Thread: ATD #9, Part 5
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04-12-2008, 09:12 PM
Don't waste my time
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Kingston selects a talented winger who led the Rangers in points one season, in goals twice when he had a couple of Top-10 in the NHL goal scoring seasons in NY, but whose physical, defensive game made him a perennial all-star game selection and his checking against Gordie Howe helped push Detroit to overtime of game 7, resulting in a Red Wings trade for him the following season, to continue his legendary pestering of the Habs Rocket Richard, this being none other than 1948-49 retro-Selke trophy winner

"Tough Tony" Leswick

NHL Second All-Star Team (1950)
in NHL All-Star Game (1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1954)

... his specialty was shadowing star opponents...
... "a competitive little bugger"... he played much larger than his size.. an indomitable spirit...
a pest... most famous for scoring the (fluke) final goal in overtime of game seven of the 1954 Stanley Cup final.

Quote: of the best players in the NHL in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s.... a fantastic little player... a relentless checker, a tough as nails body checker, and perhaps the NHL's all time ultimate pest... Although he did chip in offensively while in New York, including 27 and 24 goal seasons, Tony was best known for shadowing the league's top players. Perhaps his favorite target was Montreal's fiery Rocket Richard. The long lasting feud between the two lasted for years. Leswick knew how to get under Richard's skin. Richard, who had a short fuse to start with, would often blow up at Leswick and assaulted him. Often Leswick would take Richard's shot and write it off as "taking one for the team." Richard would be banished to the penalty box while the Rangers would go on the powerplay. Other times Leswick was more than willing to answer Richard's battle cry, and the two would brawl it out. Both players were banished to the box, which of course would have to be a small victory for the Rangers. Anytime you could take Rocket Richard out of the game for a few minutes at a time greatly enhanced the Rangers chance of winning.

Now picking on the ferociously explosive Richard takes guts. The only player perhaps more dangerous to tick off was Gordie Howe - not only arguably the greatest player of all time, but perhaps the greatest fighter of all time too. Leswick fearlessly needled Mr. Hockey with great success. Like Richard, no one had as much success keeping Howe off of his game as Leswick did. So impressed by Leswick's performance were the Red Wings, they went out and traded legendary Gaye Stewart to get him.

Leswick played the next 4 years in Detroit, and was part of arguably the greatest team of all time. Leswick's ice time and offensive production went down on a deeper Wings squad, but he continued to be the League's ultimate pest.

The Wings won 3 Stanley Cup championships in Tony's 4 year stay in the Motor City. In 1953-54 Tony scored the Stanley Cup clinching goal in one of the more memorable goals scored in Stanley Cup history. An epic battle between the Wings and Montreal Canadiens went the distance - overtime in game 7...

... a skilled forward who could play both wings... a gritty competitor... scored 40 points in 52 games as a rookie pro with the AHL's Cleveland Barons... before scoring 15 goals as a rookie with the New York Rangers in 1945-46.... Leswick spent six years with the Blueshirts and recorded consecutive 20-goal seasons in 1947 and 1948. After scoring 44 points in 1949-50, he was named to the NHL second all-star team.... "Mighty Mouse" was sent to the Detroit... a solid addition to the powerful Red Wings... His skill and savvy helped the Wings win the Stanley Cup in 1952, 1954, and 1955....clever winger...

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