How well-known are Frank Boucher and Bill Cook among NYR fans?

Discussion in 'New York Rangers' started by BenchBrawl, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. BenchBrawl joueur de hockey

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    Hello there. I'm a hockey history enthousiast and I was wondering how well-known Frank Boucher and Bill Cook were among NYR fans.

    I know NY belongs to the Yankees, and Boucher's and Cook's career overlaped with Babe Ruth's which makes them hard to research because the NY newspapers seemed to focus more on Baseball, but still these two guys formed one of the greatest duos in hockey history.

    Over a 9 years period—between the 1926-27 and 1934-35 seasons—Boucher and Cook finished 2nd and 3rd in points respectively, behind the legendary Howie Morenz. They brought two Stanley Cup championships to New York in that timeframe (1928, 1933).

    See here for the stats: Player Season Finder | Hockey-Reference.com

    Frank Boucher was a Top 5 playmaker of all-time IMO (click the "A" column on the above link), excellent defensively and a massive playoff performer.

    Bill Cook was a great powerforward; Gordie Howe before Gordie Howe, a great goalscorer (click the "G" column on the above link) and captain of the Rangers.

    Boucher and Cook were Yzerman-level players. Maybe better.

    Yet I rarely hear about them, but now I'm coming here to test the water. Do you know them? Ever heard their name? Anything that can help me get a feel for how well-known they are in NY would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  2. mike14 Where's my elephant?

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    I think their names would be instantly recognized by most at the Garden, but if you then asked for details on their career you'd get some blank looks.

    We did an "all time top Rangers" project about 5-6 years ago on this board (which seems to have been deleted unfortunately) and Boucher was voted in at #1 for all time NYR centers, I think Cook was #2 for wingers
     
  3. BenchBrawl joueur de hockey

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    Thanks, it surprises me that their names would be instantly recognized. Seems I underrated how famous they were.

    I just found this project about 5 minutes ago searching for old posts. Hard to believe Andy Bathgate sneaked in ahead of Bill Cook. Wish more people from the HoH section participated, but overall the project seemed well-done.

    Frank Boucher is indeed easily the best center in NYR history.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  4. ReggieDunlop68 hey hanrahan!

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    In the current garden, there is a 99.9999% chance you will get very confused stares for those names.
     
  5. Unusual Suspect Registered User

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    Have to go along with Mike14. I was born in the late 1950s in New Jersey, started watching some Rangers hockey in the early 70s but didn't really go all in until the early 80s. Still, that's 40-50 years of some level of fandom. But if I am any indicator, Americans of my generation are far more likely to be versed in baseball lore than that of most other sports; we might consume them very avidly in the present tense, but only baseball really carried significant historical romance... and to this day if you listen comparatively to broadcasts of the major sports, the past comes up with unusual frequency on baseball games but not very much on hockey broadcasts. So, like Mike says, I suspect a lot of us who are passing now for elder statesmen are marginally aware of great Ranger (and other) names of the past like Cook and Boucher, and maybe even a rough idea of their era and place in the timeline, but not a great deal more. Kind of sad, really.

    You know, on a related tangent, I listen to a lot of radio broadcasts from the thirties through the fifties, and in that mix there are hundreds of baseball recordings. One can locate and listen to games featuring Gehrig, Greenberg, Mize, Spahn, Feller... with relatively little difficulty. Yet I have never been able to find a single full NHL game audio from that period. Knowing the past isn't made easier by a scarcity of readily available material. (Anyone knowing where one can get hold of some pre-expansion hockey radio broadcasts, please PM me, by the way.)
     
  6. SingnBluesOnBroadway Retired

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    I think it has more to do with Ranger fans being knowledgeable than it does about Cook/Boucher’s level of “fame”.
     
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  7. Mac n Gs Gorton plz

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    @jas is the only poster here old enough to have seen them live, so I'm sure he could give us some great insight. :sarcasm:
     
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  8. NCRanger Bettman's Enemy

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    Boucher did coach the Rangers during WWII, and then took over as GM, and got the Rangers to the Finals in 1950. That's "modern" enough for fans of my age (late 40's) to have had their dads (or moms) tell stories about those teams. Ranger fandom used to be passed down generationally, so that's how I learned of Boucher and the Cook brothers, even if my dad and uncle didn't actually see them play.

