Ralph Backstrom, a six-time Stanley Cup winner, former DU hockey coach and founding father of the Colorado Eagles minor league hockey workforce, died Sunday at his house in Windsor, in response to the NHL. He was 83.
The Kirkland Lake, Ontario, native had been battling a “prolonged sickness” previous to his demise, .
“Ralph Backstrom was essentially the most honorable gentleman I’ve ever encountered in my skilled life and he was single-handedly chargeable for skilled hockey in Northern Colorado,” Eagles proprietor and CEO Martin Lind mentioned in a press release. “All of us are eternally indebted to this legacy of a gentleman and we pray his household has peace and luxury on this tough time.”
Backstrom spent 53 years working in and across the sport of hockey, first as a participant, then as an NHL and faculty coach and scout, and later as an govt.
The ahead gained all six of his Stanley Cup titles with the Montreal Canadiens, capturing back-to-back crowns three separate instances. He scored 278 targets and 639 factors in 1,032 profession NHL video games with the Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks between 1956 and ’73. He was a six-time all-star and the 1959 Calder Trophy winner as NHL rookie of the yr.
Backstrom spent one other 4 seasons within the World Hockey Affiliation, taking part in 304 video games for 4 groups between 1973-77. That included a stint with the Denver Spurs in 1975. He joined the College of Denver teaching employees quickly after, and spent 4 years as an assistant underneath Marshall Johnston.
After a yr as an assistant coach with the L.A. Kings, he returned to DU to take over the Pioneers hockey program from 1981 to 1990. He led the Pios to 34 wins and a visit to the Frozen 4 through the 1985-86 season and was named the nationwide coach of the yr.
Backstrom later coached the Phoenix Roadrunners of the IHL, served as commissioner of Curler Hockey Worldwide and labored as a scout for the St. Louis Blues.
“I’ve seen the sport from all sides,” Backstrom instructed The Denver Publish in 2006. “You’ve acquired to know the sport to know what it takes to achieve success not solely on the ice however off the ice as effectively. As a participant you go so far as your legs take you, however in teaching and administration, you have a look at the opposite finish of your physique for the way a lot want is left.”
Backstrom based the Colorado Eagles in 2002 as a part of the Central Hockey League and served as president and basic manger of the franchise till 2007.
Of their second season, the Eagles gained the President’s Cup as league champions in 2005 and adopted that up with one other title in 2007 — the identical yr that Backstrom referred to as it a profession.
“Numerous great instances; a number of painful instances, too,” Backstrom instructed The Publish in 2007. “The six Cups are massive, and I used to be very lucky to win the Memorial Cup (with the Ottawa-Hull Junior Canadiens in 1958). I’d evaluate that to profitable the Stanley Cup, after which we gained a pair championships right here in northern Colorado.”
He’s survived by his spouse Janet, daughter, Diana, and sons Andrew and Martin, the Eagles mentioned.
The Related Press contributed to this story.