MacHall's Bleacher Creature Trivia, Part 8: Great NHL/Hockey Lines and Nicknames

M MacDonald Hall@@DocMacHallSenior Analyst IAugust 2, 2008

Welcome back to the Quiz!

Due to recent technical problems (a computer that was overworked and underpaid), new editions of the trivia series have not been posted in recent weeks. I was forced to re-write a number of questions and articles, but with any luck things should be heading back to normal. After denting most of my wooden furniture, may I present just the first of many more hockey articles to come. Thank you all for your patience, and I hope you enjoy!  The series will continue in the New Year.

Side Note: For all you Flames and NHL prospect fans, I did attend the final three days of Calgary’s six-day Prospect Development Camp at the Pengrowth Saddledome in late July. Check my archive for Flames prospect reviews, or contact me via my Bleacher Report profile page.

This week’s challenge delves into the mysterious world of hockey nicknames and line handles… taglines and line tags! From Ace to Zubie, Billy the Kid to Captain Crunch, the Bread Line to the Pipe Line, our game has created a wonderful variety of hockey monikers.

The heyday of great hockey nicknames has been gone for years, when descriptors such as Ace, Big Bird, and Tiger not only became synonymous with the men themselves, but often took over as their given names! Modern players, with so many more clubs, moves, and team mates, often end up with less original if no less well intentioned tags. The addition of an “er”, “s”, or “y” to a player’s name is often sufficient, and line titles have almost disappeared as coaching systems nearly negate long-term combinations.

Inspired epithets still emerge from time to time though. Yzerman will long be known as Stevie Wonder, Alexander the Great will probably stick with Ovechkin for his whole career, and who will ever get confused about which player was called The Great One? And where would hockey be without the creativity that brought us The Pumper Nicholl Kid?

Test yourself with the questions below and learn more about some of the interesting and unique things the players of the game have been called… excluding expletives and well-worded insults! There will be further instalments focusing on this general topic in the future.

If you have any trouble with the questions, relax. The answers and explanations will be published next week. Until then, leave your answers on your own Bleacher Report profile, or send along an email containing your solutions.

1. Which goaltender was known as “The Peanut Butter Boy”?

2. Which star player has been honoured by various nicknames, including “Mario Junior”?

3. Which players made up the “Woolworth Line” of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and what specifically led to their nickname?

4.Which Sutter Brother was known as “Dog”, and where did the name come from?

5. Which forward line had incarnations with the Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames, and which players formed the trio in both places?

6. What is the most common nickname in professional hockey, all-time?

7. Who are the “Shift Disturbers”?

8.Who is “Bootnose”, and what does the name mean?

9. Who is “Bobby Hawk”?

10. Which 1940s player was given not one but two nicknames denoting his verbosity?

Bonus Question: Who usually plays on the “Doughnut Line”?

Photo Question: This player earned one of the longest, most vicarious nicknames in recent NHL history. Strangely, it was inspired by the handle of another forward. Who is pictured above, what is his descriptive moniker, and where did it come from?

Semi-Political Question: One of the most famous forward lines of all time, this group’s moniker was “Westernised” during World War II. What was their original nickname, and what title did an early if warped version of political correctness give them?


Opinion Question: What is your favourite hockey nickname of all time? (Post an answer in the comments area)

Answers - MacHall Test Part Seven: NHL Rules, Refs, and Regulations 

* Note: These are the solutions to the previous quiz. Try your hand at the questions here.


Part Seven’s top scorer was Josh Lewis, again squeezing in closely ahead of Alan Bass. Give these two B/R pros and hockey experts a run for their money and find a place on the MacHall Trivia Leaderboard.  Earn the respect of your hockey comrades by showing the world your knowledge of the game, and get a mention on the list.  You've got to be in it to win it, just like the playoffs!



7.1 ~ Pat Quinn. According to a tale from The Hockey News, Paul Devorski purchased the card - complete with cute little cubs and a cheerful message - and had the four-man officiating crew sign before sending it to the coach’s office. Where the card had once read: “To my favourite Teacher” it now said “favourite coach”, and The Mighty Quinn reportedly loved it. He wouldn’t feel the love for very long. The interview goes on to describe Devorski’s next encounter with Quinn, an instance where the Leafs were taking a lot of penalties. The veteran referee told THN that Quinn called him over and said, “I thought you were just going to kiss me, I didn’t think you were going to ---- me!”

