Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Dan Maloney, a feared fighter who went on to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets, has died at age 68.

The NHL Alumni Association announced Maloney’s death on its Twitter account. No cause of death was given.

Selected by the Blackhawks 14th overall in the 1970 NHL draft, Maloney went on to play 11 seasons in the NHL with Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit and Toronto. He was part of the trade that sent Marcel Dionne from the Red Wings to Los Angeles.

The Leafs broke up their successful line of Darryl Sittler, Lanny McDonald and Errol (Spud) Thompson to get Maloney, sending Thompson to Detroit.

Maloney had 192 goals and 259 assists over 737 games, scoring 20 or more goals three times in a season. A hard-nosed winger, he also piled up 1,489 penalty minutes with more than 90 fights during his NHL career, according to Hockeyfights.com.

RELATED: EA Sports NHL 19 predicts Maple Leafs will end Stanley Cup drought

In 1976, then with Detroit, he was acquitted in Toronto of charges of assaulting Maple Leafs defenceman Brian Glennie in a game in November 1975 at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Maloney went after Glennie after he had hit Brian Hextall of Detroit with what appeared to be a clean check near the Toronto blue line.

Maloney pounced on Glennie from behind, dropped him with a right-hand punch, then hit him several more times and repeatedly lifted and dropped Glennie, causing him to strike the ice.

Glennie had to be helped from the ice and was taken to a hospital for observation with a concussion.

Maloney said he went after Glennie because he felt the Toronto defenceman had hit Hextall “extra hard,” according to reports at the time. He also said he wasn’t trying to hurt Glennie, but that Glennie kept falling and he kept trying to pick him up.

He was given a five-minute major penalty. The game turned nasty with 107 penalty minutes being called.

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated for almost nine hours before reaching their verdict. Maloney was the third NHL player to face charges for his actions on the ice.

After his acquittal, Maloney said he would continue “playing hockey the way I have always played it and the way I play it best. I’m just very glad to have this over with.”

The judge in that case — Justice Patrick LeSage — would preside over Paul Bernardo’s murder trial years later.

Maloney went into coaching after his playing career ended following the 1981-82 season, spending two seasons as an assistant coach with the Maple Leafs before being promoted to head coach.

He took over after head coach Mike Nykoluk was fired an hour before sitting down for a season-ending meal with his players.

Maloney coached the Leafs for the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons, then spent the following three seasons as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets before being fired 52 games into the 1988-89 season.

He also served as an assistant with the New York Rangers in 1992-93.

Born in Barrie, Ont., Maloney played junior hockey for the London Knights.

The Canadian Press

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