Last night, Leafs legend, Eddie Shack passed away.
A few weeks ago we reported he was in palliative care after a long battle with throat cancer and also having fallen and gotten a little bumped up. Today, the world lost “The Entertainer”. RIP Eddie Shack.
Eddie Shack was born in Sudbury, Ontario in 1937. Shack left his job as a butcher to try out for the Guelph Baltimores hockey club. He went on to play for them for five seasons starting from a young age of 15.
Shack made his NHL debut with the New York Rangers in 1958-59. He remained in New York for 2 years, before being traded to the Detroit Red Wings; or so he thought. The trade was negated after Red Kelly (one of the players going back in the trade) decided to retire instead of accepting the trade to New York. In 1960-61, Shack was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs – this time for real. He went on to play seven seasons as a Maple Leaf. He won 4 Stanley Cups in 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1967. Shack then made stops in Boston, LA, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh. Eventually, he once again found his way back to Toronto for the 1973-74 season where he managed 15 points in 59 games. He would retire part way through the 1974-75 season after a dismal 3 points in 26 games.
During his time in the NHL, Shack was popular for his grit and toughness. In fact, A Toronto garage band led by Douglas Rankine and The Secrets, performed a song dedicated to him “Clear The Track, Here Comes Shack”.
After retiring, Shack found a new career as a brand ambassador for Canadian brands. He became the spokesperson for The Pop Shoppe and Schick razor brand where he finally shaved his trademark mustache for a promotional ad.
Prayers go out to Eddie, his wife Norma and all their family and friends.
RIP Eddie “The Entertainer” Shack.