Ed Westfall (born September 19, 1940) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player who played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League with the Boston Bruins and the New York Islanders from 1961 until 1978–79. Notable as a defensive specialist often tasked with defending against the star scorers of enemy teams, Westfall played most of his career as a right wing, although he played stints on defence in his earlier years and at centre in his later years. He is known for being on the ice and covering the right defence position for Bobby Orr when Orr scored his legendary flying goal in the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals.
Playing career Edit
He played his junior hockey with the Barrie Flyers & Niagara Falls Flyers, and started his professional career with the Kingston Frontenacs (EPHL) team. By 1961 he joined the Bruins, although he had stints the next two years with the Frontenacs and the AHL's Providence Reds. By 1966, he was firmly ensconced on Boston's checking line.
Westfall won the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 1970 and 1972. He was on the ice on Bobby Orr's famous Stanley Cup-winning goal in 1970 and also scored the second of the three fastest goals in NHL history, when the Bruins scored three goals in 20 seconds in a 1971 game with the Vancouver Canucks. During those seasons he made his reputation as a preeminent penalty killer (generally paired with centre Derek Sanderson or winger Don Marcotte), enough so that he was named to play in the All-Star Game in 1971, 1973, 1974 and 1975.
Westfall was chosen by the brand new New York Islanders in the 1972 NHL Expansion Draft. He was subsequently made the first captain of the team, a position he held until 1977. Westfall scored the first goal in franchise history in their first game against the Atlanta Flameson October 7, 1972. His best season statistically was the 1975, when Westfall led the Islanders into their first playoffs and all the way into the Stanley Cup semifinals, exploding in the playoffs with 5 goals and 10 assists to cap a 22-goal, 55-point regular season.
He remained an effective scorer through the 1977 season, in which he was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication, after which he relinquished the team captaincy to Clark Gillies. His scoring declined sharply in his final two seasons, during which he spent his time on checking lines and penalty killing.
Westfall retired having played 1226 career NHL games, scoring 231 goals and 394 assists for 625 points.
After the end of his playing days, Westfall became the Islanders color analyst for what was then known as SportsChannel New York. He was often dubbed "18" by his confidant and broadcasting partner Jiggs McDonald because during his playing career he wore that number. He was also known by that nickname by his former Islander teammates. Westfall continued in that position until he retired in 1998. His spot in the broadcast booth was taken by former NHL player Joe Micheletti. He made occasional appearances on Islander broadcasts for several seasons after that.
He is currently working for The Corporate Relocator moving firm as a Relationship Coordinator.
On November 19, 2011, Westfall was inducted into the New York Islanders Hall of Fame. The Islanders held "Ed Westfall Night" in his honor. He and his former partner in the booth Jiggs McDonald called the second period in the game that night between two of his former teams, the New York Islanders and the Boston Bruins.