Whitey Stapleton Dead At 79

1972 Summit Series legend Pat “Whitey” Stapleton died Wednesday evening. He was 79.

Born in Sarnia and a long-time Strathroy-area resident, Stapleton played 10 seasons in the NHL as a defenceman after a junior career with the Sarnia Legionnaires whom he led to a Sutherland Cup championship.

He scored 43 goals and added 294 assists over 635 NHL games during eight seasons with the Chicago Black Hawks, and two with the Boston Bruins.

Jumping to the WHA to finish his career, Stapleton played for the Chicago Cougars, Indianapolis Racers and Cincinnati Stingers from 1973-74 to 1977-78.

But it was the ’72 Canada-Russia series that made Stapleton a household name in Canada. Although he recorded no points, he was a valuable playmaker during that series and was plus-6 on the ice.

During the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union, Stapleton recorded no points in seven games but was a plus-6. Later in life, he also admitted to picking up and keeping the puck that Paul Henderson scored with to win the series.

Stapleton’s son, Mike Stapleton, was raised in Strathroy and played for seven NHL teams before playing in Europe.

Pat Stapleton was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

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