Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Don Simmons : 1931-2010
Don Simmons broke into the NHL with the Boston Bruins during the 1956-57 season. He would remain Boston property until a January 31, 1961 trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs for goaltender Ed Chadwick. In addition to Boston and Toronto, Simmons appeared in 21 regular season games for the New York Rangers.
His finest moment in the National Hockey League came in the 1962 Stanley Cup final. In game 4, starter Johnny Bower injured his groin while making a stop on Bobby Hull. Bower made a valiant effort to continue, but at the insistence of coach Punch Imlach, he was pulled from the game. His substitute, Simmons, finished the series in goal.
In the final 3 games, Simmons played 165 minutes, allowing 8 goals and posting a 2.91 average. His record was 2 wins and 1 loss. On the strength of a Dick Duff game winning goal, Toronto captured the Stanley Cup on April 22, 1962 in Chicago Stadium. The winning netminder was Don Simmons.
Of interest, Simmons is credited with being the goalie who started the tradition of dashing to the bench on a delayed penalty call.
Don Simmons was born on September 13, 1931 in Port Colborne, Ontario.