Top 20 NHL Players from Northern Ontario – 16 – Tim Horton

Top 20 NHL Players from Northern Ontario – 16 – Tim Horton

Northern Ontario Sports
Tim Horton Toronto Maple Leafs
Tim Horton Played 20 Seasons for the Maple Leafs

Number 16 – Tim Horton

Tim Horton was born in Cochrane on January 12, 1930.

Going undrafted, Tim signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs and made his NHL debut in 1949-50. He bounced between the Pittsburgh Hornets of the AHL and the Leafs before finally starting the season with the Leafs in 1952-53.

His name has become famous for other reasons in Canada as well; can’t really put my finger on it though.

Tim Horton – Playing Career

Tim Horton was one of the most durable defenseman to ever play the game. More often than not; he played entire seasons even playing 486 consecutive regular season games.

While not a high-scoring defenseman, Tim would use his impressive strength to strong-arm the other team.

The majority of his career saw him playing on the blueline for the Leafs. In October of 2016, Toronto retired his jersey as part of their century celebration.

During his career in Toronto, Horton became a household name during his 20 years on the Leafs defense core.

A four time Stanley Cup Champion, with teammate Eddie Shack, Tim also made the NHL First All-Star three times and the Second All-Star team twice.

After playing 20 years in Toronto, Tim continued on playing in New York, Pittsburgh and Buffalo. He played his last game at the age of 42.

Tim Horton – Life After the NHL

Tragically, Tim Horton’s life ended while he was still a member of the Buffalo Sabres organization.

Although, Tim laced up the skates for nearly 25 seasons, he had an entrepreneurial edge to him that began winding up as his career was winding down.

After a few failed ventures including a hamburger restaurant and an automobile dealership.

Tim partnered with Gary Joyce to open a coffee shop baring his name. The first Tim Horton’s was opened in Hamilton in 1964, 10 years before his last game.

As his career grew as did the coffee chain. By his untimely death there were over 40 Tim Horton’s franchise.

Today, Tim Horton’s can be found on seemingly every corner in Canada and many other countries around the world.

They say a man dies twice in his life; once when he leaves the earth and again when his name is uttered for the last time.

Although, Tim Horton’s coffee shop are seemingly going nowhere for a very long time, Tim, the hockey player will not be easily forgotten.

He built a name for himself as once of the strongest, most dependable players that have ever put on the Blue and White.

Top 20 NHL Players from Northern Ontario – 17 – Eddie Shack

Top 20 NHL Players from Northern Ontario – 17 – Eddie Shack

Northern Ontario Sports
Eddie Shack - Clear the Track
Eddie Shack is a 4 time Stanley Cup champion from Sudbury

Number 17 – Eddie Shack

Eddie Shack was born in Sudbury on February 11, 1937.

Going undrafted, Eddie was signed by the New York Rangers after playing his junior in Guelph. A veteran of six separate teams, Eddie made the biggest name for himself while playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Eddie Shack – Playing Career

Eddie entered the league with the New York Rangers. During his first three years bouncing between the Rangers farm team and the NHL club.

In 1960-61, he was traded to the Leafs near the beginning of the season and his playing career began to take off. The next six seasons with the Leafs were his most productive including three Stanley Cup victories from 1961 to 1964 and again in 1966-67.

One year, Eddie scored the cup winning goal of his backside. Always with a flair for jokes, he told reporters he was just trying to get out of the way.

1967 was the last year the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup.

After leaving Toronto, Eddie played for Boston, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo. With five seasons of 20 plus goals; Eddie brought a multitude of skills to the teams he played on.

Eddie played in the NHL All-Star game three times in his career.

Eddie Shack – Life after the NHL

Eddie was always a great personality on the ice; but his off the ice persona is off the charts. With nicknames like “The Entertainer” and “The Nose”; he was the source of much laughter.

With his patented mustache and cowboy hat; he is a beacon of light for the face of the NHL game.

Eddie tours for NHL alumni games that raise funds for a variety of causes. Still one of the games most recognizable persons; he often plays the referee or the coach.

