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Toe Blake

Toe Blake

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Hector "Toe" Blake, CM
Order of Canada
The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order, admission into which is, within the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, the second highest honour for merit...

 (August 21, 1912 – May 17, 1995) was a Canadian ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 player
Player (game)
A player of a game is a participant therein. The term 'player' is used with this same meaning both in game theory and in ordinary recreational games....

 and coach
Coach (ice hockey)
Coach in ice hockey is the person responsible for directing the team during games and practices, prepares strategy and decides which players will participate in games....

 in the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 (NHL).

Nickname


His nickname came out of his childhood for his younger sister was unable to pronounce his name. When she said it, it often sounded like Hec-toe, hence Toe as his nickname which later replaced the nickname he had been given as a scorer, the Old Lamplighter, because he often activated the light behind the goal.

Biography



Born in what is now the ghost town
Ghost town
A ghost town is an abandoned town or city. A town often becomes a ghost town because the economic activity that supported it has failed, or due to natural or human-caused disasters such as floods, government actions, uncontrolled lawlessness, war, or nuclear disasters...

 of Victoria Mines, he was raised playing outdoor hockey in the town of Coniston near the city of Sudbury in Northern Ontario
Northern Ontario
Northern Ontario is a region of the Canadian province of Ontario which lies north of Lake Huron , the French River and Lake Nipissing. The region has a land area of 802,000 km2 and constitutes 87% of the land area of Ontario, although it contains only about 6% of the population...

. Blake played junior and senior hockey in the Sudbury area and was part of the 1932 Memorial Cup
Memorial Cup
The Memorial Cup is a junior ice hockey club championship trophy awarded annually to the Canadian Hockey League champion. It is awarded following a four-team, round robin tournament between a host team and the champions of the CHL's three member leagues: the Ontario Hockey League , Quebec Major...

 champions, the Sudbury Cub Wolves. He played for the Hamilton Tigers of the Ontario Hockey Association
Ontario Hockey Association
The Ontario Hockey Association is the governing body for the majority of Junior and Senior level ice hockey teams in the Province of Ontario. The OHA is sanctioned by the Ontario Hockey Federation along with the Northern Ontario Hockey Association. Other Ontario sanctioning bodies along with the...

 before joining the NHL club with which he won his first Stanley Cup, the Montreal Maroons
Montreal Maroons
The Montreal Maroons was a professional men's ice hockey team in the National Hockey League . They played in the NHL from 1924 to 1938, winning the Stanley Cup in 1926 and 1935...

, in 1935, then playing for the Montreal Canadiens
Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens are a professional ice hockey team based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . The club is officially known as ...

 until his retirement in 1948. For the last eight seasons, he was team captain, and led the Canadiens to Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug...

s in 1944 and 1946.

While playing with the Canadiens, he was part of a trio called the "Punch Line," which featured Elmer Lach
Elmer Lach
Elmer James Lach is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey centre who played 14 seasons for the Montreal Canadiens in the National Hockey League. He was part of the Punch line, along with Maurice Richard and Toe Blake. He led the league in scoring twice, and was awarded the Hart Memorial...

 and Maurice Richard
Maurice Richard
Joseph Henri Maurice "the Rocket" Richard, Sr., was a French-Canadian professional ice hockey player who played for the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League from 1942 to 1960. The "Rocket" was the most prolific goal-scorer of his era, the first to achieve the feat of 50 goals in 50...

. He won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player and the Art Ross Trophy
Art Ross Trophy
The Art Ross Trophy is awarded to the National Hockey League player who leads the league in scoring points at the end of the regular season. It was presented to the NHL by former player, general manager, and head coach Art Ross. The trophy has been awarded 61 times to 25 players since its inception...

 as scoring champion in 1938–39. He also scored the Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug...

 clinching goal in the 1944 Stanley Cup Finals
1944 Stanley Cup Finals
-See also:* 1943–44 NHL season* 1943–44 Chicago Black Hawks season* 1943–44 Montreal Canadiens season* List of Stanley Cup champions-References and notes:...

 at 9:12 of the first overtime of Game Four, helping the Canadiens complete a four-game sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks are a professional ice hockey team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . They have won four Stanley Cup championships since their founding in 1926, most recently coming in 2009-10...

