Hank Bassen, a former goaltender for both of this year's Stanley Cup participants, died Friday at age 76. Bassen's family said he died of a heart attack at his home in Calgary. He was also battling cancer.
Bassen came up to the NHL with Chicago as a 22-year-old in 1954-55, going 4-9-8 with a 3.00 goals-against average in 21 games. After splitting 1955-56 between the Blackhawks and Buffalo of the AHL, the Calgary native spent four seasons in the minors before returning to the NHL with Detroit in 1960.
He played all of 1960-61 with the Wings, going 13-13-8 with a 2.93 GAA in 35 games --and was in goal when his former team beat Detroit 5-1 in Game 6 of the Final to win the Stanley Cup. Bassen bounced up and down between the Wings and the minors for the next five seasons, then was dealt to Pittsburgh in September 1967 and went 7-10-3 for the Penguins in 1967-68. One of the losses was a 2-1 defeat to Montreal in the franchise's first game.
Bassen retired after his one season in Pittsburgh, ending his NHL career with a 46-66-31 record, a 2.97 GAA and five shutouts.
After retiring, Bassen kept his hand in hockey, managing the junior Calgary Wranglers from 1984-86. His son Bob, a forward, played in the NHL from 1985-2000.