The Fred "Cyclone" Taylor Story
Fred Taylor was born on June 23, 1884, in Tara, Ontario, Canada. Regarded as one of hockey’s first true superstars, he was a beautiful skater and a prolific goal scorer (or in proper hockey vocabulary, a “sniper”). Fred won several scoring championships and helped two different teams to a Stanley Cup Championship in 1909 and 1915. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1947, at the age of 63.
Below are a few interesting facts about Fred Taylor:
- In 1907, he was given the nickname “Cyclone” by Canada’s Governor General simply based on his skating ability. Although they played in different eras, hockey historians have routinely compared Cyclone to the “Russian Rocket,” Pavel Bure.
- During his time, Cyclone was the highest paid Canadian athlete, and even made more money than the Prime Minister!
- When he played in Vancouver, a legend developed around Cyclone. He reportedly scored a backhand goal while skating backwards! But Cyclone himself long disputed the legend (probably due to the humble guy that he was).
- Cyclone helped lead the Vancouver Millionaires to their Stanley Cup victory in 1915. To this day, this is the only championship delivered to the city by a professional hockey team (hello, Canucks?!).
- In 1970, Cyclone dropped the puck in a ceremonial face off that preceded the Vancouver Canucks inaugural home game in the NHL. He was a fixture at Pacific Coliseum home games throughout his later years, sitting in the crowd with his homburg hat (photo credit: BC Sports Hall of Fame).
- Cyclone broke ground for the first Hockey Hall of Fame building at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It would open in 1961 (photo credit: Turofsky / HHOF-IIHF Images).
His legacy is kept intact by some of the following:
- Every year, the “Cyclone Taylor Trophy” is given to the most valuable player on the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL. The award was dedicated to him prior to the 1979-80 Canuck season, the season after his death. Notable winners of the trophy include:
- Orland Kurtenbach
- Stan Smyl
- Trevor Linden
- Pavel Bure
- Markus Naslund
- Roberto Luongo
- Daniel/Henrik Sedin
- And Bo Horvat, among many others (photo credit: Vancouver Canucks)
- A hockey arena in Vancouver is named after Cyclone (Kerrisdale “Cyclone Taylor” Arena).
- Every year, Junior B hockey teams in British Columbia fight for the “Cyclone Taylor Cup.” The winner of the Cyclone Taylor Cup moves onto the Western Canadian Junior B championship, the “Keystone Cup” (photo credit: BC Hockey / Delta Ice Hawks).
- Another hockey arena in Tara, Ontario is named in his honour.
- A street surrounding the Ottawa Senators home arena is named after Cyclone.
- A Junior B hockey team in Listowel, Ontario is named in his honour (photo credit: Listowel Cyclones Hockey Club).
Cyclone’s eldest son, Fred Jr., founded Cyclone Taylor Sports in 1957 - as you can probably guess, we are extremely proud to continue to realize Fred Jr.’s vision of a local, family-owned and operated business passed down through the generations. We are in our 64th year (and counting) of business and have both the family's second and third generations currently involved in day-to-day operations. Click here to read more about us (photo credit: Surrey Now Leader).