The late Rick Foley was born September 22, 1945 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. A huge-framed (6-foot-4, 225 pounds), offensive-minded and aggressive defenseman, Foley played 67 regular season games in the National Hockey League for the Chicago Blackhawks, Flyers and Detroit Red Wings as well as 11 games for the Toronto Toros of the World Hockey Association.
At the minor league level, Foley was a force to be reckoned with. In his best minor league campaign - 1970-71 as a member of the Portland Buckaroos of the old Western Hockey League - the defenseman racked up 71 points (17 goals, 54 assists) and 306 penalty minutes in 66 games. He made his NHL debut for the Blackhawks that season, appearing in two regular season games and two playoff matches.
On October 15, 1971, the Flyers acquired Foley from the Blackhawks in exchange for center Andre Lacroix. He spent one inconsistent season with Philadelphia, posting 11 goals (five on the power play), 25 assists, 36 points, 168 penalty minutes and a minus-16 rating in 58 games. On December 15, 1971, Foley had perhaps the most famous game of his career, which saw him simultaneously fight both Jim Neilson and Glen Sather of the New York Rangers for nearly half a minute.
The offensive contributions and physical edge were welcomed. However, Foley's weight-control problems and frequent positional play lapses ran afoul of Flyers' team leaders, most notably veteran defenseman Barry Ashbee as well as head coach Fred Shero. The player returned to the minor leagues in 1972-73. On May 15, 1973, the Flyers traded Foley to the Detroit Red Wings for Serje Lajeunesse.Foley played professionally through 1975-76 and then played semi-pro senior league hockey in Ontario for two years. In retirement, he became an active member in the NHL Alumni Association and tirelessly supported multiple local charities.
Rick Foley passed at his home in Burlington, Ontario on September 29, 2015. Seven days earlier, he celebrated his 70th birthday.