Red Wings legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay, part of Detroit’s famed “Production Line,” has died, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday.
He was 93.
Known as “Terrible Ted” and “Old Scarface” (he took some 600 stitches in a 17-year NHL career), Lindsay was a four-time Stanley Cup champion with the Red Wings and is credited with starting the post-championship tradition of skating a victory lap with the cup raised overhead.
Playing on a line with center Sid Abel and right winger Gordie Howe, Lindsay earned a reputation as a cocky, abrasive and hard-nosed — some opponents said dirty — player whose No. 7 is one of only eight retired in franchise history.
“I hated everybody I played against, and they hated me,” Lindsay was fond of saying. “That’s the way hockey should be played.”
A native of Renfrow, Ontario, he debuted at 19 in 1944 and six years later won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer. In fact, in that 1949-50 season, Lindsay, Abel and Howe finished 1-2-3 in league scoring as the Red Wings won their first Stanley Cup of the decade.
He scored 379 goals and 851 points as an 11-time All-Star but was perhaps as (in)famous for his rough style — he logged more than 1,800 penalty minutes — that led the NHL to develop penalties for elbowing and kneeing opponents.
Lindsay, who played three seasons with the Blackhawks near the end of his career, retired in 1965 after one last season with the Red Wings. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966. He subsequently had a stint as Detroit’s GM and was part of NBC’s national NHL broadcasts.
Off the ice, he was a pioneer in the formation of the NHL Players Association and his Ted Lindsay Foundation raised millions for autism research.
In 2010 the NHLPA renamed the Lester B. Pearson Award, given annually to the most outstanding player as voted on by the players, to the Ted Lindsay Award.