Georges “Buck” Boucher

Defenseman Georges Boucher was an Ottawan through and through. Born in Ottawa in 1896, Boucher began his hockey career the Ottawa New Edinburghs and after a proficient showing there, joined the Ottawa Senators in the NHA for the 1915-16 season. Boucher showed that he belonged on the team, even at his young age, with seasons of 10 points in 19 games and then improving to 15 points in 18 games for the 1916-17 season.

Boucher’s loyalty for the Senators began to show when he stayed with the team during their transition to the NHL in 1917. Boucher showed an adept level of play at just 21 years old in the first NHL season, managing 17 points in 21 games from the blue line. After struggling in the 1918-19 season, Boucher bounced back for the 1919-20 season with another 17-point season, playing a key role in Ottawa’s first Stanley Cup. Boucher continued to improve and set career highs in goals (9) and points (19) in 23 games, helping the Senators to their second consecutive Cup win.

In the 1921-22 season, the Senators added 18-year old King Clancy to their team and paired him with Boucher. Boucher served the role of mentor to Clancy, despite being only 25-years old himself and thrived in the role. Boucher again set career highs, this time in goals, assists, and points, breaking the point-per-game mark with 25 points in 23 games. In 1922-23, Boucher continued to be an offensive force as a defenseman and scored 14 goals, also leading his team to their third Stanley Cup.

In the 1923-24 season, Boucher showed a proficiency for getting assists by leading the league with 10 assists, significantly higher than anyone else, 4 assists more than third place. Georges was very unlike his younger brother Frank Boucher in one key respect: physicality. Despite being nearly the same size, Georges was not afraid to get down and dirty if the situation called for it and showed it in the 1924-25, leading the NHL with 95 PIM. At the same time, he didn’t sacrifice his offense, scoring a personal best of 15 goals in 28 games.

In the years following, Boucher would begin to take more of a leadership role and less of an offensive defenseman role as he entered his 30s. He became the team captain in 1926 and held that role until 1928 when he passed it off to his mentee, Clancy. In 1927, he helped lead the Senators to their fourth and what would be their last Stanley Cup victory. As Boucher’s effectiveness began to dwindle, fans became impatient and former teammate Eddie Gerard, now the manager of the Montreal Maroons, traded for Boucher to add some veteran presence to his team in 1929.

Boucher played one season as a player and one more in 1930-31 as a coach. Boucher returned for the ice one final time in 1931-32 for the Chicago Black Hawks before finally retiring at the age of 35. Boucher tried his hand at coaching after his playing career, and while he found success in the Quebec Senior Hockey League in the late 40s, he wasn’t able to match that success in the NHL. Boucher was battling cancer in the 1960s when he was inducted into the hall of fame and was presented with his insignia in his hospital bed. He passed away a few weeks later at the age of 64.

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