There are some players in the NHL that hang on forever (cough cough Jaromir Jagr) and then there are some players that leave with life still left in their skates.
Bill Hay joined the Chicago Blackhawks as one of those young players helping the team turn around from it’s dreadful showings in the 1950’s. His 1959-1960 rookie season of 18 goals and 37 assists was enough to win the young center the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie.
Hay would become the center of the Million dollar line with Bobby Hull and Murray Balfour on his wings. They weren’t superstars at the time, but it was a very productive line for the up and coming young team.
The Chicago Blackhawks as you know won the Stanley Cup in 1961 with a bunch of young budding superstars. In the 61 playoffs Hay was very solid with 2 goals and 5 assists.
Hay also was a leader which he of course displayed throughout both his playing career and his careers after hockey. He was an Alternate Captain for the Hawks after his rookie season.
Hay announced his retirement after the 1966 season, but the Blackhawks convinced him to return back to hockey at the age of 30. After the 67 season without making a decision on retirement, the Hawks left Hay unprotected in the expansion draft, and when he was selected he decided to retire and pursue his business career than play for an expansion franchise.
Hay scored 113 goals and picked up 386 points in just 506 career games with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Hay would not leave the NHL for good, he was the President and CEO of the Calgary Flames after retirement, and he was in charge of the election committee to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Hay is a Blackhawks legend that hoisted the Stanley Cup in 1961, and he’s #40 on our list of greatest Blackhawks.
We are down to 40 days until the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Pittsburgh Penguins from the United Center on opening night!