It was a sad weekend for the hockey world as former Toronto Maple Leafs legend Eddie Shack dies at age 83.
Seeing the news of Eddie Shack’s death brought out a wave of emotions from Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey fans. All the messages and personal stories shared just showed how unique of a person and hockey player he was.
There aren’t many players who have a famous song named after them and was so respected for what he did on the ice even though he didn’t put up a lot of points. While the younger generation didn’t get a chance to see him play, they all knew who he was.
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The main reason why Shack was so beloved is because he was willing to put himself out there and make sure he was able to thrive in life after playing. He didn’t turn down many opportunities to make money and in a way, he’s the model of what other players are doing more often now than ever.
He helped the Leafs win the Stanley Cup in 1963 scoring the series-clinching goal against the Detroit Red Wings. He would win four titles with Toronto which certainly added to his fame considering the team’s current drought.
Another reason why Shack will be forever remembered was his personality which made him a polarizing figure and a fascinating person to talk to. Even in times where some tend to steer clear of the old school mentality, Shack found a way to make people laugh like no other player could.
“I think he was a guy that many would consider a ‘glue guy’ where he kept things light, he liked to do things to keep things loose in the dressing room. I remember this story, I think it was from his book where he talked about the time when Johnny Bower made a $5 dollar bet with him that he wouldn’t ride in the airport luggage carousel to get a rise from the guys,” said Mike Commito, who authored Shack’s 2019 book titled ‘Hockey’s Most Entertaining Stories.’
It was easy that Shack was able to carry himself in a way that many blue collared people could relate to. Many would always refer to “Clear the Track” as a soundtrack of their childhood.
The Leafs had Shack as No. 68 on their Top 100 greatest players list which is certainly a great honour that he deserved. He was also a big supporter of children’s literacy in Ontario which showed how much he cared about things other than just hockey.
He will certainly be missed but fortunately, all the things he did will be remembered forever as someone who was one of a kind.
What are some of your favourite memories of Eddie Shack? Let us know in the comments below.