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It’s been a year of passings for many a former NHL great

If one includes late last Fall the list includes Gilles Tremblay, Jean Beliveau, Al Abour, Chico Maki, Marcel Pronovost , Elmer Lach, Jimmy Roberts, and now Bert Olmstead, who died on November 16 at age 89.

Olmstead played for Canadiens, Chicago and Toronto. He was a mainstay on 4 the Stanley Cup Canadiens’ teams of the 1950’s – in all winning the Cup five times (Once with the Leafs). Olmstead played in the cup finals in 11 of his 14 seasons in the NHL,  He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Olmstead began his career with the Black Hawks in 1949. In December 1950, he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens via Detroit. Olmstead had his best statistical years playing for Montreal, leading the league in assists in 1954–55 with 48, and setting a league record for assists with 56 the following season. Olmstead was claimed in an Intra-League Draft by Toronto Maple Leafs in 1958, and played there until his retirement in 1962. In the 1967–68 season, Olmstead served as coach of the expansion  Oakland Seals. 

Bert Olmstead was one of a select few players who played on a line with the two greatest Montreal Canadiens legends of all time: Maurice Richard and Jean Beliveau. When he arrived to Montreal from Chicago in 1950 he was put on a line with Maurice Richard and Elmer Lach, replacing Hector “Toe” Blake, who had recently retired, on the fabled Punch Line. Five seasons later Olmstead tied Richard’s NHL record eight points in a game playing on a line with Jean Beliveau and Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion. Although the league record was broken by Darryl Sittler in 1976 with a 10-point game, the record stands for the team to this day.

Here is a wonderful tribute from Dave Stubbs (Montreal Gazette).

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