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Ralph Backstrom
Position Centre
Shot Left
5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
165 lb (75 kg)
Teams NHL
Montreal Canadiens
Los Angeles Kings
Chicago Black Hawks
Rochester Americans
Chicago Cougars
Denver Spurs
Ottawa Civics
New England Whalers
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born (1937-09-18)September 18, 1937,
Kirkland Lake, ON, CAN
Pro Career 1958 – 1977

Ralph Gerald Backstrom (born September 18, 1937 in Kirkland Lake, Ontario) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey centre.

Playing Career

Backstrom played junior hockey with the Montreal Junior Canadiens from 1954 to 1956, and the Ottawa Canadiens from 1956 to 1958. He was captain of the team that won the George Richardson Memorial Trophy in 1957 and the Memorial Cup in 1958.

As a professional, Backstrom joined the Montreal Canadiens for the 1958-59 season and was selected the NHL's top rookie, receiving the Calder Memorial Trophy. He played in Montreal for 12 full seasons, winning six Stanley Cups and appearing in six National Hockey League All-Star Games (1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1967). Before the 1970-71 season, Backstrom requested a trade and talked about retiring. He reported to training camp, but left the team just before the season opened. After returning to the Canadiens, Backstrom spent most of his time on the bench until being traded to the Los Angeles Kings in January 1971. Just over two years later, he was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks for Dan Maloney and finished the 1972-73 season there.

Backstrom then jumped to the World Hockey Association and joined the Chicago Cougars, where he played for two years. In his first season, he led the Cougars in scoring with 33 goals and 83 points in 70 games. He also represented Canada at the 1974 Summit Series on an all-star team of Canadian WHA players. His offensive production dropped sharply in 1974-75 and at the end of the season the new Denver Spurs selected Backstrom in the WHA's expansion draft. Backstrom was the team's top scorer, but the franchise struggled, and a move to Ottawa—where the team was renamed the Ottawa Civics—didn't help. The franchise ceased operations 41 games into the season. Backstrom finished the season with the New England Whalers, scoring 35 goals and 83 points over the year. He played one more year with New England and retired in 1977. He would have turned 40 before the start of the next season. Through his professional career, Backstrom had seven 20-goal seasons in the NHL and two 30-goal seasons in the WHA.


Stanley Cup Champion 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969 (with Montreal)


After his playing career, Backstrom became an assistant coach in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings, and also a head coach at the University of Denver, where we won the 1986 Spencer Penrose Award as NCAA coach of the year. Backstrom then coached the Phoenix Roadrunners of the International Hockey League from 1990 to 1992. He was founder and commissioner of Roller Hockey International, and is currently the president/owner of the Colorado Eagles of the Central Hockey League.


External Links

Preceded by
Frank Mahovlich
Winner of the Calder Trophy
Succeeded by
Bill Hay
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Ralph Backstrom. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).