Thursday, July 4, 2013

Guest Post: A Red, White & Blue Blueshirt

The Pundit was kind enough to pen this for me last summer for a project since abandoned and I felt it would be good to go up today: he remembers a New York Ranger who has faded into the past, one who happens to be a U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer. USA! USA! USA! -Scotty

by Mike Savino, aka the Ranger Pundit

Bill Moe came back on my radar in a rather strange way. My Grandson, Nicholas, had just secured a spot on his High School freshman team and was issued a jersey with a number 21 on it. Dad and Nicholas then did a search of Ranger jerseys, past and present to find a #21 to relate to a Ranger. Naturally, Gramps, the Ranger Pundit, came up with the perfect #21. Since Nicholas is a defenseman it was a natural that the #21 would be one of my favorites, the hard checking Bill Moe.

Moe played with the Rangers from 1944-45 to 1948-49. He played with Don Raleigh for two years. He was one of three American players in the NHL. One was Frankie Brimsek, the Bruin goalie also known as Mr. Zero. The other was John Manucci.

Moe was a hard luck player in his five years with the Rangers. He played in only one playoff game and suffered a fractured vertebrae on a check to Detroits Bill Quackenbush. In 1948-49 Moe was involved in an auto accident with four other players prior to the season opener. He suffered a concussion but still managed to play in 60 games. After the season the Rangers traded him to the Bruins who assigned Moe to their AFL affiliate. That ended Moe’s NHL career. In 1974 Bill Moe was installed in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

Moe had a unique style of checking. He lined up a player and went low to the ice and clipped him below the knees. The crowd roared at t he sight of players doing cartwheels and landing on the ice on their backs. That kind of check is now outlawed. Its amazing, slewfooting, elbows to the head, sticks across the face are all minor type penalties but the artistic checks of a Bill Moe are outlawed.

I’ll never see another Bill Moe again just as I will never see another “Bones” Raleigh again. I guess I’m an old fogey and a traditionalist as I’m starting to look back more than I am looking ahead. But I look at the Rangers now and we are run by a GM who is in hiding and will start his 14th year without a reasonable run for the Cup. I see a disagreeable coach who wont be happy til one of his players gets disfigured by a shot. The hockey today is boring and well, I digress.

Boy, do I miss Bill Moe, who passed away in 1996 at the age of 80. But he is in hockey heaven where he skates to meet “Bones” Raleigh and his other team mates from the 40’s. God Bless Guys!

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