This morning, we have sad news that Eddie Shack, member of the last Toronto Maple Leafs dynasty, passed away overnight after a long battle with cancer.
The Sudbury native spent the majority of his career with the Maple Leafs, winning Stanley Cups in 1962, 63, 64, and 1967. He also played for the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres, and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Eddie Shack became just as famous off-ice as he was on, starting with the hit single "Clear the Track, Here's Eddie Shack";
And continuing with his over tbe top personality, love of the game, and non-stop stories:
Off the ice, Shack was also known as one of the busiest businessmen outside of Tim Horton:
When he played junior hockey in Guelph, Ontario, he convinced the team’s sponsor, Biltmore Hats, to give him discounts and he set himself up as haberdasher to players throughout the entire league. On weekends off, he’d slip into Toronto before heading up to hometown Sudbury, pick up a used car and dump it up north for a $250 profit. He even managed to profit from the number of times (five) he got traded in the NHL. In every new city he’d buy an old house, fix it up, and turn it over for a handsome gain. He taught himself how to buy and sell antiques; he’s even dabbled in paintings (“If it’s got a European name on it — buy it”).
He was also involved in literacy programs, working with schools to make sure students kept on track with their reading so they wouldn't face illiteracy like he did all of his life.
During the Maple Leafs centennial season, Shack was named #68 of the top 100 Maple Leafs of all time:
NHL.com has a profile today:
“I’ll tell you why I’m not in the Hall of Fame; it’s because of my mouth!” Shack said in his autobiographical “Eddie Shack: Hockey’s Most Entertaining Stories,” a 2019 stream of consciousness book written with Ken Reid. “If I would have just shut up, I could have been in the Hockey Hall of Fame. I guarantee you I could have been in there. But it’s the idea that I would tell someone to go and stick it in their crease! Don’t behave yourself, be yourself! That’s what I always say.”