February 27, 2016 / 4:06 AM / 3 years ago

Ice hockey-Stanley Cup winner Bathgate dead at 83

(Reuters) - Andy Bathgate, who earned the Hart Trophy as the National Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player in 1959 with the New York Rangers and won the Stanley Cup in 1964 with the Toronto Maple Leafs, has died aged 83, ice hockey’s Hall of Fame announced on Friday.

Winnipeg-born Bathgate played for four teams over 17 seasons and the right winger was the league’s joint top points scorer in the 1961-62 season. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement: “Andy Bathgate was a strong leader, a consistently prolific scorer and a fierce competitor.

“Andy was an All-Star, a Hart Trophy winner, a Stanley Cup champion and a Hall of Famer who earned the respect of the entire hockey world. The NHL family sends heartfelt condolences to his family and his many friends.”

Bathgate also played a part in the introduction of facemasks in the sport, after striking Montreal goaltender Jacques Plante in the face with a shot in 1959.

Plante left the ice and later returned wearing a mask, a first in the league.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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