Saturday, May 13, 2017
Born on this date in 1898, Cecil "Babe" Dye played junior hockey from 1916 to 1918 before playing senior hockey for the Toronto St. Patricks in 1918-19 before turning professional with the Toronto St. Patricks of the NHL the following season. His rookie campaign saw him score 11 goals and 14 points in 23 games.
His game really took off the following season when he led the league in goal scoring with 33 goals in 23 games for the St. Patricks and later gained his first playoff experience after the St. Patricks qualified for the post season after winning the season's second half schedule.
The 1921-22 season saw Dye finish second in goal scoring with 31, highlighted by his five goal night on December 16, 1922. He was just the seventh different player to ever accomplish that feat. In the post-season, Dye was instrumental in leading the St. Patricks first past the Ottawa Senators to win the O'Brien Trophy as NHL playoff champions and then over the Vancouver Millionaires of the PCHA 3 games to 2 to capture the 1922 Stanley Cup as he registered 11 of the St. Patricks 21 goals in 7 playoff games that season.
1921-22 Stanley Cup Champion Toronto St. Patricks
He returned to the St. Patricks the following season and led the league in both goals (26) and points (37) to capture his first Art Ross Trophy. Dye followed that by finishing second again in goal scoring in 1923-24 with 17 goals in 19 games.
Babe Dye in 1922-23 with Stanley Cup Champions patch
He rebounded from his 16 goal total the year prior, his lowest to date, with a strong 1924-25 season as he pushed his goal total to a career high 38 goals, as well as a career best 44 points, to capture not only the goal scoring title for the third time in five years, but also his second Art Ross Trophy as he was crowned scoring champion once more. On December 22 of that season he registered the second five goal game of his career, becoming on the third player to accomplish the feat more than once. His 38 goals would stand as the franchise record for 35 years until it was broken by Frank Mahovlich in 1960-61 in a season forty games longer.
Dye's last season in Toronto saw him second in team scoring and his 18 goals were good for eighth place league wide.
Prior to the 1926-27 season Dye was sold to the expansion Chicago Black Hawks, where his 25 goals would come in second overall in goal scoring for the third time of his career. His 30 points placed him fifth in the league scoring race. Additionally, his 25th and final goal of the season was the 200th of his NHL career.
Unfortunately, just prior to the 1927-28 season, Dye would break his leg during training camp and was never the same player again. He would return in time to play ten games for the Black Hawks later that season, but would not register a single point.
The Black Hawks then sold Dye to the New York Americans for the 1928-29 season and he played in 42 games, only scoring but a single goal. Just prior to the 1929-30 season Dye was traded the New Haven Eagles of the Canadian-American Hockey League. There, he regained some of his former scoring touch with 11 goals and 15 points in 34 games.
Dye signed with his former Toronto club, now renamed the Maple Leafs, in 1930 and played in six games before being released by the club.
His final NHL totals show 201 goals and 47 assists for 248 points in 271 games played, two scoring titles and one Stanley Cup.
Dye also played professional baseball in the summers from 1920 to 1926, even announcing his intention to retire from hockey to concentrate on baseball at one point prior to the 1923 hockey season, but rejoined the St. Patricks when the seasons began. It was his love of baseball that earned him his nickname "Babe", after the legendary Babe Ruth.
Dye was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1970.
Today's featured jersey is a 1920-21 Toronto St. Patricks Cecil "Babe" Dye 1920-21 jersey. This style was worn for one season only, the year Dye won his first Art Ross Trophy as league scoring champion.
While the club was named the St. Patricks for only eight seasons, they did manage to wear five different sweater styles, including one of them twice and none of them longer than three seasons, that being the style pictured above with the Stanley Cup Champions patch.