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1910s: Frank "Coddy" Winters

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

"...Most of the best hockey players on the American teams learned the game in Canada and American-bred players are few and far between... (Hobey) Baker comes close to being as good as the stars from across the border...Cleveland, however, can boast of an American-bred player in Coddy Winters, who probably is Baker’s superior.” Unidentified Cleveland newspaper, c. 1912-14.

Superior to the iconic Baker? Who could possibly be considered in the same light as the pre-WWI collegian star?

Frank Winters was born in Duluth  on January 29, 1884, and picked up the nickname “Coddy” at an early age. Winters grew up on Park Point in the 1890s when the cold weather game of choice was ice polo. The young “Coddy” became a proficient ice polo player and easily transitioned into hockey as that game gained hold with both players and public to become “the winter game.”

By 1902, Winters was playing competitively in his hometown and by 1908 was a key member of the Northern Hardware team which laid claim to being the amateur champions of the U.S. The nearly all-native Northerns went on the road in February 1908, defeating teams in Detroit, Windsor,  and Cleveland. “Coddy” liked what he saw in the Ohio city and moved there after the season. He would spend the rest of his hockey and professional career there.

By 1912, after winning 22 of 26 games, the CAC claimed the national club championship following a 3-1 win over the Boston Athletic Association.

By 1914, Cleveland played off against Sault Ste. Marie (American Soo) for the MacNaughton Cup. After two games in American Soo and a 6-5 total goals lead, the series returned to Cleveland.

The CAC’s took the next two games and the MacNaughton Cup rested in Cleveland. Winters continued his high level of play through the decade and into the 1920s. He helped them win the Fellowes Cup for the national title in 1921 before retiring after the 1925 season at age 41.

“Coddy” met his untimely death in November 1944. Most fittingly he was among the first 25 enshrines named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame which opened at Eveleth on June 21, 1973.

Continue Reading:

1910s: Frank Winters

1920s: Frank "Moose" Goheen

1930s: Doc Romnes

1940s: Frank Brimsek

1950s: John Mayasich

1960s: Tommy Williams

1970s: Bill Nyrop

1980s: Neal Broten

1990s: Phil Housley

2000s: Jamie Langenbrunner

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