Canadian Hockey Legend Meeker Passes Away At 97

Canadian hockey icon Howie Meeker has died at the age of 97.

The Stanley Cup-winner turned TV analyst died on Sunday with the cause of his death not yet known.

The Toronto Maple Leafs said Meeker had been their oldest alumnus. He was given a standing ovation last September, when he attended a team alumni game in St. John’s, N.L.

As an NHL player, Meeker won the Calder Trophy as the top rookie in 1947 and went on to play in three all-star games and lift four Stanley Cups in eight seasons with the Maple Leafs.

The winger also spent two years as a Progressive Conservative member of Parliament while playing for the Leafs, winning a June 1951 byelection in the riding of Waterloo South.

Meeker went on to coach the Maple Leafs in 1956, with a 21-34-15 record before becoming General Manager the following season.

After ending his NHL playing career at 30, having played 346 games, with 83 goals, 102 assists and 329 penalty minutes, Meeker continued to play professional hockey for 15 years, including in the American Hockey League and Newfoundland Senior League.

After retiring in 1969, Meeker became a colourful TV analyst, known for his humorous and passionate take on the game.

In a 2010 interview, Meeker said that his first Stanley Cup win was his most memorable.

“Never thinking that you’re ever going to be lucky enough to get to the Toronto Maple Leafs, you get there and you win a Stanley Cup in your first year, yahoo!” he said.

In that same year, he was inducted into the Order of Canada and Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

Sports news editor