Jim Pappin, 1967 Stanley Cup hero for the Maple Leafs, dead at 82
Former Toronto winger scored Cup-clinching goal to secure club's last title
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Wednesday that Jim Pappin, who scored the winning goal in the 1967 Stanley Cup final, has died at age 82.
"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Pappin," the Maple Leafs said. "Jim played five seasons in Toronto, winning the Stanley Cup in 1964 & '67. Named one of the 100 Greatest Leafs, he scored the Cup-winning goal and led the team in scoring in '67. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."
Pappin spent parts of five seasons in Toronto from 1963-68. He was given credit for Toronto's second goal in a 3-1 series-ending victory over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6 on May 2, 1967. Linemate Pete Stemkowski deflected it in, but allowed Pappin to take credit to earn a contract bonus.
Pappin led the NHL in playoff scoring that spring, with seven goals and eight assists in 12 playoff games.
But Pappin was never one of Toronto general manager Punch Imlach's favourites. Despite his playoff heroics he was sent down to the minors briefly the following season.
"I hated Imlach and he didn't like me," Pappin told CBC Sports years later.
The acrimony was such that Pappin never kept his Stanley Cup ring, giving it to his then-father-in-law. The ring was lost for years but rediscovered by a Florida man using a metal detector in 2007.
Biggest offensive seasons with Chicago
Pappin was traded to Chicago after the 1967-68 season. With Chicago, he had his biggest offensive seasons with MPH Line mates Pit Martin and Dennis Hull, finishing with career highs of 41 goals, 51 assists and 92 points in 1972-73.
He continued to be a clutch playoff performer, scoring 10 goals in 18 games in 1971 as Chicago lost in seven games in the Stanley Cup final to Montreal.
After seven seasons with Chicago, he finished his career with the California Seals/Cleveland Barons in 1977.
In 767 regular-season games in 14 seasons in the NHL, Pappin had 278 goals and 295 assists. In 92 playoff games, he had 33 goals and 34 assists.
The Copper Cliff, Ont., native was named one of the 100 greatest (No. 89) in Leafs' franchise history as part of Toronto's centennial year celebrations in 2016.
After his playing career, Pappin was involved as an owner in horse racing but kept a foot in the NHL for many years, serving as a scout for Chicago, the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks, among others. Both Chicago and Anaheim posted online tributes after learning of Pappin's death, expressing their condolences to his family.
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Pappin.<br><br>Jim played 5 seasons in Toronto, winning the Stanley Cup in 1964 & ‘67. Named one of the 100 Greatest Leafs, he scored the Cup-winning goal and led team in scoring in ‘67. <br><br>Our thoughts are with his family & friends. <a href="https://t.co/w3adMFuzGD">pic.twitter.com/w3adMFuzGD</a>—@MapleLeafs
With files from The Associated Press