December 27, 2017 / 2:50 AM / in 2 months

NHL: Maple Leafs' goaltending great Bower dies at 93

(Reuters) - Hall of Fame ice hockey goaltender Johnny Bower died of pneumonia on Tuesday at the age of 93, his family have said.

Bower spent most of his 15-year NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs and won four Stanley Cups in the 1960s.

“The entire Toronto Maple Leaf organization is deeply saddened following the passing of Johnny Bower,” Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan said in a statement.

FILE PHOTO - Toronto Maple Leafs great goalie Johnny Bower waves during a pre-game ceremony before the team's NHL hockey game against the Montreal Canadiens in Montreal, January 8, 2009. REUTERS/Shaun Best

“Johnny was beloved by so many for much more than his Hall of Fame credentials as a player. The Toronto Maple Leafs, and our fans, are deeply indebted to Johnny for all that he gave to us, and taught us over the years. We will miss him dearly”

Bower spent 13 seasons in the minor leagues before making his NHL debut at the age of 29. He made up for lost time in the NHL by playing until the age of 45.

Nicknamed “The China Wall”, Bower twice won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goalie.

He had a career playoff goals against average of 2.47.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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