Ace Burpee–Humanitarian, humorist, community advocate, media personality, skateboard enthusiast, friend to many, HOCKEY LOVER! The Believe in the Goal Foundation is honored to consider amongst its special friends, Mr. “Ace” Burpee of HOT103 FM. Always at the ready when called upon to emcee or host a B.I.G. event or fundraising activity, Ace is now going public with his “Favourite 34 Hockey Players of All-time!” Come back each week throughout the year for a sneak peek into the mind of a true Canadian hockey afficianado, prognosticator and historian... and soon to be, new GM of the returning Winnipeg Jets!
Andy Bathgate played hockey for a living, and did it well. Based on what I know about Andy Bathgate, his resume should rank him as perhaps the greatest athlete ever produced by this province, yet his name rarely comes up.
Your Dad may know who he is, but that’s about it. I’ve tried to find a building or something in this city that bears his name but I can’t. Andy Bathgate is under appreciated. That is fact. I’ve met him before and he was exactly what I thought he would be... which was pretty much the coolest guy ever. Reasons why Andy Bathgate should be a bigger deal than he is in Winnipeg, his hometown:
A) Those that know about Andy know that he was a New York Ranger. One of the most popular ever in fact. What most don’t know is that he was once dealt to Toronto and promptly won them a Stanley Cup. Yes, he scored the cup winner. Manitobans who win Stanley Cups are awesome.
B) Remember that vignette they should to show on TV when you were a kid about Jacques Plante getting hit in the face by a slapshot, leaving the game, then returning with the first ever goalie mask? Who took the slapshot...??? Andy Bathgate. True story.
C) 973 NHL points. Not bad.
D) Bathgate won the Hart Trophy for Most Valuable Player in an era when people like Howe, Beliveau, and Geoffrion were at their peak. Think about that. Those are big names.
E) Bathgate once wrote a scathing piece for a magazine about violence in NHL. While playing in the NHL. He named names. The NHL fined him and banned players from writing, well, anything. Andy had guts and cared about the game.
F) How many Manitobans have been on the cover of Sports Illustrated? No idea, but Andy Bathgate has. Andy Bathgate is the coolest.