Professional Canadian ice hockey player performed exceptionally great at several positions during his legendary career. His dynamic rushes and memorable scoring feats made him one of the hockey’s first superstars. He was one of the few ice hockey players in the history of the game capable of skating backward as fast as many could forwards.
Taylor was born in the village of Tara, Ontario, and he was grown up in nearby Listowel, which is where he first took up hockey as well as lacrosse and soccer. Taylor exhibited promise for the first time as a member of the Listowel Mintos and Queen’s Own before graduating to the city’s top junior club in the OHA. He played with the Listowel juniors from 1903 to 1905 before leaving the province to broaden his horizons. Taylor jumped at the chance to play for the Portage La Prairie team of the Manitoba Senior Hockey League in 1905.
Before the end of the 1905-06 season, he was signed by the Houghton, Michigan, Portage Lakers franchise of the International Hockey League.In 1907-08, Taylor joined the Ottawa Silver Seven of the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association. It was here that he made a name for himself as an explosive rushing defenseman, scoring nine goals in 10 games. The nickname “Cyclone” was first accorded this exciting figure by local reporters after a cartoonist with the Ottawa Journal depicted one of his cyclonic rushes in vivid detail.
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Taylor’s excellent play helped Ottawa win the ECAHA championship in 1909 and the team became holders of the Stanley Cup. In a transaction that caused a stir across Canada, Taylor was signed in 1910 by the Renfrew Millionaires franchise, which was preparing to join the newly founded National Hockey Association in 1910. The salary paid to him was the highest ever for a Canadian athlete up to that time and remained so for many years. Taylor scored 22 goals in 28 games over the next two seasons before the team was disbanded.
Cyclone was voted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame. He was elected as a charter member of the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945, and he was also given the honor of turning the sod for the construction of the Hockey Hall of Fame building that opened in 1961.
He is now considered as the first ice hockey superstar of the world who had achieved so much fame by his young talent and great work.
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