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

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

Just Posted

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin stopping drivers on BC highways – check point at Manning Park

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

The Aquilini Investment Group has agreed to a proposed contract of five years to run the Abbotsford Centre. (File photo)
Proposal to run Abbotsford Centre offered to Canucks ownership group

Planned five-year contract to cost city $750K annually, starting Jan. 1, 2022

Agassiz Agricultural Hall hosts COVID-19 vaccination clinics every Wednesday. District officials reported more than 300 doses are administered per week. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Agassiz-Harrison averaging 36 cases per month in 2021: BCCDC

2020’s average was about eight cases per month

JANGO the police dog helped track down a suspect on Luckakuck Way in Chilliwack. (RCMP photo)
Alleged thief in Chilliwack can’t fool the nose of JANGO the police dog

An Edmonton man who allegedly broke into a storage container on Luckakuck Way was arrested

Chilliwack RCMP nab two alleged thieves targeting bait vehicle

A man from Port Coquitlam and a woman from Delta were stopped and arrested at Eagle Landing Parkway

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Surrey RCMP is investigating after a serious three-vehicle crash at the intersection of King George Boulevard and 128th Street Thursday afternoon (May 6, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Serious crash in Surrey sends 1 to hospital

Surrey RCMP say one of the drivers fled on foot, but was later found at an area hospital

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

John Paul Fraser, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. (Screen shot)
Salmon farmers warn Surrey jobs on line as feds end Discovery Islands operations

344 full-time jobs at risk in Surrey and 1,189 B.C.-wide

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Most Read