Frank Boucher remembers in a new book
A new book by American author and blogger, Sean McCaffrey, recalls a man with close ties to North Grenville and North Dundas. History of the New York Rangers, including the important contributions of local Frank Boucher, who died in 1977 after a career in the NHL. Frank Boucher was born in 1901 in Ottawa. He dropped out of school at the age of 13 and worked in an office for the federal government during World War I, before joining the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) after the war. Frank had organized RCMP hockey teams during his service, and his professional hockey career began with the Ottawa Senators. Several years later, he was drafted into a brand new team, the New York Rangers, for their first season. Frank played for the Rangers from his inaugural season in 1926-27 until his retirement after the 1937-38 season. Meanwhile, the Rangers have won two Stanley Cups. Frank was a forward for the team and was known to be a gentleman both on and off the ice. In their first year, the Rangers won the Stanley Cup, and Frank is known for an incredible feat, starting with this game. An entry on the NHL History website records it like this: “Perhaps the most ironic event happens in the third period, when Rangers center Frank Boucher and Montrealer Merlyn Phillips let go of the gloves. . This is the only fight in Boucher’s career in the NHL; he went on to win the Lady Byng Trophy as the League’s most gentlemanly player seven times in eight seasons. Lady Byng eventually gives him the original trophy to keep and has a second one made. before his brother George Boucher. After retiring as a player, Frank moved on to coaching, starting with the New York Rovers to gain experience and then with the New York Rangers. During his career he achieved many accomplishments, including awards, and he gained notoriety for experimenting with changes to certain rules of ice hockey. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958. Sean’s new book highlights the early days of New York Rangers history, including the important contributions of Frank Boucher. Sean is also fighting to have Frank’s No.7 jersey hoisted to the rafters at Madison Square Garden to honor his legacy with the team. The Times received a copy of the foreword to the book, in which Frankie recounts how, when she was growing up, she had no idea how important Frank Boucher was to the Rangers. “Frank was just my grandfather, who showered us with love,” the foreword reads. Frankie wrote to The Times, revealing that his grandparents moved to the Kemptville and Mountain area in the 1950s and stayed there their entire lives. Local minded and very kind, Frank bought a farm near Hallville in the late 1930s and was a part of the local sports community even during his career with the Rangers. He was instrumental in having many local hockey players vying for a spot on the Rangers team.
Frankie recalled a story told by local Hockey Hall of Fame member Sammy Gaw. Sam had played for the Brockville Magedomas in the 1952-1953 season and asked Frankie’s father Earl to joke Frank about if the New York Rangers would come and play with the Magedomas in Brockville. To everyone’s surprise, Frank came a few weeks later and organized a sold-out game between the Rangers and the Magedomas, which the Rangers played in their days off between scheduled games against the Canadiens in Montreal and the Maple Leafs in Toronto. For Frankie, it really shows what kind of man Frank was, telling The Times, “He was a person trying to give the guys a helping hand.”
Frankie has left a few copies of Sean’s book at Grahame’s Bakery in Kemptville for those who want to learn more. The book can also be purchased on Amazon.ca.