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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

FRANK BOUCHER

Inducted in 1975

Member Details

Date of Birth: October 7, 1901
Place of Birth: Ottawa, Ontario
Date of Passing: December 12, 1977
Sport: Ice Hockey
Member Category: Builder

Career Highlights

1928,1933, 1940

Stanley Cup winner

1926-38

Seven-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy

1938-39

Coached New York Rovers

1939-49

Coached New York Rangers

1949-55

GM of New York Rangers

1958

Inducted, Hockey Hall of Fame

Honoured Member FRANK BOUCHER
Inspire

Story

Frank Boucher may have spent most of his hockey career in New York City, but he certainly retained his Canadian manners. Boucher won the Lady Byng trophy, awarded to the player who best combines effective play with gentlemanly conduct on the ice, seven times in eight years. Lady Byng herself finally told him to keep the prize and she donated another to the NHL. Growing up in Ottawa, Boucher honed his hockey skills on the frozen Rideau River. He was first drafted to the Ottawa Senators in 1921 for whom he played a year before being picked up by the Vancouver Maroons. When the Western Hockey League folded in 1926, Boucher found himself playing with the New York Rangers, the team that he would be a part of his life for the next 29 years. A superb centreman, Boucher was the meat of the famous Bread Line, sandwiched between Bill and Bun Cook. One of the most successful lines of their era, this trio scored more than 1,000 points over the decade and led the Rangers to two Stanley Cup victories, in 1928 and 1933. For his part, Boucher led the Rangers in scoring five times, and he led the league in assists three times. Boucher was fondly known as "Raffles" after a fictional gentlemanly thief. This nickname was a tribute both to his noble manners and his ability to steal the puck. In 557 regular season games, he scored 161 goals and added 262 assists. In 56 playoff games, he had 16 goals and 18 assists. After his retirement from the ice in 1939, Boucher began a second successful career as a coach. After only one year in the minors, he was called on to coach the Rangers in 1939. They claimed the Stanley Cup later that season, a nice beginning to Boucher's decade behind the Rangers' bench. During the 1943-44 season, wartime efforts had so severely reduced the Rangers' roster that Boucher, then aged 42, once again donned blades and took to the ice to help his team. He completed his career with the Rangers as general manager from 1949-55. Always concerned with the mechanics of the game, "Gentleman Frank" served on the NHL rules committee for a number of years, and it was his suggestion that led to the creation of the centre red line. The original intent was to allow the defending team to pass the puck further up the ice, thus avoiding getting locked in their own zone and creating more of a chance for breakaways. Boucher later acknowledged, however, that the red line no longer served its original purpose, and that forward passing to the opponent's blue line should be permitted to accommodate new styles of play in this ever evolving game. In his post-NHL years, Boucher served as commissioner of junior hockey for both Saskatchewan and Canada. For his tremendous contribution to hockey in the United States, Boucher was posthumously awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1993.


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