Bobby Baun, legendary Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman, dies at 86

Toronto Maple Leafs legend Bobby Baun has died at the age of 86, the team announced on Tuesday. One of the toughest defensemen in franchise history, Baun was part of four different Stanley Cup championship teams with the Maple Leafs.

Baun made his debut with the Maple Leafs in the 1956-57 season, and he played the first 11 seasons of his career with the franchise. Baun helped Toronto win the Stanley Cup in three straight seasons from 1962 to 1964.

In the 1964 Stanley Cup Final against the Detroit Red Wings, Baun scored the overtime winner in Game 6 on a broken leg. Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan released a statement on Baun’s death and said his legacy continues to inspire those within the organization to this day.

“The Toronto Maple Leafs are deeply saddened by the passing of Bobby Baun, whose enduring legacy of remarkable resilience includes his iconic overtime game-winning goal during a Stanley Cup Final despite playing with a broken leg.

“Bob possessed unquestionable toughness and incredible pride in being a Toronto Maple Leaf. His inspirational presence continues to embody the heart of the game. He will be greatly missed by our team and its fans. Our thoughts are with Bob’s loved ones during this difficult time.”

Baun was selected by the Oakland Seals in the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft, and he played one season there before being dealt to the Red Wings in 1968. Baun did return to Toronto for the final 137 games of his career.

Five games into the 1972-73 season, Baun suffered a neck injury that would end his career. In his 964 NHL games, Baun totaled 37 goals, 187 assists, 224 points, and 1,489 penalty minutes.

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