Maple Leafs legend Johnny Bower dies at age 93

Goaltender Johnny Bower, a four-time Stanley Cup winner and one of the greatest of Maple Leafs, who worked to promote the team long after his playing days, has died at age 93.

A family member at Bower’s home confirmed his passing late Tuesday and the family later released a statement.

  • RIP Johnny.

  • canminuteman

    He served in the army in WW11, but was discharged because of rheumatoid arthritis, then went on to have a career as a professional athlete. That’s pretty hard core, army doctors weren’t giving people medical releases for minor ailments in the middle of the war.

  • Hard Little Machine

    That’s like going to war without a helmet.

    • andycanuck

      My brother had a Franco-Swiss exchange student here in high school and when my brother took him to the (old) Hockey Hall of Fame, he asked if all photos of goalies without masks had been staged as promotional stills. :^)

  • SDMatt

    Sad news. Johnny was ancient when he played for the Leafs back in the 60’s – it seemed like he would live forever.

    I didn’t know until a few weeks’ ago that his real surname is Kiszkan; not that it matters.

    RIP China Wall.

    • canminuteman

      That was back in the day when people were proud enough to be Canadian that they would change there names to fit in.

  • LairdKintyre

    Sorry to hear this. However, Im one of the few Canadians who has no desire for this game yet my folks lived in Canada since 1845 and earlier. I never saw the point in these overpaid overgrown kids chasing a piece of frozen rubber round a rink. Given the state of the world we should focus on more important things.

  • andycanuck

    The NHL website informs me he was in the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders until 1944. See canminuteman, above, for the details.

  • Clink9

    What great run he had. RIP.
    I’m old enough to remember watching him play.

  • Millie_Woods

    As a kid growing up in the ’60’s he was honestly my biggest hero. I met him in the ’80’s at a promotional event in Edmonton and got a signed hockey card from him. Lost track of things some time after that as life became more complicated. If anyone asked me about him a week ago I would have said ‘I’m sure he’s dead by now’. Reading about him today stirred up some old memories. Man it sucks getting old.

    • Clink9

      He was still doing lots of those promotional card signing dates around Toronto.

      • Millie_Woods

        What a great example of living a full life. Hearing that gives me strength.

  • Clausewitz

    I still have two Leaf related records. Honkey the Christmas Goose by Johnny Bower, and that classic Clear the track here comes Shack. Got a chance to meet Johnny once. What a great guy. He lit up every room he ever walked into.