I fully recommend Clear the Track: The Eddie Shack Story a must read for every NHL fan.

Eddie Shack is a true ambassador of the game.

Top 20 NHL Players from Northern Ontario – 18 – Jean-Paul Parise

Northern Ontario Sports
Jean-Paul Parise
Jean-Paul Parise playing for the Minnesota North Stars

Number 18 – Jean-Paul Parise

Jean-Paul (JP) Parise was born in Smooth Rock Falls on December 11, 1941.

Going undrafted, Parise was signed by the Boston Bruins and assigned to their junior hockey league affiliate. The head coach of the team, the Niagara Falls Flyers, was Leighton “Happy” Emms, future general manager of the Bruins.

Side note – the Ontario Hockey League had an Emms Division. It was named after “Happy” Emms and both the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Sudbury Wolves played out of.

Jean-Paul Parise – Playing Career

When Parise was signed by Boston, the league was still only in it’s original 6 teams. Bouncing around the minors and playing a few games with Boston allowed Jean-Paul to work on his two-way game.

Jean-Paul joined the expansion Minnesota North Stars during their inaugural 1967-68 season. He was traded to Minnesota half way through the season and his offensive prowess took off.

Playing the better part of seven seasons in Minnesota, he made a name for himself as an offensive weapon. Having multiple 20+ goal seasons, he was named to the league all-star team in the 1970 and 1973 seasons.

He was so good, that he joined Team Canada at the 1972 Canada-Russia summit series. Although playing in only 6 of the 8 games, while playing alongside Phil Esposito he scored twice and notched two assists.

Parise had the second biggest moment in the final game (other than Henderson’s goal). The refereeing was so bad in Russia’s favour that Parise threatened to swing his stick at the referee’s head.

He never went through with it but was ejected anyway. The refereeing improved for Canada after this.

Parise was traded to the New York Islanders during the 1974-75 season. He would go on to have two more seasons with more than 20 goals.

He eventually retired after playing in Minnesota after the 1978-79 season.

Parise held the record for fastest goal to start a playoff OT, taking only 11 seconds. This record lasted 11 years.

Jean-Paul Parise – Life after the NHL

After playing a majority of his career in Minnesota, he rejoined the team after retirement as an assistant coach.

He was an assistant from 1980 to 1988 with a one year hiatus to coach their farm team, the Salt Lake Golden Eagles.

From 2008 to 2010, he briefly returned to coaching. He served one season as the head coach and another as assistant for the Des Moines Buccaneers.

Parise, also coached and was Hockey Director at Shattuck-Saint Mary’s. Shattuck-Saint Mary’s is a boarding school in Minnesota that has produced top level NHL talent such as Sydney Crosby and Jonathan Toews.

In 2014, Parise announced that he had advance stage lung cancer and succumb to the disease two months later.

Parise left behind his wife, four children (One, Zach who plays for the Minnesota Wild) and six grandchildren.

In case you missed it, check out the other players on the Top 20 NHL Players list

Number 20 – Chris Simon
Number 19 – Claude Larose

Top 20 NHL Players from Northern Ontario – 19 – Claude Larose

Top 20 NHL Players from Northern Ontario – 19 – Claude Larose

Northern Ontario Sports
Claude Larose
Claude Larose while playing for the Montreal Canadiens

Number 19 – Claude Larose

Claude Larose was born in Hearst on March 2, 1943.

Claude was an undrafted right wing playing for the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens of the Eastern Provincial Hockey League (EPHL). The EPHL was a minor professional league that only played for four seasons. Claude’s coach was the legend, Scotty Bowman.

As a side-note; North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury all had teams in the league.

Claude Larose – Playing Career

Claude was a consistent goal scorer who averaged 15 goals a year while playing for the Montreal Canadiens.

Montreal was his home team for 11 of the 17 seasons during his playing career.

Brought in to Montreal to add toughness, Claude was able to maintain the speed of play which the Canadiens were accustomed to.

Claude has five hat tricks to his name; scoring nine goals over a three game span in 1974. The nine goals were scored playing on a line with Frank and Pete Mahovlich (also from Northern Ontario).

