Alf Skinner

This solidly built right winger was a very good team player who excelled at both ends of the ice. He was born in Toronto and went on to play for the Parkdale Canoe Club (OHA) as a 16-year old in 1912. Shortly thereafter he appeared in 6 games (4 goals) for the Toronto Rowing Club (OHA Sr.).

The Toronto Shamrocks of the NHA liked what they saw in the youngster nicknamed "Dutch" and signed him as a free agent in November 1914. The Shamrocks faded away after only one season and the good players, including Alf moved across town to the Toronto Blueshirts. He performed well and played a total of 59 games in the NHA between 1914-17, scoring 33 points (22  goals and 11 assists). He played for Toronto during these years with the exception of 6 games during the 1916-17 season when he played for the Montreal Wanderers.

Alf played his first two seasons in the NHL for the Toronto Arenas, winning the Stanley Cup in 1918 where he led the team with 8 playoff goals in 7 games. The Arenas were in need of cash so they traded Alf to the Vancouver Millionaires of the PCHL on December 7, 1919. During Alf's five years on the coast, Vancouver made the playoffs each season and the finals four out of the five seasons, but the Stanley Cup title eluded them. Especially Alf's performance during the 1921 playoffs where he scored 7 goals in 6 games was exceptional considering that he was fighting a severe case of tonsillitis. Alf scored a total of 64 goals in 122 games for Vancouver and was named to the PCHL second All-Star team four years in a row (1920-23).

Goal scoring exploits aside, he was described by newspapermen at the time as "the premier back-checker of the league, and one of the fastest skaters in the game." He was inconsistent though, battling some weight problems that slowed him down as his career progressed.

On November 2, 1924 Alf was traded to the Boston Bruins but he only played 9 games as a right wing substitute before being shipped to the Montreal Maroons for Bernie Morris and Bob Benson. He played the rest of the 1924-25 season in Montreal before signing as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates on November 10,1925. Once again Alf was only used as a substitute and didn't see much ice time. He signed with the Duluth Hornets (AHA) exactly one year after coming to Pittsburgh. He finished his career playing in the Canadian Professional Hockey league and hang up his skates in 1929.

His final NHL stats: 26 goals, 11 assists and 37 points in 70 games. Alfred (Alf) Skinner passed away on April 11, 1961.


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