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02-09-2013, 11:19 AM
Rob Scuderi
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D, Pat "Whitey" Stapleton

3x NHL Second All-Star Team
1x WHA First All-Star Team
1x WHA Second All-Star Team
1x Dennis A. Murphy Trophy winner (WHA Top Defenseman)
Member of WHA Hall of Fame
Captain of Chicago Blackhawks (1969-1970), captain of Team Canada (1974 Summit Series)

Hart Trophy Voting: 13th (1966)
Norris Trophy Voting: 3rd (1966), 4th (1971), 4th (1972), 7th (1970), 10th (1969)
All-Star Team Voting: 4th (1966), 4th (1971), 4th (1972), 7th (1970), 8th (1967), 12th (1969), 13th (1968), 13th (1973)

Defensemen Scoring Placements: 2nd (1969), 3rd (1966), 4th (1968), 4th (1970), 4th (1971), 5th (1967), 9th (1972), 21th (1973)
Defensemen VS#2 Scores: 100 (1969), 97 (1966), 95 (1970), 88 (1968), 83 (1967), 81 (1971), 72 (1972), 57 (1973)

Team Scoring Placements (NHL): 5th (1968), 6th (1970),6th (1971), 7th (1969), 8th (1972), 9th (1973), 10th (1966), 11th (1967)
Team Scoring Placements (WHA): 1st (1976), 4th (1974), 6th (1978), 7th (1977), 9th (1975)

Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Stapleton was voted to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1966 and duplicated this honor in 1971 and 1972. He played with the Hawks until the end of the 1972-73 season and helped the squad reach the Stanley Cup finals in 1971 and 1973. His quick hands and lightning reflexes, combined with a hard, accurate shot, made him one of the more effective point men in the NHL. Defensively, he was a master of the poke-check and was able to consistently steer opponents away from the goal.

Stapleton and defense partner Bill White developed into one of the NHL's elite tandems. They were the key to the Hawks winning four straight West Division crowns, and in the 1972 Summit Series against the USSR they were teamed in seven of the eight games. Stapleton was on the ice when Paul Henderson scored the dramatic series-winning goal with 34 seconds left in the third period. Amid all the celebrations, he grabbed the historic puck, a treasure he preserves at home to this day. Stapleton and White were also known for their pranks that helped keep the Chicago and Canada teams loose.
Originally Posted by Sports Illustrated - 5/7/1973
As Chicago opened hostilities with Montreal this week for possession of the Stanley Cup, it was perhaps fitting that some of the Black Hawks' largest hopes lay with the smallest defense-man on the ice. What Chicago could not accomplish in the same situation in 1965 and 1971 with the bullets of Bobby Hull it was now attempting with teamwork and defense—and the breakaways that could develop through the alertness of that defense. In the Chicago scheme of things no man was more important than 5'7" Pat Stapleton, the team's unfrocked captain but a most conscientious worker.

Although Stapleton was a dominant force in the game, his contribution was largely missing from the statistics. He was credited with one assist; in fact, he initiated the passing plays that led to each Chicago goal. And though officially he scored only six points in the five games with the Rangers, he was on the ice when Chicago got 12 of its 15 goals.

"Finding the puck was never any problem," mumbled Captain Vic Had-field of the Rangers. " Stapleton always had it. Trouble was, we couldn't get it away from him," Stapleton and lanky Bill White have formed hockey's best defensive pair the last three seasons, and in cup games they always play at least 40 of the 60 minutes. White contentedly anchors himself to the Chicago blue line, but the irascible Stapleton roves throughout center ice on search-and-destroy missions, anticipating plays and then darting in front of opposing forwards to filch the puck from them. "We completed more passes to Stapleton than to any of our own guys," mourned one confused Ranger.

Once Stapleton steals the puck he either headmans it to one of his streaking forwards or cruises to the opposition blue line and fires it at the goaltender. "Most people think I'm an offensive defenseman, but I'm not," Stapleton says. "An offensive defenseman is someone like Bobby Orr who carries the puck in deep. Me? I rarely, if ever, take the puck more than a stride or two across the blue line before getting rid of it."

"If Stapleton plays against Montreal the way he played against us," says New York Coach Emile Francis, "the Black Hawks will beat the Canadiens." Stapleton did his part in Sunday's opener in Montreal by firing lead passes that were converted into three Chicago goals. The defensive part of the equation didn't quite work out, though. After being up 2-0 and 3-2, in the end Chicago was routed 8-3 because it could not cope with the Canadiens' speed and close-in passes.

Regardless of how the Black Hawks ultimately fare against the Canadiens, there is a strong possibility that the 32-year-old Stapleton will not play for them next season. His relationship with Chicago management deteriorated after Coach Billy Reay snipped the captain's C from his jersey three years ago when he had the audacity to hold out for a better contract.

