Saturday, July 12, 2014

Maple Leaf Cup of Coffee; Norm Armstrong

Time to look at another of the men who scored but one goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs in their brief appearance with the team, this week it's Norman "Red" Armstrong. Born in Owen Sound, Ontario Armstrong made his debut as a Maple Leaf in December of 1962. He was called up from Sudbury Wolves of the Eastern League to replace an injured Bob Nevin.

Armstrong turned pro two years prior, joining the Charlotte Checkers at age 22. He would play a mere 7 games with Toronto collecting a goal and an assist. His goal came in the first shift he played in the big leagues and the strange thing is, this first shift was late in the third period of a blow-out game against Boston.
His goal assisted by Bob Pulford at 15:18 of the final frame made the score 7-1 in favour of Toronto, a game the Leafs won 8-2. Below is a photo from the game on December 15, 1962 as well as the box score.


Upon the return of Bob Nevin, Armstrong was returned to Sudbury and eventually joined the Rochester Americans late in 1962/63. This would prove to be a beneficial arrangement for him as he would play most of the next ten seasons for the Amerks and retire as one of their most popular players ever. Armstrong produced seasons of 29, 30 and 32 goals in the AHL and was an inaugural member of the Rochester Americans Hall of Fame in 1986. Unfortunately, Red Armstrong was not around to appreciate this honour. On July 23, 1974 he lost his life in an industrial accident while working at a steel mill in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. 

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