7.2 ~ The captain of each team was required to be on the ice at all times. Circa 1932-33.

7.3 ~ A cowbell was most probably the most frequently used “tool” with which officials called plays before the introduction of the whistle. Remember Fred Waghorne? He has been credited with numerous innovations in refereeing, including common use of the whistle. The cowbell became impractical when spectators began bringing and ringing their own, making the calls indistinguishable from the crowd.

7.4 ~ Game 4 in Calgary started off with a roar from Flames fans… a roar of anger and disbelief. They watched as not one, but two Calgary skaters were led to the penalty box one after the other, creating a full two-minute 5-on-3 advantage for the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa faced a 3-1 series deficit with a loss, and their golden boy pulled through. Brad Richards would score just three minutes into the contest to take an early lead and create a tense and frustrated atmosphere in the ‘Dome. Both netminders would be perfect for the remainder of the game giving the Bolts a 1-0 win and a 2-2 series tie.

The real anger was focused on referee Kerry Fraser, who had called Chris Clark for cross-checking while Brad Watson tagged Mike Commodore for holding. Many Alberta fans already felt that Kerry didn’t play fair in the prairies, and this seemed to confirm it. Outrage continued to pour from supporters tired of watching blatant calls being botched and having it cost their team. And although the Red Mile et al. had not been violent, they had been boisterous and vocal. Though I doubt it has ever been confirmed that there was a direct connection, someone in the upper echelons decided to pull Fraser from his slated gig for Game 6 in Calgary. Better safe than sorry.

7.5 ~ Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto boasted the very first protective glass panelling in 1948, and by the 1950s it was an NHL requirement. It wasn’t until 2002-03 that protective netting was given as mandate in all League rinks.

7.6 ~ Serge, obviously confusing him with Serge Savard, another Canadiens defenseman. In a snippet from an old copy of The Hockey News, Fraser recounts the moments following a non-call against Toronto which drew the ire of Lapointe.

“I thought if I could establish a relationship on a first-name basis that we could find some common ground. Unfortunately, the first words out of my mouth were, ‘Serge, settle down and we’ll talk.’ A look of frustration came over Lapointe’s face and he muttered, ‘My name is Guy you ----ing rookie!’”

7.7 ~ The offside rule. At the beginning of 1929-30, the rules were rewritten to allow forward passing in all three zones for the first time, though still not permitted across the blue line. When the scoring numbers ballooned something had to be done immediately to taper the tally. And so, on 21 December 1929 an amendment was added stating: “No attacking player allowed to precede the play when entering the opposing defensive zone.”

7.8 ~ Referees are distinguishable from linesmen by the red-orange band on both arms. Refs generally have more power than linesmen, and their duties complement each other. Referees supervise the entire game and call rule infractions, such as hooking, roughing, etc. They also tend to have the last call in on-ice debates.

Linesmen are responsible, predictably, for the red and blue lines and calls such as icing and offside. They may also report any penalties - if one has gone unnoticed - to the referee, who may then act. Some leagues allow linesmen to call technical penalties on their own. Otherwise, they perform the puck drop on face-offs and are generally the first officials sent into skirmishes and fights to settle things down.

7.9 ~ Career pest Sean Avery’s antics in front of backstop Martin Brodeur during the first round Devils/Rangers series of 2008. When Avery ignored the puck and play to screen and distract the first time around, he was not actually breaking any rules as they were written. He had broken an unwritten rule, however, and in his usual fashion was creating controversy. The biggest issue with his tactics stemmed from the fact that he turned his back on the play and faced Brodeur, turning his entire focus onto the goalie for a classic “psyche-out“. The next day the League released a new “interpretation” of the unsportsmanlike conduct rule, simply wrapping it around recent events to cover actions alike to Avery’s.

7.10 ~ If you think the final days of this year were tight for teams and their playoff dreams, just take yourself back to the last day 1969-70 NHL regular season, 5 April 1970. The build-up and events of that day led to definitive changes in the way draws in the standings were broken, and led to a summer of misery for one team in particular.

In those days, ties in the standings were broken as follows, and in order: most wins, fewest losses, most goals for, and finally, fewest goals against. When the dust cleared after that final game at the turn of the 1960s, the Montreal Canadiens had failed to contend for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in 22 years, due in part to tie-breaking procedures instituted back in 1940.

