Sandford played his junior hockey for theSt. Michael's Majors, leading his team to the Memorial Cup playoffs in 1946 and 1947. In 1947, Sandford devastated the Ontario Hockey Association with 67 points in 27 games, adding a fantastic 52 points in nine OHA playoffs and ten Memorial Cup games en route to St. Michael's third Memorial Cup title. For his efforts, he was awarded the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHA's most valuable player.
Sandford was signed by the Bruins in 1947. In the low scoring era of the late 1940s and 1950s, Sandford was no sniper - save for the 1953 season, when he led all scorers in the playoffs with eight goals and eleven points - but proved to be an effective and tenacious defensive left winger, and was named to play in the NHL All-Star Game in five consecutive seasons starting in 1951.
His best scoring season was 1954, when he scored 16 goals and 31 assists for 47 points, finishing in the top ten in league scoring, and earned citation as a Second Team All-Star, one of the lowest scoring forwards to do so in the post-World War II era. The next season he was named to succeed the retiring Milt Schmidt as Bruins' captain.
He played eight seasons in all for the Bruins, only to be traded in the 1955 offseason in a blockbuster nine-player deal - the largest in NHL history to that date - which sent him to the Detroit Red Wings. After playing only four games in Detroit, the Wings promptly dealt Sandford to the Chicago Black Hawks where he finished out the season before retiring.
Sandford finished his playing days with 106 goals and 145 assists for 251 points in 503 games, recording 355 penalty minutes.
For many years after his retirement, Sandford served in various off-ice capacities for the Bruins, as a goal judge, official scorer and eventually supervisor of off-ice officials.
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