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Ron Ellis

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Ronald John Edward Ellis (born January 8, 1945 in Lindsay, Ontario) is a retired Canadian professional right winger who played 16 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Playing careerEdit


Ellis in 1955

Ellis was signed by the Leafs and played junior hockey with the Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey Association from 1961–1964. He played on the team that won the Memorial Cup in 1964.

In 1963-64 the Leafs wanted to bring him up to the NHL for a five game trial, which was the maximum pro games allowed to an amateur. Ellis refused, saying that would have cost him his eligiblity for an NCAA hockey scholarship. He wanted that option open to him.

Ellis became a full-time Leaf in 1964–65 and played 11 seasons to 1974–75, winning the Stanley Cup in 1967. He was also a member of Team Canada at the 1972 Summit Series. Ellis retired at age 30 during training camp in 1975, coming off the most productive season of his career with 61 points. He said he no longer had the desire to play and denied that his decision had anything to do with being passed over as team captain in favour of Darryl Sittler a month earlier. In 1977, Ellis came out of retirement to play for Canada at the world hockey championships and then decided to resume his NHL career with the Leafs in 1977–78.

Punch Imlach was hired to run the Leafs for the 1979–80 season and didn't feel that Ellis was worth the money he was being paid. He offered to buy out Ellis's contract at the end of the season, but the two couldn't reach an agreement. Despite objections from new coach Mike Nykoluk, Imlach put Ellis on waivers during the 1980–81 season and gave him an ultimatum: retire or be sent to the minor leagues. The 36-year-old Ellis chose to retire. He had played 1,034 career NHL games scoring 332 goals and 308 assists for 640 points.

After his life in hockey, Ellis opened a sporting goods store but the stresses of life after hockey took its toll. In 1986 a bout with clinical depression began. He would later go public with his story by writing a book with Kevin Shea titled Over The Boards: The Ron Ellis Story, published in 2002. Today, he is a speaker on the importance of diagnosing and treating clinical depression. As of 2006, Ellis is director of public affairs for the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Awards and achievementsEdit

Ellis earned an unusual tribute in 1968 when former Leafs star Ace Bailey—then working as a timekeeper at Maple Leaf Gardens—declared that he admired Ellis so much, he wanted the team to give his retired #6 to Ellis. Bailey's number had been retired following his career-ending injury in 1933. Ellis, who had been wearing #8, changed to #6 for the rest of his career, after which the number was re-retired.

Career statisticsEdit

National Hockey League - Regular season

  • Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM
1963–64 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 1 0 0 0 0
1964–65 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 62 23 16 39 14
1965–66 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 19 23 42 24
1966–67 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 67 22 23 45 14
1967–68 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 74 28 20 48 8
1968–69 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 72 25 21 46 12
1969–70 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 76 35 19 54 14
1970–71 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 78 24 29 53 10
1971–72 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 78 23 24 47 17
1972–73 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 78 22 29 51 22
1973–74 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70 23 25 48 12
1974–75 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 79 32 29 61 25
1975–76 Retired from active playing
1976–77 Retired from active playing
1977–78 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 80 26 24 50 17
1978–79 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 63 16 12 28 10
1979–80 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 59 12 11 23 6
1980–81 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 27 2 3 5 2
NHL Regular season totals 1034 332 308 640 207

International competition

  • Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, PTS = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
Year Team GP G A PTS PIM
1972 Team Canada 8 0 3 3 6
1977 Team Canada 10 5 4 9 2
Inter. Totals 18 5 7 12 8

International playEdit


External linksEdit

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