|Born||September 9, 1936 |
Lanigan, Saskatchewan, Canada
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Weight||182 lb (83 kg; 13 st 0 lb)|
Toronto Maple Leafs
Detroit Red Wings
Bobby Baun (born Robert Neil Baun on September 9, 1936) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for 17 seasons from 1956–57 to 1972–73.
Playing Career[edit | edit source]
Bobby played junior hockey with the Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey Association from 1952 to 1956, winning the Memorial Cup in 1955 and 1956.
After turning professional, he played most of the 1956–57 season with the Rochester Americans, the Toronto Maple Leafs affiliate in the American Hockey League. They would be the only minor league games Bobby would ever play.
He was called up to the Leafs during the season and played in Toronto for the next 11 seasons, winning the Stanley Cup in 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1967.
Bobby was one of the hardest and cleanest hitters of his time. He was not considered an offensive threat as a defenceman, never scoring more than 20 points in a season in the NHL. His highest single-season goal total was eight in 1959–60.
However, Bobby is remembered for his performance in game six of the 1963–64 NHL season Stanley Cup finals against the Detroit Red Wings.
On April 23, 1964, having fractured his ankle earlier in the game, Bobby returned in overtime and scored the game-winning goal. The Leafs won the next game 4–0 to win the best of seven series, and secure their third consecutive Stanley Cup championship.
Bobby developed a reputation for understanding the business side of playing in the NHL in the years before there was a players' union.
Eventually, other players sought his advice about their contracts and salaries, which eroded his relationship with Leafs' general manager Punch Imlach.
That relationship deteriorated even further when Bobby was a holdout for the 1965–66 season. Bobby eventually got a raise, but Imlach never forgot it.
A series of injuries further dimmed Imlach's enthusiasm for him.
In the 1966–67 season, Bobby suffered a broken toe. Imlach replaced him with Larry Hillman and Baun saw little ice time after that. He was mostly an observer from the bench for the Leafs' 1967 Cup victory refused to participate in the celebrations.
Before the next season, Bobby was left unprotected in the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft and was selected by the Oakland Seals.
He was one of four members of the Memorial Cup-winning Marlboros teams from the mid-1950s to play for the Seals, but the team struggled badly on the ice, particularly on offence, finishing the year with the worst record in the league.
He asked to be traded back to an Original Six team and Oakland accommodated his request, dealing him to the Detroit Red Wings in May 1968. B
Bobby played in Detroit for two years, but early into the 1970–71 season, he found himself at odds with coach Ned Harkness and was placed on waivers.
From there, Bobby was claimed by the Buffalo Sabres, managed by Imlach, who immediately traded him to the St. Louis Blues. He refused to report to St. Louis and nine days later, was traded back to the Maple Leafs for Brit Selby.
The Leafs benefited from Bobby's defensive play, helping Jacques Plante to record a 1.88 goals against average in 1970–71. He was just as effective the next season.
In the fifth game of the 1972–73 season, he suffered from a neck injury that ended his NHL career at the age of 36.
Bobby played with a broken leg as well as having a skate cut his neck. Tim Horton found him outside the tour bus and carried him to local hospital where he was found to be hemorrhaging.
After many pints of blood, he was placed next to his wife who was giving birth to their third son.
Coaching Career[edit | edit source]
Bobby later retired as a player and ran a cattle farm, but three years later, he was hired as head coach of the Toronto Toros of the World Hockey Association.
Mike Nykoluk (another member of the Marlboros in the mid-1950s) had been the team's first choice, but he turned the job down.
But the Toros under Bobby had a disastrous year, finishing the 1975–76 season with the worst record in the league. The Toros even finished 11 points behind the Minnesota Fighting Saints (a team that had folded with 21 games left to play in the season).
Bobby was replaced as coach after the season.
Career Statistics[edit | edit source]
|1956–57||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||20||0||5||5||37||—||—||—||—||—|
|1957–58||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||67||1||9||10||91||—||—||—||—||—|
|1958–59||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||51||1||8||9||87||12||0||0||0||24|
|1959–60||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||61||8||9||17||59||10||1||0||1||17|
|1960–61||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||1||14||15||70||3||0||0||0||8|
|1961–62||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||65||4||11||15||94||12||0||3||3||19|
|1962–63||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||48||4||8||12||65||10||0||3||3||6|
|1963–64||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||52||4||14||18||113||14||2||3||5||42|
|1964–65||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||0||18||18||160||6||0||1||1||14|
|1965–66||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||44||0||6||6||68||4||0||1||1||8|
|1966–67||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||54||2||8||10||83||10||0||0||0||4|
|1968–69||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||76||4||16||20||121||—||—||—||—||—|
|1969–70||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||71||1||18||19||110||4||0||0||0||0|
|1970–71||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||11||0||3||3||24||—||—||—||—||—|
|1970–71||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||58||1||17||18||123||6||0||1||1||19|
|1971–72||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||74||2||12||14||101||5||0||0||0||4|
|1972–73||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||5||1||1||2||4||—||—||—||—||—|
Coaching Record[edit | edit source]
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|Toronto Toros||1975–76||55||15||35||5||(35)||5th in WHA Canadian||(fired)|
Accolades[edit | edit source]
- Played in the NHL All-Star Game (1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968)
Personal Life[edit | edit source]
After retiring from hockey, Bobby returned to farming and also sold insurance.