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)

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

1,001 Steps – along with Christopherson Steps – was closed by the City of Surrey last spring in an attempt to halt the spread of COVID-19. They are set to reopen this week, as a note on a city sign attests (inset). (File photo/Contributed photo)
South Surrey’s beach-access stairs set to reopen

Christopherson Steps, 1,001 Steps have been closed since April 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic

Surrey council chambers. (File photo)
Surrey council endorses ‘public engagement’ strategy

Council approves ‘Public Engagement Strategy and Toolkit,’ and a ‘Big Vision, Bold Moves’ transportation public engagement plan

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey council approves $7.3 million contract for street paving projects

City council awarded Lafarge Canada Inc. $7,326,667.95 for 15 road projects in North Surrey and one in South Surrey

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Locke seeks breakdown on what Surreyites get for taxes paid to Metro Vancouver

Surrey councillor presented motion to council Monday asking city staff to do a cost/benefit analysis

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
SURREY NOW & THEN: Little Theatre’s 59-year history ends with big plans for move to Langley

A former church, the theatre building/property has sold for close to $900,000

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

Most Read