TORONTO -- Memorable events in sports history need a stage on which to be played out, and Leo Labine was a man who could set that stage.
The hard-rock right winger who played 11 bone-rattling seasons in the National Hockey League with the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings played a key role in one of hockey's most dramatic Stanley Cup moments, and in one of the league's most historic events.
Mr. Labine was a legendary hard hitter in the six-team era of the NHL. He had ample skill, scoring 128 goals and 321 points in 643 career games, and still holds a Bruins club record of five points in one period against Detroit on Nov. 28, 1954, the night after Hurricane Hazel had torn through the Great Lakes region. That mark endured even through the high-flying days of Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito.
Mr. Labine's stock in trade, when he came out of his native Northern Ontario and through St. Michael's College in Toronto, was as a feisty winger who could make his 170 pounds hit with the robustness of a 200-pounder. He also collected 730 penalty minutes in 643 games.