Johnny Bower Collection

The Late Great, Johnny Bower of Ukrainian decent was born John Kiszkan on November 8, 1924. During his first professional year of hockey, he changed his name to John Bower, to make it easier for sports writers.

After 11 seasons in the minors, was finally picked up by the New York Rangers of the NHL for the 1953–54 season.  He was sent back down to the minor leagues and would toil there for four more years in Providence Reds, Vancouver Canucks, Cleveland Barons and again with the Ranger, before being claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1958. He would play 11 full seasons with the Leafs, the remainder of his career. The height of his NHL career came during the Maple Leafs' three consecutive Stanley Cup victories in the early 1960s — 1962, 1963 and 1964. Bower would win another Stanley Cup in 1967 by tandeming with another Hall of Famer, Terry Sawchuk. Bower and Sawchuk shared the Vezina Trophy as the best NHL goalies in 1964–65. On April 6, 1969, at the age of 44 years, 4 months, and 29 days, Johnny became the oldest goaltender to play in a Stanley Cup playoff game. He played his final game on December 10, 1969 and on March 19, 1970, Johnny publicly announced his official retirement - four months after his 45th birthday.

Bower was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976, and the AHL Hall of Fame in 2006. In 1998, he was ranked number 87 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players. He was assistant coach for the Leafs from 1976–1978. Bower is also a member of the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame.  In January 2004, Bower was featured on a postage stamp and immortalized along with five other All-Stars as part of the NHL All-Stars Collection.  In 2005, the Royal Canadian Mint featured Bower on a non-circulating fifty-cent coin, as part of its four-coin Legends of the Toronto Maple Leafs coin set.  In 2007, it was announced that Bower would receive a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.



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