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Andy Bathgate
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1978
Topps 1957 Andy Bathgate.png
Bathgate with the New York Rangers in 1957
Born (1932-08-28)August 28, 1932
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Died February 26, 2016(2016-02-26) (aged 83)
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 183 lb (83 kg; 13 st 1 lb)
Position Right wing
Shot Right
Played for New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs
Detroit Red Wings
Pittsburgh Penguins
Vancouver Blazers
Playing career 1952–1975

Andrew James Bathgate (August 28, 1932 – February 26, 2016) was a Canadian professional ice hockey right wing who played 17 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins between 1952 and 1971. In 2017 Bathgate was named one of the "100 Greatest NHL Players" in history.

Playing career

As a youth Bathgate was offered scholarships to both the University of Denver and University of Colorado to join their hockey teams, but turned them down and instead joined the Guelph Biltmores of the Ontario Hockey Association in 1949.

Andy Bathgate was a popular star player of the New York Rangers and also held the honour of being declared the Most Valuable Player of both the NHL and Western Hockey League (WHL). He started his professional career with the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League (AHL) in the 1952–53 season. He bounced between the WHL Vancouver Canucks (not to be confused with the later NHL team of the same name) and the Rangers for two seasons before settling with the Rangers in 1954–55. He played 10 full seasons with the Rangers, where he became a popular player in New York as well as a top-tiered player in the NHL.

In 1961–62, Bathgate and Bobby Hull led the league in points, but Bathgate lost the Art Ross Trophy to Bobby Hull because Hull had more goals.

Bathgate's career was frustrated by the mediocre play of the Rangers and a nagging knee problem. He was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1963–64 season, where he immediately helped Toronto to a Stanley Cup championship. In May 1965, the Maple Leafs traded Bathgate, Billy Harris, and Gary Jarrett to the Detroit Red Wings traded Marcel Pronovost, Aut Erickson, Larry Jeffrey, Ed Joyal, and Lowell MacDonald to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bathgate helped the team reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 1965–66. Bathgate was chosen by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft, scoring the first goal in the team's history. However after one season, he returned to the WHL's Vancouver Canucks, where he would help lead the team to two consecutive Lester Patrick Cup victories, in 1969 and 1970. His best professional year was 1969-70, scoring 108 points for the Canucks. That performance earned him the George Leader Cup, the top player award in the WHL. Bathgate returned to the NHL's Penguins, playing his last year of North American professional hockey for them in 1970-71.

He served in 1971–1972 as playing coach for HC Ambri-Piotta in Switzerland. He came briefly out of retirement three seasons later to play for the Vancouver Blazers of the World Hockey Association (WHA), which he had coached the previous season, but retired for good after 11 games.

Bathgate won the Hart Memorial Trophy for the MVP of the NHL in 1958–59 after scoring 40 goals. He is also known for his contribution to the in-game use of masks for goaltenders during games. Renowned for the strength of his slapshot, during a game against the Montreal Canadiens, Bathgate shot the puck into the face of Jacques Plante, forcing Plante to receive stitches. When Plante returned to the ice, he was wearing a mask. That started a trend that led to it and other protective gear becoming mandatory equipment.

Stance against spearing

In December 1959, Bathgate produced a controversial article for True magazine in which he warned that hockey's "unchecked brutality is going to kill somebody". The article, titled "Atrocities on Ice", was ghostwritten by Dave Anderson, who was then a sports journalist with the now defunct New York Journal-American, and it appeared in True magazine's January 1960 edition. Bathgate focused mostly on the tactic of spearing, where a player stabs at an opponent with the blade or point of his stick. In a section titled "Andy Bathgate's rogues gallery", six players were highlighted as the most brutal, with their photographs captioned with a short description by Bathgate. These were Detroit's Gordie Howe ("meanest player in the league; uses all the tricks—plus"); Chicago's Ted Lindsay ("seldom drops his stick in a fight"); Montreal's Tom Johnson ("one of the five notorious spearing specialists in the NHL"); Montreal's Doug Harvey ("lucky he doesn't have a spearing death on his conscience"); Boston's Fern Flaman ("he's had too many accidents to believe") and New York's Lou Fontinato ("likes to use the stick but uses his fists in a real fight").

Responding to the article, Toe Blake, the Montreal Canadiens' head coach, admitted that Montreal players used spearing, but claimed it was purely a defensive tactic "necessary to defend against an illegal play pattern used often by the Rangers." Blake said: "They like to skate into our zone against the defence and drop the puck for a teammate following right behind. Then they skate into our defenceman, blocking him out of the play illegally through interference. Our players have sometimes had to spear to fend off the interfering player and keep in play." Doug Harvey also admitted spearing, saying: "Sure, we will spear on occasion. We've got to when they run interference," and that he used it "only for defensive purposes."

