Take a look back at the life and legacy of Toronto Maple Leafs icon George Armstrong, who passed away at the age of 90

TORONTO – George Armstrong, who led the Toronto Maple Leafs to four Stanley Cups in the 1960s and wore the blues and whites throughout his career, has died

Armstrong played a record of 1187 games with 296 goals and 417 assists in 21 seasons for the Leafs, including 13 seasons as team captain The right winger added another 26 goals and 34 assists in 110 playoff games

Known as the Chief, Armstrong was one of the first indigenous players to play professional hockey

Armstrong was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975. Approximately 41 years later, Armstrong was voted No 12 on the franchise’s 100 Greatest Maple Leafs list in its centenary season

“George is part of the structure of the Toronto Maple Leaf organization and is greatly missed,” said Brendan Shanahan, President of Maple Leafs, in a statement. “As a proud but humble man, he loved being a Maple Leaf, but never sought the limelight, even though there were no players playing for Toronto or leading the team for longer.George was always someone who celebrated his teammates and not himself, and couldn’t even bring himself to give his speech that day which he was immortalized in Legends Row “

A young Armstrong met Syl Apps when the Maple Leafs star came to his Bantam team’s annual banquet Armstrong would continue to be No. Carry 10, the first hand to do so after the resignation of Captain Apps, who won the Talismanic Cup,

Armstrong would also be among a select number of Leafs to be honored with a banner at Scotiabank Arena, and his number was officially withdrawn in October 2016 at the kick-off for the team’s 100th anniversary

The Leafs released a statement on Sunday using the words from Armstrong’s unread speech that night

“Hockey is a great game and I love it. I am part of a fading generation that you will never have again. Each of us is unique, this will never be repeated. Thank you to all my friends and acquaintances for your advice and yours Guidelines that helped make me who I am today – a very, very happy person “

After Armstrong hung up his skates in 1971, he trained the Toronto Marlboros to Memorial Cup victories in 1972-73 and 1974-75, before accepting a scouting position with the Quebec Nordiques in 1978

He spent nine years with Quebec before returning to Toronto as assistant general manager and scout in 1988. Armstrong served as interim coach for the final 47 games of the 1988-89 season after John Brophy was sacked after an 11-20-2 start

Armstrong has scored 20 goals four times in his career but was better known for his leadership skills and work ethic which helped restore the livelihood of the franchise.As a smart player and talented backchecker, he worked on the angles to get the best shot on his opponent and formed an impressive penalty tandem with Dave Keon

As a humble man, Armstrong quickly diverted the praise, crediting his players with his Memorial Cup victories as a coach

“It wasn’t because I was a great coach, but because I had some great players,” he said in a 1989 interview listing brothers Howe, John Tonelli, Mark Napier and Mike Palmateer

And he gave a typical answer when he was inducted into the Leaside Sports Hall of Fame in 2015

“I don’t know if I deserve it or not, but I’m definitely excited about it,” said Armstrong, who lived in different neighborhoods before making Leaside his home in Toronto,

Born in Bowland’s Bay, Ont.To an Irish father and an Iraqi mother, a young Armstrong honed his hockey skills in Falconbridge, near the Sudbury nickel mines where his father worked

The Boston Bruins were interested, but Armstrong waited for the Leafs to put him on their protected list while talking to the Copper Cliff Jr played Redmen for NOHA in 1946-47. After winning the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy with Stratford as the OHA top scorer the next season, the Leafs sent him to their key junior partner, the Toronto Marlboros

He was named Senior Marlies for the 1949 Allan Cup Playoffs and helped the team win the title over Calgary the next year

He was nicknamed during the Allan Cup tournament, particularly when visiting the Stoney Indian Reserve in Alberta. When the band heard of Armstrong’s ancestral background, they made him an honorary member by the name of “Chief Shoot-the-Puck” and presented him with a ceremonial headdress

It was a different era, and the nickname “The Chief” stuck with Armstrong, proud of his mother’s legacy, became the first indigenous player to score in the NHL

He spent most of two seasons in Pittsburgh with the Leafs American Hockey League farm team before reaching the big leagues He made his NHL debut in December 1949 and became a full-time member of the Leafs in time for the 1952/53 season p>

“It looks like he’ll be around for a long time, how he handled that puck,” said legendary broadcaster Foster Hewitt after Armstrong scored his first NHL goal in a 3-2 win over Montreal had achieved

Armstrong took a pass from future Hall of Famer Max Bentley, beating defenseman Butch Bouchard and goalkeeper Gerry McNeil

“I did a little war dance that night and I think everyone at Maple Leaf Gardens was pretty happy about it, too,” Armstrong recalled 15 years later,

Toronto owner and GM Conn Smythe appointed Armstrong to be his captain prior to the 1957/58 season. Smythe later named Armstrong “the best captain-to-captain the Leafs ever had”

Armstrong was 36 years old when the veteran Leafs won the franchise’s final championship in 1967. His insurance goal, 47 seconds ahead of a 3-1 win in Game 6, proved to be the ultimate goal of the Original Six era

The 204-pounder continued to play for a few more seasons, but suffered a knee injury during the 1969-70 season that forced him to resign. Armstrong was convinced to return for the 1970-71 season before quitting for good at the age of 40

At the time, Armstrong had played more seasons and games as the Maple Leaf than any other player and was runner-up in career points

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George Armstrong

World News – CA – George Armstrong, Maple Leafs legend and longtime captain, dead at the age of 90

Source: https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/george-armstrong-maple-leafs-legend-long-time-captain-dead-90/