John Georges "Buck" Boucher - Born August 19, 1896 in Ottawa, Ontario – Died October 17, 1960 in Ottawa, Ontario was a Canadian ice Hockey defenceman / forward and coach.
Buck was one of six brothers. His brothers Frank, Bobby and Billy all played in the NHL.
Boucher started his professional athletic career in football as halfback for the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League. After three years of football he switched to Hockey.
Boucher played as an amateur with the Ottawa Aberdeens, the Ottawa New Edinburghs and the Ottawa Royal Canadians of the Ottawa City Hockey League teams. Boucher gained valuable training in the Ottawa city league with the Aberdeens and the New Edinburghs before embarking on a pro career in 1915 with the hometown Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey Association / NHA.
Boucher was with the franchise when it became one of the founding members of the National Hockey League in 1917.
Boucher started out as a forward with the Senators, but would soon switch to play as a defenceman where he would gain fame as an excellent stick handler with competitive zeal. He would play with stars such as Eddie Gerard, Horrace Merrill, Sprague Cleghorn, Lionel Hitchman and King Clancy.
Boucher and Eddie Gerard would master the style of play known as "kitty bar the door" so as to prevent opponents from scoring.
Boucher helped lead the Senators to four Stanley Cup championships in 1920, 1921, 1923 and 1927.
Boucher became the first NHL defenseman to score a hat trick in Stanley Cup play on March 10, 1921 vs Toronto St. Pats in 5 to 0 win.
During the latter stages of the 1928-29 schedule, the Senators were in the midst of a struggle to hold on to a playoff spot. Boucher felt the harsh criticism of impatient fans at this time. His effectiveness as a player had decreased somewhat, but his desire and sense of pride were still strong. Ottawa owner Frank Ahearn, a players' owner if there ever was one, couldn't bear to see one of his most dedicated soldiers suffer this way. Reluctantly, he approached other teams concerning possible interest in Boucher and Eddie Gerard, now coach of the Montreal Maroons jumped at the opportunity to acquire a wily veteran who would stabilize his defense corps. Boucher was a player / coach with the Maroons until 1931.
Boucher completed his NHL career with the Chicago Black Hawks in 1931-32 after they picked him up on waivers early in the season, where Boucher would play in a total 45 games with the Black Hawks.
Boucher's last professional play consisted of nine games with the Boston Cubs of the Canadian-American Hockey League / Can-Am League the following season.
Boucher played in the NHL from 1917 to 1932, scoring 117 goals and 87 recorded assists in 449 games. An extremely tough customer, he also had 838 penalty minutes. Boucher also had 5 goals and 3 assists in 29 NHL playoff games.
Boucher also played 2 seasons in the original NHA, scoring 20 goals and 6 assists in 39 total games played.
Boucher would now turn to coaching full time, as he was already a player / coach with the Maroons in the 1930-31 season, and the Boston Cubs in 1932-33, where he coached the Cubs to the Henri Fontaine Trophy championship, as Canadian-American Hockey League champions in 1933.
Back in Ottawa for the 1933-34 season, Boucher coached the Senators to 13 wins. 29 losses and 6 ties, missing the playoffs. The Great Depression took its toll on the once proud franchise, which finished in last place and was relocated the next season to St. Louis as the Eagles. Boucher stayed on as coach for one last season but was fired after 35 games with another losing record.
Between 1935 and 1938, Boucher coached the Springfield Indians of the Can-Am league. This was followed by one-year stints with Noranda of the Gold Belt league and the Quebec Beavers of the Quebec Senior Hockey League before Boucher took a five-year sabbatical from the game.
Tommy Gorman had been the manager of the great Ottawa clubs that won four Stanley Cups in the 1920s. After the Senators folded, he oversaw the new Senators franchise in the Quebec Senior Hockey League / QSHL. Prior to the 1946-47 season, Gorman persuaded Boucher to come out of retirement and coach his club. In 1949 they defeated the Regina Capitals to claim the Allan Cup as Canadian senior champions - Boucher's first championship in 16 years of professional Hockey.
Boucher was also called in to assist with the player selection and training for the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The Canadian representatives were the Ottawa RCAF Flyers. The team went on to post a 7-0-1 record while capturing the gold medal.
Boucher was named head coach of the Boston Bruins in 1949 after Dit Clapper's unexpected retirement. His year behind the Bruins' bench was extremely trying. The club was short on talent and finished in fifth place in the six-team NHL standings.
In 1950-51, Boucher coached the Ottawa RCAF Flyers of the Quebec Senior Hockey League, then took another break before returning for one last assignment behind the bench of the Quebec Hockey League's Ottawa Senators.
George Boucher was Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1960
George Boucher was Inducted into the Ottawa Hall of Fame in 1966.