Tuesday, March 8, 2016
ANDY BATHGATE: 1932-2016
This week, family and friends will say their final farewells to Andy Bathgate, who passed away on February 26, 2016.
Born on August 28, 1932, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Bathgate played his junior hockey with the Guelph Biltmores. In 1952, under Bathgate's leadership, the Biltmores became Memorial Cup champions.
At the start of the 1952-53 season, Bathgate was called-up to the New York Rangers from the Biltmores. His best year in Manhattan was in 1958-59 when his 40 goals and 48 assists in 70 games resulted in him being named league MVP and being awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy.
On February 22, 1964, Bathgate, who wore the captains "C" in New York, was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Two popular Leafs, Dick Duff and Bob Nevin, along with several minor league prospects, were sent to the Big Apple. Looking back on the deal, Punch Imlach wrote, "I thought the addition of Bathgate and McKenney (Don, who was also part of the transaction), plus the mental shaking-up the trade would give the rest of the Maple Leafs, would win the Stanley Cup - and it did."
In the seventh and deciding game of the 1964 Stanley Cup Final, Andy Bathgate scored the game-winning-goal in Toronto's 4-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. His unassisted goal was scored at the 3:04 mark of the opening period.
After his brief stay in Toronto (1963-64 to 1964-65), Bathgate made stops in Detroit and Pittsburgh. His final campaign on blades was in 1973-74 with the WHA Vancouver Blazers.
Andy Bathgate was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978.
Following the news of Bathgate's passing, the New York Rangers held a moment of silence before their next home contest at MSG.
Here are several links to stories I previously wrote on Andy Bathgate:
A Cheer For Andy