Monday, January 29, 2007

Hall of Fame goalie Worsley passes away At 77

Saturday, the NHL lost one of its Hall of Famers Gump Worsley. The former goalie who didn't wear a mask until his final season with the Minnesota North Stars in a brilliant 21-year career passed away at the age of 77 Friday at his home in Beloeil. He had suffered a heart attack last Monday.

Small in stature, the five foot-seven Worsley debuted with the Rangers in 1952-53 winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie. After spending his first 11 years on Broadway, the netminder was dealt to Montreal for Hall of Fame goalie Jacques Plante. It was in Montreal where Worsley shined the most, backstopping the Canadiens to four Stanley Cups in 1965, '66, '68 and '69. During that span, he won 29 of 36 playoff games.

He also went on to win two Vezinas in 1966 and 1968 for the game's best goalie. During his distinguished career, he finished with a record of 335-352-150 to go with a 2.88 goals against average (GAA) and 43 shutouts in 861 games. His postseason record was 40-26 with a 2.76 GAA and five shutouts.

The four-time All Star ('61, '62, '65, '72) concluded his brilliant career with Minnesota in 1973-74, wearing a mask for the first time in his final six games.

Worsley was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1980.

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