TORONTO — The Bruins saw Allan Stanley’s potential in the 1940s, gave up on him in 1958, then watched him win four Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1960s.
Mr. Stanley, a Hall of Fame defenseman who spent 22 seasons in the National Hockey League, died Friday, the league reported on its website. He was 87.
In his 10 seasons with the Leafs, Mr. Stanley formed a fierce defensive tandem with Tim Horton. His final title came in 1967, the last time Toronto hoisted the Stanley Cup. He finished his career with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1968-69 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1981.
“I don’t go through a day without somebody reminiscing about the old days,” Mr. Stanley told the Toronto Star in 1987. “I love talking about it. It was my life. I loved every part of it.”
Nicknamed Snowshoes for his ponderous skating style, Mr. Stanley, a native of Timmins, Ontario, was invited to the Bruins’ training camp in 1945 and remained in New England, playing three seasons with the Boston Olympics of the Eastern Amateur Hockey League before turning pro with the Providence Reds of the American Hockey League.
A high-scoring defenseman in his three seasons in Providence, Mr. Stanley failed to live up to expectations in six seasons with his first NHL team, the New York Rangers, who traded him to Chicago during the 1954-55 season.
Mr. Stanley returned to Boston to play for the Bruins in 1956. Boston advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in both of Mr. Stanley’s seasons with the Bruins, but were beaten each time by the Montreal Canadiens.
According to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Mr. Stanley was one of the Bruins’ top defensemen in 1956-57, but he suffered a knee injury late in the season and was unable to participate as the team advanced to the Final. He was named the team’s most valuable player the following season, but then was traded to Toronto for Jim Morrison, the Bruins believing that Mr. Stanley’s “legs were gone and his time in the league was limited,’’ according to a biography of Mr. Stanley at the Hall of Fame’s website.
Mr. Stanley had 100 goals, 333 assists, and 792 penalty minutes over 1,244 regular-
season NHL games.
With the Bruins, Mr. Stanley had 12 goals and 50 assists in 129 regular-season games and a goal and three assists in 12 playoff games.