The BREAD LINE TRIPLE Signed New York Rangers Vintage Model Jersey
- Yours to buy is this truly stunning BREAD LINE Frank Boucher, Bill Cook & Bun Cook Custom TRIPLE Signed New York Rangers Vintage Model Jersey.
- Frank career begain while playing for the Ottawa Senators during the 1921–22 season, where he would play with his brother George. Because he had played senior hockey out west, his playing rights belonged to the PCHA, but he was allowed to play the season for Ottawa on condition he then play for the Vancouver Maroons in following seasons. In a twist of fate, he joined the Stanley Cup champions but the Senators lost the NHL title that year to the Toronto St. Pats, who would defeat Vancouver in the Stanley Cup Final.
Boucher played for the Maroons until 1926. The Maroons would play in the 1923 Stanley Cup Final against the Senators, losing 3-2. His brother George still played for the Senators. The Maroons played in the 1924 Stanley Cup playoffs against Montreal, who had the other Boucher brothers Billy and Bob, losing to the Canadiens in a best-of-three series 2–0. A highlight of the second game, a Maroons 2–1 loss, was that all goals were scored by the Bouchers, two by Billy and one by Frank.
In 1926, when the western league dissolved, his rights were sold to the Boston Bruins. He never played for the Bruins as Conn Smythe then paid the Bruins $1500 for Boucher, on the advice of Bill Cook, whom he'd played against out west, but would play with during his time with the Rangers. Boucher became a member of the original New York Rangers team.
Boucher played for the Rangers until he retired in 1937–38. Boucher centered the famous Bread Line with the brothers Bill and Bun Cook, and together they helped the Rangers win the Stanley Cup in 1928 and 1933, also reaching the Finals in 1932.
Frank was not only a brilliant forward, but was also one of the game's classiest. Lady Byng, wife of Viscount Byng, the Governor-General of Canada, donated a trophy to be awarded to the NHL's "most gentlemanly player." While playing for the New York Rangers, Boucher won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy 7 times in 8 years. He was then given the trophy outright, and Lady Byng donated another trophy to the NHL.
The Rangers hired him to coach the New York Rovers, a minor-league team that also played at Madison Square Garden, as his apprenticeship to coaching the Rangers. When general manager Lester Patrick made the decision to retire from coaching prior to the 1939–40 season, he hired Boucher, who led his Ranger club to the last Stanley Cup. The franchise would be in existence for 68 seasons before they won a Cup without Boucher being directly involved.
After finishing first in the NHL's regular season in 1942, the Rangers lost in the playoffs to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Soon they became victims of the military draft of World War II and went into a steep decline. In 1943–44 NHL season the New York Rangers were so bad that Boucher came out of retirement for 15 games to play where he recorded 14 points; at age 42, he was the oldest position player ever to play in the NHL, a record he held until surpassed by Doug Harvey in 1968. The Rangers finished the 50 game season with only 6 wins. From 1940 to 1972 they reached the Stanley Cup Finals only once.
When Patrick retired, Frank took over as general manager. He got the Rangers into the playoffs in 1947–48 with his trade to get Buddy O'Connor and Frank Eddolls. He stepped down from coaching to concentrate on his manager's job and hired Lynn Patrick, Lester's son and an ex-teammate, to coach the Rangers, and Lynn came very close to winning the Stanley Cup in 1950, proving Boucher astute in hiring him as coach. But the Rangers were an aging team, and eroded. Lynn Patrick resigned to go to Boston, and neither Neil Colville nor Bill Cook, also former teammates of Boucher's, could get the Rangers into the playoffs. General John Kilpatrick, the Rangers' owner, thought about replacing Boucher, but he held off.
During the 1945–46 season, Boucher became the first coach to use two goalies regularly. Alternating Charlie Rayner and Jim Henry every game, and later, every four to six minutes, he proved the usefulness of having two goalies.
Frank went back behind the bench in 1953–54, but could not get the Rangers into the playoffs. He then hired Muzz Patrick, another son of Lester and ex-teammate, to coach the team, but the Rangers won only 17 games and missed the playoffs again. So General Kilpatrick had a talk with Frank and reluctantly expressed that Frank could not build the Rangers into a winner, and recommended Frank resign as general manager. Frank thought it over, realizing that it was better than being fired. He then typed his resignation and handed it in to the General, ending his 29-year association with the Rangers.
He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958. In 1998, he was ranked number 61 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players. His uniform number 7 hangs in the rafters of Madison Square Garden, although it was retired for a later Ranger, Rod Gilbert. Although later Rangers such as Gilbert and Mark Messier have been more honored by recent fans, Boucher's status as the star of two Ranger Stanley Cups and the coach behind another marks him, except perhaps for team builder Lester Patrick, as the greatest Ranger of them all.
- Now Bill Cook's story. The Montreal Maroons intended to sign both Cook and his brother Bun to join their team for the 1926–27 NHL season. While the team's manager waited in Montreal to meet the brothers, Conn Smythe, manager of the newly formed New York Rangers, travelled to Winnipeg to reach the pair first. Smythe signed both Cook brothers for $12,000. Bill Cook was officially the first player signed by the Rangers, and was named the team's first captain. The Cook brothers joined Frank Boucher to form the "Bread Line", one of the early NHL's most prolific scoring lines.
