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Mayor honours George Armstrong’s ‘incredible hockey legacy’

Hall of Famer passed away Jan. 24 at age 90

Mayor Brian Bigger has issued a statement on the passing of George Armstrong, the NHL hall of famer who grew up in Falconbridge.

In the statement, the mayor calls Armstrong a “Hall of Famer, Stanley Cup champion, captain, coach, executive and leader,” and says the city will be lowering flags to half-mast to honour the man, as well as create a book of condolences.

“On behalf of City Council and the residents of Greater Sudbury, I want to express our condolences to the family and friends of George Armstrong on his passing.”

George “Chief” Armstrong, grew up in the Sudbury area and played 21 seasons for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He passed away Jan. 24 at the age of 90.

His Wikipedia page states Armstrong was born in 1930 in Skead to an Irish-Canadian father and Ojibwe mother, and grew up in Falconbridge, where his father was a nickel miner.

He played 1,188 NHL games between 1950 and 1971, all with Toronto and a franchise record, and was the team's captain for 13 seasons. Armstrong was a member of four Stanley Cup championship teams and played in seven NHL All-Star Games. 

When his playing days ended, Armstrong served as a scout for the Quebec Nordiques, as an assistant general manager of the Maple Leafs and for part of the 1988–89 NHL season as Toronto's head coach. Armstrong was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975 and the Maple Leafs honoured his uniform number 10 in 1998, and later officially retired the number, along with ten others, during a pre-game ceremony on October 15, 2016.

Also in 2016, Armstrong was honoured locally, when a banner featuring his image was unveiled at the Big Nickel, later to be displayed permanently at the Garson Arena.

Reporter Heidi Ulrichsen spoke with members of Armstrong’s family this past weekend while they were out for a skate (in Leafs jerseys, of course). They noted that Armstrong was a humble man, much admired by his family.

Statement from Mayor Bigger on the passing of George Armstrong

As Mayor, I join the community of Greater Sudbury and hockey fans everywhere in mourning the passing of George Armstrong.

Hockey Hall of Famer, Stanley Cup Champion, Captain, Coach, Executive, and Leader, are just some of the many ways to describe George's incredible hockey legacy and why the banner of the local legend is proudly on display in the Garson Arena.

On behalf of City Council and the residents of Greater Sudbury, I want to express our condolences to the family and friends of George Armstrong on his passing.

In his honour we will be lowering the flags at half-mast and a book of condolences will be created in the coming days.