Frederic William "Fred" Stanfield - Born May 4, 1944 in Toronto, Ontario - Died September 13, 2021 in Amherst, New York was a Canadian ice Hockey centre & winger.
Stanfield played his junior Hockey in St. Catharines, Ontario, first with the St. Catharines Teepees in 1961, then with the St. Catharines Black Hawks from 1962 to 1964 (the Teepees were renamed the Black Hawks). Stanfield led the Black Hawks in scoring for both seasons there, and his final season, 1964, he was third in the league in scoring with 109 points, as well as being awarded the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the league's most sportsmanlike player.
Called up for the 1964–65 season to the NHL Chicago Black Hawks, Stanfield played the full season with Chicago, and then the next two seasons split his time between the Black Hawks and Chicago's minor league affiliate, the Central Professional Hockey League / CPHL St. Louis Braves.
On May 15, 1967, Stanfield was traded, along with Phil Esposito and Ken Hodge, to the Boston Bruins, for defenceman Gilles Marotte, Pit Martin, and minor league goaltender Jack Norris. This would turn out to be one of the NHL's more infamous trades.
Boston immediately became a powerhouse, moving from a last place team to a perennial power. While Esposito became a preeminent star in Boston and Hodge became a league All-Star, Stanfield centered the team's second line, with wingers John Bucyk and Johnny McKenzie—which some considered the best second line in Hockey, as well as playing the right point on the Bruins' feared top power play unit, helping the team to lead the league in power play goals every year between 1969 and 1972. Known as "Steady Freddie." Stanfield had a reputation as a player who showed up to play every night.
Stanfield scored 20 or more goals in every one of the six years he played for Boston, with the Bruins leading the league in goals in each of those seasons. He became noted for a heavy slap shot, making his mark in the first game of the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals against the St. Louis Blues when he fired a shot so hard it split Blues goaltender Jacques Plante's mask in half, giving Plante a concussion which sidelined him for the remainder of the playoffs. Boston went on to win the 1970 Stanley Cup championship.
Stanfield's best years were between the 1971 and 1973 seasons. In 1971, he scored 24 goals and 76 points to finish 9th in league scoring. He also received the team's 7th Player Award, voted by the fans for the player performing most beyond expectations. His hard work, fine skating and face-off prowess endeared him to the Bruins fans.
In the 1971-72 season, he scored 23 goals and 56 assists for 79 points, finishing 4th in the league in assists and 12th in the league in points, and added 7 goals and 9 assists for 16 points in 15 playoff games to help the Bruins to the 1972 Stanley Cup championship. He was a leading candidate for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for the league's most sportsmanlike player, finishing behind eventual winner Jean Ratelle of the New York Rangers and teammate Johnny Bucyk.
Stanfield followed up in the next season, when he scored 20 goals and 58 assists for 78 points, and was named to play in the 1973 All-Star Game as an injury replacement. Stanfield finished the season 7th in the league in assists. Stanfield broke the 20 goal plateau every year he played in Boston.
Boston traded Stanfield to the Minnesota North Stars for goaltender Gilles Gilbert on May 22, 1973. Shifted to the right wing for the centre-rich North Stars, he played a season and a half for Minnesota, with much reduced production. Mired in a slump, Stanfield was traded to the Buffalo Sabres in the middle of the 1974–75 season for journeyman Norm Gratton and Buffalo's third round choice (Ron Zanussi) in the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft. He quickly broke out of his slump, scoring 33 points in 32 games for the Sabres, and contributing 2 goals, 4 assists to the team's push to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they eventually lost to the Philadelphia Flyers. Stanfield played the next three seasons for Buffalo, ending his NHL career with the team in 1978.
Stanfield was inexplicably denied the Lady Byng Trophy during his National Hockey League career. Especially with the Sabres, Stanfield played a clean style of Hockey that kept him out of the sin bin. Over 248 regular season games with Buffalo between mid 1974-75 and 1977-78, Stanfield accumulated just 16 PIM. In 1975-76, Stanfield had just two minor penalties while playing the full 80 game schedule. Yet, Jean Ratelle of the Bruins was awarded the Lady Byng while sitting 18 minutes over 80 games.
Stanfield finished his pro career in the American Hockey League with the Hershey Bears in 1978-79. He played 50 games for the AHL club before stepping behind the bench for the last portion of the season. As head coach of the Bears, Stanfield saw 31 games during the regular season with the team placing second in the five team Southern Division. Hershey then fell in the opening round of the Calder Cup playoffs to the Binghamton Dusters.
Stanfield played 914 career regular season NHL games, scoring 211 goals and 405 assists, and 106 playoff games, scoring 21 goals, 35 assists.
Fred is one of three Stanfield brothers to play in the NHL. Jack played just one game in the league with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 1965-66 playoffs. He also played in the WHA with the Houston Aeros in 1972-73 and 1973-74. Brother Jim Stanfield played seven games with the Los Angeles Kings between 1969-70 and 1971-72.
Stanfield took on one last head coaching role in 1979-80 when he took over as head coach of the Niagara Falls Flyers in the OHL. He replaced Barry Boughner midseason and led the Flyers to the second round of the Robertson Cup playoffs before falling to the Windsor Spitfires.