Mar 10, 2009 - Ron Stewart
One of the things that's kind of unfair to the majority of role players on rebuilding teams is that they gut it out during all the bad times, and then, more often than not, they're moved out just before things start to move in the other direction. Ron Stewart was one of the exceptions to that rule.
Ron joined the Leafs in 1952-53, just as the team of the late 1940s was really beginning to slide. They would struggle through most of the 1950s, with the latter part of the decade bringing the arrival of most of the young talent that would win Cups in the 1960s. Through it all, Ron Stewart provided the Leafs with solid two-way hockey. He wasn't a big scorer, only getting 20 goals twice in a 21-season career, but he could be counted on for 15, while providing effective checking and penalty killing. A big winger who could skate surprisingly well, he did his job and did it well.
After 1965, a number of Leaf players moved on and Ron was one of them, heading first to Boston (and getting to see a kid named Orr close up in 1966), then off to the Blues, Rangers and Canucks before finishing off as a member of the expansion New York Islanders in 1972-73.
|1952-53||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||13||22||35||29|
|1953-54||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||14||11||25||72||5||0||1||1||10|
|1954-55||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||53||14||5||19||20||4||0||0||0||2|
|1955-56||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||69||13||14||27||35||5||1||1||2||2|
|1956-57||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||65||15||20||35||28|
|1957-58||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||15||24||39||51|
|1958-59||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||21||13||34||23||12||3||3||6||6|
|1959-60||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||67||14||20||34||28||10||0||2||2||2|
|1960-61||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||51||13||12||25||8||5||1||0||1||2|
|1961-62||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||60||8||9||17||14||11||1||6||7||4|
|1962-63||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||63||16||16||32||26||10||4||0||4||2|
|1963-64||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||65||14||5||19||46||14||0||4||4||24|
|1964-65||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||65||16||11||27||33||6||0||1||1||2|
|1967-68||St. Louis Blues||NHL||19||7||5||12||11||-7|
|1967-68||New York Rangers||NHL||55||7||7||14||19||-4||6||1||1||2||2|
|1968-69||New York Rangers||NHL||75||18||11||29||20||-11||4||0||1||1||0|
|1969-70||New York Rangers||NHL||76||14||10||24||14||+7||6||0||0||0||2|
|1970-71||New York Rangers||NHL||76||5||6||11||19||+9||13||1||0||1||0|
|1971-72||New York Rangers||NHL||13||0||2||2||2||-6||8||2||1||3||0|
|1972-73||New York Rangers||NHL||11||0||1||1||0||0|
|1972-73||New York Islanders||NHL||22||2||2||4||4||-17|
Played in NHL All-Star Game (1955, 1962, 1963, 1964)
- Traded to Boston by Toronto for Orland Kurtenbach, Andy Hebenton and Pat Stapleton, June 8, 1965.
- Claimed by St. Louis from Boston in Expansion Draft, June 6, 1967.
- Traded to NY Rangers by St. Louis with Ron Attwell for Red Berenson and Barclay Plager, November 29, 1967.
- Traded to Vancouver by NY Rangers with Dave Balon and Wayne Connelly for Gary Doak and Jim Wiste, November 16, 1971.
- Traded to NY Rangers (Providence-AHL) by Vancouver (Rochester-AHL) for cash and the loan of Mike McMahon for the remainder of the 1971-72 season, March 5, 1972.
- Traded to NY Islanders by NY Rangers for cash, November 14, 1972.
Ron Stewart played his first two seasons of junior hockey with the Toronto Marlboros, until being traded to three different teams in his last year of OHA play. The Marlies sent Stewart to Windsor where he played only two games, then moved on to Barrie. He was picked up by Guelph for the playoffs, and what a playoff it would be! Stewart was exceptional in the post-season as the Biltmores took the Memorial Cup in 1952.
The next season saw Stewart make his NHL debut with the Leafs where he would play for thirteen straight seasons. Stewart joined the team while they were in the process of rebuilding but would see better days down the road. The Leafs and Stewart would be a part of three straight Stanley Cup championships from 1961-62 to 1963-64. During his time in Toronto, Stewart played in four All-Star Games, '55, '62, '63 and '64.
Stewart finally left the Leafs when he was traded to the Bruins in 1965, where he spent two seasons. From Boston, he was claimed by the Blues in the Expansion Draft of 1967 but was traded to the Rangers during the season. After three years in New York, Stewart was dealt to Vancouver, only to be sent back to the Rangers for their run for the Cup in 1972. New York took on Boston in the Cup finals but was downed by the combination of Orr and Esposito.
After being dealt one last time, to the Islanders in the 1972-73 season, he retired from the game as a player. Stewart stepped behind the bench to coach minor league teams and made it back to the NHL for the 1975-76 season as the coach of the Rangers and then with the L.A. Kings for 1977-78. Back in his hometown of Calgary, Stewart became the manager of a couple of local junior teams and several business endeavours.