The Rangers made their NHL debut on November 16, 1926, against the Maroons. Cook scored the franchise's first goal, which also stood up as the winner, in a 1–0 victory. Appearing in 44 games, he led the league in both goals, 33, and points, 37. He finished as the runner-up to Herb Gardiner of the Montreal Canadiens for the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player. The Rangers finished first in the American Division, but were eliminated by the Boston Bruins in the playoffs. Cook recorded 24 points in 1927–28, the seventh highest total in the league. The Rangers again qualified for the playoffs, where they defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Bruins and Montreal Maroons to win the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship. The Bread Line scored every Rangers goal in the 1928 Stanley Cup Finals.
Twenty-three points in 1928–29 again placed Cook seventh in the league. The Rangers defeated the New York Americans to reach the 1929 Stanley Cup Finals, but were defeated by the Montreal Canadiens. Cook led the Rangers and finished fourth in league scoring in 1929–30 and 1930–31 with 59 and 42 points respectively. In 1931, he was named to the NHL's inaugural All-Star Team at right wing. It was the first of four consecutive appearances; he was placed on the first team in 1931, 1932 and 1933, and on the second team in 1934. Cook's 34 goals in 1931–32 tied Charlie Conacher for the league lead. The Rangers won the American Division title, and after defeating the Canadians, faced Conacher's Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1932 Stanley Cup Final. Toronto swept the series with three consecutive victories.
Cook was again the top scorer in 1932–33, leading the NHL in both goals, 28, and points, 50. At 36 years, 5 months old, Cook was the oldest player in NHL history to win a scoring title until 2013 when Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning led the NHL in scoring at the age of 39. The Rangers reached the 1933 Stanley Cup Finals against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Cook scored the winning goal in the second game, then scored the championship winning goal, in overtime, in the fourth game. It was the first overtime power play goal in NHL playoff history. The trophy was not available on the night the Rangers won, leading the series to become known as the "Forgotten Cup". Cook accepted the Stanley Cup on behalf of his team in November of that year, seven months after the Rangers victory.
After scoring only 13 goals in 1933–34, Cook improved to 20 goals in 1934–35. In a 7–5 victory over the Maple Leafs on January 29, 1935, the Bread line scored four goals and five assists to reach a combined 1,000 points as a unit over their nine seasons together. The Bread Line was broken up in 1935–36 when Bun was forced out of the Rangers lineup by illness.
- Finally, Bun Cook's story. The expansion Rangers made their debut on November 16, 1926. Cook assisted on the first goal in franchise history, scored by his brother, and which stood as the only marker in a 1–0 victory. During the season, Cook earned his nickname "Bun" from a journalist who claimed he was "quick as a bunny" on the ice. He finished the 1926–27 season with 23 points in 44 games then improved to 28 points in 1927–28. Cook led the Rangers with 14 assists on the year. The Rangers finished second in the American Division that season and defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Bruins to reach the 1928 Stanley Cup Final against the Maroons. The Bread Line scored every Rangers goal in the series. The second game was notable for having Rangers coach Lester Patrick play goal after regular goaltender Lorne Chabot was injured. New York won that game, 2–1, and went on to capture the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship.
Cook's offence declined in 1928–29 as he recorded only 18 points. Attempting to defend their championship, the Rangers reached the 1929 Stanley Cup Final, but were defeated by the Boston Bruins. The 1929–30 season was statistically Cook's best in professional hockey. He finished tenth in the NHL with 24 goals and totaled 43 points in 44 games. Following a 35-point season in 1930–31, he was named to the inaugural NHL All-Star Team as the second team left wing. Cook scored 34 points the following season. The Rangers won the American Division title and reached the 1932 Stanley Cup Final but lost the series to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
With 22 goals in 1932–33, Cook finished fourth in the NHL, while his 37 points were seventh best. The Rangers reached the 1933 Stanley Cup Final, and Cook had two opportunities to end the series in the deciding fourth game: He was unable to score on a breakaway late in regulation time, while he and Bill nearly teamed up to end the contest early in overtime. Bill ultimately scored the winning goal in a 1–0 victory as the Rangers won their second Stanley Cup championship.
Cook was a consistent scorer the following two seasons as he recorded 33 points in 1933–34 and 34 points in 1934–35. However, he missed much of the 1935–36 season due to an arthritic condition. Believing he would not recover, the Rangers sold Cook to the Boston Bruins. The transaction broke up the Bread Line, which had been together for nine seasons. He appeared in 40 games for the Bruins in 1936–37, his final NHL season, and recorded nine points.
In 531 career professional games, Cook scored 183 goals and 335 points. He was also an early innovator of the slapshot and of the drop pass. According to Cook: "I had a dream about the drop pass one night and at our next practice, I told Frank and Bill about it. They thought I was crazy, but they decided to humour me. By gosh, it worked! I'd cross over from left wing to centre as I moved in on defense. I'd fake a shot and leave the puck behind and skate away from it, with Frank or Bill picking it up. We got a lot of goals off the crisscross and drop pass." Ed Sullivan, then of the New York Graphic, praised Cook's creativity: "When Bun Cook is hot, he is one of the most amazing players in hockey. At such moments, he attempts plays that stagger the imagination." In 1995, Cook was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame by the veterans committee. Often overshadowed by his linemates, he was the last member of the Bread Line to gain entry into the Hall, as he followed Bill (1952) and Frank Boucher (1958)
- This stunning and captivating signature jersey from the one and only members of the BREAD LINE and it is a true treasure in every sense.
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