Hockey Hall of Famer Andy Bathgate died Friday at the age of 83.
NHL PR provided comments from commissioner Gary Bettman:
Commissioner Bettman statement on the passing of Andy Bathgate: pic.twitter.com/ddv277BaGI— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 27, 2016
The winner of the 1958-59 Hart Memorial Trophy, Bathgate was a prolific scorer in his playing days. He led the NHL in assists twice (1961-62, 1963-64) and points once (1961-62). In his MVP season with the Rangers, the star right winger racked up 88 points in 70 games.
There was a seven-year period in which Bathgate was among the NHL's best goal scorers, per Bob Waterman of the Elias Sports Bureau:
Over a 7-season span from 1956-57 thru 1962-63 Andy Bathgate scored the 2nd-most goals in the NHL, behind Gordie Howe (231-215).— Bob Waterman (@esbbob) February 26, 2016
Bathgate added another notch to his belt in the Pittsburgh Penguins' first game in franchise history Oct. 11, 1967, per Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
The box score from the Penguins first game Oct. 11, 1967. Andy Bathgate had the team's first goal: pic.twitter.com/db15GIhw7i— Seth Rorabaugh (@emptynetters) February 26, 2016
Following Bathgate's final NHL game in 1971, he had recorded 624 assists, 349 goals and 973 points. He won the Stanley Cup in 1963-64 with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who acquired him in a trade with the Rangers earlier in the season.
Even though Bathgate spent his prime years playing for a Rangers team that made only four playoff appearances, he left an indelible mark on the franchise. His talents transcended the sport, leading to his induction into the Hall of Fame in 1978.