|Hockey Hall of Fame, 1977|
Horton in 1965
January 12, 1930|
Cochrane, ON, CAN
|Died||February 21, 1974
St. Catharines, ON, CAN
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)|
|Played for||Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Rangers
Miles Gilbert "Tim" Horton (January 12, 1930 – February 21, 1974) was a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman - playing 24 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Buffalo Sabres - and a businessman, and co-founder, of Tim Hortons. In 1974, aged 44, while chased by police in St. Catharines, Ontario, Mr. Horton died in an automobile crash.
Tim Horton was born in Cochrane, Ontario, at Lady Minto Hospital. His parents were Aaron Oakley Horton (a Canadian National Railway mechanic) and Ethel Horton. Tim had one brother, Gerry Horton.
Tim Horton grew up playing ice hockey in Cochrane, and later in mining country near Timmins. The Toronto Maple Leafs organization signed him; in 1948 he moved to Toronto to play junior hockey and attended St. Michael's College School.
Two years later, he turned pro with the Leafs' farm team, the Pittsburgh Hornets of the American Hockey League; he spent most of the first three seasons with Pittsburgh. Playing in his first NHL game on March 26, 1950, Horton did not appear in the NHL again until the fall of 1952. He remained a Leaf until 1970, winning four Stanley Cups. Horton later played for the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. Horton was known for his tremendous strength and calmness under pressure. As a hard-working and durable defenceman, Horton gained relatively few penalty minutes for an enforcer-type defenceman. Horton was also an effective puck carrier – in 1964–65 he played right wing for the Leafs. Horton appeared in six National Hockey League All-Star Games. He was named an NHL First Team All-Star three times: (1964, 1968, and 1969). He was selected to the NHL Second Team three times: (1954, 1963, 1967).
Between February 11, 1961, and February 4, 1968, Horton appeared in 486 consecutive regular-season games; this remains the Leafs club record for consecutive games and was the NHL record for consecutive games by a defencemen until broken on February 8, 2007, by Karlis Skrastins. This is remarkable because on March 12, 1955, he suffered both a broken leg and jaw after being checked by Bill Gadsby of the Rangers. The injuries were so severe he missed much of the following season, causing some doubt Horton would ever again play professional hockey.
Horton had a reputation for enveloping players fighting him, in a crushing bear hug. Boston Bruins winger Derek Sanderson once bit Horton during a fight; years later, Horton's widow, Lori, still wondered why. "Well," Sanderson replied, "I felt one rib go, and I felt another rib go, so I just had—to, well, get out of there!"
While playing, Horton was generally acknowledged as the strongest man in the game; injuries and age were little more than minor inconveniences. Chicago Blackhawks winger Bobby Hull declared, "There were defencemen you had to fear because they were vicious and would slam you into the boards from behind, for one, Eddie Shore. But you respected Tim Horton because he didn't need that type of intimidation. He used his tremendous strength and talent to keep you in check."
In 1962, he scored three goals and 13 assists in 12 playoff games, setting a Leafs team record for playoff points by a defenceman. This record was tied in 1978 by Ian Turnbull (who played 13 games); but was not broken until 1994, when David Ellett registered 18 points (albeit in 18 games).
In 1972, in spite of his age, 42 years old at the time, and suffering from considerable nearsightedness, former Leafs general manager Punch Imlach signed Horton to the Sabres. In 1973, his performance assisted the Sabres in their first playoff appearance. Subsequently, Horton signed a contract extension in the off-season.
While playing for the Leafs, Horton wore the number 7, the same number worn by King Clancy from 1931–32 to 1936–37. The team declared both Horton and Clancy honoured players at a ceremony on November 21, 1995, but did not retire the number 7 from team use; instead, it became an Honoured Jersey Number, abiding by Leafs honours policy. Horton wore number 2 in Buffalo (as Rick Martin already had the number 7), which was retired.
Horton believed he took too many early career penalties because of his "hot temper".
|1947–48||St. Michael's Majors||OHA||32||6||7||13||137||—||—||—||—||—|
|1948–49||St. Michael's Majors||OHA||32||9||18||27||95||—||—||—||—||—|
|1949–50||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||1||0||0||0||2||1||0||0||0||2|
|1951–52||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||4||0||0||0||8||—||—||—||—||—|
|1952–53||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||2||14||16||85||—||—||—||—||—|
|1953–54||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||7||24||31||94||5||1||1||2||4|
|1954–55||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||67||5||9||14||84||—||—||—||—||—|
|1955–56||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||35||0||5||5||36||2||0||0||0||4|
|1956–57||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||66||6||19||25||72||—||—||—||—||—|
|1957–58||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||53||6||20||26||39||—||—||—||—||—|
|1958–59||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||5||21||26||76||12||0||3||3||16|
|1959–60||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||3||29||32||69||10||0||1||1||6|
|1960–61||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||57||6||15||21||75||5||0||0||0||0|
|1961–62||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||10||28||38||88||12||3||13||16||16|
|1962–63||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||6||19||25||69||10||1||3||4||10|
|1963–64||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||9||20||29||71||14||0||4||4||20|
|1964–65||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||12||16||28||95||6||0||2||2||13|
|1965–66||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||6||22||28||76||4||1||0||1||12|
|1966–67||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||8||17||25||70||12||3||5||8||25|
|1967–68||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||69||4||23||27||82||—||—||—||—||—|
|1968–69||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||74||11||29||40||107||4||0||0||0||7|
|1969–70||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||59||3||19||22||91||—||—||—||—||—|
|1969–70||New York Rangers||NHL||15||1||5||6||16||6||1||1||2||28|
|1970–71||New York Rangers||NHL||78||2||18||20||57||13||1||4||5||14|
In 1964, Horton opened his first Tim Horton Doughnut Shop in Hamilton, Ontario on Ottawa Street. He even added a few of his culinary creations to the initial menu. By 1967, Horton had become a multi-million dollar franchise system. Horton's previous business ventures included both a hamburger restaurant and Studebaker auto dealership in Toronto.
