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Toe Blake
Position Left Wing
Shot Left
5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
162 lb (74 kg)
Teams Montreal Canadiens
Montreal Maroons
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born August 21, 1912(1912-08-21),
Sudbury, Ontario
Died May 17 1995 (aged 82),
Montreal, Quebec
Pro Career 1934 – 1948
Hall of Fame, 1966

Hector "Toe" Blake, Order of Canada (August 21, 1912 – May 17, 1995) was a Canadian player and coach in the National Hockey League (NHL).


His nickname came out of his childhood for his younger sister was unable to pronounce his name. When she said it, it often sounded like Hec-toe, hence Toe as his nickname which later replaced the nickname he had been given as a scorer, the Old Lamplighter, because he often activated the light behind the goal.


Born in what is now the ghost town of Victoria Mines (now part of Sudbury), Ontario, he was raised playing outdoor hockey in the town of Coniston near the city of Sudbury, Ontario. Blake played junior and senior hockey in the Sudbury area and was part of the 1932 Memorial Cup champions, the Sudbury Cub Wolves. He played for the Hamilton Tigers of the Ontario Hockey Association before joining the NHL club with which he won his first Stanley Cup, the Montreal Maroons, in 1935. He then joined the Montreal Canadiens when the Maroons folded and played with them until his retirement in 1948. For the last eight seasons, he was team captain, and led the Canadiens to Stanley Cups in 1944 and 1946.

He won the Art Ross Trophy and the Hart Trophy in 1938-39 despite the Canadiens' terrible records in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He was the only bright spot on the team.

Starting in 1943-44, he was part of a trio called the "Punch Line," which featured Elmer Lach and Maurice Richard. He won the Lady Byng Trophy in 1945-46.

A little after January 11, 1948, he suffered a double fracture of his ankle, ending his NHL career.

After retiring from the Canadiens he resided permanently in Montreal, raising his children and subsequently where his grand children were raised. The "Toe" Blake Tavern, which he owned, became a successful watering hole in Montreal.

He coached several minor league teams in the Canadiens' system. In 1947-48 he led the Houston Huskies to the United States Hockey League championship. In 1950-51 he coached the Valleyfield Braves to the Alexander Cup. He also coached the American Hockey League's Buffalo Bisons.

Coach Toe Blake.

After eight years coaching in the minors, he was named head coach of the Canadiens in 1955, replacing Dick Irvin. Blake was fluent in French (his mother was a Franco-Ontarian), and Canadiens management also felt that Blake was best-suited to control Richard's explosive temper (which had led to a suspension the past spring).

In his first five years as Canadiens' coach, the team won the Stanley Cup each year, He also won the Stanley Cup in 1964-65, 1965–66, and 1967-68. His eight Stanley Cup wins are the most for any Canadiens' coach and second in the National Hockey League. He is still the winningest coach in Canadiens' history.

Blake turned down Jacques Plante's request to wear a mask during games for fear that it would impair his vision. However, after a shot broke Plante's nose on November 2, 1959; Blake finally relented.

Blake was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966.

In the end, it was Alzheimer's Disease, which Blake had for more than eight years, that ended his life. Toe Blake died of pneumonia, typical of Alzheimer's patients, on May 17, 1995, at the age of 82.

Career Statistics

                                  Regular Season
Season  Team                    Lge   GP   G   A    Pts  PIM

1934-35 Montreal Maroons        NHL   8    0   0    0    0
1935-36 Montreal Canadiens      NHL   11   1   2    3    28
1936-37 Montreal Canadiens      NHL   43   10  12   22   12
1937-38 Montreal Canadiens      NHL   43   17  16   33   33
1938-39 Montreal Canadiens      NHL   48   24  23   47   10
1939-40 Montreal Canadiens      NHL   48   17  19   36   48
1940-41 Montreal Canadiens      NHL   48   12  20   32   49
1941-42 Montreal Canadiens      NHL   48   17  28   45   19
1942-43 Montreal Canadiens      NHL   48   23  36   59   26
1943-44 Montreal Canadiens      NHL   41   26  33   59   10
1944-45 Montreal Canadiens      NHL   49   29  38   67   25
1945-46 Montreal Canadiens      NHL   50   29  21   50   2
1946-47 Montreal Canadiens      NHL   60   21  29   50   6
1947-48 Montreal Canadiens      NHL   32   9   15   24   4

                   NHL Totals         577  235 292  527  493


  • Stanley Cup champions 1935 (with Montreal Maroons as a player)
  • Stanley Cup champions 1944, 1946 (with Montreal Canadiens as a Player)
  • Stanley Cup champions 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968 (Head Coach of Montreal Canadiens)
  • Hart Trophy 1939
  • Scoring Leader 1939
  • Lady Byng Trophy 1946
  • NHL First Team All-Star 1939, 1940, 1945
  • NHL Second Team All-Star 1946


Preceded by
Gordie Drillon
NHL Scoring Champion
Succeeded by
Milt Schmidt
Preceded by
Eddie Shore
Winner of the Hart Trophy
Succeeded by
Ebbie Goodfellow
Preceded by
Walter Buswell
Montreal Canadiens Captain
1940 - 1948
Succeeded by
Bill Durnan
Preceded by
Bill Mosienko
Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy
Succeeded by
Bobby Bauer
Preceded by
Dick Irvin
Head Coaches of the Montreal Canadiens
1955 - 1968
Succeeded by
Claude Ruel

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Toe Blake. 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).