Today his name graces a rink and the family sporting goods store in the Kerrisdale area of Vancouver, but in 1915 Fred ‘Cyclone’ Taylor was responsible for bringing the Stanley Cup to Vancouver. He was the premier attraction in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association.
Playing for the Vancouver Millionaires, Fred Taylor led his team to victory over Ottawa in the 1915 Stanley Cup. It was the first Stanley Cup played west of Winnipeg. A crowd of close to 7,000 fans paid a steep price of $1.25 apiece for a ticket to watch the final, and the Millionaires didn’t disappoint their fans.
The Millionaires skated rings around their opponents, on their way to a 6-2 win. A few chroniclers of the game would debate that Taylor earned the title of ‘Hockey’s Best Player’ before the formation of the NHL in 1917. He scored more than 200 goals in a career that spanned from 1905 to 1923.
The nickname ‘Cyclone’ was given to him by the then-Governor General of Canada, Earl Grey, after he watched Taylor play. Cyclone Taylor was paid the princely sum of $5,250 in 1909 when he left Eastern Canada and joined the Vancouver Millionaires.
At five feet, eight inches tall and 165 pounds, Cyclone Taylor’s trademark was his speed and skill. Billed as the Ty Cobb of hockey, Cyclone Taylor helped sell the game to an American audience. In the 1920’s his ventures into major U.S. cities such as Pittsburgh, Boston and New York helped to set the wheels in motion for those cities to become part of the NHL.