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L'Affaire Eagleson
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World Wide Hall of Fame vs.
Toronto Hall of Fame
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The 1950 election saw our lowest turnout. Only 15 members cast votes, which then meant 12 were needed for election.

That being said, we added Johnson & Johnson to our Hall of Fame, as well as a Busher and a Bowie.

One player's vote total sparked a lively debate.

Hod Stuart, one of the original members of the Hall of Fame, only gained one vote from the committee. The committee was split on Stuart's worthiness due to his tragic death in 1907 at age 27. (He dove from a rock into a lake, broke his neck and drowned.) Stuart's legacy, unknown to all but a handful of hockey people, was the engraving of the Stanley Cup with the player's names. Every player who has his name engraved on team sport's only individual legacy to its champions owes a debt of gratitude to Stuart. The 1907 Montreal Wanderers inscribed the names of the entire team inside the silver bowl, and no one was going to demand it be buffed out after Stuart's death.

In the Canadian magazine MacLeans, a panel of hockey experts in 1925 concluded Stuart was on the all-time team at defense. Westerners and former players Lester Patrick (Victoria) and Harry Scott (Calgary) listed Stuart as the best defenseman of all-time.

Said Morey Holzman, "He was a great defenseman, no doubt about it, but I feel he did not play long enough to merit inclusion. He created a scandal in Pittsburgh while playing in the IHL, and was by most accounts, the best defenseman in the first decade of the 1900s.

"But I wonder if we would have voted in Wayne Gretzky had he died in 1981. Or Gordie Howe if he would not have survived the Kennedy hit in 1950."

Iain Fyffe concurred.

"The actual Hall of Fame was easily swayed by tragic deaths in its early years. Hod

Staurt, Hobey Baker, Scotty Davidson. In my opinion none of these deserve induction based on their playing careers; they may have been great had they continued to play, but they did not. Even Frank McGee, to me, had too short a career for the World Wide Hockey Hall of Fame."

Joe Pelletier disagreed, drawing parallels to Bobby Orr.

"Stuart played from 1895 through 1907 - 12 seasons," Pelletier said. "Lets eliminate those early years where the statistics are all but missing and when he was still a teenager. We'll just look at when he joined the Ottawa Silver Seven in 1898, and he would have been 18 or 19 years old. Over the next NINE seasons he would go on a spectacular career that had earned him the reputation as the best defenseman or rover in all of hockey, and some even said the best hockey player in the world. Then he tragically died.

"Bobby Orr had a very similar career. Looking at approximately the same ages, Orr quickly established himself as the best in the world. His career would be basically over after eight seasons.

"Our Hall will be forever empty without him."



Here is how the final voting went:

Bowie, Russel 12
Dunderdale, Tommy 10
Phillips, Tommy 10
Grant, Mike 8
Bain, Dan 7
Campbell, Lorne 3
Griffis, Si 3
Hall, Joe 3
Laviolette, Jack 3
McGee, Frank 3
Pitre, Didier 3
Darragh, Jack 2
Smith, Tommy 2
Breen, Billy 1
Lehman, Hugh 1
Prodgers, Goldie 1
Pulford, Harvey 1
Russell, Ernie 1
Stuart, Hod 1

Johnson, Ching 13
Jackson, Busher 12
Johnson, Moose 12
Cameron, Harry 8
Cook, Bun 8
Barry, Marty 5
Bailey, Ace 4
Aurie, Larry 2
March, Harold "Mush" 2
Finnigan, Frank 1
Gagnon, Johnny 1

Creighton, James 11
Waghorne, Fred 11
Calder, Frank 6
Kennedy, George 6
Muldoon, Pete 6
Hart, Cecil 2

Gorman, Tommy 11
Irvin, Dick 10
LeSueur, Percy 9
Adams, Jack 8
Stanley, Sir Frederic 6
Taylor, Cyclone 6
Hartley 4
Shore, Eddie 4
Ross, Phil 2
Patton 1