Tributes have been coming in from around the sports world following the announcement that former Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Bobby Baun passed away Monday at the age of 86.
Four-time Stanley Cup champion and Maple Leafs legend Bob "Bobby" Baun has passed away at the age of 86. pic.twitter.com/JIZvvqs47Y
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) August 15, 2023
Baun played 14 of his 18 seasons for Toronto and played a pivotal role in the Leafs’ four Stanley Cup wins in the ’60s.
Perhaps most famously, Baun fractured his ankle in game six of the 1964 Stanley Cup Finals but returned later in the game to score the game-winning goal in overtime, tying the series at three. Toronto won game 7 to capture their third straight Stanley Cup.
Baun was selected by the Oakland Seals in the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft and requested a trade back to an Original Six team following his one year in Oakland. The Seals honored his request by trading Baun to the Detroit Red Wings, where he spent the next two seasons.
Baun finished his career by returning to Toronto and providing a presence on the Leafs’ defense yet again, before breaking his leg and getting his neck cut by a skate, leading to a loss of multiple pints of blood, and ending his career.
After retiring, Baun raised concerned about the NHL’s pension plan, as he felt former players weren’t being paid nearly enough in retirement. Despite not having enough support to go forward at the time, Baun was later proven correct.
Many tributes to Baun noted both his toughness and kindness.
Bobby Baun broke his ankle during Game 6 of the 1964 Stanley Cup Final in Detroit. He returned to score the OT winner.
Leafs won the Cup two nights later. Baun played in that game. He was a +2. pic.twitter.com/X03NGAHKVW
— Sid Seixeiro (@Sid_Seixeiro) August 15, 2023
I’m very lucky that I get to meet so many amazing people in my job and Bobby Baun was one of the best. May he rest in peace. My condolences to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/bnhAFNyGw0
— Adam Dunfee (@adamdunfee) August 15, 2023
Rest in peace to Leafs legend Bobby Baun. During the sixth game of the 1964 Stanley Cup Final, after fracturing his ankle, Baun returned and scored in overtime to force Game 7. Condolences to his family and friends 💙 pic.twitter.com/Dhn0DqhY5I
— Mike Commito (@mikecommito) August 15, 2023
Bobby Baun was a true gentleman. When he ran out of books at a fundraiser in 2014, he invited me into his home in Ajax and signed one for me right in his kitchen along with a photo. https://t.co/Z7BNOSmlYi
— Steve “Dangle” Glynn (@Steve_Dangle) August 15, 2023
A legend who scored a huge goal on a broken leg helping win a Cup. The great Bobby Baun has passed away. One of the toughest – grittiest- nicest hockey players you could ever meet. RIP Boomer. pic.twitter.com/NWuu0DaeLt
— Rod Black 🇨🇦🇺🇦 (@RodBlackTV) August 15, 2023