George Armstrong, who captained the Toronto Maple Leafs to four Stanley Cups in the 1960s and wore blue and white his entire career, has died.
He was 90 years old.
The Maple Leafs confirmed the death on Sunday Twitter.
Armstrong played a 1187 record games with 296 goals and 417 assists in 21 seasons for the Leafs, including 13 seasons as team captain. Right winger added 26 goals and 34 assists in 110 playoffs games.
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Known as the Chief, Armstrong was one of the first players of Aboriginal descent to play professional hockey.
He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975. Some 41 years later, Armstrong was voted 12th on the franchise’s 100 Greatest Maple Leafs list on his 100th birthday.
“George is part of the very fabric of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization and will be sorely missed,” Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said in a statement.
“A proud and humble man, he loved being a Maple Leaf but never looked for the spotlight even though no player played more. games for Toronto or led the team longer. Always ready to celebrate his teammates rather than himself, George couldn’t even bring himself to deliver his speech the day he was immortalized on Legends Row.
A young Armstrong met Syl Apps when the Maple Leafs star attended his annual Bantam team banquet. Armstrong would wear the number 10, the first Leaf to do so after the retirement of Talisman Cup winner Captain Apps.
Armstrong would also become one of the few Leafs to be honored with a Scotiabank Arena banner, and his number was officially retired in October 2016 during the team’s centennial home opener.
In 2015, Armstrong and Apps were added to Legends Row of the Leafs.
Armstrong’s speech released in statement
The Leafs issued a statement Sunday with the words of Armstrong’s unread speech that night.
“Hockey is a big game and I like it. I am part of a generation in decline that you will never have again. Each of us is unique, it will never be repeated. To all my friends and acquaintances, thank you for your advice and guidance, which has helped make me who I am today… a very, very happy person.
After hanging up his skates in 1971, Armstrong coached the Toronto Marlboros to Memorial Cup victories in 1972-73 and 1974-75 before accepting a scouting position with the Quebec Nordiques in 1978.
He spent nine years with Quebec before returning to Toronto as an assistant general manager and scout in 1988. Armstrong was interim coach for the final 47 games of the 1988-89 season after John Brophy was fired after an 11-20-2 start.
The following year, Armstrong returned to his role as a scout for the Leafs.
He scored 20 goals four times in his career, but was best known for his leadership and work ethic, helping restore the franchise’s winning touch. An intelligent …
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