The late Ed Hoekstra was born on November 4, 1937 in Winnipeg. He was an original Flyer who dressed in 70 regular season games and all seven playoff games in the franchise's inaugural 1967-78 season, The expansion franchise acquired the veteran center's contract when it purchased the Quebec Aces as its American Hockey League farm club.
Hoekstra recorded 15 goals, 36 points, six penalty minutes and a plus-six rating at even strength in his season with the Flyers. He had one assist in the playoffs as the Flyers lost in seven Stanley Cup quarterfinal games to the St. Louis Blues.
Hoekstra retired as an active player on Oct. 2, 1968. However, he soon changed his mind and decided to play for the Denver Spurs of the Western Hockey League (which had claimed Hoekstra from the Flyers via minor league draft after he was ticketed to return to Quebec). He later played 97 games in the World Hockey Association and retired for good in 1974 as his 37th birthday loomed.
The player's older brother, Cecil Hoekstra, also briefly played in the NHL for the Montreal Canadiens during a long career spent mostly in the minor leagues. Proud of being an original Flyer as the franchise grew to be one of the NHL's best organizations, Ed Hoekstra remained a devoted Flyers fan for the rest of his life after hanging up his skates.
In his later years, Hoekstra suffered from the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis but remained as self-sufficient as possible. He passed away on Nov. 10, 2011 in St. Catharines, Ontario. Riding his electric mobility scooter, the retiree was fatally struck by a car. The 86-year-old driver, who was unhurt, did not see Hoekstra until it was too late. Ed Hoekstra, a widower with six children, 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren at the time of his passing, was 74 years of age.