In the late Fifties a very young Fred Stanfield played for the Mississauga Dixie Beehives then played Major Junior Hockey for the OHL’s St. Catherine’s TeePees/Black Hawks for three seasons with fellow teenage players Dennis Hull and Ken Hodge.
Mr. Stanfield’s first NHL team would be Chicago and was also assigned to play in the now defunct CHL minor league during his three season 10-game tenure for the Chicago Blackhawks.
In his third Chicago season Mr. Stanfield is traded to Boston and produces 64 points with 20 goals in 73 games. For six straight seasons Mr. Stanfield scores 20 or more goals and contributes to two Stanley Cup championships for Boston.
Then Boston trades Mr. Stanfield to Minnesota for a goalie when Mr. Cheevers left Boston. Although Mr. Stanfield was afforded the opportunity to play on the North Stars number one line, he did not produce as expected.
Approximately halfway through Mr. Stanfield’s second Minnesota season the North Stars trade 31 year old Mr. Stanfield to the Buffalo Sabres and in 32 games for Buffalo Mr. Stanfield scores 33 points. His veteran leadership assisted Buffalo on their march to the 1975 Cup Finals.
As with every NHL player all good things must come to an end, Mr. Stanfield in his early thirties played for two and half more season for Buffalo.
His final Sabres season was 57 games with 11 points, so he went down to the AHL Hershey Bears where Mr. Stanfield recorded 60 points in 50 games in his first AHL season.
That first season in Hershey he played then he coached the Bears into the playoffs as a mid-season Head Coach replacement as he was the following season in the OHA coaching the Niagara Falls Flyers into the playoffs as well.
An excellent ending to an excellent Hockey career, Mr. Stanfield decided to spend the rest of his life with his wife in one of Buffalo’s beautiful suburbs while running a successful business furniture store that grew into an impressive operation.
In the work force you know a good boss or owner when the employees speak highly and emotionally of them and just the case with Mr. Stanfield. Found memories of Mr. & Mrs. Stanfield hosting players at home for weekend get-togethers. (Weekend at Freddy’s)
Always a willing participant with the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association, Mr. Stanfield continually exercised throughout his retirement while also playing in 30 to 50 games of Hockey a year and stayed in great shape.
When my Hockey History calendar approaches May 4th (his birthday) I will reflect and continue to write about his Hockey accomplishments.