Vintage 1920s Film: Detroit's New Hockey Team Holds Practice Games at Windsor

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by hockeyfan05, May 22, 2011.

  1. hockeyfan05

    hockeyfan05 Registered User

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    I was looking through an archive of Detroit News videos from the 1920s and I came across a really cool video of one of the first practices for Detroit, who were then known as the Cougars. The practice takes place at Border Cities Arena in Windsor, where the Cougars played while the Olympia Stadium was under construction in Detroit.

    http://www.lib.wayne.edu/resources/digital/vmc_newsreels/video.php?vid=15_38

    Here is Border Cities Arena, now known as Windsor Arena, in 2008. It is now home to the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL.
    [​IMG]

    The jerseys shown towards the end of the video are the ones that the Red Wings based their Winter Classic jerseys on.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2011
  2. WarriorOfGandhi

    WarriorOfGandhi Was saying Boo-urns

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    Chelios looks so young in that video


    cool find
     
  3. SealsFan

    SealsFan Registered User

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    Wow!!!!!
     
  4. MS

    MS 1%er

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    Great find!

    Cripes, the defenders just .... stand there, about 25 feet in front of the goalie, all the time. Don't attempt to go up ice at all. Weird.
     
  5. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    These players would have grown up calling those positions "point" and "cover point", the predecessors to modern defensemen. This video would have been taken only a few years after the "rover" position was finally discontinued in all leagues, so there was still that soccer-like mindset that each zone belonged to a certain position.

    Also, it's interesting to note that this was prior to the introduction of offsides, the red line, and universal forward passing. I spotted an occasion where a player clearly
    declined to make a forward pass, opting for a drop-pass instead.

    I've never seen such a clear example of the soccer-like origins of the positions on video... great find, hockeyfan05!

    Finally, on a cultural note, the giant "NO SMOKING" sign is interesting. I had always assumed that smoking in arenas was acceptable during that time period, as it was in later decades.
     
  6. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    Well, it was probably pretty clever on their part to ban smoking in a wooden arena.
     
  7. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Rule Changes

    Also before the introduction of other rules precluding defensive play. During the era the defensive forwards did not have to clear the defensive zone when the puck went into the neutral zone from the defensive zone.Plus the rosters were very limited resulting in long shifts.

    "No smoking". Often in the arenas from that era the grandstands were wood. Into the late 1970's the old colisee in Trois Rivieres which was built in the twenties still had wooden grandstands. Smoking was a definite fire hazard.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  8. SealsFan

    SealsFan Registered User

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    I was amazed by that giant No Smoking banner, too.
     
  9. Iain Fyffe

    Iain Fyffe Hockey fact-checker

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    I'm not sure that explains it. The rover had been gone for four full seasons by 1926/27, so even if the defencemen knew how the game was once played, they shouldn't still be doing it. The Cougars' four regulars on defence in 1926 were Clem Loughlin, Art Duncan, Slim Halldorson and Jack Arbour, and all but Arbour did have extensive experience in the PCHA. But they hadn't played with a rover for years.

    But even if they were playing like they used to in the PCHA five years earlier, they wouldn't just be standing in their own zone. Defencemen scored plenty in the rover era, especially the cover-point when that was still a seperate position. Loughlin scored 7 goals in 34 games in 1926/27, so he clearly was not just hanging out in front of the goalie when they were actually playing.

    More likely, I think, would be the fact that they probably only had four defencemen available, and the fact that this was a practice. Who knows what drills, if any, they were running in this film. Perhaps they didn't want to tire the defencement out too much for this particular scrimmage.
     

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