Legends of Hockey - Spotlight - Bill Cook - The Pinnacle
Spotlight
One on One Treasure Chest Pinnacle

Bill Cook was considered by many to be the greatest right winger ever to play the game.
Bill Cook was considered by many to be the
greatest right winger ever to play the game.
(Hockey Hall of Fame)
An original New York Ranger, Bill Cook captained the team from the franchise's first puck drop in 1926. In just the second season of existence, Bill Cook accepted the Stanley Cup on behalf of his teammates. But the 1932-33 season was the pinnacle for this outstanding right winger.

In 1931-32, the Rangers reached the Stanley Cup final, only to be swept in three games by the Toronto Maple Leafs. But the Rangers got a chance for retribution the following season.

The Rangers finished third in the four-team American Division in 1932-33, with Bill Cook scoring 28 goals and 22 assists for 50 points, earning his second Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's top scorer.

In the quarter-final, the Rangers outscored the Montreal Canadiens 8 to 5 in a two-game, total goal series. New York then defeated the Detroit Red Wings by outscoring them 6 goals to 3 in that two-game, total goal series. This victory advanced the Rangers to the Stanley Cup final, where they faced the Toronto Maple Leafs for a second straight spring.

Toronto was coming off a gruelling semi-final against Boston. Eighteen hours prior to commencing the final, Toronto played a six overtime game that ended when Ken Doraty scored the only goal of the game at 4:46 of the sixth overtime period.

Game One, played at Madison Square Garden in New York, so the home team dump Toronto 5-1. In goal for the Leafs was Lorne Chabot, who helped the Rangers win the Stanley Cup five years earlier.

Bill Cook was a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the New York Rangers.
Bill Cook was a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the New York Rangers. (Hockey Hall of Fame)
In a curious twist, all of the remaining games of the series were played in Toronto because the circus had been booked into Madison Square Garden. Game Two was a 3-1 win for New York, with Bill Cook scoring the winning goal.

After New York lost the third game of the best-of-five series by a 3-2 score, both teams battled hard but were held back from scoring through regulation time. Andy Aitkenhead of the Rangers matched Toronto's Lorne Chabot save for save into extra time. Then, with the game scoreless and a Toronto player in the penalty box, Bill Cook took a pass from Butch Keeling and tucked the puck into the Leaf net at 7:33 of overtime to break the tie and win the Stanley Cup for the New York Rangers.

Cook's winning goal, the first overtime powerplay goal in NHL playoff history, earned a second Stanley Cup championship for the New York Rangers. Although they won the Cup that night -- April 13, 1933 — the team did not receive hockey's championship trophy until November 11 of that year, leading historians to dub this victory the 'Forgotten Cup.' Nevertheless, Rangers' captain Bill Cook was only too pleased to accept the trophy on behalf of his teammates from National Hockey League president Frank Calder.

Kevin Shea is the Editor of Publications and Online Features for the Hockey Hall of Fame.