Former Maple Leafs defenceman Gus Mortson dies
By Lance Hornby
, Toronto Sun First posted: Saturday, August 08, 2015 06:34 PM EDT | Updated: Saturday, August 08, 2015 07:52 PM EDT
TORONTO - Four-time Stanley Cup winner Gus Mortson, called one of the meanest, but most effective Maple Leaf defencemen in team history, died peacefully on Saturday in Timmins, Ont., at age 90.
Part of a pairing known as the Gold Dust Twins with Jim Thomson in the late 1940s, he loved to hit, especially in the corners, putting fear into the opposition. He could also carry the puck, earning 91 points in 371 games as a Leaf.
Mortson, an eight-time NHL all-star, and Thomson were a big reason for three straight Toronto Cups between 1947-49. In the ‘47 final against Montreal, Mortson played one game with torn wrist ligaments after scoring the night’s first goal. He also had a winning goal against Detroit in the following year’s championship series.
Born in New Liskeard, Ont., he was nicknamed Old Hardrock and twice led the NHL in penalty minutes. After being part of the ‘51 Cup, the one time St. Michael’s College star was traded to Chicago, playing six more NHL seasons, not retiring until 1967. Post-hockey, he did well in his own food and beverage business and was a stockbroker.
Mortson was ranked 53rd by a panel in a book on the Top 100 Leafs, behind Eddie Shack and ahead of Tomas Kaberle.
It’s expected he’ll be honoured at a Leaf home game in the coming season.
Gus Mortson (Supplied photo)
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