Claude is a 5-time Stanley Cup Champion; winning all five with the powerhouse Canadiens through the mid 1960’s through 1970’s.

His two most productive seasons came with the Minnesota North Stars during the 1968-69 and 1969-70 seasons. Years 2 and 3 in the franchise’s existence, where he played along side fellow Northern Ontario alumni, Jean-Paul Parise.

Claude Larose – Life After the NHL

After going from Montreal to St. Louis in the 1974-75 season, Claude would play three more years in St. Louis.

Retiring from the game after the 1977-78 season.

He became an assistant coach of the Hartford Whalers from 1983 to 1988. For the 1988-89 season he became head coach of Hartford’s farm team, the Binghamton Whalers.

He returned to Hartford for one more season of being an assistant for the 1991-92 season.

Afterwards, he became a scout for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Claude’s son Guy, was an 11th round draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres. He played in 70 NHL games scoring 10 goals.

In case you missed it, check out the other players on the Top 20 NHL Players list

Number 20 – Chris Simon

Top 20 NHL Players from Northern Ontario – 20 – Chris Simon

Top 20 NHL Players from Northern Ontario – 20 – Chris Simon

Northern Ontario Sports
Chris Simon
Chris Simon while playing for the Calgary Flames

Number 20 – Chris Simon

Chris Simon was born in Wawa on January 30, 1972. Born in the dead of winter only hardened one of the toughest hockey players to ever lace up the skates.

Chris is a second round draft pick going 25th overall to the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1990 NHL entry draft. Never tying his laces up for Philadelphia; Chris was the final piece of the puzzle finalizing the controversial Eric Lindros trade from Quebec to Philadelphia in 1992.

Chris Simon – Playing Career

Never known as a goal scorer (even after a 29 goal season in 1999-2000 while playing for the Washington Capitals), Chris was an absolute force on the ice.

Playing the game with a fearless edge; Chris was was never afraid to stand up for himself or his teammates. A trait that has slowly left the league in recent years.

Chris won the Stanley Cup in the 1995-96 season and achieved a childhood dream by strapping a life-jacket on the Stanley Cup and taking it fishing.

Always with more penalty minutes than points, he seems to always find himself in the wrong spot.

With eight separate suspensions (an amount he shares with someone else on the top 20 list) totaling 65 games, Chris often allowed the passion of the game to get the best of him.

His passion was close to holding him back from achieving his dream. While playing for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 1991-92, Chris was taken under the wings of then Head Coach, Ted Nolan.

Chris Simon – Life after the NHL

Chris is an avid hunter/fisher and can be found on the lakes near Wawa today.

Retiring from the NHL after the 2007-08 season, Chris played 5 years in the KHL (Russia) while ending his career with Novokuznetsk Metallurg.

Being of indigenous decent, Chris has provided many indigenous children with access to hockey schools and opportunities that many would not have had.

Chris is a true believer in giving back to the community. From showcasing the Stanley Cup or signing autographs at the Handy Store in Wawa.

Playing Hockey Against Chris Simon – A Personal Story

Of all 20 players on the list, Chris was the only player I ever went up against (or met).

In 2004-05, the NHL lockout year while many NHLers went to Europe; Chris went home to Wawa, to ice fish.

Dubreuilville hosted a 4 on 4 “Out of Breath” hockey tournament that we both played in. We had one game against each other.

A close game, that we ended up losing, Chris’s strength was on full display during the whole tournament.

He scored on us, with one hand on his stick pushing our goalie into the net while scoring. He slashed my stick out of my hands with force. I grabbed it and skated away.

He ran into a player on one of the other teams and the man (not small) had a bruise from the hip to his shoulder.

Chris made it to the finals (his team lost) but he let a slapshot go that caught the goalie in the shoulder/collar bone area. The goalie was swollen and could barely move his arm at the ending ceremony right after.

The memories of his career will be his suspensions; but this is wrong. He was a force of a player that other teams feared and a season of 29 goals.

A true patriot of Northern Ontario.