Just 5'8", Pat Stapleton stood tall among the
world's best in 1972. He was simply outstanding.
Stapleton was often paired with Bill
White. Neither were considered to be elite defensemen at the NHL level, but both
were very very good.
defensive defenseman holds perhaps hockey's most valuable piece of memorabilia.
He has the puck that Paul Henderson put into the net with just 34 seconds left
in the game and the tournament.
He denied for years until video was
discovered that showed him picking up the puck after Henderson scored. He was
well known as a collector of significant pucks, sticks etc while he played in
the NHL, but he denies it has any special meaning.
"It's just a puck," he
insists. He's not even sure where it is. It's in a box in his garage somewhere.
One day he will dig it out. But he
doesn't have grand plans of giving it to the Hockey Hall of Fame. He doesn't
even plan on auctioning it off for a handsome reward that it is sure to fetch.
"What I want to do is skate
with it with my grandchildren on the pond," Stapleton said. "What
we'll do is skate around for a while and then shoot it into a snow bank. And
that'll be it."