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Remembering Don "Smokey" McLeod

03/18/2015 at 5:59pm EDT

From an era where goaltenders seemed more fee spirited than the current versions.

Don McLeod passed away a week ago today at the age of 68.

It could be argued, he was the first of the stickhandling goalies, the Calgary Sun article describes meoires of Smokey.

Don 'Smokey' McLeod remembered by former teammates

McLeod, who hailed from Trail, B.C., thus the nickname, won the Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings in 1966, defeating Bobby Orr and the Oshawa Generals in the best-of-seven series.

He turned pro with the Detroit Red Wings organization, finally stepping into the NHL in 1970-71 before being claimed by the Philadelphia Flyers after that season and spending one year split between the big leagues and the minors.

He jumped to the WHA for its inaugural season, 1972-73, and the following year led the Houston Aeros, who featured Gordie Howe, to the Avco Cup championship, a year in which he was named the league’s top goalie and to the loop’s all-star team.

“One thing I know for sure is you don’t win a championship without a hot goalie, and he was darn good for our hockey club when we needed him,” said Mark Howe, Gordie’s son and a hall of famer who was part of the Aeros team as an 18-year-old rookie.

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