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Joe Simpson

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Joe Simpson
Joesimpson
Position Defenceman
Shot Right
Height
Weight
5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
175 lb (80 kg)
Teams New York Americans
Born August 13, 1893(1893-08-13),
Selkirk, MB, CAN
Died December 25 1973 (aged 80),
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Pro Career 1925 – 1931
Hall of Fame, 1962


Harold Edward Joseph "Bullet Joe" Simpson (August 13, 1893 – December 25, 1973) was a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who played for the Edmonton Eskimos and New York Americans.

He was born in Selkirk, Manitoba and died in Coral Gables, Florida. Simpson was nicknamed "Bullet" because of very fast skating ability.

After graduating from the junior Selkirk Fishermen, Simpson played senior ice hockey with the senior Winnipeg Victorias in 1914–15.

Prior to enlisting in the Canadian Army for World War I he captained the 1916 Allan Cup Champions Winnipeg 61st Battalion. During the war he served with the The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa and his unit held part of the British front alongside a battalion commanded by Major Winston Churchill. Bullet Joe was wounded twice during the war, once at the Battle of the Somme, and once at Amiens. He received the Medal of Military Valour.

Simpson returned home in February 1919 having achieved the rank of lieutenant. He was in time to play in the last four games of the ice hockey season for his home town senior Selkirk Fishermen. He started again for the Fishermen the following year.

In 1920, at 5'10" and 175 pounds, this right-handed defenceman's break came in a Winnipeg pool room when Kenny MacKenzie of the Big 4's Edmonton Eskimos offered Bullet $3,000 to turn professional. Upon hearing the offer, he chalked his cue and replied that if MacKenzie could sell the deal to his father then Edmonton would have themselves an ice hockey player. Edmonton got their player and Bullet headed off to join the Eskimos in 1920, signing as a free agent on November 4.

In 1921–22, he won a Western Canada Hockey League first team all-star berth. He was named to the first team on three occasions and to the second team once. At that time, Newsy Lalonde called Bullet Joe Simpson the greatest living hockey player. His end-to-end rushes were legendary and without comparison.

Simpson's contract was purchased by the expansion New York Americans of the National Hockey League. Bullet Joe Simpson, John Morrison and Roy Rickey were traded on September 18, 1925 for $10,000.

Bullet played six seasons with the Amerks and in 1931 took on the role of team coach for three years (1932-33 to 1934-35). He later coached the New Haven Eagles (1931–32 and 1935–36) and the Minneapolis Millers (1936–37 and 1937–38).

Simpson moved to Florida in 1938 to promote ice hockey and played in the Tropical Hockey League in 1938-39. He later suffered a heart attack that kept him inactive for two years. Another retired ice hockey player and Floridian came to his aid. Art Coulter hired him to work at the Coulter White's hardware store in Coral Gables Florida, a position he held until 1965.

Simpson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962. He died December 25, 1973 in Coral Gables, Florida at the age of 80. In 1975, he was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.


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