Society for International Hockey Research
2005 Hockey Deaths
The following list was compiled by SIHR member Joseph Nieforth, with contributions from various other members. All of the people listed are in some way connected to hockey. If you have any additions or corrections, please send them to

January 4 – HHOF honored member Bud Poile passed away in Vancouver. Poile had a long career in hockey as a player, coach, general manager and commissioner. He guided Philadelphia and Vancouver through their maiden seasons as general manager. He was also a Lester Patrick Award winner for his outstanding service to hockey in the USA.

January 12 – Kenneth Farmer, silver medalist at the 1936 Olympic and oldest surviving alumni of the McGill hockey team, passed away in Montreal, aged 92. Farmer held many high administrative positions including president of the Canadian Olympic Association and of the 1980 Commonwealth Games. He went on to be an honored member of the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and the Order of Canada.

January 12 - Rocco L. Flaminio, 80, a Vice Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Tollgrade Communications, Inc., passed away. What made Flaminio distinctive that he was the official holder of ticket #01 with the NHL expansion Pittsburgh Penguins.

February 7 – Montreal Canadiens player Bob Turner died in Regina, SK. Turner had the incredible fortune to join the Montreal Canadiens during their unprecedented Stanley Cup run in the 1950s. He returned to the Regina Pats, his junior team, as a coach and guided the team to a Memorial Cup victory in 1974.

February 7 - Shep Mayer, a native of northern Ontario, played 12 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942-43.

February 9 – Frank Mathers, a Hershey hockey icon, died in that city. While Mathers did play some 23 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs, it was in Hershey that he had his greatest impact. He was a player, coach and executive for the team and became the embodiment of the franchise. Mathers also played football for the Ottawa Rough Riders.

February 9 – Tim Breslin, a longtime member of the Chicago Wolves, succumbed to appendiceal cancer.
Breslin was one of the first three players signed by the Wolves. His community service was rewarded in 1997 when he was awarded the IHL’s I. John Snider Trophy.

February 10 – Louis Sutter, best known as the father of the Sutter brothers, died in Viking, AB. Sutter had the pleasure of seeing six of his sons make the NHL, a record for one family.

February 14 - Walt Pawlyshyn, who enjoyed a good minor league career, died in Tilbury, ON. Pawlyshyn achieved hockey fame with the 1963 Windsor Bulldogs, who won the Allan Cup. He was also known for his fiddle playing on the Don Messer’s Jubilee radio program.

February 25 – Leo “The Lion” Labine passed away in North Bay, ON, at age 73. The superpest of his era, Labine would needle anyone to distraction. A Memorial Cup win with Barrie Flyers in 1951 and three Stanley Cup final series appearance rank among his highlights.
Labine still hold the Boston Bruins team record for most points in a period (5).

March 11 - Bill Glennie, aged 79. Born at Portage-la-Prairie, Manitoba. British Ice Hockey Hall of Fame member. 1,043 points in 613 games in English and then British National Leagues pre 1960.

March 12 – Gordon “Moose” Sherritt died in a Monticello-Big Lake nursing home. Sherritt played 8 games for the Detroit Red Wings in 1943-44. He settled in Monticello, MN, and was active in the minor hockey program for many years. In June 2005 the Moose Sherritt Ice Arena, a new facility, was named in his honor.

March 29 – Charlie Phillips, a member of the 1942-43 Montreal Canadiens, died on this day. Phillip had his biggest mark on Maritime hockey by being on several teams sent to Allan Cup competition.

March 29 – John Lumley died at his Owen Sound home.
Lumley was big in two sports, hockey and lacrosse, and had an athletic career that spanned three decades. He passed on that accumulated knowledge through the Owen Sound Minor Hockey system.

April 3 – Rick Blight was reported missing on this date. His body was found two weeks later near St.
Ambroise, MB. Blight had a six season run with the Vancouver Canuck before closing out his NHL career with two games for the LA Kings. He was General Manager of Blights Case IH in Portage and Carman at the time of his death.

April 19 – Alex Smart, who played eight games for the Montreal Canadiens in 1942-43 passed from us. Smart shared in an Allan Cup win in 1949 with the Ottawa Senators. He worked for Goodyear Tire for forty years in addition to being a scout for the LA Kings.

April 22 - Stephane Provost died as a result of a motorcycle accident. Provost was an active NHL linesman at the time of his death. Earlier, he played 122 QMJHL games and worked as a firefighter.

April 24 – Don Forrester, born in Saskatchewan, achieved local stardom through his play in the WCHL.
He put in time with Regina, Flin Flon and Calgary in the late 1960s.

