|5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
180 lb (82 kg)
|Teams||Toronto Maple Leafs|
New York Rangers
|Born||January 12, 1930,|
|Died||February 21, 1974 (age 44),|
St. Catharines, Ontario
|Pro Career||1949–50 – 1973–74|
|Hall of Fame, 1977|
Miles Gilbert "Tim" Horton (January 12, 1930 – February 21, 1974) was a Canadian professional Defenceman from Cochrane, Ontario. He played 22 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Buffalo Sabres. He was also a businessman and the co-founder of Tim Hortons, Canada's largest restaurant chain. He died in an automobile crash at St. Catharines, Ontario in 1974 at the age of 44.
Early Years[edit | edit source]
His father was English and his mother Irish. The Hortons moved to Duparquet, Quebec in 1935, but returned to Cochrane, Ontario, in 1938. In 1945, Horton moved to Sudbury, Ontario.
Playing Career[edit | edit source]
Tim Horton grew up playing in Cochrane, Ontario, and later in the mining country near Sudbury, Ontario. The Toronto Maple Leaf organization signed him, and in 1948 he moved to Toronto to play junior hockey in St. Michael's Majors.
Two years later, he turned pro with the Leafs' farm team, the Pittsburgh Hornets of the American Hockey League, and most of his first three seasons were spent with Pittsburgh. He played in his first NHL game on March 26, 1950. He started to play regularly for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fall of 1952. He remained a Leaf until 1970, winning four Stanley Cups. Horton later played for the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. Horton was known for his tremendous strength and calmness under pressure, and had relatively few penalty minutes for an enforcer-type defenceman. Horton was a hard-working and durable defenceman who was also an effective puck carrier–in 1964–65 he played right wing for the Leafs. He was named an NHL First Team All-Star three times (1964, 1968, and 1969). He was selected to the NHL Second Team three more times (1954, 1963, 1967). He appeared in seven National Hockey League All-Star Games.
Between February 11, 1961 and February 4, 1968, Horton appeared in 486 consecutive regular-season games; this remains the Leafs club record for consecutive games and was the NHL record for consecutive games by a defencemen until broken by Kārlis Skrastiņš on February 8, 2007. On March 12, 1955, he had suffered a broken leg and jaw after being checked by Bill Gadsby of the New York Rangers. The injuries were so severe that he missed much of the following season, and there had been some doubt as to whether he would ever be able to return to the game.
Horton had a reputation for enveloping players who were fighting him in a crushing bear hug. Boston Bruins winger Derek Sanderson once bit Horton during a fight; years later, Horton's widow, Lori, still wondered why. "Well," Sanderson replied, "I felt one rib go, and I felt another rib go, so I just had—to, well, get out of there!"
Injuries and age were little more than minor inconveniences to Horton, who was generally acknowledged as the strongest man in the game while he was playing. Declared Chicago Blackhawks winger Bobby Hull, perhaps the only NHL player more muscular than Horton, "There were defensemen you had to fear because they were vicious and would slam you into the boards from behind, for one, Eddie Shore. But you respected Tim Horton because he didn't need that type of intimidation. He used his tremendous strength and talent to keep you in check."
In 1962, he scored 3 goals and 13 assists in 12 playoff games, setting a Leafs team record for playoff points by a defenceman that was tied in 1978 by Ian Turnbull and was not broken until 1994, when David Ellett registered 18 points.
Horton wore the number 7 while playing for the Leafs, the same number worn by King Clancy from 1931–32 to 1936–37. The team declared both Horton and Clancy honoured players at a ceremony on November 21, 1995, but did not retire the number 7 from team use. Instead, it became an Honoured Jersey Number.
Clancy once lamented, "If he'd only get angry, no one would top him in this league." But Horton believed that he had taken too many penalties early in his career because of his "hot temper".
Career Statistics[edit | edit source]
|1947–48||St. Michael's Majors||OHA||32||6||7||13||137||--||--||--||--||--|
|1948–49||St. Michael's Majors||OHA||32||9||18||27||95||--||--||--||--||--|
|1949–50||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||1||0||0||0||2||1||0||0||0||2|
|1951–52||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||4||0||0||0||8||--||--||--||--||--|
|1952–53||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||2||14||16||85||--||--||--||--||--|
|1953–54||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||7||24||31||94||5||1||1||2||4|
|1954–55||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||67||5||9||14||84||--||--||--||--||--|
|1955–56||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||35||0||5||5||36||2||0||0||0||4|
|1956–57||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||66||6||19||25||72||--||--||--||--||--|
|1957–58||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||53||6||20||26||39||--||--||--||--||--|
|1958–59||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||5||21||26||76||12||0||3||3||16|
|1959–60||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||3||29||32||69||10||0||1||1||6|
|1960–61||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||57||6||15||21||75||5||0||0||0||0|
|1961–62||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||10||28||38||88||12||3||13||16||16|
|1962–63||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||6||19||25||69||10||1||3||4||10|
|1963–64||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||9||20||29||71||14||0||4||4||20|
|1964–65||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||12||16||28||95||6||0||2||2||13|
|1965–66||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||6||22||28||76||4||1||0||1||12|
|1966–67||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||8||17||25||70||12||3||5||8||25|
|1967–68||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||69||4||23||27||82||--||--||--||--||--|
|1968–69||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||74||11||29||40||107||4||0||0||0||7|
|1969–70||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||59||3||19||22||91|
|1969–70||New York Rangers||NHL||15||1||5||6||16||6||1||1||2||28|
|1970–71||New York Rangers||NHL||78||2||18||20||57||13||1||4||5||14|
Doughnut Industries[edit | edit source]
In 1964, Horton opened his first Tim Horton Doughnut Shop in Hamilton, Ontario. He even added a few of his culinary creations to the initial menu. By 1967, Horton had partnered with investor Ron Joyce, who quickly took over operations and expanded the chain into a multi-million dollar franchise system. Horton's previous business ventures included both a hamburger restaurant and Studebaker auto dealership in Toronto.
In addition to over 3000 locations in Canada, there are over 500 stores in the United States and locations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Mexico.
Joyce's son married Horton's daughter, returning the Horton family to the company.
Death[edit | edit source]
Early on the morning of February 21, 1974, Horton was driving on the Queen Elizabeth Way from Toronto to his home in Buffalo after the Sabres had played in Toronto the night before, in his De Tomaso Pantera sports car, a gift from Sabres' GM George "Punch" Imlach. He was negotiating a curve on the QEW where it crosses over Twelve Mile Creek in St. Catharines when he lost control and hit a concrete culvert. The impact flipped the vehicle and Horton, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected. Horton was reported dead on arrival at the local hospital. A police officer pursuing Horton's vehicle said that he had been travelling at over 160 km/h (100 mph).
Awards and Achievements[edit | edit source]
- 1961–62 – Stanley Cup
- 1962–63 – Stanley Cup Champion
- 1963–64 – Stanley Cup Champion
- 1966–67 – Stanley Cup Champion
- 1977 – Inducted (posthumously) into the Hockey Hall of Fame
- 1996 – Number 2 retired by the Buffalo Sabres
- 1998 – Ranked number 43 on List of 100 greatest hockey players by The Hockey News
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Video[edit | edit source]
Complete game with commercials from the Leafs-Bruins match on October 26, 1968. During the second intermission (at 1:34:00), Tim Horton talks about his donut stores.