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Hall of Famer Tom Johnson Passes On

Jason HackettAnalyst INovember 22, 2007

The hockey world lost another one of its greats today, as Tom Johnson passed away at his home today.

He was 79.

Johnson was a rugged defensemen from Manitoba who played 15 seasons for the Canadiens before finishing his final two years in Boston.

Johnson played on the same defensive line as Doug Harvey, and they were a great dynamic duo for the mighty Habs in the 1950s.

A great puck-handler and skater, Johnson was a key member of the Habs' penalty kill unit. He was known around the league for his ability to steal the puck without touching the other player, and feeding a perfect pass to a teammate breaking up the ice.

He was a first- and second-team all-star, and when Harvey went down to injury, Johnson stepped up to fill the void, winning the Norris Trophy in the process.

After suffering an eye injury, the Canadiens left Johnson unprotected in the waiver draft and he was claimed by the Bruins. He played 121 games for Boston before a skate severed the nerves in his leg, ending his playing career.

He rejoined the Bruins as assistant General Manager, and later moved behind the bench and led the Bruins to a Stanley Cup.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1970.

Tom Johnson, rest in peace. You will be missed by hockey fans everywhere. 

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