Longtime Maple Leafs forward Ellis dies at 79

Longtime Maple Leafs forward Ellis dies at 79

Ron Ellis, a longtime member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, has died. He was 79.

Ellis was part of the 1967 Maple Leafs team that won the Stanley Cup. Toronto hasn’t won another since.

The Maple Leafs announced his death on Saturday. The cause was not disclosed.

“We mourn the loss of Ron Ellis, a lifetime Leaf whose legacy is woven into the fabric of the blue and white,” the Leafs said in a statement. “Ron was a true gentleman of the game who will be deeply missed. Our thoughts are with his loved ones.”

Ellis, a two-way forward, played one game with the Maple Leafs in the 1963-64 season, then made his final appearance in 1980-81.

He took two seasons off from 1975 to ’77 as he confronted mental health issues.

In all, Ellis played parts of 16 seasons in Toronto and is one of five Maple Leafs to have appeared in more than 1,000 games. He also has the fifth-most goals in team history.

Ellis played in 1,034 games and recorded 640 points (332 goals, 308 assists). He set a career high with 61 points in the 1974-75 season.

Ellis was a four-time All-Star, and after his retirement, he worked for the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. He also made his mark with his philanthropy. He won the Keith Magnuson Man of the Year Award in 2024, presented by the NHL Alumni Association.

In a statement, the organization said it was “heartbroken” to learn of his passing.

“Ellis’ contributions philanthropically were global and impactful through his work with many charities and mental health initiatives,” the statement said. “He dedicated his life, post hockey, to the Hockey Hall of Fame, and could be found each day smiling while he led guests through the great museum archives proudly.”