Way back with Wayne: The Origins of Fantasy Hockey

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cook cup featured image

My father, Wayne, has been a life-long hockey fan. He loves to watch it, he loved to coach his kids in it, and he loved to play it. In this segment, I pick my dad’s brain about the progression of hockey from a fan’s perspective.

Many of you reading this are probably like me, you are absolutely obsessed with playing fantasy hockey. You delve hours into research before, during, and after each season just so that you can get an edge on your fellow Fantasy GMs and finally get bragging rights, and likely having your name immortalized on a trophy along with some cold hard cash. With so many different ways to play Fantasy Hockey and how much depth and complication can be involved with them, it’s crazy to think about how far Fantasy Hockey has come in a few decades. Luckily for me, my father has been participating/running the Cook Cup playoff hockey pool for 35 years and is the perfect candidate to get an idea of the climate of Fantasy Hockey back in the day.

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The 2015 NHL All-Star Game

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photo by: Gettys images

 

Boy, now wasn’t that a bit of fun? With the all-star game and its showcase passing this weekend, it might be a good idea to highlight the showcase and shed some light on the spectacle of hockey skills we get treated to each year at the mid-season point.

The All-star game, as it’s known has been around since the beginning of the NHL, and in a manner of speaking actually predates the NHL itself. There are multiple cases of respected Canadian hockey clubs hosting benefit games, notably for deceased, injured, or retiring players. For example in 1908 an “all-star” game was held in Montreal featuring the Montreal Wanderers and all-star players from the Eastern Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. This game was held for Hod Stuart, a Montreal player who drowned only months after winning the Stanley Cup in 1907. There are three more instances of “benefit” games being played for players or their families, and one of the last benefits was actually played to the same cause as the first, as Babe Siebert, a player for the Canadiens at the time, would drown in Lake Huron in 1939.

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