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Rudy Migay passes away at 87

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs

It is with great sadness the Toronto Maple Leafs learned of the passing of Rudy Migay. He was 87 years old.

At 5-foot-6, 150 pounds, Migay was known for a for his speed, puck-handling and tenacity, earning him the nickname 'The Toy Terrier'. His career began in northern Ontario in his hometown of Port Arthur. He played for the Port Arthur Flyers from 1944-46 in the Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League where he was a prolific offensive talent.

For the 1946-47 season, Migay headed south to Toronto where he suited up for the St. Michael's Majors. In 29 regular season games, he recorded 25 goals and 43 points before leading the Majors to the Memorial Cup. The Majors -- coached by Leafs great "Gentleman" Joe Primeau -- swept the Moose Jaw Canucks in four games played in various locations across the prairies to capture the 1947 Memorial Cup. Migay was second in scoring for the Majors at the conclusion of the tournament with seven goals and 23 points in 10 games.

He returned to TBJHL in 1948 and joined the Port Arthur Bruins, leading them to the 1948 Memorial Cup. Once again, Migay captured the Memorial Cup in a sweep. His Bruins defeated the Barrie Flyers in four games at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Migay made his pro hockey debut with the Pittsburgh Hornets in 1948-49 -- putting up 21 goals and 52 points in 64 games -- before catching on with the Maple Leafs for 18 games in 1949-50. He split time between Pittsburgh and Toronto the next two seasons. In 1951, he captured the Calder Cup with the Hornets as they defeated the Providence Reds in six games. He had seven goals and 11 points in 11 playoff games with the Hornets to lead the team in scoring.

From the 1952-53 to the 1956-57 season, Migay played exclusively with the Maple Leafs, but was primarily used in a defensive role which cut his his typical output. His most productive season with the Leafs came in his final full season with the club. He recorded 15 goals and 35 points in 66 games.

Migay spent the next three seasons splitting time between the Maple Leafs and Rochester Americans. In 1958-59 he recorded 82 points in just 51 games for the Americans. For his efforts he was named an American League First Team All-Star and was named co-MVP with teammate Bill Hicke.

In 1960, Migay began a transition from player into coaching and management. From 1960-62 he was a member of the Port Arthur Bearcats as a player-coach prior to stints with the Americans, Denver Invaders and Tulsa Oilers to end his playing career. After hanging up the skates he took over as head coach of the Tulsa Oilers in 1965-66 before spending seven seasons as a scout with the Pittsburgh Penguins beginning in 1967-68.

Migay found a long-term home as a scout with the Buffalo Sabres and served in their scouting department from 1979-80 to 2001-02 and held the role of head scout for the majority of his tenure. In a tribute on his Twitter account, former Sabres head coach Scotty Bowman credited Migay with the drafting of Dave Andreychuk, Tom Barrasso, Phil Housley, Alexander Mogilny, Darren Puppa and more into the Sabres organization.

Migay retired from the NHL having played 418 games where he recorded 59 goals and 151 points. He captured Memorial Cups in 1947 and 1948. During his time in the American League, he captured a Calder Cup championship and was named MVP and a First-Team All-Star. His career in professional hockey spanned 54 years.

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