September 18, 1937 |
Kirkland Lake, ON, CAN
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||165 lb (75 kg; 11 st 11 lb)|
Los Angeles Kings
Chicago Black Hawks
New England Whalers
Backstrom played junior hockey with the Montreal Junior Canadiens from 1954 to 1956, and the Ottawa Junior Canadiens from 1956 to 1958. He was captain of the team that won the George Richardson Memorial Trophy in 1957 and the Memorial Cup in 1958.
As a professional, Backstrom joined the Montreal Canadiens for the 1958-59 season and was selected the NHL's top rookie, receiving the Calder Memorial Trophy. He played in Montreal for 12 full seasons, winning six Stanley Cups and appearing in six National Hockey League All-Star Games (1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1967). After the 1970–71 season, Backstrom requested a trade and talked about retiring. He reported to training camp, but left the team just before the season opened. After returning to the Canadiens, Backstrom spent most of his time on the bench until being traded to the Los Angeles Kings in January 1971. Just over two years later, he was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks for Dan Maloney and finished the 1972–73 season there.
Backstrom then jumped to the World Hockey Association and joined the Chicago Cougars, where he played for two years, and later became a part-owner of the team. In his first season, he led the Cougars in scoring with 33 goals and 83 points in 70 games. He also represented Canada at the 1974 Summit Series on an all-star team of Canadian WHA players. His offensive production dropped sharply in 1974-75 and at the end of the season the new Denver Spurs selected Backstrom in the WHA's expansion draft. Backstrom was the team's top scorer, but the franchise struggled, and a move to Ottawa—where the team was renamed the Ottawa Civics—did not help. The franchise ceased operations 41 games into the season. Backstrom finished the season with the New England Whalers, scoring 35 goals and 83 points over the year. He played one more year with New England and retired in 1977. He would have turned 40 before the start of the next season. Through his professional career, Backstrom had seven 20-goal seasons in the NHL and two 30-goal seasons in the WHA.
Awards and achievements
- George Richardson Memorial Trophy champion — 1957
- Memorial Cup champion — 1958
- Calder Memorial Trophy — 1959
- NHL All-Star Games — 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1967
- Stanley Cup champion — 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969 (with Montreal)
- Paul Deneau Trophy — 1974
|1954–55||Montreal Jr. Canadiens||QJHL||21||7||6||13||2||5||2||1||3||4|
|1955–56||Montreal Jr. Canadiens||QJHL||18||10||8||18||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|1955–56||Montreal Jr. Canadiens||M-Cup||—||—||—||—||—||10||5||4||9||6|
|1956–57||Ottawa Jr. Canadiens||OHA-Jr.||18||10||8||18||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|1956–57||Ottawa Jr. Canadiens||EOHL||18||7||10||17||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|1956–57||Ottawa Jr. Canadiens||M-Cup||—||—||—||—||—||15||17||11||28||19|
|1957–58||Ottawa Jr. Canadiens||OHA-Jr.||26||24||27||51||64||—||—||—||—||—|
|1957–58||Ottawa Jr. Canadiens||EOHL||33||21||25||46||13||—||—||—||—||—|
|1957–58||Ottawa Jr. Canadiens||M-Cup||—||—||—||—||—||13||17||9||26||24|
|1970–71||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||33||14||13||27||8||—||—||—||—||—|
|1971–72||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||76||23||29||52||22||—||—||—||—||—|
|1972–73||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||63||20||29||49||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|1972–73||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||16||6||3||9||2||16||5||6||11||0|
|1975–76||New England Whalers||WHA||38||14||19||33||6||17||5||4||9||8|
|1976–77||New England Whalers||WHA||77||17||31||48||30||3||0||0||0||0|
|Senior int'l totals||8||4||4||8||10|
After his playing career, Backstrom became an assistant coach in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings, and also a head coach at the University of Denver, where we won the 1986 Spencer Penrose Award as NCAA coach of the year. Backstrom then coached the Phoenix Roadruners of the International Hockey League from 1990 to 1992. He was founder and commissioner of Roller Hockey International, and is currently the president/owner of the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL.
- "The Memorial Cup: A History...1958". Taking Note with Gregg Drinnan. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
- "1958-59 Calder Memorial Trophy Winner". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
- "Ralph Backstrom NHL & WHA Statistics". Hockey-Reference.com. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
- "Ralph Backstrom (1956-1971)". Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
- Scott, Jon C. (2006). Hockey Night in Dixie: Minor Pro Hockey in the American South. Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd. p. 163. ISBN 1-894974-21-2.
- "Ottawa Civics". WHA Hockey. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
- Blair, Darrel (March 2, 2003). "News - The Coloradoan - www.coloradoan.com". The Coloradoan. Retrieved 2007-08-04.
|Winner of the Calder Trophy