Monday, July 16, 2012

Absurd Goalie Monday: Jake Forbes

While we're at a time with contracts being negotiated for free agency and a collective agreement being discussed in the boardrooms-- this week's AGM was able to experience both in his career when it comes to contract disputes and dealing with a work stoppage. This week, it's the profile of Jake Forbes.

Forbes started off in the 1916-17 season with the Toronto Aura Lee in Junior "A" going 6-0-0 in six games, while then going 3-1-0 in four games with the Aura Lees in the 1917-18 season, splitting that year with the Toronto Goodyears. The 1919-20 season, Forbes again split between the Aura Lee for six games (2-4-0) and some time with the Goodyears.

After those seasons were done, Forbes signed with the Toronto St. Pats and play in five games with a 2-3-0 record. In the 1920-21 season, Forbes appeared in 20 games for the St. Pats, going 13-7-0 and then 0-2 in the playoffs.

Yet, off the ice in the summer of 1921 is what made Forbes notable. Due to a disagreement with the St. Pats' management, one of which Forbes was looking for a $2,500 contract and the St. Pats were looking to give him far less-- Forbes became the first player in the NHL to hold-out for a contract and sit-out the entire season due to that hold-out. After the 1921-22 season, Toronto traded Forbes' rights to the Hamilton Tigers for cash.

In Forbes' first season with the Tigers in 1922-23, Forbes went 6-18-0 in his 24 appearances, while in the 1923-24 season, Forbes would improved to 9-16-0 in 24 games. Forbes would play in 30 games for the Tigers in the 1924-25 season, compiling a 19-10-1 record with six shutouts during the season. The Tigers would finish at the top of the NHL, but before the playoffs, the players-- including Forbes-- went on strike, refusing to play if they weren't compensated better. The league suspended all the players, fined them $200 a piece, and the Tigers were sold to a New York businessman and would be moved to New York.

Forbes would hold the all-time records for the Tigers in every category except most goals-allowed in a season and most losses, both are held by Howie Lockhart.

The 1925-26 season would be the start of Forbes with the New York Americans, where he would go 12-20-4 in 36 games. The 1926-27 season saw Forbes play 44 games and finish with a 17-25-2 record, while he would spend half of the 1927-28 season with the Americans going 3-11-2 in 16 games; but his contract would be loaned out to the Can-Am Pro League's Providence Reds, where he would play 13 games and the Niagara Falls Cataracts for eight games.

The 1928-29 season, Forbes would spend his time in the Can-Am League playing for the New Haven Eagles for 26 games with nine shutouts and posting a 1.06 GAA; then winning his only game he played for the Americans. The 1929-30 season, Forbes played 40 games with the Eagles and then tied the only game he played for the Americans, while in the 1930-31 season; Forbes played in 40 games for the Eagles and would be loaned out to the Philadelphia Quakers, but would lose both games he played in.

For the 1931-32 season, Forbes would split his Can-Am League season with seven games for the Bronx Tigers and three for the Springfield Indians, all the while he would play six games with the Americans and posting a 3-3-0 record. In the 1932-33 season, Forbes played only five games for the New Haven Eagles, while appearing in one game for the Americans, which was a tie.

Starting in the 1933-34 season, Forbes would start roaming around the International League, first by playing with the Windsor Bulldogs for 36 games, which included six shutouts. In the 1934-35 season, he played eight games for the Syracuse Stars, ending in a 5-3-0 record, then he would move onto the London Tecumsehs for eight games and posted a 4-3-1 record and a 2-3-0 record in five playoff games. The 1935-36 season had Forbes playing with the Rochester Cardinals to start with, going 2-3-0 in five games, then moving to the Syracuse Stars again for five games and finishing up with a 2-3-0 record before he would retire. 

After his playing career, Forbes would go onto be a wholesaler of fine china dinnerware in Hamilton before he would pass away on December 30th, 1985. 

While his career did have a lot of controversy around his career with a lot of stops and starts, Forbes was able to jump back into the fold as well as he could. Though, in one situation he got into on his own accord, but the second one was a group effort. His passion bounced him around from town to town, but he always kept some sort of motivation to keep going until he couldn't take it anymore.

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