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11/6/1922 Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Left-winger, Joe Klukay, played nearly 600 NHL games with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins during the 1940s and '50s. He was a consistent goal scorer and hard worker who contributed to four Stanley Cup wins with the Leafs.
Born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Klukay dressed for one playoff game with Toronto in 1943 after a strong year with the Stratford Kroehlers of the OHA. During World War II, he served in the Canadian Navy where he continued to play hockey with the Toronto and Cornwall detachments. Following a big year with the AHL's Pittsburgh Hornets in 1945-46, Klukay was ready for the NHL.
Klukay joined the powerful Toronto Maple Leafs in 1946 and promptly learned how to win and be a professional. He and linemate, Nick Metz, became the league's most effective penalty killing tandem on a team that won through discipline and defense. Led first by Syl Apps and then Teeder Kennedy, Toronto won three consecutive Stanley Cups from 1947 to 1949. Klukay also spent some time working alongside talented centre, Max Bentley.
"The Duke of Paducah" played on the Maple Leafs when they won the Cup in 1951 on Bill Barilko's overtime goal. He played one more season before being swept out by a youth movement on the team. Klukay was sold to the weaker Boston Bruins, but enjoyed being able to rush with the puck in a less restrictive system. In 1953-54, he scored 20 goals for the first time in his career. Early in the 1954-55 season, the Bruins were in dire straits and Conn Smythe agreed to send hard hitting defenseman, Leo Boivin, to Boston in return for Klukay. During the last part of the season, Klukay worked with Tod Sloan and George Armstrong. He played 18 games the next year before his NHL career concluded.
The AHL's Pittsburgh Hornets were the next stop for Klukay and there were rumours of a coaching opportunity for him there. Unfortunately, the team folded after the season but Klukay was soon recruited by George Gee who needed a veteran to play for the senior Windsor Bulldogs. He played several years there and won the Allan Cup under coach Harry Watson before retiring in 1963.
Played in NHL All-Star Game (1947, 1948, 1949). Signed as a free agent by Toronto, March 15th, 1943. Traded to Boston by Toronto for cash, September 16th, 1952. Traded to Toronto by Boston for Leo Boivin, November 9th, 1954.
Awards and Trophies
Prince of Wales Trophy 1947-48
Stanley Cup 1950-51;1948-49;1947-48;1946-47