.

Shortly after January 11, 1948, he suffered a double fracture of his ankle, ending his NHL career. In 1998, he was ranked number 66 on The Hockey News list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.

After retiring from the Canadiens he resided permanently in Montreal, raising his children and subsequently where his grandchildren were raised. The "Toe" Blake Tavern, which he owned, became a successful watering hole in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 and "la belle province".

After eight years coaching several of the Canadiens' minor-league affiliates, he was named head coach of the Canadiens in 1955, replacing Dick Irvin
Dick Irvin
James Dickinson Irvin, Sr. was a Canadian ice hockey player and coach in the National Hockey League.Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Irvin was one of the greatest players of his day, balancing a torrid slapshot and tough style with gentlemanly play...

. Blake was fluent in French (his mother was a Franco-Ontarian
Franco-Ontarian
Franco-Ontarians are French Canadian or francophone residents of the Canadian province of Ontario. They are sometimes known as "Ontarois"....

), and Canadiens management also felt that Blake was best-suited to control Richard's explosive temper (which had led to a riot
Richard Riot
The Richard Riot was a riot on March 17, 1955 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The riot was named after Maurice Richard, the star ice hockey player for the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League...

 the past spring).

Blake coached the Canadiens for 13 years, winning eight Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug...

s—the most for any coach in the team's history and second in the NHL. He is still the winningest coach in Canadiens' history. He was known for his tough, but fair coaching style; his players always knew he was on their side. He retired at the end of the 1967-68 season, ending 33 consecutive years at ice level with the Habs organization.

Blake turned down Jacques Plante
Jacques Plante
Joseph Jacques Omer Plante was a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender. During a career lasting from 1947–1975, he was considered to be one of the most important innovators in hockey...

's request to wear a mask during games for fear that it would impair his vision. However, after a shot broke Plante's nose on November 2, 1959; Blake finally relented.

Blake was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame
Hockey Hall of Fame
The Hockey Hall of Fame is located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Dedicated to the history of ice hockey, it is both a museum and a hall of fame. It holds exhibits about players, teams, National Hockey League records, memorabilia and NHL trophies, including the Stanley Cup...

 in 1966 and was made a Member of the Order of Canada
Order of Canada
The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order, admission into which is, within the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, the second highest honour for merit...

 in 1982. A park located next to his Montreal West home is named in his honor.

In the end, it was Alzheimer's Disease, which Blake had for more than eight years, that ended his life. When respected writer Red Fisher
Red Fisher (journalist)
Red Fisher is a Canadian sports journalist whose columns focus on the National Hockey League and its Montreal Canadiens team....

 visited him in the nursing home in 1989, Toe could not recognize his old friend. Toe Blake died of pneumonia, typical of Alzheimer's patients, on May 17, 1995, at the age of 82.

Recently, the community centre in Blake's hometown of Coniston, Ontario has been renamed the "Toe Blake Memorial Arena" in his honour.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season
Season (sports)
In an organized sports league, a season is the portion of one year in which regulated games of the sport are in session. For example, in Major League Baseball, one season lasts approximately from April 1 through October 1; in Association football, it is generally from August until May In an...

Team League GP G
Goal (ice hockey)
In ice hockey, a goal is scored when the puck completely crosses the goal line between the two goal posts and below the goal crossbar. A goal awards one point to the team attacking the goal scored upon, regardless of which team the player who actually deflected the puck into the goal belongs to...

A
Assist (ice hockey)
In ice hockey, an assist is attributed to up to two players of the scoring team who shot, passed or deflected the puck towards the scoring teammate, or touched it in any other way which enabled the goal, meaning that they were "assisting" in the goal. There can be a maximum of two assists per goal...

