Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cy Denneny

Who is the greatest goal scorer of all time? A very debatable question with many good answers and arguments.

One argument is the highest goals-per-game average over a players entire career. That title is held by Mike Bossy at 0.762 goals per game. Who is second? Not Mario Lemieux, not Wayne Gretzky, nor Brett Hull. Not even early superstar Joe Malone.

Another pioneer of hockey holds down second place: Cy Denneny.

Denneny scored 246 times in 326 games in the NHL, thus giving him a .755 goals per game average. He also has the second highest goals per game average over one single season, with 36 goals in 22 games in 1917-18, for an amazing 1.64 GPG. He also is one of only 7 players to record 6 or more goals in a single NHL game. That feat has only been accomplished twice in modern times.

The Cornwall Colt as he was affectionately nicknamed began his professional career in 1914 with the Toronto Shamrocks of the National Hockey Association, enjoying two seasons there before joining the Ottawa Senators of the NHA in 1916. He stayed with the Senators as they became part of the NHL. He was part of a powerhouse Sens team that won the Stanley Cup four times in the NHL's early days.

At the conclusion of the 1928 season, Denneny took an offer to join the Boston Bruins as a player, coach and assistant manager. The Bruins won the Stanley Cup that season, giving Cy his 5th taste of champagne from Lord Stanley's Mug.

Though best remembered as a sniper, Denneny was also quite the physical player, not afraid to mix things up with the opposition. Short and stocky, he was said to be an average skater at best, but it didn't seem to hold him back any.

Denneny retired as a player after the one year in Boston. He retired as the NHL's all time leading goal scorer at 246, which wasn't matched until 1934 by Howie Morenz. He would go on to be a successful coach and referee in both the NHL and junior hockey.

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1959, Denneny was named as the 62nd best player of all time by The Hockey News in 1998.

Cy Denneny died in Ottawa, in September, 1970.


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