Frankie Eddolls

Frankie Eddolls had an inadvertent way of breaking up good friends.

In 1943 the Toronto Maple Leafs traded Eddolls to Montreal for another prospect named Ted "Teeder" Kennedy. Frank Selke made the trade for Toronto, as Conn Smythe was overseas fighting in World War II. But when Smythe learned of the trade, he strongly disapproved and accused Selke of trying to undermine him and take over the Leafs. When Smythe returned to Canada, Selke was soon ousted. Kennedy, as you know, became one of the greatest Leafs ever.

Eddolls toiled in Montreal for three years. The former Memorial Cup champion had his NHL career delayed as he served two years in the armed forces, though he was based in Montreal and continued to play amateur hockey.

In 1947-48 Frankie Eddolls was part of the big trade which saw Hockey Hall of Famer Buddy O'Connor leave the Montreal Canadiens to join the Rangers. The two former Habs were traded in exchange for Hal Laycoe, Joe Bell and George Robertson in one of few trades the Montreal Canadiens would like to have back.

The deal is famous not only for the on ice ramifications, but for the off ice ones as well. The deal was made by Frank Boucher, the GM, but was not met with approval by Lester Patrick, the long time Ranger boss who was being phased out. Lester opposed the deal so much that it ruined a longtime friendship between the two.

The deal turned out to be a beauty for Boucher though, as O'Connor went on to win the Hart and Lady Byng trophies and was a key cog in the Rangers offense in late 1940 and early 1950.

Eddolls too made a significant contribution as he became a very solid defenseman in the same time period, noted for his effective play against former teammate Rocket Richard. Eddolls helped solidify the Blue Shirts blue line to the point where they made the playoffs in 1947-48 for the first time in 6 years. He went on to star for the New Yorkers, never brighter than in the 1950 playoffs when the Rangers took the Red Wings to a full 7 games in the Cup finals only to fall oh so short.

Eddolls went on to become a popular minor league coach, and even coached the Chicago Blackhawks during the 1954-55 season.

Eddolls life was cut short when he died of a heart attack in the middle of a round of golf on August 13, 1961.


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