The New York Rangers were in a tough spot on the last day of the season. Two points behind the Montreal Canadiens, the Rangers had scored five fewer goals than the Habs. New York had to win their last game, and they had to win big.

Following a 9-5 afternoon victory against Detroit at MSG, the New York Rangers found themselves tied with the Canadiens for the final post-season spot. Each now had 92 points and 38 wins, but the Rangers had surpassed Montreal in goal scoring, notching 246 goals-for compared to the Canadiens’ 242.

The Quebec squad still had one final tilt of their own that night, a game against the Black Hawks at Chicago Stadium. In order to advance to the post-season, Montreal needed to either win, draw, or score five goals. Four goals wouldn’t do it for les Canadiens, as the Rangers had twelve fewer goals-against. The entire season boiled down to this one game against the Hawks, the best team in the NHL that year.

It was a tight two periods which opened the game in the Windy City that night, and both teams played to win. Chicago led the game only narrowly as the third period started with a 3-2 edge but they would soon widen the gap, and with less than ten minutes left in the game the score was 5-2 Hawks. Montreal coach Claude Ruel pulled his goalie early, no longer seeking a win or even a tie, but simply hoping to score the requisite number of goals to advance to the playoffs. Indeed, five more goals were scored, but each was popped in the empty net by the Black Hawks, capping the game with a 10-2 Chicago victory.

In failing to reach any of their three pre-game goals the Canadiens found themselves outside of the playoff seeding, missing out by the narrowest of margins. The off-season saw the addition of new criteria, the first time the League used head-to-head results to end a draw. The procedures the NHL uses now were introduced for the 1984-85 season.

7.11 ~ (Bonus Question) According to various sources including the NHL Rule Book, the introduction of the centre-ice red line - which helped introduce speed and consistency to the game - is considered the naissance of modern NHL hockey.

7.12 ~ J.P. Parise of Team Canada and German referee Josef Kompalla at the 1972 Summit Series, Game 8 in Moscow. Kompalla was a last minute replacement on the officiating squad for the final and deciding contest of the famous ‘72 tournament. Ostensibly, he was covering for the slated Swedish ref who had come down with food poisoning the day before the game.

Curiously, the man who was to have partnered the Swede, a Czechoslovakian named Bata, was also replaced by a German referee, Franz Baader, who had already made some incredibly poor and seemingly biased calls against Canada in Game 6. The Russians had made the switch on the eve of Game 8, and the Canadians didn’t like it; something smelled rotten in the state of the USSR. Alan Eagleson discussed heading home early with the team, and by some accounts they nearly did. Eventually a compromise was made with the USSR organisers, and Kompalla and the Czech Bata were named to officiate the final and deciding game.

It took Kompalla only moments start work. He called one horrendous call after the other against the Canadians right from the outset, resulting in multiple man-advantage opportunities for the USSR and unbelievable frustration from Team Canada. When yet another ridiculous call was made by the East German ref, J.P. Parise lost his cool, skated over and raised his stick as if to swing. He regained control at the last minute and spared the cowering Kompalla, but he earned himself a game ejection nevertheless.


Check back next week for more trivia, plus answers to these tagline questions.

New quiz questions (and solutions to the previous edition) will be published weekly. Let me know you have posted answers on your profile, and I will let you know just how well you did on the quiz.

Other Trivia in this series:


Part One - Hockey's "Third Season" Basics

Part Two - The Draft

Part Three - Stanley Cup Sampler

Part Four - International and Olympic Hockey

Part Five - NHL Awards and the Stanley Cup

Part Six - Classic Hockey Hodgepodge


Part Seven - NHL Rules, Refs, and Regulations

A comprehensive bibliography will be published at the conclusion of the series. 

M MacDonald Hall is the Bleacher Report Calgary Flames Community Leader, and will be adding to that department over the summer. Future articles include a breakdown of Calgary Flames playoff performance in the 21stCentury, roster changes and information, and Flames-specific trivia. M’s Bleacher Report archive includes an assortment of Flames/NHL articles.

M also writes on various other topics, sport and non-sport related. Enquiries regarding NHL writing or other subjects may be directed to M's Bleacher Report profile or via email.





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