Five things to know about Johnny Bower's Hall of Fame pro hockey career
Gordie Howe, then with the Detroit Red Wings, puts a puck past Johnny Bower of the New York Rangers for his 215th goal November 11, 1953, during National Hockey League action in New York. Canadian hockey legend Johnny Bower has died. A statement from his family says the 93-year-old died after a short battle with pneumonia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, December 27, 2017 3:41PM EST
TORONTO -- Legendary goalie Johnny Bower, who helped the Toronto Maple Leafs win four Stanley Cups in the 1960s, died Tuesday at the age of 93. Here's a look at five things to know about Bower's pro hockey career.
PAYING HIS DUES
Bower played his first game in the NHL during the 1953-54 season with the New York Rangers. After appearing in 70 games that year, Bower played in just seven combined contests over the 1954-55 and 1956-57 campaigns with the franchise before claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1958 inter-league draft.
LIFTING LORD STANLEY
Bower helped the Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup four times, the first coming during the 1961-62 season. His last came in 1967, which just happens to be the last time Toronto won the Stanley Cup.
TURNING BACK TIME
On April 6, 1969, Bower became the oldest goalie to play in a Stanley Cup playoff game at the age of 44 years four months 29 days. He made 27 saves in a 3-2 loss to Boston at Maple Leaf Gardens.
INTO THE HALL
Bower was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the class of 1976. In addition to the four Stanley Cups, Bower won two Vezina trophies as NHL goaltender of the year and complied a 250-195-90 record with 37 shutouts.
NO. 1 FOREVER
Bower's No. 1 has been retired by the AHL's Cleveland Monsters (for his career with the then Cleveland Barons) and Toronto Maple Leafs (alongside Turk Broda). He was honoured again last January, when he was part of the first group of players to be named to the 100 greatest NHL players in league history.