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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greens, Liberals, NDP field Fraser-Nicola candidates ahead of October election

Incumbent Jackie Tegart has two opposing candidates after snap election called Monday

Work has started on 20 units of seniors’ housing in Clinton

Much-delayed project has been in the works for almost a decade

Cache Creek firefighters plan bigger, better Halloween fireworks

‘With so much uncertainty in the world it’s nice to know that one community event is staying intact’

Volunteers welcome at this year’s Black Powder Desert Rendezvous

Plus farmers’ markets, an art show, a bottle drive, a Fire Prevention Week contest, and more

Ashcroft looks into hiring bylaw officer with Cache Creek, Clinton

Funding available to help communities hire bylaw during COVID-19 state of emergency

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

COVID-19 exposure at Merritt pub

The exposure happened on Sept. 19 at the pub of the Coldwater Hotel

Four more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 31 active cases in isolation in the health region

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Most Read