April 27 – HHOF honored member Red Horner died in Toronto at age 95. The hard-hitting Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman was the oldest living HHOF member at the time of his death. Horner is best known today for leading the NHL in penalty minutes for eight straight season.

May 29 – HHOF honored member John D’Amico, NHL linesman and referee, died in Toronto. D’Amico also served as linesman in four Canada Cups and was the NHL supervisor of official when his on-ice days ended.

June 4 – Don Davidson, remembered as a member of the Clinton Comets for many seasons, passed on in Winston-Salem. Davidson’s second sport was golf which led him to qualifying for the 1990 U.S. Senior Open and 1992 Senior British Open.

June 14 – Scott Young, one of Canada’s top hockey writers, passed away in Kingston, ON. Young was the author of several hockey books in addition to his newspaper columns. His son, Neil, has earned fame for himself as a musician.

June 19 - Bill LaForge, who reached his pinnacle as a coach by helming the Vancouver Canucks, passed away in Edmonton from an apparent heart attack. LaForge had his greatest success in the Western Hockey League when he guided Kamloops into the 1984 Memorial Cup tournament.

July 1 – Gus Bodnar (born Bodnarchuk) died in the Oshawa General Hospital from cancer. Bodnar was a Calder Memorial Trophy winner (1944) and spent nearly all of his professional career in the NHL. He played on two of Toronto’s Stanley Cup teams (1945, 1947). A twenty year coaching stint followed a successful playing career.

July 4 – A veteran of WW2, Cliff “Red” Goupille passed away. Goupille was a defenseman who had a solid positional game and stuck with the Montreal Canadiens for over 200 games. After his military service he returned to play senior hockey in the Quebec league.

July 9 – Alex Shibicky, an early slapshot practitioner, was one of four remaining members of the 1940 Stanley Cup winning NY Rangers team. Shibicky was an early leader in the effort to organize NHL players as a labor group. He died in South Surrey, BC.

July 9 – Mel Read, a native of Montreal, passed away in that city. Read had a brief six game stint with the New York Rangers in 1946-47. He remained active in minor hockey as a coach when his playing days ended.

July 10th, 2005 - The Honourable Frank D. Moores, the second premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, passed away from cancer in Perth, Ontario, at the age of 72.
Moores was inducted into the Newfoundland Hockey Hall of Fame for his part in the founding of the Cee-Bees hockey team. Frank also served in the House of Commons as an M.P. for Bonavista-Trinity-Conception and helped operate his family’s fish business. In latter years he founded a government relations firm before withdrawing to be with family in Chaffey's Lock, Ontario.

July 18 – Bill Hicke passed at his Albert Park, SK, home. Hicke, known for his ever present smile, played several seasons for the Montreal Canadiens before making stops in New York, Oakland and Pittsburgh. He had the distinction of scoring on the WHA’s first penalty shot.

July 23 – Josef Kus, former Czech hockey forward and a 1947 world championship team member, died in Sumperk, aged 84. Kus played for Prague's clubs LTC and Spartak. After ending his playing career, Kus became a coach. He trained the Austrian and Yugoslav national teams. In the mid-1950s he lectured on hockey in China.

July 26 - Gilles Marotte died in Victoriaville, Quebec of pancreatic cancer at age 60. The defenseman enjoyed a long NHL career, playing over 800 games for the Bruins, Blackhawks, Kings, Rangers and Blues before ending his playing days in the WHA.

July 28 - Jacques Lacarriere, an IIHF Hall of Famer, was the leading force in hockey in France. He played in the 1928 and 1936 Olympics and was a founder of the French Ice Hockey Association. He died at age 99.

July 31 – Bogdan Tyszkiewicz was an IIHF referee and a former president of the Polish Ice Hockey Association.
He was 50 years old at the time of his death.

August 1 – Mike Greeder played for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, where his team won the 1979 NCAA Championship. Greeder played in the minor systems of the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders. After his playing days turned to coaching at Francis.

August 2 - Rudolf Tajcnar was a Slovak who was part of the 1972 Czechoslovakian WC gold medal team. He was one of the first Eastern Bloc players to pursue a career in the west. He played with the WHA Oilers and in the Philadelphia Flyers organization in the late 1970s.

August 8 - Nikolai Puchkov was the goaltender for the Russians' first World Championship gold in 1954 and first Olympic gold medal in 1956.

August 24 – Dr. Tom Pashby was a leading figure in helmet safety and protecting players from head injuries. He died at his Leaside, ON, home. Dr. Pashby was active in hockey safety for nearly 50 years. His numerous honors include membership in the Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

August 26 - Marius Fortier, affectionately called the Father of the Nordiques, died in Quebec City. One of five founding partners, Fortier served as the club’s first general manager when it debuted in the World Hockey Association.

