The Ontario Hockey League is saddened by the loss of former Niagara Falls Flyers coach, St. Catharines Teepees and Black Hawks star-turned NHL forward Fred Stanfield who passed away at the age of 77 on Monday.
A clean player who only once received more than 14 penalty minutes in any season of his pro career, Stanfield was one of seven boys in his family, with several of his brothers eventually becoming pro hockey players. Throughout his junior years in St. Catharines, the Mississauga, Ont. native played alongside prominent names like Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge, Roger Crozier and Chico Maki. He finished third in league scoring during his final season in 1963-64, racking up 109 points (34-75–109) while receiving the William Hanley Trophy as the OHA’s most sportsmanlike player.
Best known as a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Boston Bruins, Stanfield was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in 1967 as part of one of the most famous trades in NHL history. He was dealt to Boston along with junior teammates Phil Esposito and Ken Hodge in exchange for Gilles Marcotte, Pit Martin and Jack Norris, setting the tone of the Bruins’ dominance in the early 1970s. He was dealt to the Minnesota North Stars in 1973 in exchange for goaltender Gilles Gilbert.
Stanfield, who centred a Bruins line between Johnny Bucyk and Johnny McKenzie, scored more than 20 goals in all six of his seasons in Boston and also spent time with Chicago, Minnesota and Buffalo before retiring in 1978. The 5-foot-10 left-winger retired with 616 points (211-405–616) over 914 career regular season games and 56 points (21-35–56) over 106 playoff contests.
Stanfield was inducted into the Mississauga Sports Hall of Fame in 1981. Following his playing career, he served a brief stint as head coach of the Niagara Falls Flyers during the 1979-80 season. He and his predeceased wife Anita settled in Western New York where he managed an office furniture store in the area for 25 years.
For more on the life and career of Fred Stanfield, visit nhl.com.