Upon Horton's death in 1974, his business partner, Ron Joyce, bought out the Horton family's shares for $1 million and took over as sole owner of the existing chain of 40 stores.
Today, in addition to over 3,000 locations in Canada, there are over 556 Tim Hortons Doughnut Shops in the United States, and they can be found in Michigan, Ohio, New York, Maine, Pennsylvania, and other American states, mainly in the Northeast and the Great Lakes region. There was also a Tim Hortons on the Kandahar Canadian Military base in Afghanistan until late 2011. There are also a number of Tim Hortons in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In November 2011, Tim Horton's opened up the first of several locations in the UAE, in Abu Dhabi at Mushrif Mall.
Ron Joyce's son married Horton's daughter, returning the Horton family to the company.
Death and aftermath
After the Sabres played in Toronto the night before, returning from Toronto to his home in Buffalo, in the early morning of February 21, 1974, driving his De Tomaso Pantera sports car, Horton was in a motor vehicle pursuit on the Queen Elizabeth Way. Navigating a curve on the QEW he lost control, hitting a concrete culvert. The impact flipped the vehicle. Horton, not wearing a seat belt, was ejected. Horton's injuries proved fatal; he was reported dead on arrival at the local hospital. A police officer pursuing Horton's vehicle said his vehicle travelled at over 160 km/h (100 mph).
There were reports Horton consumed a considerable amount of vodka, and was rumored to have taken pain killers due to a jaw injury suffered in practice the day before. An autopsy report released in 2005 showed Horton had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit. The blood test also showed signs of amobarbital, which was possibly a residue from the Dexamyl pills were found on Horton's body. The autopsy showed no indication Horton was taking painkillers.
Soon after Horton's death, Ron Joyce offered Lori Horton (Tim's widow) $1 million for her shares in the chain, which included 40 stores. Accepting his offer, Joyce became sole owner. Years later, Mrs. Horton decided the deal was unfair, and took the matter to court. In 1993, Mrs. Horton lost the lawsuit; an appeal was declined in 1995. Lori died in 2000. Tim and Lori left four daughters: Jeri-Lyn (Horton-Joyce), Traci (Simone), Kim, and Kelly. Jeri-Lyn married Ron Joyce's son Ron Joyce Jr. and owns a store in Cobourg Ontario.
Awards and achievements
- Named to NHL First All-Star Team in 1964, 1968, and 1969
- Named to NHL Second All-Star Team in 1954, 1963, and 1967
- 1961–62 – Stanley Cup champion
- 1962–63 – Stanley Cup champion
- 1963–64 – Stanley Cup champion
- 1966–67 – Stanley Cup champion
- 1977 – Inducted (posthumously) into the Hockey Hall of Fame
- 1982 – Inducted (posthumously) into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame
- 1996 – Number 2 retired by the Buffalo Sabres
- 1998 – Ranked number 43 on The Hockey News list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
- 2004 – Ranked number 59 in The Greatest Canadian list by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
- List of ice hockey players who died during their playing career
- List of NHL players with 1000 games played
- "Tim Horton". Mysteriesofcanada.com. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
- Hunter, Douglas (9 October 2012). Double Double: How Tim Hortons Became a Canadian Way of Life, One Cup at a Time. HarperCollins. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-4434-0675-8. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- Bailey, Budd (2010-06-04). This day in Buffalo sports history: a toast. The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2010-06-04.
- CBC Sports (2009-01-31). "Doug Gilmour honoured by Maple Leafs". Cbc.ca. Retrieved 2013-06-14.
- "Toronto Mapleleafs - Alumni - Toronto Maple Leafs - Team". Mapleleafs.nhl.com. Retrieved 2013-06-14.
- John Iaboni. ""Honoured Players Process Different For Leafs" in Leafs Game Day, Issue No. 3, 2005-06". Toronto Maple Leafs. Retrieved 2007-04-06.
- Cole, Stephen (2006). The Canadian Hockey Atlas. Doubleday Canada. ISBN 978-0-385-66093-8 (0-385-66093-6) Check
- "Millions of Cemetery Records and Online Memorials". Find A Grave. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
- "Tim Horton (1930 - 1974) - Find A Grave Memorial". Findagrave.com. Retrieved 2011-02-24.
- "Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame".
7. Quinlan, Don Tim Horton: From Stanley Cups to Coffee Cups, a biography of Tim Horton for ages 8+
- Tim Horton's biography at Legends of Hockey
- The Canadian Encyclopedia: Tim Horton
- Biography at Tim Hortons corporate site
- Tim Horton's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database