On the Vimy Memorial, the name of Lance Corporal Allan MacLean Davidson is inscribed. Known to Toronto hockey fans as "Scotty", he was captain of the Toronto Blueshirts and the leading scorer of the team that had won the 1914 Stanley Cup.
Just 24 years old at the time, he was killed in Belgium on June 16, 1915.
We talked about Scotty as part of the history series (Number 6 - lest we forget ). He was a big guy who could skate and score big goals, a leader who was captain of his team at 23 despite the presence of numerous players with more experience. He was a guy who enlisted early for the war effort and paid the ultimate price in Flanders.
We talk about not forgetting, but yet we do.
In the case of Scotty, I think he's forgotten mainly because both the NHL and the Leafs choose to distance themselves from the original Blueshirts. The principals don't talk about what came earlier, so nobody else does either.
Most hockey fans will know the name but maybe not the story of Hobey Baker. Hobey was a college and amateur hockey star in the States who fought in WWI and died testing a plane shortly after the war ended but before he was able to come home. In 1982, an award was created in his name that goes out annually to the best college player in the US. This keeps Hobey's name alive.
I'm not sure what the award would be for, but Alan Davidson deserves no less. This is a name that if nothing else, hockey fans in Toronto should be aware of.
Scotty's HHOF portrait - via www.legendsofhockey.net
|1908-09||Kingston 14th Regiment||OHA-Sr.||4||8||0||8||11||4||4||0||4||6|
The HHOF take on Scotty:
"Allan "Scotty" Davidson was a one of the more phenomenal talents of his time. He dominated in junior and was an impact player in the NHA before he was lost while serving his country in World War I. He was remembered as a powerful skater with a lethal shot who back-checked responsibly and played the game cleanly.
The Kingston, Ontario native learned the game under the coaching of Captain James T. Sutherland. Davidson was a standout on the Kingston Frontenacs, a junior team, in 1909-10 and 1910-11 when they captured the OHA title both years. During the second triumph, Davidson led the club back from a three-goal deficit in the first game to send them on their way.
In 1912-13, Davidson was signed by the Toronto Blueshirts of the NHA. He lined up at right wing and quickly made himself indispensable with 19 goals in 20 games. The next year he scored 23 times and was a leader on the squad that won the Stanley Cup in 1914. Davidson enlisted for military service after World War I broke out in 1914 and was killed in Belgium on June 6, 1915. The former star whose career was far too short took his place in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1950."