    My dad and uncle used to keep game programs from games they went to at the old Garden in the mid-50's. There were articles in them about Ranger "history" at the time, which went back to the 20's and 30's.
     
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  9. ecemleafs Registered User

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    Not well enough. Both of their jerseys shud have been retired long before some jerseys that hang from the rafters in the garden
     
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  10. jas Unsatisfied

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    Umm, it has been proven that @bobbop is this person of which you speak. Now Steve Vickers and Bill Faibairn, OTOH...
     
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  11. SA16 Sixstring

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    They're not well known. On this board - yes. Random person in MSG - highly unlikely.
     
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  12. eco's bones Registered User

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    FWIW back in the 70's Frank Boucher wrote a book (with the help of a Toronto sportswriter Trent Frayne) titled 'When the Rangers were young'. It's pretty good and it's about the early days of the team. I had a co-worker (Cliff Annis--I'll name him because he is deceased) by the way who was related to the Cook brothers through marriage and went up to Toronto and was at the HOF ceremony for Bun Cook in 1995. Bill Cook by the way fought in several major battles in WWI and was part of an allied force that intervened in Russia in 1919 and fought again in Siberia during the Russian Civil War.
     
  13. Miamipuck Al Swearengen

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  14. bobbop Henrik & Pop Sponsor

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    I did not see them live (I'm not that old!) but I do remember this when Rod Gilbert's #7 was retired the ceremony included either Boucher and a member of his family as one of the other #7s in Ranger history. I distinctly remember Red Sullivan (an early favorite of mine) being at that ceremony. All told I think there were 4 or 5 other Ranger #7s honored. Maybe @alkurtz can help here.
     
  15. jas Unsatisfied

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    This is for you, @Mac n Gs.
     
  16. Mac n Gs Gorton plz

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    Don't worry, we all still love you, even though you're 137 years old. ;)
     
  17. Thirty One Safe is safe.

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    My favorite Frank Boucher fact:
    After his playing career, he became the Rangers' head coach (he was the Rangers' coach in 1940). In 1943-44, 5 years after his playing career ended, he suited up for 15 games as player-coach and had 4 goals and 10 assists.
     
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  18. Tawnos A guy with a bass

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    It's borderline criminal that these guys don't have their jerseys in the rafters.
     
  19. Tawnos A guy with a bass

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    At 42 years old no less.
     
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  20. cwede Registered User

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    my dad was lifelong NYR fan, raised me with stories of the old guys, as he was born in '23, it was also alot about the Patricks, Colvilles, Hexall, Coulter, Heller, Pratt, and his fave Shibicky

    for my the first 20 fan years or so (mid-60's to mid'80's) the awarding of the Lady Byng would always include how Boucher won so many they gave him the trophy
     
  21. Cassano Registered User

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    I don't know them TBH and I consider myself a die-hard fan. However I can tell you the colour of Noonan's underwear during game 6 or the 1994 ECF. I guess that is shame on the Rangers for not giving exposure.
     
  22. ReggieDunlop68 hey hanrahan!

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    As old as Joe Louis when he fought Rocky Marciano?

     
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  23. Amazing Kreiderman @StatBoy_Steven Sponsor

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    More people would know their names and be more inclined to research who they were, had their names been up in the rafters like Bathgate, Gilbert, Howell etc.
     
  24. yada move 2 dallas 4 work

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    Sad thing is theres no video of these guys so its hard to really get a good sense in who they were. You can always look at the stats and accomplishments but thats not the same as watching them.

    The rangers have done a poor job of acknowleding the past of this team unless it revolves around the 94 team. Thankfully they have gotten better retiring ratelle, bathgate, howell, and hadfields number. It is criminal that the cooks and buchers numbers arent up in the rafters.
     
  25. Edge Kris King's Ghost

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    I think your die-hard fans know of them. Though at this point, even among that group, you'd probably be hard pressed to find someone who really had a firm, in-depth grasp of their careers.

    Your casual fans would probably tend to have blank stares at this point.
     
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