Maple Leafs goalie (and first Canuck in Hall of Fame) Johnny Bower fondly remembered over social media

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      One of the greatest netminders in Toronto Maple Leafs history, Johnny Bower, has died at the age of 93.

      He backstopped four Stanley Cup-winning teams in the 1960s.

      He shared these duties on the Leafs' 1967 championship team with the great Terry Sawchuk, which is the last time the Cup was hoisted in Toronto.

      After a long career in the American Hockey League, Bower's first NHL season was in 1953-54 with the New York Rangers.

      The following year, he was back in the minors playing for the Vancouver Canucks of the Western Hockey League, posting a 30-25 record with a 2.71 goals-against average. That was his only season in Vancouver and he won the league's Outstanding Goaltender Award.

      He moved to Toronto in 1958-59 and his heyday came in the 1960s when he twice won the Vezina Trophy because the Leafs allowed the fewest goals over a season. The second Vezina Trophy was shared with Sawchuck.

      Bower didn't have great eyesight and he played without a mask when players like Bobby Hull and Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion were firing bullet-like slap shots on net.

      But Bower was durable, playing his final game in 1969 at the age of 45.

      He made it to the Hall of Fame in 1976 with career stats of 250 wins, 192 losses, 90 ties, and a 2.51 goals-against average. He recorded 37 shutouts during his NHL career.

      Bower was the first Vancouver Canucks player from the minors or the NHL to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

      Other former Vancouver Canucks who followed him were Andy Bathgate (1978), Gump Worsley (1980), Allan Stanley (1981), and Tony Esposito (1988). Bathgate was the only one of those five who played more than one season in Vancouver.

      This year, Bower was among those named as the 100 greatest NHL players in history and he remained a great ambassador for the Leafs long after he retired.

      As you can see in messages over social media today (see below), Bower remained a beloved figure long after he hung up his skates.