Of the stars who broke into the League in 1917, Cameron is one of the lesser-known ones, despite his offensive dominance from the blue line. Many historians credit his ability to score goals to his rare ability to curve his shots, even more incredible considering the straight stick blades they used in Cameron’s day.
Cameron was born in 1890 in Pembroke, Ontario, just like his friend, Frank Nighbor. After dominating for his local team for years, he accepted a deal with Port Arthur on the condition that they allow his friend, Nighbor to play as well. In the next season, Cameron joined the NHA at the age of 22 to play for the Toronto Blueshirts, helping them win a Stanley Cup in 1914. Cameron continued his dominant rushing style as a defenseman for years before finally joining the NHL in 1917 with the newly-named Toronto Arenas. Cameron helped the Arenas win the NHL’s first Stanley Cup in it’s inaugural season, scoring 17 goals in 21 games during the regular season. His 10 assists in that season were also the highest total in the league.
Cameron would be traded around for the next two seasons, but remain dominant before returning to Toronto, now called the St. Patricks in 1920 to help them win a Cup in 1922, a season in which Cameron dominated the league offensively, with 18 goals and a league-leading 17 assists for 35 points in 24 games. Cameron’s NHL career would end in 1923 one more year in Toronto.
Cameron would then move on to other leagues where he often played as a forward due to his penchant for offensive flair. He eventually retired in 1933 at the ripe age of 43 years old. When Cameron retired from the NHL in 1923, Cameron was 3rd all-time in assists and 6th in points, stunning results for a defenseman. He was the all-time leader in every offensive category among defensemen when he retired. Cameron was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962.