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Ice Hockey

Up to date as of February 02, 2010

An Ice Hockey Wiki article.

Patrick James ("Pat", "Whitey") Stapleton (born July 4, 1940 in Sarnia, Ontario) is a retired Canadian Defenceman who played 15 seasons in the National Hockey League and the World Hockey Association, most notably for the Chicago Black Hawks. He is the father of Mike Stapleton, who had a lengthy career in the NHL as well.

Playing career

Stapleton played Junior B hockey with the Sarnia Legionnaires before spending two seasons with the St. Catharines TeePees of the Ontario Hockey Association, winning the Memorial Cup in 1960.

His first full season was with the Sault Ste. Marie Thunderbirds of the Eastern Professional Hockey League in 1960-61. Stapleton had signed with the Chicago Black Hawks, but was claimed by the Boston Bruins in the intra-league draft in June 1961 and began his National Hockey League career with the Bruins in the 1961–62 season. The next year, he split his time between Bruins and their EPHL affiliate, the Kingston Frontenacs. Stapleton spent the next two years in the minor leagues, playing with the Portland Buckaroos of the Western Hockey League. He received the Hal Laycoe Cup as the WHL's top defenceman for the 1964–65 season.

Stapleton was briefly the property of the Toronto Maple Leafs in June 1965 as part of a trade with the Bruins, but he was left unprotected in the intra-league draft and was claimed the next day by the Chicago Black Hawks. He played some games with the Hawks' Central Hockey league affiliate, the St. Louis Braves, in 1965–66, but they would be the final minor league games of his career. Stapleton remained in the NHL for eight seasons with the Black Hawks, and was named Second Team All-Star three times (1966, 1971, and 1972). Stapleton played with the Black Hawks in the Stanley Cup finals in 1971 and 1973.

Stapleton was a member of the Team Canada team at the Summit Series in 1972. During the tournament he was a +6 and was often paired with his Black Hawks teammate Bill White. Stapleton is the owner of the puck that was used by Paul Henderson to score the series-winning goal.

In 1973, Stapleton jumped from the NHL and signed a five-year deal with the Chicago Cougars of the World Hockey Association where he became player-coach, replacing Marcel Pronovost as coach. He was a WHA first-team all-star in 1974 and won the Dennis A. Murphy Trophy as the league's top defenceman in the 1973–74 season.

Stapleton again represented Canada in the 1974 Summit Series against the national team from the Soviet Union, this time as team captain, recording three assists in eight games. He was again player-coach of the Cougars in 1974–75, and the team struggled on the ice and financially. In December 1974, he and teammates Dave Dryden and Ralph Backstrom bought the troubled franchise. At the time, Stapleton also owned two small arenas in the Chicago area along with other business interests.

The Cougars folded after the 1974–75 season and Stapleton was claimed by the Indianapolis Racers, where he played for two seasons and was named a second-team all-star in 1976. When the Racers refused to honour his contract in 1977, Stapleton was transferred to the Cincinnati Stingers, where he played one season before retiring in 1978. He would have turned 38 before the start of the next season. Over his career, Stapleton scored 337 points in the NHL and 239 in the WHA.

Post-playing career

Stapleton lives in Strathroy, Ontario and is a member of the advisory board of the Junior B Strathroy Rockets of the Western Ontario Junior Hockey League. He has a Strathroy and District Hockey Association award named after him.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1958–59 St. Catharines Teepees OHA 49 10 26 36 0
1959–60 St. Catharines Teepees OHA 47 12 35 47 0
1959–60 Buffalo Bisons AHL 1 0 0 0 2
1960–61 Sault Ste. Marie Thunderbirds EIHL 59 5 43 48 22 12 1 8 9 2
1961–62 Boston Bruins NHL 69 2 5 7 42
1962–63 Kingston Frontenacs EPHL 49 10 26 36 92 5 4 2 6 12
1962–63 Boston Bruins NHL 21 0 3 3 8
1963–64 Portland Buckaroos WHL 70 5 44 49 80 5 1 6 7 0
1964–65 Portland Buckaroos WHL 70 29 57 86 61 10 3 4 7 16
1965–66 St. Louis Braves CPHL 14 2 4 6 6
1965–66 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 55 4 30 34 52 6 2 3 5 4
1966–67 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 3 31 34 54 6 1 1 2 12
1967–68 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 67 4 34 38 34 11 0 4 4 4
1968–69 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 75 6 50 56 44
1969–70 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 49 4 38 42 28
1970–71 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 76 7 44 51 30 18 3 4 17 4
1971–72 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 78 3 38 41 47 8 2 2 4 4
1972–73 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 75 10 21 31 14 16 2 15 17 10
1973–74 Chicago Cougars WHA 78 6 52 58 44 12 0 13 13 36
1974–75 Chicago Cougars WHA 68 4 30 34 38
1975–76 Indianapolis Racers WHA 80 5 40 45 48 7 0 2 2 2
1976–77 Indianapolis Racers WHA 81 8 45 53 29 9 2 6 8 0
1977–78 Cincinnati Stingers WHA 65 4 45 49 28
NHL totals 635 43 294 337 353 65 10 39 49 38
Preceded by
Pierre Pilote
Chicago Black Hawks captains
1969–70
Succeeded by
Pit Martin
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Pat Stapleton. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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This article uses material from the "Pat Stapleton" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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