Frances Reginald Frank Carson was the middle sibling of the famous Carson brothers, each of whom played on a Stanley Cup winner. Certainly a rarity and one for the record books.
Frank won his Cup with the Montreal Maroons in 1926. Older brother Bill who became Dr. Bill the dentist, had his name inscribed on the iconic mug in 1919 while with the Boston Bruins. Gerry (Chub) the youngest won his Cup with the Montreal Canadiens in 1929.
Born in Bracebridge on January 12, 1902 and moved to Parry Sound as a youngster, Frank and his brothers learned to skate on the frozen Georgian Bay. Each cultivated a natural stride and stickhandling skills that attracted the eyes of professional scouts.
Frank moved south to attend Woodstock College with his first stop in a storied career would be with the Ontario champion Woodstock Junior B Athletics. Then it was on to the Stratford Midgets who were actually a Junior A team that advanced to the 1921 Memorial Cup final only to lose to the Winnipeg Falcons 11-9 on total goals.
A left winger with a deft touch, Frank was always among the scoring leaders in a career that spanned 16 seasons as a professional. In 275 NHL league and playoff games he collected 92 points with 42 goals. Remember, those were the days of 44-game schedules and travel was by train.
He spent four years as a member of the Stratford Indians pro senior A team before hitching on with the Montreal Maroons in 1925 as a free agent and winning a Stanley Cup that season. The Maroons sent him to the Stratford Nationals of the Can-Pro League in 1927. Frank spent the next two years with the Windsor Bulldogs of the Can-Pro and IHL where he was named to the IHL all-star team.
The New York Americans liked what they saw and obtained his services in a 1930 trade along with Hap Emms, Mike Neville and Red Dutton for $35,000 cash. He began the next season with the New Haven Eagles of the Can-Am League before another trade along with Emms for Bert McInely and Tommy Filmore sent him to the Detroit Falcons.
It was in Detroit where he reached the zenith of his career. Although the Wings didn’t win the Cup during his tenure there Frank, or Frosty as he became known because of his premature grey hair, hit the record books. You see, the Falcons changed their name to the Red Wings in 1932 and Frank scored the first goal in Wings’ history.
Frosty was also the first Red Wing to wear No. 9, the number made famous by a certain Mr. Hockey Gordon Howe.
Frank retired on October 15, 1934. He turned to coaching briefly with the Windsor Mic-Macs of the Michigan-Ontario League in 1934.
Frank eventually found his way to London where he owned and operated a general store at Crumlin and Dundas St. He was an avid golfer, loved hunting and fishing and coached the Crumlin Flyers of the South Oxford League in the late 1940’s and early 1950s. He died at 55 of a heart attack in 1957.
The London Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to welcome a true legend into the Class of 2014.