Bathgate wrote of the offenders: "None of them seems to care that he'll be branded as a hockey killer." In response the NHL fined him for "comments definitely prejudicial to the league and the game." Speaking in 2010, Bathgate said: "We had an episode where fellas were spearing other players. So I wrote an article with Dave Anderson of The New York Times [sic] called 'Atrocities on Ice.' Red Sullivan, I saw him speared right in front of our bench and have his spleen punctured. It was getting out of hand. I wrote this article and got fined for it. I got fined $1,000—and I was only making $18,000 at the time—so you take that, plus the $1,000 we had to pay into our pension, that's a lot of money out of your pocket. They changed the rule at the end of the year but they still didn't give me my $1,000 back. It burns my (butt) at times, but you have to stand up for it. Sometimes, you've got to speak up for the betterment of hockey because someone was going to get seriously hurt."


Bathgate owned and managed a 20-acre (81,000 m2) golf course called the Bathgate Golf Centre, while his brother Frank owned a driving range just down the road both on Hwy 10 in Mississauga, Ontario. During the winters he helped coach his grandson's hockey team. He also stated that he was unlikely to play in any more old-timer's games, citing recent hip surgery. "Those old fellas get too serious. They'll start hooking you."

The Rangers retired his #9 along with Harry Howell's #3 in a special ceremony before the February 22, 2009, match against the Maple Leafs. Bathgate joined Adam Graves, whose #9 had been hoisted to the Madison Square Garden rafters 19 nights earlier. Graves called Bathgate "the greatest Ranger to ever wear the #9".

Personal life

Bathgate was married to his wife Merle Bathgate (née Lewis) from 1955 until his death in 2016. They had two children, a son named Bill Bathgate, and a daughter named Sandra Lynn “Sandee” Bathgate.

Bathgate died at the age of 83 on February 26, 2016, in Brampton, Ontario. At the time of his death, he had Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Bathgate's grandson and namesake, Andy Bathgate, born February 26, 1991, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and previously played for the Birmingham Bulls of the Southern Professional Hockey League.

Awards and achievements

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1948–49 Winnipeg Black Hawks MJHL 1 0 0 0 0
1949–50 Guelph Biltmores OHA 41 21 25 46 28 15 6 9 15 12
1949–50 Guelph Biltmores MC 11 10 5 15 8
1950–51 Guelph Biltmores OHA 52 33 57 90 66 5 6 1 7 9
1951–52 Guelph Biltmores OHA 34 27 50 77 20 11 6 10 16 18
1951–52 Guelph Biltmores MC 12 8 12 20 21
1952–53 Guelph Biltmores OHA 2 2 1 3 0
1952–53 New York Rangers NHL 18 0 1 1 6
1952–53 Vancouver Canucks WHL 37 13 13 26 29 9 11 4 15 2
1953–54 New York Rangers NHL 20 2 2 4 18
1953–54 Vancouver Canucks WHL 17 12 10 22 6
1953–54 Cleveland Barons AHL 36 13 19 32 44 9 3 5 8 8
1954–55 New York Rangers NHL 70 20 20 40 37
1955–56 New York Rangers NHL 70 19 47 66 59 5 1 2 3 2
1956–57 New York Rangers NHL 70 27 50 77 60 5 2 0 2 27
1957–58 New York Rangers NHL 65 30 48 78 42 6 5 3 8 6
1958–59 New York Rangers NHL 70 40 48 88 48
1959–60 New York Rangers NHL 70 26 48 74 28
1960–61 New York Rangers NHL 70 29 48 77 22
1961–62 New York Rangers NHL 70 28 56 84 44 6 1 2 3 4
1962–63 New York Rangers NHL 70 35 46 81 54
1963–64 New York Rangers NHL 56 16 43 59 26
1963–64 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 15 3 15 18 8 14 5 4 9 25
1964–65 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 55 16 29 45 34 6 1 0 1 6
1965–66 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 15 32 47 25 12 6 3 9 6
1966–67 Detroit Red Wings NHL 60 8 23 31 24
1966–67 Pittsburgh Hornets AHL 6 4 6 10 7
1967–68 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 74 20 39 59 55
1968–69 Vancouver Canucks WHL 71 37 36 73 44 8 3 5 8 5
1969–70 Vancouver Canucks WHL 72 40 68 108 66 16 7 5 12 8
1970–71 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 76 15 29 44 34
1971–72 HC Ambrì–Piotta NDA 21 20 15 35
1974–75 Vancouver Blazers WHA 11 1 6 7 2
WHA totals 11 1 6 7 2
NHL totals 1,069 349 624 973 624 54 21 14 35 76

Coaching record

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T Pts Finish Result
Vancouver Blazers 1973–74 59 21 37 1 43 5th in WHA West Missed playoffs

See also

Women's History Month on Kiddle
Women Scientists of Antiquity
Mary the Jewess
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