Reg Fleming

Last updated
Reg Fleming
ReggieFleming 07.jpg
Reg Fleming in the penalty box at Madison Square Garden, circa 1965
Born(1936-04-21)April 21, 1936
Montreal, QC, CAN
Died July 11, 2009(2009-07-11) (aged 73)
Arlington Heights, Illinois, U.S.
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Left
Played for Montreal Canadiens
Chicago Black Hawks
Boston Bruins
New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers
Buffalo Sabres
Chicago Cougars
Playing career 19561978

Reginald Stephen "Reggie, The Ruffian" Fleming, (April 21, 1936 - July 11, 2009) was a professional hockey player in the National Hockey League with the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Black Hawks, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres. He also played for the Chicago Cougars of the World Hockey Association, as well as with a number of minor league teams in other professional leagues. His professional career spanned over 20 years. He was known as an aggressive and combative player who could play both forward and defence, as well as kill penalties.

National Hockey League North American professional ice hockey league

The National Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season.

Montreal Canadiens National Hockey League team in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The Montreal Canadiens are a professional ice hockey team based in Montreal, Quebec. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Chicago Blackhawks hockey team of the National Hockey League

The Chicago Blackhawks are a professional ice hockey team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). They have won six Stanley Cup championships since their founding in 1926. The Blackhawks are one of the "Original Six" NHL teams along with the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Since 1994, the club's home rink is the United Center, which they share with the National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls. The club had previously played for 65 years at Chicago Stadium.

Contents

Before the NHL

After a junior career during which he spent two seasons with the Montreal Junior Canadiens of the Quebec Junior Hockey League (QJHL) and one year with St. Michael's of the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA), Fleming began his minor-pro career in the Habs' farm system with Shawinigan of the Quebec Senior Hockey League, followed by stops in Rochester of the American Hockey League and Kingston of the Eastern Professional Hockey League. His rugged style of play earned him a three-game tryout with the Canadiens late in the 1959-60 NHL season. That summer Montreal and the Chicago Black Hawks made a nine player trade which made Fleming a member of the Black Hawks.

Montreal Junior Canadiens ice hockey team

The Montreal Junior Canadiens were a junior ice hockey team in the Quebec Junior Hockey League from 1933 to 1961, and the Ontario Hockey Association from 1961 to 1972. They played out of the Montreal Forum in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League sports league

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is one of the three major junior ice hockey leagues which constitute the Canadian Hockey League. The league comprises teams across the provinces of Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Since the departure of the Lewiston Maineiacs from Lewiston, Maine, the QMJHL is the only one of the three member leagues of the CHL that does not currently have teams located in the United States. The current president of the QMJHL is Gilles Courteau.

Toronto St. Michaels Majors

The Toronto St. Michael's Majors were a major junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The most recent franchise was revived on August 15, 1996. In 2007, the team relocated to Mississauga, Ontario and became the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors until 2012. The hockey program was founded and operated by St. Michael's College School in 1906, and adopted the name "Majors" in 1934, and was commonly referred to as St. Mike's Majors.

Pro career

Fleming played four full seasons on a talented Chicago club alongside stars like Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Glenn Hall and Pierre Pilote. Fleming's aggressive style of play added an important physical presence to the Blackhawks and helped the team win the Stanley Cup for the 1960–61 season, which was Fleming's first in Chicago. Fleming scored an important goal in the final game of the NHL finals against Detroit that year. He assisted on Bobby Hull's 50th goal the following season, helping Hull match the NHL record. A popular player with Chicago, he was known for his grit and team spirit. His involvement in a number of notorious incidents gave him a reputation around the league as a tough customer and an intense competitor. [1]

Bobby Hull Canadian ice hockey player

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Prior to the 1964-65 season, Chicago dealt Fleming to the Boston Bruins. Boston primarily used Fleming as a forward and he recorded personal highs of 18 goals and 23 assists for the 1964-65 season. Midway through the next season, he was traded to the New York Rangers. He would spend the remainder of that year and the following three with a rapidly improving Ranger club. Although a popular and consistent performer with the Rangers, he was sent to the Philadelphia Flyers for the 1969-70 season. His experience and combativeness helped the small and unaggressive Flyers team. Left unprotected in the 1970 expansion draft, Fleming joined the Buffalo Sabres, where he recorded his career high in penalty minutes in 1970-71, his last NHL season.

After minor league stints with the Cincinnati Swords (AHL) and the Salt Lake Golden Eagles (WHL) in 1971-72, Fleming returned to Chicago, joining the Cougars of the newly formed WHA. After scoring 23 goals and playing his usual rugged style in 1972-73, injuries began to reduce his effectiveness the following season, his final season in the WHA. After playing for a few more seasons in the minors in the mid-western United States, Fleming retired in 1978.

Cincinnati Swords

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Salt Lake Golden Eagles

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Death

While recovering from a stroke and heart attack Fleming resided at the Claremont Rehab and Living Center for 5 years where he died. During this time his son, Chris Fleming, filmed his situation and conversations in the hope of reaching his father's fans through YouTube and the internet. Touchingly, they documented Fleming's battle with ill-health and attempt to recollect his fondest memories. Fleming died at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Illinois on July 11, 2009. [1] Six months after his death, neuropathologists at Boston University disclosed that he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (C.T.E.). He was the first hockey player known to have been tested for the disease, which had been mainly associated with boxing and American football. [2] He has two surviving children Chris Fleming and Kelly Fleming.

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References

  1. 1 2 Mitchell, Fred (July 12, 2009). "Former Chicago Blackhawk Reggie Fleming dies at 73". Chicago Tribune.
  2. Schwarz, Alan; Klein, Jeff Z. (December 18, 2009). "Brain Damage Found in Hockey Player". The New York Times.