William "Bill" Juzda - Born October 29, 1920 in Winnipeg, Manitoba – Died February 17, 2008 in Winnipeg, Manitoba was a Canadian professional ice Hockey defencemen.
Juzda played his junior Hockey for the local Elmwood Maple Leafs of the Western Junior Hockey League / MJHL and then the Kenora Thistles helping the Thistles earn a trip to the Memorial Cup final in 1940.
Juzda was called up by the New York Rangers in 1940, but spent most of the 1940-41 season with the Philadelphia Rockets of the AHL. Juzda put his NHL career on hold when he volunteered for World War II service with the Royal Canadian Air Force (R.C.A.F.). He maintained his connection with Hockey by playing for the R.C.A.F. Hockey team in the Winnipeg National Defense Hockey League (WNDHL).
After the war, Juzda returned to Hockey full-time. He joined the New Haven Ramblers of the AHL and was re-signed by the New York Rangers in time for the 1946 season. He would appear in another 137 games with the Rangers before being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs with Cal Gardner, Rene Trudell and the rights to Frank Mathers for Wally Stanowski and Moe Morris, April 26, 1948.
Juzda was an old school defenseman if there ever was one. He cared not about offense. He only scored 14 goals and 68 points in 398 games. But he took immense pride in his defensive play. The bruising bodychecker played the game rough and tough, and was known for his bone-rattling bodychecks.
While playing with the Maple Leafs, a well-aimed Juzda hip check sent Maurice (Rocket) Richard into the boards. The Rocket flipped up in the air, his skates shattering the glass at Maple Leafs Gardens - Plexiglas was still new back then, and no one thought it could be broken.
It was with the Maple Leafs where Juzda earned the nickname "The Beast" Apparently after the Maple Leafs had won a game, Juzda shook one of his teammates' hands so hard he may have cracked a few bones, his son explained.
His injured teammate cried out "Juzda, you beast!" and it stuck.
With the Maple Leafs, Juzda would win his two Stanley Cups in 1949 and 1951 playing alongside legendary Maple Leaf team mates that included Ted "Teeder" Kennedy, Bill Barilko and Howie Meeker. He appeared in a total of 211 games with the Leafs. He left the NHL after the 1952 season.
In 1953 Juzda returned to Winnipeg to play for the Winnipeg Maroons for ten seasons making two Allan Cup final appearances. He also worked as an engineer with the Canadian Pacific Railroad for many years. He also coached amateur Hockey at all levels, from midget to senior. He continued to play oldtimers Hockey himself until he was in his 70s.