Andrew James Bathgate - Born August 28, 1932 in Winnipeg, Manitoba is a retired Canadian professional ice Hockey right winger.
Bathgate got his start on the outdoor rinks of his hometown like most boys of his era. "When I first started playing, everything was outdoors. They were home-made community rinks. I played one game a year indoors. That would be the championship." At that time, organized minor Hockey in Winnipeg was comprised of Bantam B, Bantam A, Midget, Juvenile and Junior. "Everything up to Junior was outdoors," adds Bathgate.
Bathgate signed a contract prevalent at the time called a C Form, which locked him in as property of the New York Rangers. Although the Rangers had several junior affiliations, Bathgate ended up spending his junior career with the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters, named after the Biltmore Hat Company located in the town.
Bathgate collected 46 points in his rookie campaign, but exploded for 33 goals and 57 assists in his second season with the Biltmores. Then, in 1952-52, Andy scored 27 goals and added 50 assists to help lead the Biltmores to the Memorial Cup championship in 1952.
Bathgate and a couple of his teammates were summoned to play with the parent New York Rangers during 1952-53. "I was starting my last year of junior after we won the Memorial Cup and Dean Prentice, Harry Howell and me were taken off the Guelph team and told to report to Maple Leaf Gardens. We went to Toronto and they said, 'You're staying with the Ranger team.' They had lost six or seven games to start the season, so Bathgate never did play his final junior year.
Bathgate bounced between the Vancouver Canucks, Cleveland Barons and the Rangers for two seasons before settling with the Rangers in 1954–55.
Bathgate was frustrated by his years in New York City. Beginning with the 1955-56 season, he finished in the top ten scorers nine consecutive seasons as a Ranger. Yet, New York only made the playoffs three times during that period.
Yet, surrounded with a lineup that often looked like it was held together with bandages and Hockey tape, Bathgate was able to shine. and established himself as one of the most gifted offensive players in the league.
Bathgate was named to the NHL First All-Star Team in 1959 and 1962, and was selected for the Second Team in '58 and '63. In 1959, in spite of the Rangers finishing in fifth place and out of the playoffs, Andy Bathgate was named the NHL's Most Valuable Player, and was awarded the Hart Trophy.
Bathgate and Chicago's Bobby Hull tied for the regular season scoring championship with 84 points in 1961-62, but Hull was awarded the Art Ross Trophy because he had scored more goals.
Like Howe, Bathgate could play the physical game and was known as a fierce fighter when the occasion warranted it, perhaps an attribute from his youth in a tough Winnipeg neighbourhood known for its boxers. Bathgate made the First All-Star Team again in 1962-63 and was voted to the Second Team the next year. Though truly an individualist on the ice and off, he always placed the team above his own accomplishments and was disappointed with the Rangers' consistently poor performances.
Then, the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers consummated a trade of blockbuster proportions. Andy Bathgate and Don McKenney were sent from the Rangers to the Maple Leafs in exchange for Dick Duff, Bob Nevin, Rod Seiling, Arnie Brown and Bill Collins on February 22, 1964. Toronto coach Punch Imlach claimed that Bathgate was the final ingredient needed for the Leafs to win a third consecutive championship. Toronto was a good experience for Bathgate, who scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal that spring as the Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings.
Bathgate, who missed a number of games in the 1964-65 season with his continuing knee problems that started in junior Hockey, was traded to the Detroit Red Wings with Billy Harris and Gary Jarrett in another blockbuster that sent Marcel Pronovost, Eddie Joyal, Larry Jeffrey, Lowell MacDonald and Aut Erickson to Toronto.. Bathgate helped the Red Wings during their surprising run to the Stanley Cup finals in 1965-66.
Detroit was home to Bathgate the next two seasons but the thumb hampered his productivity. Then, in 1967, as the league doubled in size, the 35-year old Bathgate was claimed by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL Expansion Draft. In 1967-68, Andy led the fledgling Penguins in scoring with 59 points, but was loaned to the Vancouver Canucks of the Western Hockey League for two seasons, where he would help lead the team to two consecutive Lester Patrick Cup victories, in 1969 and 1970. His best professional year was with them, where he scored 108 points in 1969–70. That performance gave him the George Leader Cup, the top player award in the WHL.
Andy Bathgate's final NHL year was with the Penguins in 1971; 1971–1972 he was playing coach for HC Ambri-Piotta in Switzerland. He came briefly out of retirement three seasons later to play for the Vancouver Blazers of the WHA, which he had coached the previous season, but retired for good after 11 games.
Andy Bathgate played 1,069 games in the National Hockey League, scoring 349 goals and 624 assists for 973 points.
Bathgate is closely associated with one important Hockey innovation, that first originated on November 1, 1959. Bathgate sent one of his harder shots toward goalie Jacques Plante of the Montreal Canadiens. The puck struck the All-Star goalie in the face, and opened a gash that required stitches. When Plante returned to the ice, he was wearing a mask. That started a trend that continues to this day.
The Rangers retired his #9 along with Harry Howell's #3 in a special ceremony before the February 22, 2009, match against the Maple Leafs. Bathgate joined Adam Graves, whose #9 had been hoisted to the Madison Square Garden rafters 19 nights earlier. Graves called Bathgate "the greatest Ranger to ever wear the #9".
Andy Bathgate was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978.
- Memorial Cup championship (1952)
- Hart Memorial Trophy Winner (1959)
- NHL First All-Star Team right wing (1959 and 1962)
- NHL Second All-Star Team right wing (1958 and 1963)
- Stanley Cup championship (1964)
- Lester Patrick Cup (WHL) championships (1969 and 1970)
- WHL MVP (1970)
- In 1998, he was ranked number 58 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players
- Selected to Manitoba's All-Century First All-Star Team
- “Honoured Member” of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame
- Inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 1993
- Inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2012