Léo Joseph Boivin (born August 2, 1932) is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey defenceman who played 19 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota North Stars.
|Hockey Hall of Fame, 1986|
August 2, 1932|
Prescott, Ontario, Canada
|Height||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)|
|Weight||177 lb (80 kg; 12 st 9 lb)|
Toronto Maple Leafs|
Detroit Red Wings
Minnesota North Stars
Leo Boivin began playing hockey at seven years of age on the rivers and outdoor ice surfaces of Prescott, Ontario, near Ottawa, Ontario. He began his junior career with the Inkerman Rockets where he was spotted by a scout for the Boston Bruins who inked him to a contract. That led to a move to the Port Arthur Bruins for two more seasons. At the end of his Junior career, his rights were traded by Boston to the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 1951–52 he began playing for the American Hockey League (AHL) Pittsburgh Hornets and was promoted to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Maple Leafs had lost hard-hitting blue liner Bill Barilko in the summer of 1951 when he disappeared on a fishing trip and the Toronto brass felt that Boivin's physical style could help fill that void. Boivin only got into two games in the 1951-52 season but joined the Maple Leafs as a regular the following year. Early in the 1954-55 season Boivin was traded back to the Bruins in exchange for Joe Klukay.
Back in Boston, Boivin enjoyed his best years as a feared member of the Boston Bruins blue line and helped lead them to two Stanley Cup finals in the late 1950s. Boivin starred with other Boston defensive stalwarts Allan Stanley, Fern Flaman, Doug Mohns and Bob Armstrong. He remained the anchor of a youthful Bruins defensive corps during the difficult reconstructive period of the early 1960s. Boivin became captain of the Boston Bruins in 1963. In February 1966, Boivin was traded to the Detroit Red Wings in a five-player trade. "I had been in Boston for a long time and they were struggling. (General Manager) Hap Emms asked me if I would go to Detroit. It was near the (trade) deadline. (Doug) Barkley lost his eye that year and Sid Abel wanted me to go there. I said, 'Sure, I'll go to Detroit.' It was quite a feeling to go in there because they had guys like (Gordie) Howe and (Alex) Delvecchio that I had hit hard through the years. But they welcomed me with open arms. I really enjoyed playing there." That spring he would help the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the Montreal Canadiens.
After one more season with Detroit, Boivin's career was winding down but age 35, he was given a chance to extend his career when the league doubled in size by adding six new franchise for the 1967-68 campaign. Boivin found a new home when he was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1967 NHL Expansion Draft. "After sixteen years in the six-team league, expansion added on to my career. At that time, there were a lot of players playing in the American Hockey League that were great players who just didn't get a chance." He spent a season and half with the Penguins before moving on for a final time when he was traded to the Minnesota North Stars, another expansion club. After the North Stars were defeated in the quarterfinals the 1970 playoffs, Boivin retired. Punch Imlach, who was the head coach and General Manager of the first-year Buffalo Sabres tried to entice Boivin into playing one more season, but the veteran defender opted to stay retired though he did remain involved with the game at the NHL level.
Following his retirement in 1970, Boivin became a scout. He became an interim coach of the St. Louis Blues during the 1975–76 and 1977–78 seasons, and coached the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League for a brief period, tutoring young defenceman Denis Potvin. Boivin was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1986.
|1949–50||Port Arthur Bruins||TBJHL||18||4||4||8||32||5||0||3||3||10|
|1949–50||Port Arthur Bruins||M-Cup||—||—||—||—||—||16||6||4||10||12|
|1950–51||Port Arthur Bruins||TBJHL||20||16||11||27||37||13||3||6||9||28|
|1950–51||Port Arthur Bruins||M-Cup||—||—||—||—||—||7||1||3||4||16|
|1951–52||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||2||0||1||1||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|1952–53||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||2||13||15||97||—||—||—||—||—|
|1953–54||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||58||1||6||7||81||5||0||0||0||2|
|1954–55||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||7||0||0||0||8||—||—||—||—||—|
|1965–66||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||16||0||5||5||16||12||0||1||1||16|
|1966–67||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||69||4||17||21||78||—||—||—||—||—|
|1968–69||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||28||1||6||7||16||—||—||—||—||—|
|1969–70||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||69||3||12||15||30||3||0||0||0||0|
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|St. Louis Blues||1975–76||43||17||17||9||(43)||3rd in Smythe||Lost in Preliminary Rd|
|St. Louis Blues||1977–78||54||11||36||7||(29)||4th in Smythe||(fired)|
- Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or Legends of Hockey, or The Internet Hockey Database
- Leo Boivin Showcase, Annual Midget AA/AAA Tournament in Prescott, Ontario
| Boston Bruins captain
| Head coach of the St. Louis Blues