|5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
190 lb (86 kg)
|Teams||New York Rangers|
Toronto Maple Leafs
|Born||May 24, 1938,|
Port Arthur, ON, CAN
|Died||December 30,1982 (age 44),|
Niagara Falls, ON, CAN
|Pro Career||1958 – 1972|
Bruce George Gamble (May 24, 1938 – December 30, 1982) is a former professional goaltender who played 10 season in the NHL between 1962 and 1972, with some years in the minor leagues in between. In the NHL he played 2 games with the New York Rangers, 80 for the Boston Bruins, 210 as a Leaf and finally 35 as a Philadelphia Flyer to end his career.
Bruce played 3 seasons with the Port Arthur West End Bruins of the Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League between 1953 and 1955. In the 1955–56 season, he backstopped the Port Arthur North Stars to the 1955-56 Western Canada Memorial Cup Playoffs. The next season he led the Guelph Biltmores of the OHA to the 1956-57 Eastern Canada Memorial Cup Playoffs, and was elected to the 1957 OHA first All-Star team. The following year he was an emergency reinforcement for the Ottawa-Hull Canadiens as they won the 1957-58 Memorial Cup Final.
Gamble played his first year as a pro with the Vancouver Canucks of the WHL, and received his first 2 game call-up with the New York Rangers. His performance impressed other NHL teams, and the Boston Bruins chose him in the 1959 Intra-League Draft. After a year with Providence Reds in the AHL, Gamble was the Bruins' starting goalie in 1960–61. During the next 4 seasons he played mainly in the minors (Portland Buckaroos, Kingston Frontenacs (EPHL) and Springfield Indians) , tallying only 28 games for the Bruins in 1961–62.
For the first couple seasons Gamble had trouble trying to establish himself, playing behind Hall of Famers Johnny Bower and Terry Sawchuk. However in 1966–67, the Leafs won the Stanley Cup, and he contributed by playing in 23 regular season games going 5–10–4 with a GAA of 3.39. However, Gamble was sent to the minors to play for the Tulsa Oilers, before the trading deadline. He did not spend the whole season with Toronto, and his name was left off the Stanley Cup.
After this, along with NHL expansion, Gamble had his years of most success playing in 41 games in 1967–68, 62 in 1968–69 (going 28–20–11 and a GAA of 2.80) and 44 in 1969–70, while being traded mid-season to the Flyers in the trade that saw Bernie Parent go to Toronto. He was the MVP of the 21st National Hockey League All-Star Game in 1968. The next season saw his career end after having an on-ice heart attack on February 9, 1972 against the Vancouver Canucks.
Ten years later Gamble died of another heart attack suffered during an old-timers' hockey game, on December 30, 1982, at the age of 44.