We’re not sure what label they gave to guys like Cecil ‘Tiny’ Thompson back in the day, but there’s little doubt he was a rink rat. As a child he would position himself behind the net of the Calgary Tigers to study the movements of his idol Charlie Reid. Following his NHL playing days, he spent 30 years as a scout. Thompson was at home in a hockey rink.
Or a baseball diamond, a pastime that would serve him well as a goaltender. Prior to Thompson’s arrival in the late 1920s, NHL goalies rarely, if ever, actually made saves by catching the puck. But Thompson, who was a semi-pro baseball player in his hometown of Calgary, began snuffing out plays by catching the puck wearing nothing more than a padded player’s glove. Ever the innovator, Thompson was also one of the first puckhandling goalies...
About the Author
Ken Campbell, The Hockey News' senior writer, is in his second tour with the brand after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native once tried out for the Ontario League's Wolves as a 30-year-old. Needless to say, it didn't work out.