Bookmark and ShareMajor Leagues

Former Calder Trophy winner Stewart dies

Friday, November 19th, 2010 | 3:31 pm

GD Star Rating

Gaye Stewart, a Calder Cup and Stanley Cup winner in the 1940s with the Toronto Maple Leafs, has died.

Stewart died at the age of 87 in Burlington, Ont., according to the Toronto Sun.

The Fort William, Ont., native was just 19 when he won the Calder Cup as top rookie in 1942-43, a season in which he scored 24 goals and 23 assists in 48 games.

Over the years Stewart has become known as the man who won the award in Maurice (Rocket) Richard's rookie season, but the truth of the matter is that Richard didn't even factor into the official voting, having played just 16 games.

Richard's Montreal teammate Glen Harmon finished second to Stewart in the voting, with Boston's Don Gallinger third.

Stewart's name was already on the Stanley Cup before winning the rookie award, the result of a one-game cameo with Toronto in the 1942 playoffs.

After two years in the Canadian Armed Forces, the left-winger was impressive in his first season back in the NHL.

He led the league with 37 goals in 1945-46, the season after Richard had become the first player to ever hit 50.

Stewart's total was good enough to set a franchise record for the Maple Leafs that stood for several years.

He is also a trivia answer as the last Toronto player to lead the NHL in goal scoring.

After winning another Cup with the Leafs in the spring of 1947, he was traded early in the subsequent season to Chicago, with Max Bentley heading to Toronto.

Stewart notched a career-high 56 points in his first season with the Blackhawks.

He would go on to play for every Original Six club save Boston before the end of his NHL career.

He finished with 185 goals and 159 assists in 502 games, with 284 penalty minutes.

One notable late career goal came in 1949 when he ended Montreal goalie Bill Durnan's then record shutout streak of just over 309 minutes.

Stewart was a regular NHL forward up until the 1952-53 season.

At that point, Montreal loaned him to the Quebec Aces, where he played with a young Jean Beliveau, among others.

Stewart went on to play, coach and serve as general manager for the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League, and even worked as an NHL linesman for a time.

CBC News

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.