Pts
Point (ice hockey)
Point in ice hockey has three official meanings:* A point is awarded to a player for each goal scored or assist earned. The total number of goals plus assists equals total points. In some European leagues, a goal counts as two points, and an assist counts as one...

PIM
Penalty (ice hockey)
A penalty in ice hockey is a punishment for inappropriate behavior. Most penalties are enforced by detaining the offending player within a penalty box for a set number of minutes, during which, the player can not participate in play. The offending team usually may not replace the player on the ice,...

GP G A Pts PIM
1932–33 Hamilton Tigers OHASr ? 9 4 13 0
1933–34 Hamilton Tigers OHASr ? 19 14 33 0
1934–35 Montreal Maroons
Montreal Maroons
The Montreal Maroons was a professional men's ice hockey team in the National Hockey League . They played in the NHL from 1924 to 1938, winning the Stanley Cup in 1926 and 1935...

NHL 8 0 0 0 0
1935–36 Providence Reds
Providence Reds
The Providence Reds were a hockey team that played in the Canadian-American Hockey League between 1926–1936 and the American Hockey League from 1936 to 1977, the last season of which they played as the Rhode Island Reds. The team won the Calder Cup in 1938, 1940, 1949, and 1956...

CAHL
Canadian-American Hockey League
The Canadian-American Hockey League, popularly known as the Can-Am League, was a professional ice hockey league that operated from 1926 to 1936. It was a direct ancestor of the American Hockey League....

? 12 11 23 65
1935–36 Montreal Canadiens
Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens are a professional ice hockey team based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . The club is officially known as ...

NHL 11 1 2 3 28
1936–37 Montreal Canadiens NHL 43 10 12 22 12 5 1 0 1 0
1937–38
1937–38 NHL season
-European tour:After the Stanley Cup final finished, the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens played a nine-game exhibition series in Europe, becoming the first NHL teams to play outside North America. Six games were played in England, three in France...

Montreal Canadiens NHL 43 17 16 33 33 3 3 1 4 2
1938–39 Montreal Canadiens NHL 48 24 23 47 10 3 1 1 2 2
1939–40 Montreal Canadiens NHL 48 17 19 36 48
1940–41 Montreal Canadiens NHL 48 12 20 32 49 3 0 3 3 5
1941–42 Montreal Canadiens NHL 48 17 28 45 29 3 0 3 3 2
1942–43
1942–43 NHL season
-NHL awards:-All-Star teams:-Scoring leaders:Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes-Leading goaltenders:...

Montreal Canadiens NHL 48 23 36 59 26 5 4 3 7 0
1943–44 Montreal Canadiens NHL 41 26 33 59 10 9 7 11 18 2
1944–45 Montreal Canadiens NHL 49 29 38 67 25 6 0 2 2 5
1945–46 Montreal Canadiens NHL 50 29 21 50 2 9 7 6 13 5
1946–47 Montreal Canadiens NHL 60 21 29 50 6 11 2 7 9 0
1947–48 Montreal Canadiens NHL 32 9 15 24 4
1948–49
1948–49 AHL season
The 1948–49 AHL season was the 13th season of the American Hockey League. Eleven teams played 68 games each in the schedule. The Wally Kilrea Trophy for the league's "top point scorer," is renamed the Carl Liscombe Trophy. The St. Louis Flyers won their first F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy as West...

Buffalo Bisons
Buffalo Bisons (AHL)
The Buffalo Bisons were an American Hockey League ice hockey franchise that played from 1940 to 1970 in Buffalo, New York. They replaced the original Buffalo Bisons hockey team, which left the area in 1936 after its arena collapsed...

AHL
American Hockey League
The American Hockey League is a 30-team professional ice hockey league based in the United States and Canada that serves as the primary developmental circuit for the National Hockey League...

18 1 3 4 0
1949–50 Valleyfield Braves
Valleyfield Braves
Les Braves de Valleyfield are a Canadian Junior ice hockey team from Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec, Canada. They are a part of the Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League.-History:...

