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Coniston Arena pays lasting tribute to Toe Blake

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Sep 12, 2011 - 2:54 PM |
The Coniston Arena was officially renamed the Toe Blake Memorial Arena at a special ceremony Sept. 10. File photo.

The Coniston Arena was officially renamed the Toe Blake Memorial Arena at a special ceremony Sept. 10. File photo.

To honour the contributions of Hector “Toe” Blake to the sport of hockey, the Coniston Community Centre/Arena has been officially renamed the Toe Blake Memorial Arena.

Blake, a former NHL forward and coach, was raised in Coniston and played both Junior and Senior hockey in the Sudbury area. He also played for the Sudbury Cub Wolves when they became Memorial Cup Champions in 1932.

He began his NHL career in 1934 with the Montreal Maroons, won his first Stanley Cup in 1935, and went on to win two more Stanley Cup Championships with the Montreal Canadiens until his retirement in 1948. He took on the role as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens from 1955 to 1968, winning eight Stanley Cup titles in just 13 seasons.

In 1966, after coaching the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup, he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame (in the player category), and retired two years later. In 1982, Blake was presented the Order of Canada.

Blake was one of the most influential and successful hockey coaches in the history of the NHL. He passed away on May 17, 1995 at the age of 82.

“I'm pleased that we are able to celebrate the memory of a legend in our community and honour a truly great hockey player and coach in this manner," Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk said in a press release. "Toe Blake's accomplishments and community roots will stand as a daily reminder to those who pass through the front door of the ice arena, and his achievements are a testament to our young athletes pursuing excellence in their sport.”

The celebration featured a video presentation created jointly by the NHL and CBC Ottawa, remarks by Toe Blake’s son Bruce, and the presence of five notable awards provided by the Hockey Hall of Fame: the Hart Memorial Trophy, Georges Vezina Trophy, Conn Symthe Trophy, Art Ross Trophy and James Norris Memorial Trophy.

 

- Posted by Laurel Myers

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