August 31 – Dick Pontarollo passed away on this date.
Pontarillo was a mainstay with the Toledo Mercurys in the early 1950s.

September - Nikolai Epstein, the father of hockey in Voskresensk, Russia, died from Alzheimer's. His Khimik team successfully competed with the top Russian team throughout the 1960s.

September 25 – Ron Rohmer, a one-time prospect of the Detroit Red Wings, died in Hamden, CT. Rohmer played on several rough New Haven teams and was even interviewed about the experience when the movie Slap Shot was being written. He achieved greater success after being sideline by injury and pressed into an unexpectedly long radio career with WELI-AM, New Haven

September 25 - Marius Konstantinidis passed away from a heart attack in Bratislava. Konstantinidis entered the record books as the scorer of the Slovakian league’s first goal after the country split from the Czech republic. He enjoy some success in France, notably with Grenoble.

October 7 - George Pargeter returned to Calgary after hockey and worked for Calgary Stamp and Stencil. His NHL experience was limited to 4 games with the Canadiens, but he had a long AHL career.

November 12 – Wilbert “Dutch” Hiller died in Verdugo Hills Hospital, CA, where he had been living to be near his daughter. “Wib”, as he was also called, won a Stanley Cup with the NY Rangers in 1940 and was one of three surviving members of that team.

November 12 – Jake Gilmour took his own life at his parent’s Nappanee, ON, home. Gilmour had his OHL career interrupted by a severe back injury while rock climbing in the off season. He was generally regarded as a team enforcer.

November 20 – John Hanna, one of Nova Scotia’s most famous hockey exports passed away in Sydney. Hanna had stays with the Rangers, Canadiens and Flyers before retiring. He remained active in minor hockey in Cape Breton until his death.

November 27 - Phil Drackett , aged 83. Doyen of British hockey writers. Hockey journalist with the 'Ice Hockey World' of the 1940s and 50s. Author of 'Flashing Blades' and other books on hockey. Honorary member of British Ice Hockey Writers Association.

November 29 - Don Keenan, who played in one game for the Boston Bruins, was a former St. Mike's goalie who was practicing with the UofT team and was the Leaf's 'house goalie' in the late 50's. He was to be available in case an opposing goalie couldn't play. On March 7, 1959, Harry Lumley of the Bruins took sick and the Leafs contacted 21 year old Keenan to suit up for the Bruins. He played well in a 4-1 loss and was the 3rd star of the game.

November 30 - Jerry Franklin Young, better known as “B.J.”, died as a result of an automobile accident in Vancouver, BC. A native of Anchorage, B.J. played for Team USA at the 1996 IIHF World Junior Tournament and a single NHL game for the Detroit Red Wings in Dec. 1999.

December 4 – Bat yam II player-coach Alexander Golubovich died from a heart attack in the dressing room after playing the first two periods of a game in Metulla, Israel. Golubovich emigrated from Latvia in 1998. He guided his team to the two league titles and was the player/coach of the team for the past six years.

December 5 –– Dutch hockey legend Ben Tijnagel died in a car accident in Nijmegen, Netherlands. Tijnagel was a regular on the Dutch national team from 1981-1987. In 56 matches for the Dutch squad, he scored 20 goals and had 21 assists.

December 7 – Bill Cupolo, who enjoyed a season with the Boston Bruins in 1944-45, passed away at the Greater Niagara General Hospital. Bill’s journey took him throughout the minor leagues from Fort Worth to Seattle and even a season in Italy.

December 10 - Kenny Barnes, a British born and trained player who spent part of seasons 1951/52 and 1953/54 with Wembley Lions. Most of his playing days were with the amateur Wembley Terriers. He died in California.

Mid December - Don 'Tod/Toddy' Thurston was the Wembley Lions leading scorer of 1948/49 season.

December 19 - Phyllis Gretzky, mother of Phoenix Coyote coach Wayne, died of lung cancer in Brantford, ON. One son, Brent, continues to play professional hockey while another, Keith, is a Coyotes amateur scout.

December 25 - Armando Joseph "Mando" Rabbottino, aged 80, died of lung cancer at his home in Everett, MA.
Rabbottino was the supervisor of the old Boston Garden ice surface crew for many years. He ensured the pipes were in order and the ice was in peak condition, with all the lines and logos painstakingly painted. He retired in 1992 after 37 years of service.

December 29 - Ralph S. Citron, former dentist for Buffalo's teams in the American and National hockey leagues and designer of a mask used to protect the face of NHL goaltender Jacques Plante, died at his home in Pompano Beach, Fla., after a long illness. He was 85.