another level than most. Unfortunately, he played for one of the weaker teams in the league and played just two playoff games in six years. Simpson retired in 1931 and became a coach for a short time before retiring to Florida, where he remained the rest of his life.