QSHL 43 12 15 27 15
1950–51 Valleyfield Braves QSHL 1 0 0 0 0
NHL totals 577 235 292 527 282 57 25 37 62 23

Awards

  • Stanley Cup
    Stanley Cup
    The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug...

     champion — 1935
    1935 Stanley Cup Finals
    The 1935 Stanley Cup Final NHL championship series was contested by the Montreal Maroons and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Maroons would win the series 3–0 to win their second and final Stanley Cup.-Paths to the Final:...

     (with Montreal Maroons as a player)
  • Stanley Cup champion — 1944
    1944 Stanley Cup Finals
    -See also:* 1943–44 NHL season* 1943–44 Chicago Black Hawks season* 1943–44 Montreal Canadiens season* List of Stanley Cup champions-References and notes:...

    , 1946
    1946 Stanley Cup Finals
    -Montreal Canadiens 1946 Stanley Cup champions:-References & notes:* Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame . Lord Stanley's Cup. Bolton, Ont.: Fenn Pub. pp 12, 50. ISBN 978-1-55168-261-7...

     (with Montreal Canadiens as a Player)
  • Stanley Cup champion — 1956
    1956 Stanley Cup Finals
    The 1956 Stanley Cup Final NHL championship series was contested by the Montreal Canadiens and the defending champion Detroit Red Wings in the fifth Detroit-Montreal series in the 1950s. The Canadiens were making the sixth consecutive appearance in the Final series; Detroit was making their third...

    , 1957
    1957 Stanley Cup Finals
    The 1957 Stanley Cup Final NHL championship series was contested by the defending champion Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins. The Canadiens were making their seventh consecutive Final appearance, while Boston was making their first appearance since the 1953 Final, also against Montreal...

    , 1958
    1958 Stanley Cup Finals
    The 1958 Stanley Cup Final NHL championship series was contested by the defending champion Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins in a rematch of the 1957 Final. The Canadiens would win the series 4–2, for their third straight Cup victory, and tenth in the team's history.-Paths to the...

    , 1959
    1959 Stanley Cup Finals
    The 1959 Stanley Cup Final was contested by the defending champion Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Montreal was making its ninth consecutive appearance in the Final series. It was Toronto's first appearance since 1951...

    , 1960
    1960 Stanley Cup Finals
    The 1960 Stanley Cup Final was contested by the defending champion Montreal Canadiens, appearing in their tenth consecutive Final series and the Toronto Maple Leafs. This was a rematch of the 1959 Final. The Canadiens won the series four games to none for their fifth straight Cup victory...

    , 1965
    1965 Stanley Cup Finals
    -References:* Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame . Lord Stanley's Cup. Bolton, Ont.: Fenn Pub. pp 12, 50. ISBN 978-1-55168-261-7...

    , 1966
    1966 Stanley Cup Finals
    The 1966 Stanley Cup Final was contested by the Detroit Red Wings and the defending champion Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens would win the best-of-seven series four games to two to win the Stanley Cup for the seventh time in eleven years.-Paths to the final:...

    , 1968
    1968 Stanley Cup Finals
    -References:...

     (Head coach of Montreal Canadiens)
  • Hart Trophy — 1939
  • Scoring Leader — 1939
  • Lady Byng Trophy — 1946
  • NHL First Team All-Star
    NHL All-Star Team
    The NHL All-Star Teams were first named at the end of the 1930–31 NHL season, to honor the best performers over the season at each position.Representatives of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association vote for the All-Star Team at the end of the regular season.The career leaders in citations are...

     — 1939, 1940, 1945
  • NHL Second Team All-Star — 1946

See also

  • Captain (ice hockey)
    Captain (ice hockey)
    In ice hockey, each team can designate an official captain for each game. The player serving as captain during the game wears a "C" on his or her jersey...

  • Stanley Cup
    Stanley Cup
    The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug...

  • List of members of the Hockey Hall of Fame

External links