FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2012, file photo from Toronto , former Toronto Maple Leafs player Johnny Bower, right, looks at Eddie Shack’s personalized miniature Stanley Cup from the 1962 championship. Shack, one of the NHL’s most colorful players on and off the ice, has died. He was 83. The Maple Leafs announced the news in a tweet Sunday, July 26, 2020. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Aaron Vincent Elkaim, File)

Former Maple Leafs star Eddie Shack dies at 83

Shack had 239 goals, 465 points and 1,431 penalty minutes in 1,047 NHL games

Eddie Shack, one of the NHL’s most colorful players on and off the ice, has died. He was 83.

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced the news in a tweet Sunday morning.

“Eddie entertained Leafs fans on the ice for nine seasons and for decades off of it. He will be greatly missed,” the team said in the tweet.

Known for his bruising style, distinctive skating gait and larger-than-life personality, Shack won four Stanley Cups with Toronto in the 1960s, including the franchise’s most recent victory in 1967.

Nicknamed “The Entertainer” — with his trademark cowboy hat and luxurious moustache — he scored the winning goal for the Leafs in the 1963 final.

The native of Sudbury, Ontario, played parts of 17 seasons from 1958 through 1975 with six different teams, including nine years with the Maple Leafs.

Former Maple Leafs captain Doug Gilmour, who played with the team in the 1990s, said in a tweet he was “sad at the loss but so happy to have known him.”

“Eddie Shack taught me two important things — see humour in just about everything, and live like a Champion,” Gilmour said. “Four Cups with the Leafs and a personality larger than life.”

Shack had 239 goals, 465 points and 1,431 penalty minutes in 1,047 NHL games. The winger added six goals and seven assists and 151 penalty minutes in 74 playoff matchups.

In October 2016, Shack was listed at No. 68 on The One Hundred, a list of the 100 greatest Leafs that was released as part of the team’s centennial anniversary.

Not many hockey players are celebrated in a song or top the charts. But Shack was no ordinary hockey player.

“Clear the Track” by Douglas Rankine with The Secrets, started “Clear the track, here comes Shack. He knocks ‘em down and he gives ‘em a whack. He can scores goals, he’s got a knack. Eddie, Eddie Shack.”

The song, the brainchild of broadcaster Brian McFarlane, debuted in February 1966 and topped the Toronto music chart.

Shack took a toll on the opposition, knocking out Hall of Famer Gordie Howe twice. But he recalled striking a deal with Howe that ended their on-ice hostilities when they met at a golf tournament in Vermont.

They agreed not to hit each other from then on, shaking hands on it.

Shack recalled Hall of Famer Jean Beliveau asking him why he would hit him and then apologize.

“I said ‘Jean, sometimes I lie,‘” he said with a laugh in a TV interview in November 2019.

But Shack also knew when he was outmatched, famously skating away from Bob Kelly and the Plager brothers in a game against St. Louis in the early 1970s.

Shack drifted away from the Leafs’ organization after retiring, but like many players from the team’s 1960s dynasty, had returned to the fold in recent years.

Born to Ukrainian immigrants on Feb. 11, 1937, Shack was working at a butcher’s shop in Sudbury when he tried out for the Guelph Biltmores of the Ontario Hockey Association. He went to play five seasons for the Biltmores and one for the AHL Providence Reds before signing with the New York Rangers, the Biltmores’ parent club.

Shack made his NHL debut in 1958 and was traded to Toronto in 1960 after refusing to go to Detroit.

He won the Cup with the Leafs in 1962, ’63, ‘64 and ‘67.

Shack scored a career-high 26 goals with Toronto in 1966, but was traded to the Boston Bruins the next spring following the Leafs’ final Cup win. He would go on to play with the Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins before returning to Toronto for two final seasons.

Shack became a popular advertising spokesman for a number of brands in Canada following his playing days, including for the soft drink company The Pop Shoppe.

“Maybe I didn’t go far in school. But there’s one thing I’ve learned from my mum and dad,” he told a group of kids in a 1978 Pop Shoppe commercial. “Look after the nickels and dimes and the dollars will look after themselves.”

Shack, whose nose was hard to miss, had a signature line: “I’ve got a nose for value.”

In 1990, he appeared out of a suitcase on a hotel bed in a commercial for the Journeys End hotel chain.

In 2019, he released a book called “Hockey’s Most Entertaining Stories.”

___

The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

NHL

Just Posted

COVID- 19: Ucluelet encourages visitors and residents to mask up

“Put your ego aside, this is what needs to be done,” said Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel.

Flying hot dog strikes Saanich pedestrian

Police called to 4200-block of Quadra Street for hot dog incident

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Sick Vancouver Island residents battle BC Ferries for access

Medically assured loading aboard ferries welcomed, but pair say issue is bigger

Military relocation behind Island’s many foreign licence plates?

Comox mayor points out now is a time for transition for people in the armed forces

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Rod Peters resigns as mayor of Lake Cowichan

Byelection expected in the fall

B.C. scientist, 63, protests in trees set to be removed for Trans Mountain pipeline

Tim Takaro is reaching new heights as he tries to stall the pipeline expansion project in New Westminster

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Dinosaurs revived for animatronic auction in Langley

More than 500 robot dinosaurs, fossils, and exhibition gear are going on the block Aug. 6

B.C. paramedics responded to a record-breaking 2,700 overdose calls in July

Province pledges $10.5 million for expansion of overdose prevention response

Canada signs deals with Pfizer, Moderna to get doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Earlier in July both Pfizer and Moderna reported positive results from smaller trials

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

Most Read