Ace Bailey

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For the former Boston Bruins/Washington Capitals player and Los Angeles Kings scout, see Garnet Bailey.
Ace Bailey
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1975
Ace bailey 1934.jpg
Bailey in 1934.
Born (1903-07-03)July 3, 1903
Bracebridge, ON, CAN
Died April 7, 1992(1992-04-07) (aged 88)
Toronto, ON, CAN
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 160 lb (73 kg; 11 st 6 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Right
Played for Toronto Maple Leafs
Playing career 1926–1933

Irvine Wallace "Ace" Bailey (July 3, 1903 – April 7, 1992) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player. He played for the Toronto Maple Leafs for eight seasons, from 19261933.

Playing career[edit]

Born in Bracebridge, Ontario, Bailey grew up in Toronto and played junior hockey for St. Mary's in the Ontario Hockey Association. He played senior hockey in Peterborough for two seasons (1924–1926) and in November 1926 was signed by the Toronto St. Patricks of the National Hockey League, renamed the Toronto Maple Leafs in his first season with the team. He was the leading scorer and goal scorer in the NHL in the 1928–29 season, with 22 goals and 32 points in 44 games. He was again the Leafs' leading scorer in 1929–30 and one point short of repeating in 1930–31. After three consecutive 20-goal seasons, his offensive production declined in the 1931–32 season; however, Bailey still helped Toronto win the Stanley Cup in 1932.

Bailey's career came to an abrupt end on December 13, 1933, when he was hit from behind by Eddie Shore of the Boston Bruins, apparently in retaliation for having been tripped by King Clancy moments earlier, and hit his head on the ice, fracturing his skull. It was feared that Bailey would not survive after severely injuring his head. Bailey did recover, but never played hockey again. An all-star benefit game was held at Maple Leaf Gardens on February 14, 1934, which raised $20,909.40 for Bailey and his family. Bailey and Shore shook hands and embraced at centre ice before the game began. Thirteen years later, the NHL introduced an annual all-star game.

Bailey's #6 sweater was the first ever to be retired by an NHL team, and is one of only two to have been permanently retired by the Maple Leafs (the other being Bill Barilko's #5). Bailey, however, would later ask Ron Ellis to wear the number. Over his career, Bailey totaled 111 goals and 82 assists in 313 games.

Post-playing career and death[edit]

Bailey (left) shakes the hand of Eddie Shore at the benefit All-Star Game held in honour of Bailey.

Following his career-ending injury, Bailey asked the NHL if he could work as a linesman, but he was turned down. He coached the University of Toronto Varsity Blues men's ice hockey team hockey team from 1935 to 1940 and again after World War II from 1945 to 1949, winning three Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union championships. He also worked as a timekeeper at Maple Leaf Gardens from 1938 to 1984, when the 81-year-old Bailey was told by Gardens owner Harold Ballard that his services were no longer needed. Bailey died of lung failure in 1992 at the age of 88.


Bailey was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975. Named in his honour, the Ace Bailey Memorial ice hockey tournament for youth players is held annually in Stoney Creek, Ontario.


  • November 3, 1926 - Signed as a free agent by the Toronto Maple Leafs

Awards and achievements[edit]

  • 1928-29 - NHL Scoring Leader
  • 1975 - Honoured member - Hockey Hall of Fame

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1926–27 Toronto St. Pats/Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 42 15 13 28 82
1927–28 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 43 9 3 12 72
1928–29 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 44 22 10 32 78 4 1 2 3 4
1929–30 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 43 22 21 43 69
1930–31 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 40 23 19 42 46 2 1 1 2 0
1931–32 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 41 8 5 13 62 7 1 0 1 4
1932–33 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 47 10 8 18 52 8 0 1 1 4
1933–34 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 13 2 3 5 11
NHL totals 313 111 82 193 472 21 3 4 7 12

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Howie Morenz
NHL Scoring Champion
Succeeded by
Cooney Weiland