Hoping that Stapleton would grow a few inches, Boston sent him to Portland of the Western League for two years. "I learned how to play the game out there," he says. "I had always tried to muscle people and, of course, it never worked. In Portland I learned how to finesse them, how to box them away from the goal without getting run over." In his second season with Portland, Stapleton scored 29 goals and 57 assists and was voted the league's top defenseman.

Then he was named captain of the Black Hawks, a move Bobby Hull applauded by saying, "He is our inspiration."
Stapleton was paying his price in stitches. Doctors have sewn more than 600 of them into his face. "When you're little," Stapleton says resignedly, "you get a lot of sticks in your face that other players get in their chest." Pucks, too.

Originally Posted by Lewiston Evening Journal - 9/14/1961
"I'm expecting Stapleton to be a regular," Watson said. "Stapleton gives us mobility on defense. He's as good a skater as Leo Boivin with Doug Harvey's style of skating. He does a fine job of starting plays out of our zone.",1254015

Originally Posted by The Windsor Star - 11/3/1961
Boston good defensive work out of newcomers Pat Stapleton and Ed Westfall...,3261855

Originally Posted by The Spokesman-Review - 6/9/1965
Toronto picked up two good young hockey players, Pat Stapleton and Ollie Kurtenbach, plus veteran Andy Hebenton in a three-for-one deal that sent veteran Ron Stewart to Boston.,2382646

Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - 12/13/1965
Diminutive Pat Stapleton, the recall from St. Louis of the Central Pro League, was Chicago's best defenceman and earned two assists.,2925496

Originally Posted by The Leader-Post - 3/11/1966
On defence, the Hawks have Pierre Pilote and newcomer Pat Stapleton, who has played well in the 45 games he has appeared in with Chicago since being recalled from St. Louis of the Central Professional Hockey League.,2253417

Originally Posted by Reading Eagle - 5/24/1966
The voting was done after each half of the season and Stapleton led for the second half, collecting all 40 points.,4743248

Originally Posted by The Windsor Star - 12/20/1968
The first [star] went to Stapleton, who along with Gilles Marotte earned coach Billy Reay's praise for anchoring a strong defensive team effort.,4252538

Originally Posted by The Sun - 3/31/1969
Pat Stapleton of Chicago was credited with six assists to tie the league record for assists by a defencemen in one game. It was set by Babe Pratt of Toronto in 1944,5799809

Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen - 2/4/1970
Pat Stapleton, who was enjoying his best season yet with 42 points on four goals and 38 assists, tore the ligaments in his left knee Saturday night and will likely sit out the remainder of the season.,1910446

Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - 5/4/1971
Pat Stapleton: Second to only Bobby Hull as semi-final standout. Really lugs the puck and figured in 16 playoff goals.,939442

Originally Posted by The Telegraph - 5/18/1971
...Reay, who was forced to use Pat Stapleton almost 39 minutes Sunday. The plucky Stapleton and his sidekick, Bill White, could see as much duty in the finale.,2318392

Originally Posted by Sports Illustrated - 1/15/1973
Early in the week Mikita criticized the Chicago management. "I think we might be winning more if Pat Stapleton was still playing regularly," he said. "Here we are, still fighting for our lives. I think we could be doing better. Pat and Bill White were the best defense team in hockey last year. Now they're not together anymore and Pat's sitting on the bench. Can an All-Star change that much in one season? I'm sure if he played more often Pat could help us. We're having a few problems moving the puck in our own end, and Pat's great at moving it out, you know."
Stapleton, one of Team Canada's best defensemen in the series against the Soviet Union, broke a bone in his foot at the start of the season, and during his recovery lost his regular job to a promising 20-year-old rookie, Phil Russell. Now Stapleton takes an occasional shift on defense, a spot assignment or two at center and an occasional turn on the power play.

"I don't know what's going on, and I don't think Pat does," Mikita said. "Maybe they're slapping him on the wrist for talking about retiring earlier this year, just like they took his captaincy away three years ago when he held out for awhile. It makes me wonder about myself. Suppose I decide to sign a contract here for next year, but it doesn't go smoothly. Will they put me on the bench?"

Originally Posted by Sports Illustrated - 11/12/1973
Now, however, Pat Stapleton, the only Black Hawk defenseman who could rush the puck with any effectiveness...

Originally Posted by Daily News - 5/8/1985
Savard now has 15 playoff assists this year, tying a team record also held by Stan Mikita, Dennis Hull and Pat Stapleton.,2325572

Leaves for WHA
Originally Posted by The Evening Independent - 6/25/1973
Pat Stapleton, former star defensemen with the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League, is the new coach of the Chicago Cougars of the World Hockey Association.

Stapleton signed with the Cougars Tuesday as a player-coach for a reported million dollars in a five-year contract. He received a bonus of $125,000 for signing...Stapleton, 33, said of his new job: "I'll have complete control of the hockey operation.",3257313

Originally Posted by St. Petersburg Times - 4/25/1977
In the first period, the Racers' tight defensive play, led by veteran Pat Stapleton, kept the Nordiques offense bottled up.,2266874

Summit Series
Originally Posted by
He had become an outstanding defensive player, who did provided strong support for the Chicago goalies. "Whitey" was a very good puck handler who launched many Chicago offensive "counterattacks" with fast, accurate passes to the Black Hawk forwards.

He was named to Team Canada 1972 and went into the Canadian line-up to stay after the debacle of Game 1. Along with defensive partner Bill White, "Whitey" was probably Team Canada's finest defensemen during the series. He was always Head Coach Harry Sinden's first choice on defense when it came to protect a lead in the final minutes.

He was one of Head Coach Billy Harris's first choices for Team Canada 1974. Pat was named captain of the team and along with defensive partner J.C. Tremblay would be the defenseman Harris would use in almost every crucial situation. He played in every game of the Summit picking up 2 assists, and solidifying his reputation as being one of the finest players in the world.

Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - 4/20/1972
"Some of the first to receive invitations," says Eagleson, "will be Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito of Boston, Bobby Hull and Pat Stapleton of Chicago, Vic Hadfield, Rod Gilbert and Jean Ratelle of New York, and Yvon Cournoyer of Montreal. Dave Keon and Paul Henderson of the Leafs have also been mentioned.,3054722

Originally Posted by The Calgary Herald - 10/2/1972
Harry Sinden had to make a difficult decision in Prague - a decision which almost left Canada's team a bit too thin to cope with the Czechs. However, Sinden wished to give some of the substitutes...a chance to play in at least one game behind the Iron Curtain.

Accordingly, Harry benched some of the players who had been highly instrumental in Canada's wins over the Russians. He benched Paul Henderson, Ron Ellis, Pat Stapleton, Gary Bergman, Bill White and Rod Gilbert.,101592

Originally Posted by The Windsor Star - 5/9/1973
Valery Kharlamov, the star forward on the Soviet Union's national hockey team, said Tuesday he was impressed with the work of defencemen Brad Park and Pat Stapleton in the Team Canada-Russia hockey series last fall.

...He then noted that both Stapleton and Park saw "all the ice very clearly.",5928626

Originally Posted by The Phoenix - 9/10/1974
When Team Canada '74 hits Gorky Street in downtown Moscow later this month, only three players will recognize the scenery. And one of them, Pat Stapleton, wasn't all that certain he wanted to make the trip.

Stapleton was named player-coach of the WHA's Chicago Cougars last season, and his immediate reaction was allegiance to his team when the Canada-Russia rematch was initially announced. The 34-year old defenceman didn't feel he could vacate his managerial duties until Oct. 6, scheduled completion date for the Super Series II.

Team Canada organized had other ideas however...Stapleton was considered a necessary link along the club's blueline. He had been one of Canada's steadiest performers in the previous international showdown.

Pat Stapleton almost wasn't part of the excitement. But when a fellow's indispensable, he doesn't have much a choice.,2059815

Originally Posted by The Vancouver Sun - 9/16/1974
"I want my defencemen to defend territory, to retreat when the Russians have the puck," said [coach Billy] Harris. "I've asked them, when they're sitting on the bench, to watch Pat Stapleton, who was among the leading defencemen in the 1972 series."

Stapleton and J.C. Tremblay are expected to be Team Canada's premier defensive pairing throughout the eight game series...Harris sees little sign of difficult although they play similarly, each preferring to use finesse rather than outmuscle the opposition.,263471

Originally Posted by The Windsor Star - 9/21/1974
I asked Pat Stapleton about that. He laughed and said, "I don't think we'll get used to any kind of refereeing." Stapleton, a Sarnia man, is one of the finest defencemen to the modern game has produced. He is mature. He is playing his second Canada-Russia series, not because he likes it but because he wants to help the WHA where he has gone to coach the Chicago entry.,3149516

Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - 9/23/1974
The Russians' superior conditioning told in this game for the first time in the series and it was only the indefatigable efforts of Pat Stapleton, J-C Tremblay and Paul Shmyr that kept the Russians from piling it on to an "embarrassing" degree...,2158151

Originally Posted by Sports Illustrated - 9/30/1974
"We're also making them look bad by taking out a player the instant he passes the puck," said Stapleton. "Two years ago it took us about seven games to discover that a Russian player passes the puck and promptly skates into position to get it back on the next pass. Well, we're hitting these guys and preventing them from getting that next pass. That's why they've been passing the puck to us as much as to themselves."

Last edited by Rob Scuderi: 03-06-2013 at 09:34 PM.
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